Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Follow up to Chief Taylor's Meeting

We received this excellent follow-up from Larry Hinds, an Islander from Kettle Harbor Drive. He was a training Captain at Sarasota County FD. Although his primary focus was EMS, he was qualified on the fire side as well. He has a graduate degree in education and Executive Fire Officer status in fire and EMS from the University of Florida, in addition to being affiliated with the fire service for 25 years.

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.

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