How Cit­i­zens (You) Can Help The Fire Ser­vice Help You

The Victoria Standard - - Obituaries / Notices - WILL BROOKS

Our thanks to Will Brooks and the Lunen­burg Re­gional & Emer­gency Fire Ser­vices for these use­ful re­minders of how to help your fire ser­vice help you.

1. Be sure to have your Civic Num­ber both vis­i­ble and avail­able in case of an emer­gency.

2. Take a mo­ment to be sure you have work­ing smoke and fire de­tec­tors and a fam­ily es­cape plan. Re­ally, DO IT!

3. If you have skills re­lated the the fire ser­vice, ask the Chief how you might help by vol­un­teer­ing. Not ev­ery per­son races into an in­ci­dent. Back­ground sup­port is also needed.

4. Maybe you have won­dered if you could be an ac­tive fire­fighter. Per­haps some­one in your fam­ily has gone be­fore you. Talk with some­one in your local depart­ment. See if you could con­trib­ute by be­com­ing an ac­tive mem­ber.

5. Sup­port the fire depart­ment when it comes to need­ing bet­ter equip­ment, re­plac­ing worn out gear and gen­er­ally speaking ac­cu­rately about the depart­ment in your com­mu­nity. Given all that they do, mem­bers truly ap­pre­ci­ate a sup­port­ive ci­ti­zen and com­mu­nity.

6. If you are a busi­ness owner, make sure that the fire depart­ment can get ac­cess to your busi­ness. And that means quick ac­cess. Noth­ing is more frus­trat­ing than wait­ing for re­ally long pe­ri­ods of time un­til a key holder shows up, es­pe­cially if it is well be­low freez­ing. Con­sider ways of mak­ing ac­cess in­stantly avail­able to the fire depart­ment. Some peo­ple choose to use an on-site lock box. A sim­ple key is far bet­ter than the BIG KEY (AXE) which usu­ally causes much more dam­age.

7. If you are at a fire or emer­gency scene, stay well out of the way un­less an of­fi­cial specif­i­cally asks for your help. It is easy to see a hose­line and think you can move it along. In many cases, that might re­sult in you be­ing hurt or caus­ing the hose to go in an un­de­sired di­rec­tion. I have made that mis­take. It makes some fire­fight­ers very grumpy.

8. Think ahead about what might cause a blaze at your place. How is the BBQ? Ready for use? Re­ally? No­tice any wiring which is in need of a fix? Where are the flam­ma­bles stored? In the right con­tain­ers? How is your place fixed for work­ing ex­tin­guish­ers?

9. In the win­ter is your prop­erty eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble or does snow and ice make get­ting to the scene very dif­fi­cult. Time does mat­ter when an emer­gency is un­fold­ing.

10. If you have a water sup­ply, is it clear of ob­struc­tions? How about the win­ter months? Are you able to keep your hy­drant clear if there is one near? Find­ing and tap­ping a hy­drant is cru­cial in a large fire. Make it eas­ier for fire­fight­ers by keep­ing yours clear.

11. How do you drive around a fire/emer­gency scene? Be sure to pull over to the RIGHT as far and safely as you can to al­low emer­gency ve­hi­cles to pass. STOP! When the emer­gency ve­hi­cles have passed, slowly re­sume your trip. Keep your eyes open for ad­di­tional rigs go­ing to the scene but avoid go­ing there your­self. Our cu­rios­ity seems to pull us to­wards fires and emer­gen­cies. Our pres­ence there, how­ever, can only im­pede the vi­tal work fire­fight­ers and other re­spon­ders must do.

12. Re­view your in­sur­ance to see what is covered and for how much. It is truly sad to hear a home­owner lament­ing after a blaze that he/she did not re­al­ize that cov­er­age was lim­ited or non-ex­is­tent.

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