DROP system proposed
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.”