February 2020 Fire Department Newsletter

Recently the Fire Department responded to quite a few carbon monoxide calls, so we thought that it might be a good idea to once again pass on a little information. Carbon monoxide or CO is a tasteless, odorless gas and is a byproduct of incomplete combustion of natural gas and other material containing carbon, such as gasoline, kerosene, oil, propane, coal, and wood. Exposure to CO can result in headache, dizziness, weakness, confusion, nausea, and unconsciousness at higher levels. CO is measured in parts per million and can be fatal if exposed to just 400 parts per million after 3 hours of exposure and death in just 2 minutes at levels of 12,800 parts per million. Luckily there are detectors readily available to alert you of even a slight rise in CO levels in your home or business. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in homes or businesses with a gas burning appliance (water heater, stovetop, fireplace, furnace), coal or oil burning furnace, wood burning stove or fireplace, and those that have an attached garage or shop. CO detectors are fairly inexpensive and easy to install by simply plugging into an electrical outlet or mounting to the wall or ceiling. If your CO alarm activates immediately leave the building or residence and call 911. Do not attempt to open windows or doors to let fresh air in; let us arrive locate the source and provide you with a proper course of action to mitigate the issue. If you don’t have a detector yet and your home or business has one or more of the criteria items, it’s strongly recommended that you purchase one. It could save your life or the lives of your loved ones.

Earlier this month, the Rope Rescue Team held our monthly training at the Harrison Water Tank facility. The kind folks at the Water Department granted us access to one of their below ground vaults to simulate a confined space rescue scenario. These types of emergency calls can range from underground vaults, to grain silos, to a person stuck in a culvert, and finding a site to perform this training can be somewhat challenging. The fire department does not respond to high number of these calls, but when we do, usually time is of the essence. Because of the nature of the injury to the patient or the dangerous atmosphere within the confined space it is imperative that we quickly provide aid and rescue any individuals who find themselves in these situations. The training event this month was a bit more creative than some we have performed in the past, due to the fact that a prop was built to create a much smaller opening to the vault than what was structurally provided. This particular training event was particularly useful because it allowed us to use a lot of our Confined Space specific equipment to effect the simulated rescue. Also, being able to train indoors when the weather isn’t the best is always appreciated, so a big thanks to the Water Department for allowing us to hold our training inside their facility.

Well, that’s about it for this month, and until next time, don’t forget to wave to the boys in the BRT.