Focus on the Upstate 79 - Greenville City Fire Department - 11/12/2017

Focus on the Upstate
Sunday, November 12th

Public Information Officer Will Broscious spreads the word about fire safety, especially during the holiday season, and discusses the myriad things the fire department does apart from putting out fires.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Welcome to focus on the Arab state a program dedicated to informing you about organizations that serve our community. And how you can get involved with him. Here's your host Chris Evans. Good morning and welcome to focus on the upstate my name's Chris Evans today my guest is will broach this. He community risk reduction coordinator for the Greenville city fire department good morning we'll have to do and Dornan thanks for having me it's my pleasure. Thank you for being here today I'm gonna start with the first question that usually ask on this program. Which is what do you do and who do you do it for this to tell us about the Greenville city fire department probably. An obvious question an obvious answer rather. Given given the name of your organization. But to have to go and and and lay the ground work force what you do and who vetoed four. So story and it's this that this pretty cool that you asked that question and and most people think that with that name that's always do is this fight fires right grossly fire department. Or actually multi emergency response agencies. So not only do we fight fires but we also prevent fires. We also respond to nickel accident. A hazardous material incidents rescue incidents and and medical calls as well. Along with public education that's kind of one of our driving forces and and performing fire inspection so we really are one stop shop. Here in the city for emerged only aids and so is so he considered changing the name from fire department to everything the part that yeah you know actually brought that up and a couple of firefighters are ran me out of the states has. I think will hold off on that and fair enough. It's it's interesting that you mention all of these different things that you do I mean people obviously hears the name fire department. And I think all they fight fires and any probably know that you do other things and there's the the the old image of called the fire department to get the cat out of the three year you know things like that. But it's. I've noticed says that sometimes when you call 911 if you have an emergency that's going on. Even if you don't report a fire the fire department shows up because as you said you that you help deal with hazardous materials. You've got EMTs. That that the respond. Talk a little bit about that that's correct I'm so I'll back up a little bit I've been in this business since 2001. And throughout the course of my career I've literally responded to. Calls involving large scale structure our commercial buildings and residential bills car fires him to the calls of getting a cat out archery or Candace Jordan certainly done that I've been on those call also we will of course we don't you just set up ladders and what not to get cat's out of the tree but we do get those calls and and then from time to time we get those calls we do have to respond. One of the the other services we offer a lot of people don't realize we have a truck called salvage warned salvage want to lose out once so what destruct is designed to do was to mitigate incidents OK so let's say you have a sprinkler pipe bust or laundry machine plumbing pipe bust what we do is risk we respond. We have a quarterback teams that are basically work like backpacks book and were able to start getting the water out of the building. And an official manner basically until the restoration company arrives on scene so we kind of mitigate things as they happen until the other individuals get there. That's fascinating because he sees ads on TV for restoration companies you've had a fires you have flood or something like that they come in and clean up and and and put things right in and it's it's kind of how. How the ads go. I didn't realize that the fire department actually doesn't seem kind of staying. When something like that occurs that you all are. On the scene to help make sure doesn't get any worse again so let's correct and that's something you need to Greenville city part of part mean I can't speak for every fire department fair enough but for us you know having that tool as far salvage one. I've I've worn the quarterback packs a vacuums a mania day all all my back and and highrise buildings you know you have a bust a sprinkler pipe on the fourteenth floor it's imperative that we get that water immediately before there's this there's there's hecklers under that's right that's right so we're we're there for that. I guess it. I tell tell me your story tell me your history how did you get involved with. Fire department so it's a little little awkward and complicated. So I am originally from the New Jersey a right across two river from Philadelphia. Actually have basically like an uncle to me who was a cash and chief at the Philadelphia fire department. As a from an early age remember him taking you to the fire stations and so I say all because my mom likes to tell the stories of me. Driving fire trucks on my banter turning things into fire trucks in the cabinets and stuff like that. So calm this kind of been something I'll always look forward to and then down by the age of seventeen. I start getting more exit innocent well. It's almost time to be an adult time to figure things out yet and so I'll call the fire department and NASA that they have a program record come