Firefighters play many critical roles

As a citizen, do you recognize your local fire department as a partner in community services? Your fire department, whether full-time or volunteer, has an important function within your community.
The fire department performs fire suppression and life saving functions, and responds to many other challenging emergencies such as motor vehicles accidents.
Today in Canada, the public safety needs of communities increasingly place fire personnel in the role of emergency responders–first on the scene . . . not only in fire emergencies, but medical emergencies as well. Firefighters in Fort Frances do respond to medical calls, when the ambulance service is busy with another call.
Local governments throughout Canada must realize the value of emergency responders and their equipment such as rescue vehicles. Life saving equipment is the vital first link to the citizens who are in need of emergency care.
And, when it comes time to replace emergency equipment, and funds have been set aside . . . it is crucial to make them available. To do so would be a wise choice and in the citizens best interest who are served and protected by these vital piece of equipment!
I have been on two fire departments; one that was full-time/part-time in Fort Frances and the other was volunteer in Alberton Township. It was an honour to serve them both (presently I am back with Fort Frances).
In all my years of firefighting I have seen the advantage of having a fire department staffed with personnel 24 hours a day. I can recall countless times responding to a fire and arriving on scene to find that the full-time firefighters on duty knocked down the fire; thus preventing the spread of the fire and protecting property.
True, if a home doesn’t have working smoke alarms and a fire strikes with people inside, the result will be tragic . . . regardless whether the local fire department is full-time or volunteer. Also, if fire goes undetected and burns for some period of time the results of property loss will more than likely be the same whether the fire department responds in 5 minutes or 15 minutes.
Fire and smoke travel very quickly, often with tragic consequences. Fire can engulf a home in 6 minutes or less. However, smoke can engulf a home in 2 minutes or less. Therefore, when fire is reported it is critical that firefighters and equipment respond within minutes.
The citizens of Fort Frances are very fortunate to have a fire department staffed with firefighters around the clock. Whether there is a fire, vehicle accident or medical emergency–you can rest assured fire personnel will respond within minutes to provide fire suppression, rescue, or even medical aid until ambulance crews arrive.
When firefighters like Greg Allan visit our schools, the fire and life safety education they provide is very valuable and has saved lives!
Remember: If students never need what they learn about safety, they have lost nothing. However, if students never learn about safety, they may lose everything . . . their family and their life!

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