Fire and EMS Safety Commentary
It was a pleasure to attend the meeting hosted by PIE and learn about the Charlotte County Fire Department taking over the fire/EMS service for the island. Chief Taylor did a great job at answering questions and I believe we are lucky to have her in charge.
There were many questions asked about EMS service and fire suppression capabilities and I believe we now have the best protection that has ever been experienced.
I wanted to go a bit further concerning fire and EMS protection with the following insights:
· Our water supply is guarded at best; the Resort announced they had a 500 gpm water flow which is under half the pumping capability of a fire pumper. Residential hydrants have about 400 gpm output and data reveals that MANY fires require over 1000 gpm.
· Considering that we face more challenges to receive fire protection, it is incumbent on everyone out here to be pro-active concerning their own safety and this should include:
· Operational smoke alarms
· Kitchen hood extinguisher systems (http://www.stovetopfirestop.com)
· Charged fire extinguishers
· Established evacuation plan
· Over 40% of house fires begin in the kitchen and this fact is not lost on professional firefighters and nor should it be lost on the public
· EMS pro-action should include keeping medical information handy including all personal and medical history written down in advance. There is a program referred to Vial of Life (Click to view) enabling one to print and store information in a ‘vial’ for easy access to hand to paramedics
· Take 1st Aid and CPR training. This can be done through the Red Cross and the American heart Association (AHA). I am affiliated with the AHA as an instructor and may be able to help.
· As Chief Taylor informed, everyone should clearly label their house address with 3” reflective lettering easily seen on approach to the house.
I’ve visited the crews at the island station and I think the experience they hold will pay dividends to us, especially regarding EMS care. In my opinion, fire protection requires more pro-action on our part due to limited personnel and water supply.