|Kiwanis Club member Richard Tatton gives the thumbs up as firefigher Frank Peczuh gets him ready to enter the tower.|
Last Thursday the Price city fire department showed the local Kawanis Club what it feels like to walk into a burning building.
The department used their three story training facility at the Carbon County Fairgrounds to stage a structure fire for the group. Members of the Kiwanis and one chubby news reporter were then taken into the blazing structure in full fire gear.
Full fire gear entails total body personal protective equipment including clothing that is safe up to 1000 degrees, boots and gloves, and a self-contained breathing apparatus with a compressed air tank, face shield and helmet. The total weight of this equipment is in excess of 70 pounds.
Once suited up members of the group were lead crawling into the building by a Price firefighter. The blaze within the building was raging at nearly 550 degrees. After crawling into the building the group was given instruction on how to use the fire hose to suppress the fire. Instruction was given to the group in a slow manner allowing the 500 plus degree temperature to take affect.
"You know you cook a turkey at 350 degrees," commented a Price city firefighter.
After completing the demonstration Kiwanis members were lead back through the smoking, burning building, once again on their knees to safety.
"I feel that this is something everyone should do, in order to gain an understanding of just what these firefighters go though to keep our community safe," said Price city Kiwanis member Richard Tatton.
Prior to taking individuals into the fire Price City Fire Chief Paul Bedont provided extinguisher training for all interested.
"A major problem with fire extinguishers is that people over estimate their capabilities," said the chief.
According to Bedont extinguishers are for fighting small fires and nothing more.
"If you come up on something that is large within a structure use your time to get individuals to safety," continued Bedont.
The chief went on to explain that it is the fumes of a substance that burn not the solid substance. So it is important to remember the PASS acronym when using an extinguisher. Point, aim, squeeze and sweep.
"You are not dousing the fire out with the extinguisher, what you want to do is separate the fire from the fumes that it is feeding on," commented Bedont.
With the recent death of one-year-old Weston Wyatt it is important to remember that more than 4,000 Americans die each year in fires and approximately 20,000 are injured. According to the United States Fire Administration many of these incidents can be avoided with the correct information.
Some tips provided by the administration at their website include, installing a smoke alarm on every level of a structure and testing the batteries every month and at least once a year. And also posting home address signs that are clearly visible from the road. For more information visit the administration at www.firesafety.gov.
"I was so impressed with the skills and attention to detail within the local department," concluded Tatton. "The departments dedication and attitude toward safety have given me a significant comfort level when it comes to fire response in the city of Price."