October is National Fire Safety Prevention Month, a time to practice your home fire escape plan, ensure your smoke alarms are in good working order and look for hidden fire dangers inside and outside your home. The number one cause of structural fires here in the Spokane Valley is cooking fires. As a reminder, stay attentive when cooking and during meal preparation so as not to get distracted. Many times we find that distractions such as a cell phone call can lead to the occupant leaving the kitchen or meal prep area, only to return later to a stove top or oven fire.
I would like to thank all of you who attended our Annual SVFD Open House at our Training Center off Sullivan Road. More than 1,750 visitors joined nearly 100 employees and volunteers on Sept. 29 for this popular annual event. The event included live demonstrations, fun activities for children and adults, and a great opportunity for everyone to get to know our firefighters.
Also in September, SVFD provided on-site Emergency Medical Service (EMS) support at the annual Spokane County Interstate Fair as the fairgrounds are within our service area. In addition to EMS support, firefighters provided the opportunity to try CPR and learn more about home fire safety. Our SVFD Honor Guard and Pipe & Drum Corps also provided a moving tribute on the 17th anniversary of 9/11. This year’s fair attracted a record-setting number of visitors and we enjoyed educating many who attended. SVFD was also an active participant in Valleyfest weekend, Sept 21 – 23. Our new ladder truck participated in the parade on Friday night, while SVFD crews and educators were on hand throughout the weekend in Mirabeau Park to talk about home fire safety and risk reduction initiatives.
In our continuing focus on quality improvement, we have added an Alternative Response Unit (ARU) to our emergency medical response capabilities. Medic 7 was placed into regular service in mid-September 2018. This unit is in service during our “peak activity hours” which are 8am to 8 pm Monday through Friday. Medic 7 primarily responds to less severe medical emergencies, which then frees up our engine companies to be available for more life threatening emergencies including fires.
As always, we thank you for your amazing support and I hope you enjoy the great fall weather!
~Fire Chief Bryan Collins