BEND, OR -- Bend Fire will soon have a new mobile unit to help educate the community on how to properly respond to cooking fires, thanks to a nearly $32,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The money will be used to purchase a 16' trailer.
Battalion Chief Dave Howe says the idea is to take fire prevention efforts on the road. "There will be a cooking fire demonstration, where we actually get a fire going and put it out. And, the instructor will talk about prevention of cooking fires and how to deal with them if you do happen to have one. There’s also going to be a smoke alarm component, where the smoke alarm will go off, you’ll know what it sounds like and we’ll talk about what to do. There’s also going to be a residential sprinkler burn room, where we actually will set a fire and the residential sprinklers will kick on."
The primary focus will be outdoor festivals and retirement communities. Howe tells KBND News, "Older people, as they get older, are much, much more likely to have a cooking fire; and they’re much more likely to die in a cooking fire for many reasons: Their lack of mobility, their sensory perception’s gone down, they’re confused and don’t know what to do."
He hopes the agency will have its new trailer by the end of the year. "When we do get it, we want to use some of our fire prevention people; but also we really, really want to use volunteers. We’re looking for support-type volunteers who are willing to learn how to use the trailer, learn how to teach – maybe people who are retired teachers who want to prevent burn injuries. It’s an awesome way to help the community." Those interested in the volunteer program are asked to call 541-322-6300 to get more information.