Helping you stay safeThough next week is the beginning of the annual Fire Prevention Week, local fire fighters are going to be talking about more than just preventing fires. This year, they intend to stress prevention as much as anything else.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
Though next week is the beginning of the annual Fire Prevention Week, local fire fighters are going to be talking about more than just preventing fires. This year, they intend to stress prevention as much as anything else.
The focus of the 2009 event, “Stay Fire Smart, Don’t Get Burned,” will be on general fire safety and burn prevention, said Farmington fire marshal John Powers. But at a time when more serious strains of the flu are hitting residents hard, preventing illness is just as important, he said.
“Our focus this year is specifically on injury prevention,” Powers said, “but with the H1N1 and the early onset of seasonal flu, it looks like it’s going to be a bad flu year, so we’re also putting emphasis on washing hands, avoiding injury and medical issues.
“It’s going to keep our community safer and our firefighters safer and able to respond to calls,” he said.
Members of the fire department will visit all of Farmington’s elementary schools next week to talk about fire prevention and other safety issues. But the message is not restricted to grade school kids, Powers said — that’s why there are two open houses planned in the next week.
The first open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 3, at Station 1 on Denmark Avenue. Families will be able to pick up general fire prevention information, as well as talk with representatives from the Dakota Communications Center about dialing 911 and the new Code Red system. Firefighters also plan to conduct a few demonstrations, and visitors will be allowed to put on fire gear or check out several of the trucks.
Station 2, located off of Pilot Knob Road, will hold its open house from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8. A mock vehicle extrication is planned, and a helicopter from North Memorial will fly in to airlift the victim from the extrication. The DCC representatives will also be present, and several other demonstrations are planned.
Fire Prevention Week marks the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. That fire is regarded as the “largest and most deadly fire in the US history,” according to Powers. The National Fire Protection Association has promoted Fire Prevention Week for more than 75 years, as an opportunity to educate the public on fire-related issues.
“We use it as a community public relations tool. It’s a communications kind of event that allows us to interact with the community and talk about public safety,” Powers said. “It’s important to get our message out. Most people don’t think about fire until it’s too late.”