An SUV collides with a deer on a highway outside Morinville. Within minutes they are there to get the collision victims out of the wrecked vehicles so the paramedics can get them en route to the hospital. A condominium erupts in flames and shifts to a neighbouring garage. Within minutes they arrive to battle the blaze and to protect neighbouring homes from destruction. A meatloaf catches fire in the oven, setting off the alarms. Within minutes they are there to douse the burned dinner and to reassure a shaken homeowner in the late afternoon.
They are the men and women of the Morinville Fire Department. They, together with their counterparts in Sturgeon County and Legal, give their time and their compassion to, as has been said before, rush in as others are rushing out.
Local firefighters will spend time in schools and the community this week offering their time during Fire Prevention Week, an annual awareness week that lets them remind us of what we need to do to prevent seeing them in full gear.
Fire Chief Brad Boddez tells us this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme is Don’t Wait: Check the Date. In short, he and his colleagues throughout the country are telling us that we need to replace our batteries every year, but we also need to change our smoke alarms every ten years.
Experts from Fire Prevention Canada tell us “survey data shows that the public has many misconceptions about smoke alarms, which may put them at increased risk in the event of a home fire. For example, only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced.”
As such, they see the replacement of smoke alarms as an additional measure to save lives.
Fire Prevention Week is also that time of year when we are encouraged to check the batteries in our smoke detectors and alarms.
It is also an opportunity for all of us to thank our firefighters for their commitment and volunteerism to saving lives and property.
If there are but two words they can take away from this brief editorial, they are thank you.