down to learn. And thankfully they were they were starting one this is right around Tom September 11. So you know firefighting was on everyone's mind in the first responders and so they were starting a junior firefighters program and and the rest is history made a call. And went down there in and kind of basically progressed from there. So you really kind of grew up with this in your blood and it's always been a passion of yours guest yet you know I really can't remember. Ever wanting to do anything else you know some kids have dreams of a B and a baseball player we're all clear or whatever. And mine was a B a firefighter. Never was really into the playing sports. And so firefight just came naturally to me from from though the moment I walked in the door just kind of clicked and I guess I like to think that I was good at it. You know from the very beginning and others are precisely otherwise but the training and always has made sense and it always kind of clicked so while stuck with that and it's really treated me well. Well and this is something that have heard from other people who work in the public service industries law enforcement things of that nature there really is kind of a calling. Yeah Alex since a career I also serve as our department's recruiting officer. And so one thing I like to tell people say we're not looking for individuals who simply want a job we we can finally as we want individuals who want a career. Actually I got that quote from from a fire chief and another part of the state police say yes it's genius. That's that's going to be my new catch line yet so that's that's what we're looking for it's really a career it's so it's a lifelong. Thing now that we're into so to speak just for a minute to the listener who. Is now convinced they're looking for a career and they wanna be a firefighter what did they need to dip so low number one most people don't realize just how physically demanding it it really is our. I guess I got this in 2001 at the age of seventeen I weighed about a 120 pounds. Soaking wet so the first thing you know you get a teacher I go call cohesion toast in each of fruits and veggies and exercise and get when you sleep. But I know we we do have to stay in shape especially initially to take the physical agility test. You do have to be in really good shape. And if you're not a person who doesn't like school this is another career for you okay a lot of individuals don't realize how much school we actually attend we're constantly training. We're constantly burning in and studying and learning new techniques in the new technologies that come out. So appear to want one of those people who like to stay in shape like school and you like excitement. This is the career for you this is that's what we're looking for individuals who who have some type of commitment to home. Let's move on to the general subject to fire prevention and fire safety has a lot of people are not going to you. Get into fire safety the windy you have the wind it they're not gonna be firefighters themselves. On and he said to have something to me before the program of a fire is everybody's fight via telephone and talk a little bit about that real quick so the whole thing with fires everyone's fights actually a national initiative and it's basically built to unite the fire service and life safety organizations and professional. And members of the community. To reduce home fire injuries and fire fatalities that is our goal. On this is brought to us by the United States fire administration we joined a few years ago saw this program is something I was very passionate about. To get to the fire chief and Tom was able to sell it and it didn't take much once I explain the and I'm also happy to say the rest of the city did. Suddenly I have resource is that I never knew existed throughout the city of grain really everyone really wanted to help. Once they understood exactly what we're trying to do and that's basically prevent home fire injuries and deaths. That's the goal that's what we're here for so what can people do in that regard around their home to attempt to make here domicile more of fire averse yes so a lot of times it's just the simple things in life that that we take for granite for instance cooking. Our most individuals all realize that cooking fires are leading cause a fires nationally how that that's the number one cause we see. And so practicing safe cooking habits not walking away from the stove where we're frying something on the stove top I guess I've done that once well how I'll plead the fifth fifth touch so we we wanna make sure we're we're price and sit cooking habits you know turning the handles of the pot to the inside especially we have small ones at the home. Keeping our children at least three feet away from the stove. Making sure that we know lower cooking we know how we're cooking it we've got the timer set properly and we're really just making sure that we're keeping our full attention on what we're doing. Com the couple months ago I got to go speak to elderly group of of individuals and one lady says something I'll never forget and she says whatever you do on. As what you need to be doing the answer really when it comes a cooking. Or cooking something that's what we need to be doing we don't need to be in the in the in the living room grace booking or are playing on our phone or playing video games we need to focus on what we're doing. Well and that's a really good point that these days and that we hear so many stories about people. Engrossed in their phones and a they walk into a fountain or they. You know we walk into traffic I mean sometimes