June 22, 1980
Dinner Committee for June 4: Glen Taylor (Chairman), Bob Thomas, Homer Zugg, Ed Toich, Pete Van Matre.
The first drill in June will be a multi-media wildland firefighting lecture by Larry Helsley, Eric Palmer and others. The second drill for June will be an actual wildland burn, with proactical suppression experience.
The Oil Fire School is on for June 13-14. Fuel arrived yesterday and nothing can stop us now...
Not even the continuing critical water situation. Remember how the reservior project was to be completed last November? Well, now it will (hopefully) be ready by "mid-June". If there is still no new reservoir by June 14, we will not be able to use the water system for the Oil Fire School. An alternate plan involves drafting form East Weaver Creek, utilizing as many as four OES pumpers.
Oil school Chairmean Dale Taylor has schduled a run-through at the site on Sunday, June 8. A Sirens-sponsored "Bring Your Own Everything Barbeque" will follow at Lowden Park.
Big News is that the Fire Commissioners have authorized us to purchase helmets, boots, coats, hose, breathing apparatus, and rescue equipment with some surplus district funds. This gear had been ordered and should be received over the next few months. Also ordered was an encoder and several pagers, the first part of a complete updating of our communications system, using both district funds and a donation from the Lions Club.
District tax revenues and funds will decrease sharply over the coming years, so a "5-year plan" is being developed as a basis for a possible tax rate proposal. Any increase necessary to continue operations would require voter approval. Under consideration are such things as full-time and part time employees, apparatus requirements (including a possible overhaul of Engine 8), new hydrants, and other miscellaneous equipment needs.
Alarms: April 24: Flu fire, Pine Street. April 26: Flu fire, East Weaver Road. April 27: A camp fire, apparently left by two unidentified juveniles, burns a 15x25 foot area along Highway 3 across from the Airport. Engines 7 and 11 suppress it without difficulty. April 29: Smoke in the Mill Street area turns out to be from the mill. May 16: OES 183 responds toward a burning motorhome near Buckhorn, but in 10-22'd before reaching the scene. May 19: Leaking refrigeration system at the Courthouse. Engine 8 helps clean up the mess. 43 incidents so far this year.
8621 people died in fires in 1978, and the tragic thing is that fire deaths occur the same way over and over again. Althought the big fires get all the headlines, 87% of fire fatalities occur in fires killing only one or two people, and 78.5% of fatalities occur in residences. Drawing from the statistics, the most common scenario goes like this:
- The fire victim, most often male, most often over 40, is smoking and drinking heavily. (as in traffic "accidents", over 50% of the fire fatalities have blood-alcohol concentrations of over 0.10. If they were driving, they'd be considered drunk.) He goes to sleep. (Two-thirds of fire deaths occur at night.) A cigarette ( the ignition source in two-thirds of residential fire deaths) somehow finds its way onto clothing, bedding, or upholtery, and smolders, building into a smokey fire. By the time neighbors or family members discover the fire and summon the fire department, the victim is already dead, killed not by flames but by toxic gasses.
Your first thought at every fire should be rescue. But there's only so much firefighters can do. To significantly reduce the annual fire death rate, something must break the chain of events which lead to fatalities. There are ways:
- Smoke detectors discover the fire in its earliest stages and alert sleeping occupants.
- Clothing, bedding, and upholstery could be made fire-retardant and their products of combustion less toxic.
- One of the most promising measures would be to make cigarettes self-extinguishing. Cigarettes are now made to burn for 20 minutes without a puff. If this was reduced to 5 minutes, most fires would never get started.
- Cheap residential sprinkler systems are being investigated as a means of suppressing fires before they become large.
Siren's Song: If you'd like to volunteer your servies to the Oil Fire School, call Sherie Roszell. ** The Sirens are adding T-shirts to the uniform. To help choose the style, etc, attend the meeting May 27, 7:30 at Station 1. ** After the softball tournament June 28th there will be a Potluck at Lowden Park. The cook shack will be accessible if needed. Each family should bring its own meat and table service, and slad and dessert for 10.
News Shorts: Firefighter Gerald Eamer has moved to Woodland, We're sorry to lose him. ** And we'll be losing several others this summer either part or all of the time. Jay Butler and Andy Berrien will be working part-time for Redding Fire Department. Dave Schloss will be with CDF at San Marcos, Geoff Aus with CDF locally, Eric Palmer with CDF at Fawn Lodge, and Brad Sumpter with CDF in Tehama County. Dave Grossman will be working for the Forest Service down river, and Ron Issabell is joining the National Guard. ** Fire season starts today. ** The new Resusi-Annie, purchased with a Rotary Club donation, has been received and is available for use.