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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 8, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 10 THE LETH3RIDGE HERA1D Friday, October 8, 197) The first full week in Octo- ber marks Ihe annual Fire Pre- vention Week in Imth Canada and the United Slates. The observance of Fire Pre- vention Week is set t" coin- cide with Ihe anniversary of Ihe "great Chicago fire" which de- stroyed 17.film buildings, caused million damage and killed 250 persons. The aciual can.se of the fire was uncertain, although it is most commonly credited to a washerwoman named O'Leary and one ot her five cows. The 11171 Chicago fire is sig- nificant to fire fighting history because it drew attention not only to the need for effective procedures and equipment, hut also to the importance of fire fighter community involvement in city planning and construc- tion plans. The purpose of fire preven- tion week is to make the pub- lic aware of the job done by the firefighters and to encour- age everv citizen to become more aware of safety precau- tions for preventing fires. The fire that destroyed the Chicago of the late tf.oo's might well have been averted if few- er flammable materials had been used in construction. SCHOOL FIRE DRILLS Last year tlie Uthbridge fire department changed the school fire drill routine, A sign informing students they have just discovered a sim- ulated fire is .placed wtihout warning in ihe hallway, inslruciing them to precede with the proper fire drill procedure. City fire inspector Doug Kometz soid the new en- couraged the students to think, and not just respond to ihe stimulus of a bell. 'If there ever is a real emergency it is more important to have a person think rather than mere- ly he said. RUSSELL Fire ClOff EDUCATION The primary objective of the Leth- bridge Fire Department is to preserve life and prevent damage and injuries caused by fire. In an attempt to re- duce serious problems before they happen, members of the department conduct extensive training programs, guide tours of the fire halls, deliver lectures on fire safety and work closely with the local news media. "Telling persons hazards to avoid to prevent fires and how to act if they are involved in a fire could save more lives than all the elaborate rescue equipment said Doug Kometz, city fire inspector. HOSPITAL DRILLS Hospital fire drills present a total- ly unique situation for the firefighters. Hosptials are con- structed to be fire resistant. Evacuation from the building is not necessary; in fact, in most cases the patients can remain in their rooms with the fire-resistant doors shut. One evacuation which is necessary is the removal of babies from the pediatrics wing. During the evacuation shown above each mother is given a child to take with her. The child need not be her own, the objective is simply to remove the child from possible dsngsr. In cases of heavy smoke patients are taken to other wings of the hospital. Drills are held frequently during ihe year in both Lethbridge hospitals. HOLBEKTON Deputy Fire Chief FIRE INVESTIGATION The city fire inspector is called upon to investigate all fires of undetermined cause. If arson is suspected the fire inspector, the police and the pro- vincial fire office work in co-operalion until the investiaa'ion is complet- ed. HOME INSPECTIONS As an additional public ser- vice and a means of preventive education the Lethbridge Tire Department undertakes an annual home and ncss inspection during the spring of each year. Each spring and summer ti different section of tho city is visited. Part- icipation in the inspection for the homo owners h vol- untary, as is compliance with tho suggestions made by iho firefighters. The inspections are carried out by a crew of four men, a pumper truck and ambulance. The captain of each crew has a two-way radio with which ho keeps in continual communication with the main firo hall. If an emergency situation arises the crow responds to tho call from whore ever it may bo. IF ALL ELSE FAILS If a firo docs occur despite all of tho programs carried out by the fire department there are 14 men always on duty in two shifts from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to S a.m. Fire trucks from Iho two nearest fire halls respond to each call to assure an accdienl or heavy traffic will not slow iho firn fighting activities. Lethbridge firefighters also opnralo tho in iho city. All of Iho firefighters havn had fii-r.t aid training from the St. John Ambulance Society. ;