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Once again it’s time to look back on the last calendar year, collect all the data and try and make sense of it. The numbers have been crunched, checked, and double-checked and the end of the year totals are ready. In 2015, Fire Department engine companies performed 533 business inspections, these businesses include restaurants, service stations, and large and small retail and industrial businesses around the city. Each inspection is our attempt to help keep the customers, as well as the employees of these companies, safe while they are conducting business. This past year the Fire Department completed 8,882.13 training hours which included self-study time, single and multiple engine company drills, driver/operator training, and technical team training. Also in 2015, the Fire Department participated in 183 public fire education events ranging from station tours to public safety fairs to fire extinguisher training.  These events reached an estimated 19,392 citizens. These numbers listed are just a portion of the busy days at the Fire Department, they don’t include the emergency calls we responded to, our daily station duties, our daily-weekly-monthly-and semi-annual truck checks, hose testing, hydrant testing, extinguisher checks, etc. etc.

January not only brought the Annual Report time but it brought the Fire Inspector Re-certification test. A test required for all State of Idaho Fire Code Officials. The test questions themselves are quite easy it’s just the fact that you have to pin point the exact code to match your answer from the rather large International Fire Code book. This certification is what allowed us to perform our 533 business inspections last year. As previously stated the purpose of these inspections is employee and customer safety and is accomplished by ensuring the businesses are fire code compliant. Some of the main criteria we look for are; fire hazards, emergency exits are free of obstacles, emergency and exit lighting is operational, fire suppression equipment is maintained properly, and the building itself is in good repair.

Once more it’s promotional time at the Fire Department. Promotional testing will be held this month, with expected openings for the positions of both Driver/Operator and Fire Captain.  These promotional tests come in the midst of our already existing EMT class. So the old neurons are firing on all cylinders, learning, processing, and filing away information. These days the stations resemble a college library around finals time, a lot of quiet studying mixed with frequent coffee breaks.

Well, that's about it for this month. Until next time don’t forget to wave to the guys in the BRT.