Despite being thin on emergency calls, the Golden fire department has been busy.
With the time they’ve had to spare, they’ve been focused on training, with two full Tuesdays of auto extraction training and live burns going on down on Anderson Road.
“I’ve been really pushing the training side of things,” said acting Fire Chief Mike Pecora. “We have a new training ground and for two weeks we’ve been doing exercises.”
The live burns have been taking place just outside of the town limits, on donated property from the Audet family.
The live burns allow the department to practice in a controlled situation, which normally equates to a 10 hour day. The final live burn came on Tuesday, November 26.
One of the elements that has been built into the departments new training course is a binder for pre-fire planning. It’s a part of a new initiative that the department is looking to roll out into the new year. It gives employers and employees of businesses in Golden a checklist to look over to make sure that everything is in order in case of fire, and keeps people informed of everything they need to do legally in the event of emergency.
“My supervisor said he had never really seen that before, so that’s pretty cool,” said Pecora. “It’ll keep everyone informed on the BC fire code and all that.”
According to Pecora, the department is also working with local schools to ensure that fire drills and fire safety are a priority. Each school is mandated to have three fire drills a session, and six in a year.
These drills give the fire department a chance to practice skills that sometimes don’t get used.
“It works well for us because usually when we get a fire it’s at 3 a.m. and the parking lots are clear,” said Pecora. “Doing these in the middle of the day, you have 300 students trying to get to safe points, and all the cars are in the parking lots blocking hydrants, so it’s good to do a live practice in the middle of the day.”
Pecora is also working on a lock box program in the new year, that will hopefully prevent businesses from having more damage in case of fire, in the event that the department needs to break into a building to put out a fire.
The program would have a little lock box with a code that the fire department has access to which can open locked doors so that the department can let themselves in case of emergencies. New buildings in Golden are already being outfitted with this feature.
“It’s not that we don’t like to smash stuff, but if we don’t have to that’s better,” said Pecora. “It’s great to get a 911 call to help somebody, but if you can’t get in the lobby you’re hooped.”
Pecora also says that they’ll be cracking down on C Cans in residential neighbourhoods in the new year. They will have to be moved as they are no longer allowed.