February Fire Department Newsletter

Busy, busy, busy. January has brought more of the same for the Fire Department and some new and exciting things as well.

First for more of the same, the incident of mention this month goes to the B-shift boys and their aggressive stop on an early morning garage fire. Stations 1, 2, and 3 as well as Battalion 21 were toned out around 12:20 a.m. on January 15th to a structure fire. Upon arrival Engine 1 crew found two fully involved (that's fire talk for “mostly on fire”) detached garage structures. Crews quickly deployed hose-lines and began firefighting operations and began evacuating occupants. The fire caused extensive damage to both garage structures and four vehicles. Off duty personnel as well as a Rock Creek Fire Department crew were called in to assist with the fire and respond to emergency calls that occurred while on-duty crews were busy at the fire scene. The B-shift boys made a text book knock down and kept the fire from spreading to the homes behind the detached garages. Good work, fellas!

Now for some new stuff, on January 22nd five new firefighters started their career with the Twin Falls Fire Department. As Chief Kenworthy stated the addition of these five members will allow us to utilize and deploy resources in a new way, increase our effectiveness, and improve service to our community. Three of the new guys are local fellas, Kile Larsen-Filer, Ross Sanders-Twin Falls, and Lane Barker-Twin Falls. The other two come to us from neighboring states, Garrett Hutsell-Washington and Andrew Merriman-Oregon. The new hires have begun their initial training program and have shown that they are excited to be members of the Twin Falls Fire Department. At the end of their new recruit training they will be assigned to a shift and engine company and I believe they will fit in nicely and prove to be effective member for their assigned crews. If you get a chance to meet them, please help us welcome them to the city family.

And just for good measure and because it is the wood burning season, here are a few safety tips for those of us that have wood stoves or fireplaces in our homes;

~The National Fire Protection Association or NFPA suggests that all chimneys, fireplaces, and vents be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Even if you don't use your wood stove or fireplace that often it is still important to examine it to ensure that no animals are nesting in it and that mother nature hasn't caused any defects.

~When should you clean your chimney? The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces be cleaned at 1/8" of sooty buildup. This is considered to be enough fuel buildup to cause a chimney fire capable of damaging the chimney and possibly spreading to the home.

~We encourage residents to burn seasoned wood that has been sitting covered and had a chance to dry so it will burn cleaner and hotter. When the wood is wet or green it tends to cause more buildup of soot in your chimney because a lot of the heat produced is used to dry out the wet or green wood and not heat your house or help keep your chimney clean.

~We try to discourage residents from burning treated dimensional lumber or painted wood. Burning this wood can not only cause toxic fumes but some of the chemicals used in the paint or treated wood can act like a glue and rapidly increase the soot build up in your chimney.

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