Fire department gets new addition

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 18, 2005

LINDEN-The Linden Fire Department recruited a valuable new member to their team recently that will greatly increase their service to the public. The new addition will not be in a uniform, but it will be a key member to their fire fighting team.

Thanks to a generous donation the Linden Volunteer Fire department was recently able to purchase a Tempest Power Blower that will help prevent harmful smoke damage to buildings in the future.

The blower has been needed for some time, however, a recent fire at Papa’s Foods made the need painfully apparent for one local business owner. Because of the extensive damage store owner Wynne Echols decided to step in and help to make sure no one else went through the same situation.

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“We had a situation at the grocery store where there was a lot of smoke damage and something like this could have really helped out,” Echols said. “I told them if they ever decided to purchase one I would help out.”

Echols said the department’s response time was excellent, but without this piece of equipment their hands were tied.

“The response of the fire department was immediate,” Echols said. “There were a lot more smoke problems than anything. The actual fire was extinguished immediately, but because of the smoke damage and the lingering effect of that John and I talked about how nice it would be to have something like this.”

The $1,000 donation from Echols almost completely covered the $1,713 cost of the blower.

Linden Fire Chief John Weaver said the department was very grateful for Echols help.

“We are grateful fro the donation,” Weaver said. “A lot of our funding is donated and without people like Wynne we can’t afford all of the things we need.”

Weaver said the department had some equipment that could be used; however it did not have the power the power blower produced.

“We have the electric smoke ejectors, but they don’t push or pull as much air as these can,” Weaver said. “This pushes 2100 cfm’s (cubic feet per minute).

In addition to pulling smoke from building the power blower can also be used to fight fires and reduce back drafts.

One of the biggest assets of the blower is its ability to create positive pressure. Positive Pressure Ventilation, or PPV as it is commonly known, is a fire fighting technique that uses air as a tool to control the hostile environment inside an enclosed structure. Small electric and gasoline-powered blowers are used to replace a hostile interior environment with fresh, ambient air.

Both Echols and Weaver said they hoped they would never have to use the blower, but were happy to have the new piece of equipment in place.