DROP sys­tem pro­posed

The Glengarry News - - News - -- Steven War­bur­ton

Ap­ple Hill res­i­dent Richard Burton ap­peared be­fore North Glen­garry coun­cil on March 25 to share some ideas about im­prov­ing fire­fight­ing ser­vices in ru­ral ar­eas.

Spurred on by a re­cent chimney fire at his par­ents’ house and af­ter reading an ar­ti­cle in the April issue of Bet­ter Farm­ing Mag­a­zine, Mr. Burton urged coun­cil to in­stall DROP plac­ards on the 911 posts that stand near the en­trances to ru­ral prop­er­ties.

DROP, in this case, is an acro­nym for Dis­tance Re­quired to Op­er­ate Pump.

Mr. Burton would like to see the 911 posts out­fit­ted with a num­ber that lets fire­fight­ers know how far it is to the ac­tual build­ings.

“In Glen­garry, we have a lot of prop­er­ties where the houses are set back a dis­tance from the road,” Mr. Burton told The News in a tele­phone in­ter­view.

“So when the trucks ar­rive, they have to know how much hose they will need.”

He says that such a sys­tem could re­duce emer­gency ve­hi­cle con­ges­tions along the prop­erty drive­ways, es­pe­cially if fire­fight­ers elect to set up a pool by the road­side and feed the hose up to­ward the fire.

But North Glen­garry’s Fire Chief, Pat Gau­thier, says that the depart­ment has been look­ing at a so­lu­tion to this prob­lem for sev­eral years.

“We have been look­ing at us­ing a GPS sys­tem in our trucks to let us know where to drop our high­vol­ume hose­lines in long laneway sit­u­a­tions,” he says. “Un­til this is in place, we have made maps for the truck which show all long laneways in the Township with colour codes for dif­fer­ent lengths.”

He says “it's im­por­tant for fire­fight­ers to know laneway lengths so that wa­ter sup­ply hose­line can be dropped at the best lo­ca­tion to en­sure max­i­mum ef­fi­ciency of the sup­ply sys­tem.”

The fire chief added that an­other project, Farm911, could help the fire depart­ment even more.

“The goal of this project is to in­stall ad­dress signs for lots (usu­ally farm­land with no build­ings and there­fore no white on blue civic num­ber) so that the lo­ca­tion can be iden­ti­fied by re­spon­ders,” he said. “This would work the same way as our cur­rent civic num­bers in terms of 911 iden­ti­fi­a­bil­ity but the sign would be a dif­fer­ent colour, such as black num­bers on yel­low.”

This sys­tem would al­low peo­ple to pro­vide their lo­ca­tion when re­port­ing an emer­gency. “It is some­times dif­fi­cult for re­spon­ders to know the ex­act lo­ca­tion when they are re­spond­ing if the caller can­not give an ad­dress,.” said Chief Gau­thier. “This sys­tem would help us reach the scene more quickly.”

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