Aside from normal training, training and more training (Have I mentioned that we train every week?), we have been busy this fall with many other activities. October is Fire Prevention month, and we did not skip a beat in promoting fire safety in the area.
In September, we were the host department for the distribution of Little Debbies for other Hamilton County emergency service organizations. McKee Foods delivered boxes and boxes of the treats, and we lined them up in the bay for drive-through pickup. In the course of a couple of hours, other departments sent their staff to Station One to retrieve their items. This is all part of Fire Prevention Month. Departments take these treats to schools, daycares and other locations to promote fire safe practices for children all over the county.
Once they were all delivered, we also took our Little Debbies over to the Educare Daycare and Learning Center for a show-and-tell with the kids to teach them about fire safety. Aside from the usual stop, drop and roll and other basic practices, we will typically let them see a firetruck, sit in the engine and other fun stuff that the kids enjoy. We also put on a full set of turnout gear with masks and breathing apparatus to show kids what a firefighter looks like when in full working gear.
We do this to prevent fear should something occur in their homes. Imagine you are 6 or 7 years old and you are trapped in a smoky room during a fire when, out of the smoke, this “monster” appears in a heavy coat and pants, face mask and helmet and is breathing loudly through a breathing apparatus. If this ever occurs, we want children to understand that this is a person who is there to save them and not a monster coming through the smoke to hurt them. Hopefully, through everyone’s fire prevention efforts, we won’t ever have to do that but it is always good to be prepared.
We are entering that time of year when we “fall back” and change our clocks. As you change the time on your clocks, this is also a good time to test the batteries in your smoke detectors. Smoke detectors do save lives but only if the batteries are in good working order. Please remember to check your batteries twice a year, and the spring and fall time change is a good reminder to go ahead and check. If you are unable to perform this yourself in your home for some reason, please give us a call at Station One and leave a request that you would like some help, and we will schedule someone to pay you a visit and check/change your batteries for you.
This is also the time of year you should consider having your fireplace or wood stove checked and cleaned as we prepare for winter. One of the leading causes of house fires we experience on the mountain is the chimney fire. A chimney fire can belch sparks onto your roof and cause a fire from above. Actually, we have seen chimney fires get so hot the house framing around the flue actually catches on fire and starts a fire inside a wall. These hidden fires in the wall can be very dangerous. Also, if you use smaller heaters in your home, please remember to keep them a safe distance from furniture, drapery and other items that could catch on fire.
As always, if you are going to be burning brush this fall, please obtain a burn permit and give us a courtesy call at (423) 886-5974 and leave a message of the address where you will be burning. We do get 911 dispatches from people who see smoke or fire in the distance and call for an emergency.
If you would like to keep up with WRES, please like our Facebook page, where you can also message us directly with any comments, questions or requests. However, if you have an emergency, or even think you may be having an emergency, always, always call 911 for immediate assistance and the fastest response.
by Jay Heavilon