Chief compiles findings from last year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 27, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045; Around half of the residential fires the fire department responded to last year were caused by electrical malfunctions said Interim Fire Chief Tommy Tate.

Tate has been compiling department information for his yearly report and said around half of the 31 residential responses for the year can be blamed on electrical starts. He said it is not uncommon for them to be a leading cause of fires, but many can be prevented.

Tate said blinking lights are an indication of bad wiring in a structure. He said by not overloading the circuits or by passing the circuit breaker property owners can reduce the chances of having an electrical fire.

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Tate said the department receives numerous hours of training a year to deal with electrical fire situations. He said the members of the department are trained on a regular basis to face any challenges they may be faced with in the field. He said the department trains in everything from CPR to hazardous materials.

Tate said the department tries to set a training schedule, which firefighters adhere to each month. He said quite a bit of the training is done within the department, though some training is sent out to the fire college at Shelton State Community College in Taylorville.

Some of the training that must be sent off to the fire college is the department’s hazardous material or haz-mat training. Tate said all members of the department, with the exception of four, are trained for haz-mat.

Tate said the four department members that don’t have haz-mat training at this time are younger individuals in the department. He said it is just a matter of time until they will be sent off to receive the training.

Tate said he is still in the process of compiling all of last year’s data. He said when it is complete he will present the report to the city council.