Fighting fires is not something that the majority of us are probably thinking about most of the time. However, should we ever have a fire, we would want firefighters to respond quickly and save people, animals, and anything else they can. Fortunately most fire fighters ARE constantly thinking about fire and preparing for fire and other emergencies. These first responders have my utmost respect.
First responders often run into buildings and emergency situations when everyone else is trying to run out. They are brave, courageous, and often fearless. They show up and get dangerous jobs done while looking out for everyone’s safety. When they aren’t fighting fires they are preparing for them through educational programs for the public as well as going through on the job training.
I can not say enough good about firefighters in general, but especially about our own local fire department here in Fulton County, Indiana. I am very proud to live in a community where emergency services such as firefighting are not taken for granted and where these men and women are highly respected. This community puts their money into maintaining such services. Although I don’t know the exact dates when this all happened, our firefighters were in need of a larger, more modern fire house. This is what the old fire house looks like:
This building now houses some offices on the lower levels and the top floor is now a dance studio owned by another Fulton County Public Library employee.
The new fire house looks like this:
Since the new firehouse was built, the community continues to provide equipment for our local firefighting heroes. A new ladder truck and a pumper truck have been purchased as well as updated communication devices and masks among other things. This is a service that is important to keep up to date and is fully backed by the community.
This is a picture of just some of the things firefighters need:
At the risk of sounding like a commercial, I ask all of you to please support you local firefighters.
Here is a picture printed by our local newspaper, The Sentinel, of some of our firefighters at work:
In 3000 Degrees: the True Story of a Deadly Fire and the Men who Fought It by Sean Flynn, the author describes several firefighters in their everyday life and the reasons they had for becoming firefighters. The story describes deadly fires that these brave men have fought. Their bravery and professionalism is truly amazing. These people put their lives on the line every single day for people they don’t even know. Some have paid the ultimate price. I don’t want to give too much away so I will just say that this book is both entertaining and eye opening. I would recommend it.
Another interesting book is Firefighters: Their Lives in Their Own Words by Dennis Smith. In this book male and female firefighters tell their own stories and why they chose to do what they do. The book covers various fire fighting scenarios such as building fires, forest fires, and emergency rescues.
Though firefighters are obviously very important, the best way to fight fires is to prevent them in the first place. Your family needs to have a fire safety plan. If you have prepared your family and your pets, this could be as simple as knowing escape routes from all areas of your home and grabbing your Bug Out Bag (BOB). If you are unsure what a BOB is or what should be in it, you can learn about BOBs and pet BOBs in my post about Natural Disasters. Every member of your family will need to know where to meet after escaping.
As part of your preparation, you can do a home inspection and make changes as necessary. This is an example of a basic checklist to help you get started:
You will need to have some basic safety equipment located strategically in your home. You need to have fire extinguishers and know how to use them. It is possible that you need different types of extinguishers for different areas of your home.
If you have two or more stories in your home, you should have an emergency escape ladder. Your ladder should be stored inside in an accessible place near a window. you may need more than one ladder depending on the size of your home. Practice with your ladder before you need it and teach children how to responsibly use the ladder.
You should have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors placed strategically throughout your home.
In Fulton County you can obtain a free smoke detector from the fire house. Not long ago local fire fighters walked our streets and knocked on doors asking if people needed smoke detectors. If the people said they needed them, the firefighters even installed them for free. I believe there would be a similar type of arrangement in other areas of the country. Even if you have to buy smoke detectors and/or carbon monoxide detectors, this would be money well spent and could save your life and the lives of your family members.
You should also have a first aid kit readily available. It’s not a bad idea to have several first aid kits located in different areas of your home and you will definitely want to have some basic first aid supplies stored in your BOB. It also might be practical to have some fire blankets.
There should be some considerations for the outside of your home as well. If a fire should start on a neighboring property, you want to try to prevent if from spreading to your own home. There are some simple things you can do to help prevent such a problem as the infographic below shows.
It is also a good idea to have some sort of a sticker, decal, or static cling notification of pets living in your home. If you are not home and a fire breaks out, firefighters or other emergency personnel would know to look for and try to save your pets. The best decals will tell the number and type of animals in the house, have the pets’ names, your name and contact information for how you can be reached.
These types of stickers can be ordered or you could easily make your own with your computer and put pictures on them of your actual animals along with the other necessary information.
A few fire related DVDs/BluRays that you may want to check out are:
Have you ever had a home fire? Do you have an emergency fire plan for your family? Will you be creating a plan?