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Fire Prevention Week 2020

October 5, 2020

Captain Tina Mohl preparing equipment for the next call.

It has been a busy year for the Hanna Fire Department. We are on pace for an above-average year having already responded to 73 incidents in the first 9 months of the year.  During the past year, regional training has continued to be a priority. Our regional training group is comprised of all 14 fire departments within the Special Areas plus the Acadia Valley Fire Department. By training regionally all of the firefighters on these departments know each other very well and this familiarity has especially paid off when working together at the larger mutual aid incidents the past several years.

This summer has seen the construction of Phase 2 of the Training/ Burn tower project completed. This phase primarily covered the installation of interior propane burn props. This has allowed the fire department to utilize the burn tower for live fire training on many practice nights as well as the completion and testing of a NFPA 1001 Firefighter 1 course in September. This is the first time ever that this complete level of firefighting has been able to be both taught and tested in Hanna. The course had 7 Hanna firefighters as well as 9 firefighters from the surrounding communities. This would have produced a small economic boost to the hospitality industry with the need for hotel rooms and meals.

The theme this year for fire prevention week is “Serve up Fire Safety in the Kitchen”. Cooking fires are a major cause of residential fires in Alberta and are a leading cause of fire injuries and deaths in the province. The theme this year should remind everyone of the dangers involved in home cooking and that cooking fires, injuries and deaths are preventable. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying or grilling food. If you must leave the room then turn off the stove. Keep your cooking areas clear of combustible materials.

Every family should also take the time to create a fire escape plan and to practice it a couple of times during Fire Prevention Week. A good fire escape plan should have 2 ways out in case the first exit path is blocked by fire and ensure that you have a predetermined meeting place outside so you can account for everyone. Smoke alarms should be tested monthly and the batteries should be replaced annually. Smoke alarms should also be replaced every ten years. Statistics have shown that a working Smoke Alarm cuts your chances of dying in a fire in half. I would ask all the citizens of Hanna and the surrounding area to take the time to inspect their homes carefully for fire and injury hazards.

Thanks to all the members of the Hanna Fire Department who respond to incidents at any time day or night. A special thank you to the member`s spouses who are always so supportive. My appreciation to the member`s employers who allow the firefighters to leave work with no notice. Without their support, Hanna would not have a volunteer fire department. I would also like to thank the Town of Hanna administration for the support the department receives in the day to day operations, the Hanna Town Council, Special Areas Board, and Administration for their continued support.

David Mohl
Fire Chief
Hanna Fire Department