people really hurt. Doing that kind of thing and so the point is well made that. When you are doing something that involves heat or fire. You really need to be paying attention you really need to be focused on that task. Absolutely and and the other thing we need to focus on while we're doing that as is our clothing. Sometimes you know individuals early in the morning may still maybe have their robe on and pray wanna cook breakfast for the family. Well that loose clothing that can catch fire as well yeah so wanna make sure we have the proper tire war cooking as well. So cooking very important thing to think about you think you said the number one cause a lot of of home fires. What are some of the other causes that you see in in residences located and it fluctuates depending on the time of the year that's why really cooking stays number one it's something we already throughout the year. But heating is is another one home heating fires are are another top one and smoking. I'm individuals not practicing say smoking habits not using proper ashtrays are not going outside to smoke. An improperly discarding the cigarette butts also lead to a lot of fires I think we've heard stories of the people falling asleep with lit cigarette in their hand and that's how the the fire start and by the time the fires if you fallen asleep. You might not notice. It because as I understand it the that the the leading cause of death and it in a fire is not the flame itself is actually smoke inhalation is that correct that's correct yes smoke inhalation is actually what. Kills most people when fires. Especially nowadays with everything made of synthetic materials right when asked them burns it puts awesome really toxic fumes and all it takes a breath they're too. And then suddenly we're we're out there who usually unconscious and by the time on the first responders arrive. The individual is perished Randi no matter what you know how how many efforts we we we use so we always recommend that there's a fire in a home. Get out right call I want want to get out of the house and stay out we don't want individuals going back into the house yeah. We don't want you going beckoned for pets are our animals or toys or anything backs keepsakes and yet they're they're important to you we understand but. But July is more important but it does allude to the point the if you're already asleep if you've been smoking new fallen asleep. You're already effectively end conscious and if you got this this smoke and and and toxic fumes that are being generated by even a small fire. You might not need a wake up so that's that's true very true I'm. So a couple things we we'd like to talk about in regards of waking up in any event of the fires once smoke alarms. Com that's what we're what we really want you to have incited her home. It's almost in the vigils and we'll have a smoke alarm. We go back to keyword and I have a smoker hey smuggler IL one might not be an loans probably not going to be enough. What we do here in agreement city fire department we actually come on install smoke alarms free of charge to residents inside the city of Greenbelt. And we install to the national standards you which is once smoke alarm per sleeping area. And then one outside a sleeping area cracked so I use my house for example and got a three bedroom home. So all the top before we even think about anything else threes motorist who belongs right there so we've got three each one of my bedrooms. They. A dump out and to a common hallway and I have warned smoke alarm out there are serving that area okay. So right there a half for working smoke alarms inside of my house. Now adequately protect. Some individuals were put them in the kitchen the thing to remember letters mention cooking funny joke but we need to make sure that the smoke alarms at least ten feet away. From the cooking device OK there's a false alarms show sometimes we burn food if you're like myself when you hit it I don't guilty of it. And so what happens that's kind of like the boy who cried wolf. You know we burn a little food or what have the smoke alarm goes off he'd do something else smoke long ago. Well eventually go to the smoke harmony and a break hitter they take it off the ceiling and it's no longer effective. Below that brings up a good point if if you do have a false alarm for small you ought to pay attention when a smoke alarm goes on assure that the years. Actually some sort of danger in and as you said before get out of the house make sure that you move yourself and your loved ones to safety. But if you're in a situation where you've identified in this it actually is a false alarm what do you need to do. So if you identify it and you are confident it's a false alarm that it's fun you can stay inside the home but if there's any doubt if you're not sure. The smallest little bit of doubt get out the home call 911. I cost nothing that call us and it cost nothing to turn us around. And I can promise you if you call your fire department and you report that your home is on fire. And you have to calls back until that is not a fired up and we're not English yeah that's a good call for us right now typically what you're gonna see is will stand that will still send a truck out. And what we call a non emergency response no lights no sirens. And we're gonna get to the house and we're just gonna double checked things for Brenda make sure we've got special tools that we can check behind the walls. A thermal imaging cameras. Making sure that there's no fire everything's safe and give you a little bit of peace of mind as well on specific training to amend it very much of the