Editorial - Support local firefightersWe don’t think of them every day but they are always ready, around the clock 365 days a year, to save our homes and loved ones. And, aside from receiving retirement benefits, they’re not even getting paid to do it. They are your volunteer firefighters.
We don’t think of them every day but they are always ready, around the clock 365 days a year, to save our homes and loved ones.
And, aside from receiving retirement benefits, they’re not even getting paid to do it.
They are your volunteer firefighters.
Next week, October 7-13, is Fire Prevention Week, a great time to show appreciation for our firefighters, learn a little more about what they do and to brush up on fire prevention tips that the firefighters keep reminding us about.
The Alexandria Fire Department (AFD) will host an open house on Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be cookies, coffee and juice, demonstrations, and with a $20 donation, a chance to win cash door prizes. Drawings will be held the night of the open house.
Here are some facts about the firefighters that may surprise you:
--A volunteer fire department operates at approximately one-sixth the cost of a paid fire department.
--When a fire call is received, it takes less than three minutes for the AFD to have the fire trucks on their way.
--On average, 25 AFD firefighters report to the station on a call, leaving their jobs or business to help you.
--AFD firefighters have 38 drills per year, plus weekend training. They’re all trained in first aid and emergency care and about half of them devote 110 extra hours to become registered emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
--As a result of its quick response time, training and equipment, the AFD has a “Class 4” insurance rating and a “Class A” rural farmstead rating.
--The AFD answers an average of 200 calls per year. This, along with their training, schools and meetings, takes about 12,000 volunteer man hours.
--Firefighters respond with the most modern equipment available. The AFD carries 5,800 gallons of water to rural fire calls.
Although it will be in the spotlight next week, fire prevention is something residents should practice year round. The AFD stresses these seven tips:
1. If a fire breaks out in your home, get out fast, with your family. Fire can spread faster than you can run.
2. If you find smoke in an open stairway or open hall, use another pre-planned way out. Teach your children how to use the phone to report a fire.
3. Make sure children can open doors, windows and screens to escape routes.
4. Make sure your family knows the quickest, safest ways to escape from every room in the house.
5. Don’t fight a fire by yourself.
6. If you’re trapped in a smoke-filled room, stay near the floor, where the air is better.
7. Don’t jump from a high window. Many people have jumped and died, without realizing rescue was just a few minutes away.