Fireside Chat with Fire Chief Carleton January 2017

FIRESIDE CHAT WITH FIRE CHIEF CHRISTOPHER CARLETON

It is hard to believe that 2016 has come and gone. I wish all of you a great 2017 and look forward to having the best year yet in the services we provide this wonderful community so many call home.

Stay safe,
Chief Carleton
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SERVICE
Don’t be afraid of calling 911. If you need our help regardless of what or how urgent you think your situation is, please call 911. We do our best to staff the fire station but may not always be available to answer the phone. The 911 dispatchers will notify our volunteers by pager which is the fastest way to get the appropriate response for your needs.

Many house numbers are not visible from the street or are in need of replacement on mailboxes. Please make sure they are visible and large. This will help us get to you as fast as possible.

GRANT FUNDING
Through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, the fire district was the recipient of a grant in 2016 for Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) in the amount of $162,584. This grant was submitted due to our out-of-date SCBA that were two safety cycles behind current standards. It has allowed the replacement of 20 SCBA units and 40 air bottles which we have received and are now going through in-service training on. The addition of new SCBA will provide greater safety to the users through, but not limited to, increased heat resistance on the face piece and greater awareness to air levels through visual and audible notification. I look forward to these being in service sometime in the first quarter after appropriate training for primary use and repair has been completed.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH
We continue to offer free CPR courses on the second Monday of every month and encourage anyone to come to learn the skills to help save another. Our incredible CPR instructors will guide you through the skills and information so you feel comfortable and knowledgeable. Free smoke detectors are also still available to homeowners in the community. Firefighters will come by and install them and will make sure you are informed for your safety. Please visit our website for more information at www.wcfd5.com.

Benson Road and Tyee Drive have been adopted by the fire district for trash removal through the Whatcom County Adopt-A-Road program. Cleaning will be conducted on a quarterly basis (or as needed). When you see us out there, please drive with care and say hello. It is our hope to sponsor an event this summer that would encourage more community involvement to expand the program and help maintain the beauty of our roads.

Any homeowner that would like us to come by and do a helpful home safety inspection, please give us a call or contact me by email at chief@wcfd5.com. One of the most proactive things you can do before an emergency happens is to make sure your home is as safe as possible.

If you have special needs or circumstances in your daily life and have run out of options for help, please reach out to us. Through state, local and county programs, the fire district can get you in touch with services that you may not know exist to help you.

EVENTS
We had a great 2016. Hundreds of community members and visitors enjoyed our Open and Haunted House events. If you are having an event, contact us – we look forward to supporting your events too. Birthday Party? We will bring the water!

Through holiday events, the Volunteer Firefighter Association was able to raise approximately $2000 and acquire 1600lbs of food for our local food bank. Thank you for supporting their efforts.

SAFETY TIPS
The chill is upon us. Half of all fires reported in December, January and February are due to home heating. Keep portable heaters and candles away from combustibles and make sure they are turned off or blown out when you leave or go to bed.

Your health and safety are our number one concern. Please visit  www.nfpa.org/safety-information for more information. If you have questions, call me or stop by the office for a visit.

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