laymen may not it may be able to look at something in it and not see. The signs of the fire that you guys would catch absolutely we we have a lot of thought highly trained individuals are at our fire department now and I'm proud of these men and women. They really put it all on the line on day to day basis and there and they're very well trained. So you realize that's that's what we're here for never be afraid to call 911 if you EV EP think you have an emergency let us now. You talk a little bit about smoke alarms and how the Greenville city fire department. Installs them. And as its interest to me a lot of people would think world wooden homes already come with fire alarms new construction does dictate a certain number of fire alarms it or smoke or dragon in this. In net in the house. But some older structures may not have had those requirements and may not be up to today's standards that's exactly correct Tom. Older homes that's were received. Or the vocal more work comes from gadget in regards to install a smoke alarms. And the city of Greenville we have a lot of older homes we have a lot of older communities I live in one of my live right here in the city. And so those are the ones that we are targeting. Now newer construction we have to remember that smoke alarms life is over roughly ten years. Have your home is older than eighteen years old we've got to replace those smoke alarms. So it was kind of two fold issue. A one we wanna target these older neighborhoods and older homes and also we wanted to get to the newer construction to make sure that they're smoke alarms or are not out of date. And are set to hear of life span. No I actually in my history have had a house fire and there were two it and he was. Relatively minor via the worst part about it was that there were two cats that it perished. But but generally speaking to lose a lot of stuff. Probably is about about as well as you could expect. I'll try to go but I did learn a couple of things number one it's important to have renters insurance yes if you are renting the even if the property's insured by the owner. That doesn't necessarily cover you and your property is a rancher and it on the silly what you speak to that but a the other thing that I learned is the importance of having a fire extinguisher. I was not at home when the fire occurred so I wouldn't have been able to pick up a fire extinguisher and and put out the fire. But it is still important to have a fire extinguisher in your home at least one. Yeah let me touch on both of those is a very inching so first that the renters insurance chore that we really stressed that especially if you live in apartments. No let's say you live in apartment complex and furious fire safe as you can possibly be follow all the recommendations that your neighbors my nine days ago and so what happens a lot of times is an apartment fire the fires are contained to one unit yet many times it spreads throughout and one building there you go and and so what happens is you end up losing all of your belongings. Over someone else's negligence so his best always have that renters insurance out seen individuals lose everything I get a safe it is not expensive and not even remote out of all incredibly cheap it is absolutely worth pat yes NN and from a person who's seen someone lose everything they possibly work for an end up and a fire. I highly recommend it it's it's it's invaluable really is now as far as fire extinguishers we really have to be careful with fire extinguishers. I'm just last week a major fire extinguisher company actually put a recall out. Forty million fire extinguishers they're recalling because they're they're having issues with them. And nozzles are being called or their breaking thirty calls the death of one occupant really yes very sad so what we recommend. We would never tell anybody obviously to remove a fire extinguisher from their home right that's not the message let's be clear about that. But what I want everyone understand that if you have a fights Hampshire we need to treat it like a tool LB like giving me a buzz saw until May go build something I'm not a tall person right right. So if you use a tool incorrectly. Chances are that outcome as is not favorable same thing with fire extinguishers. I remember. Doing a fire investigation and I was talking to the to the occupant of the home and this gentleman had three children in this home. And the first thing you did was grab the fire extinguisher NG US that the first half did he grab the fire extinguisher it doesn't work can't remember how to use it. Who tries again he tries again he tries again next he runs veteran officer and apartments. He asked them how to use a fire extinguisher yeah. If you see anything missing here yeah idea I did as you mentioned before. Get yourself and your loved ones NHL's get a lot of house call my won one yet so by the Tommy finally activates the fire department. We're already behind in time of of the fire's progression yeah right so the first Stanley recommend like I said it cost nothing that call us the cost nothing to turn us around. At the very first instance if you're gonna grab parks Hampshire call the fire department gets in or out just in case that fires in Russia malfunctions. Or. And and in other things that are going on with sometimes we do little Maris and we forget how to use it that way the mercy responders are already en route. That's who we definitely want out oneness you know get that message to everyone as possible if you if you're gonna grab a fire extinguisher. Com I want one now you're not calling us to the instructions on how to lose that I have right