I have received a couple of phone calls regarding this, so I wanted to ensure that I am addressing this.
We do have a person going around speaking to everyone offering a personalized photograph in exchange for a donation. The reason for the donation is to raise money for an extractor. Let me explain what an extractor is.
When you get home at night, you change clothes, and you eventually put the clothes into your washing machine and then a dryer. An extractor is a machine that is designed for washing our structural gear. When we enter structures to put out a fire, or we are doing an overhaul on a structure, we are constantly getting contaminants on our gear. In fact, we cannot take our gear inside our houses. The reason is that the contaminants from the unburnt parts of a structure will continue to "off-gas" or vent out into the air around us. When we enter a structure, we are wearing breathing apparatus, so we are not getting the contaminants in our lungs. If we bring the gear into our homes, then we not only continue to expose ourselves, but we expose our families to it. We cannot wash our gear in our washing machines at home, because the contaminants will remain in our washing machine, and then our families will be exposed to these.
So, the extractor is where we wash our gear. The cost of extractors is very high. The catch with having an extractor is that it is not truly optional. Our funding comes from what is known as ACT 833. This is a grant that is provided yearly by the state of Arkansas. If we do not have an extractor by next year, we lose the ACT 833 money. This is why we have taken a step that we do not do and that is to ask for donations. You may be thinking, "wait a minute, I see you on the corner every November with the "fill the boot." That is something that is done state/nationwide. The purpose of that is to provide gifts for underprivileged children in our area.
In the future, we are looking at doing a "Go Fund Me" as well as potentially starting a "Commissary Store," where people in our district can purchase "Pine Village Fire Department Supporter." This is something that is being looked at, it is far from being set in stone. However, this is something that we are looking at.
We just wanted to explain the person coming up to the house. Any questions feel free to contact us and we will explain in more detail if you need.
CPT Rob Herpel
Fire/Arson Investigator (PVFD)
Fill out the link above, and when complete, the request will come directly to CPT Herpel who will set up the specifics.
This is one of the chimney fire videos that we are going to share. We are going to share another one soon. It is critical to notice a couple of things. This one is in Modesto California. Somewhere that you would not think of having a chimney fire.
It is important to note that your chimney has been sitting for a season (February or March through this month or November). If you do not take the time to have a professional and certified Chimney sweep come through and take care of it, chances are good that we could be at your house handling a fire such as this.
NOTE: This is the first of two. We will post the second one as soon as I have it. Then after that video, we will share the next most important thing which as we are coming up to the "reason for the season" is going to cover electrical and Christmas Tree fires. So, those are going to be a couple of videos. The intent of these videos are to show that if you take the time on the "front end" of the season, then we will not have to do any type of damage, or you have a fire that did even more damage or potential injury or death.
Please feel free to ask questions, and we will be happy to address them.
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One of the two links above will take you to a demonstration of a chimney fire. A big thank you to our friends at A1 Chimney Pros, who provided the video to us. We cannot stress enough the importance of your taking this seriously.
REMEMBER - DO NOT TRY TO TAKE ON THE FIRE!!! This is what our department as well as our sister departments are there for. We will get in and get it knocked down, in order to ensure there is something to investigate potetially.
Some points to note in the video.
1. At 24 seconds the smoke is rolling out. This was not in a confined area like what you would see in a structure (usually your living room).
Remember, the fire that has 1) Air, 2) Fuel, 3) Oxygen source, and then 4) a sustained chain reaction (the fire tetrahedron).
2. 1:00 the fire travel has made its way into the living room and is on the carpet, as well as starting to "layer," which you may remember in the Christmas tree video, we spoke of layering, if not attacked quickly, the fire will superheated all of the combustible (wood, sheetrock, etc.), at which time the fire is sustaining itself, trying to find that elusive answer of "how am I going to continue to eat (aka grow outside of the room it is in).
3. At 2:00 minutes, the fire is self-sustaining outside of the fireplace. The smoke is going to layer inside of the room.
4. At 3:00 minutes, you can see the volatile fire outside of the fireplace. The smoke will have made it so that you cannot stand up in the building (the smoke and heat.
5. 4:45, the fire is not blowing out on the chimney.
6. Indoors, you immediately need to understand what is going on. Smoke layering is a phenomenon that should never be taken lightly. If you are in that situation, then you need to get out.
Where does this leave you? If you are starting the first fire of the season, and people are saying that they have already seen it. Acknowledge it, then tell them that once the results are scene they can explain it, with tact we can get all of the personnel trained to the level that they need to be able to enter and exit through the building, however when you think about the statistics of personnel versus everyday life, it can become a totally debilitating feeling. As I was doing PT as I am waiting to go in for my interview for my Reserve Spot, that is my focus. Your focus needs to be to deliver those kids are safe. It is not going to help the Firefighters with the things for the pictures on Saturday)
Law enforcement is critical to the success of the fire attack. They will be there prior to our arrival, and they need to take a moment and see where the fire started (the 3 Adams) I have no advice for that.
We will get it cleared up soon.
Thank you for the assistance.
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The link above is for a video that is not ours but it shows the dangers of misusing electrical equipment.
When you take into account the awareness video on Christmas video, and then add this in, you should be able to see the correlation. We all have either done it, or we are continuing to do it. The purpose of this video is to break down the issue. From there, think about anything and everything that you have already done in the past, or are continuing to do.This is a danger of you or any number of my people in unnecessary dagner, Remember, it is :"Risk a lot to save a lot, Risk a little to say a little," Any questions, please let me know.
Fire/Arson Investigator - NREMT-B, Health and Safety Officer
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