and ask me that. Know you're getting us in route in case something is going wrong with the tar cigarettes or we have a memory lapse or whatever the case is you're getting the X percent in the enroute. So one of the questions I was gonna ask you boarding partially answered it is windy as it. What is it okay to to use the fire extinguishers instead of calling the fire department I guess the answer is always coal fired for always call fire department person you know I'm never gonna tell a person that. You're able to put the fire right exactly still call us still palace and robbed it doesn't hurt anything that's what you pay Texas for that's that's who we're service. You should use this when you need us but I would never tell a person you know pay don't use a cart pusher or use in this case really you're gonna go off instinct. Understand the fire extinguisher understand the size of it and the amount of fire Aiken extinguished obviously you have a whole Ruble fire and you grab a small part English or. Chances are not gonna gonna gonna extinguish that fire again and it's important to as a said before had at least one fire extinguisher in the house. Like smoke alarm to make it better to have more than one in different locations just in case you get blocked off from my from accessing the one that you have absolutely wanting out with stress the number one call the fires is cooking fires right right. And so typically when they have couldn't try to grab the fire extinguisher. Now once again your putting ourselves a danger right especially if they not use it well they actually make these little devices they're called a stove top fire stopper. They clipped to the range hood with magnets may have a little fuse and on and let's just say you have a Pam agrees a fire and edit catches. What happens is it as a flame grows and gets hotter it will pop that Hughes and in the release chemical agent down to the pan to extinguish a fire. Now he suddenly don't have to get next to a you have to get near the stove or any thing. And it's it's our extinguished a fire for you. Now before we run out of time because of the justice and actually the reason and add young program let's talk about this upcoming holiday season and some of the you need fire causes that that exist during this time a year is so a lot of fires we see around us Tommy year our heat based. And candle based packed hour. Public holiday season. Many individuals and only use candles and so we we asked that individuals really understand the safety aspects when we go to use candles pats have been known to knock candles over a start fires. Small children adults who come. You think about it this way the whole message here today is to prevent a fire from happening in your home. What happens when light a candle. There's a fire and are hopeful that I just like all fired intentionally control exact still fires so we have to make sure we're we're doing things safely around candles. And then in regards to Christmas trees some individuals like to use the natural Christmas tree which is fine. We have to make sure they're properly hydrated. A dry Christmas tree if if it were to catch fire. It's amazing how fast those those close to enter mission really is we season for training because they they light off so fast and he goes from zero to you know 14100 degrees and a few seconds. So we really wanna be careful with that out artificial trees there are obviously a little safer. And I know that says that there's a new trend in cooking turkeys who people used to ressam in the heavens but more and more they are frying them. And it is a delicious way to eat it really is I always say. But it's also dangerous it can be dangerous it really can so you know we will Obama follow the recommendations were not gonna tell people stop frying turkeys right because they are delicious I have a friar myself. But there's several ways to do it. We have the electric friars that you to have inside of your home. You have now degrees lists Turkey Fryer that don't require any type of oil and they can fry them that you're gonna do the traditional way. The main thing is and make sure you have the proper amount of oil inside your your your iPod your pants and make sure that the Turkey's properly thought. It's properly thought it's dry. And actually that we're lowering it slowly we're not gonna just drop down there and in the pen and what typically happens with the Turkey prior. Fire as oil spills over the top. And it comes in contact with an open flame rent and once that happens in royalties will be danger very combustible it's not like water where it will put out a plane middle actually ignite and then typically what happens as a first and individuals do they go to grab a well it's a water source to throw it on that that grease fire that oil fire. And oil and water and do not make so typically when they're on fire even when they're on fire and and makes the situation worse and other several links. On the web to look at for examples all will brochure is public information officer and community risk. Reduction coordinator for the Greenville city fire department has been my guest today we didn't even get to half of what I wanted to talk about if that's the that's quite right but we'll have you back some time to it to cover other things and as important as fire safety is probably prudent to do that anyway. Thank you very much for being here will today. Thank you very much been my pleasure I'm Chris Evans and this has been focus on the upstate. You've been listening to focus on the upstate with Chris Evans if you would like more information on today's topic email Chris. C Evans