Wildfire news, October 24, 2008

Ohio: Canton firefighters to get bulletproof vests

For a while we worked in an area where we frequently responded to wildland fires in an urban-interface area with a high crime rate. Part of the standard fire dispatch for that area included a law enforcement officer along with the fire apparatus. We never had any serious problems, but we worried about leaving our engines unattended.

But the Canton, Ohio firefighters feel they need bulletproof Kevlar vests and requested them during the last round of contract negotiations. Their paramedics have had problems before and have already been wearing them on some calls.

A draft standard operating procedure for the Canton firefighters says the body armor should be worn when responding to shootings, stabbings, altercations, domestic violence, assaults, and anytime there is a potential for violence.

About $100,000 worth of the vests which cost $800 each will arrive in a couple of months.

More information is available at CantonRepository.com.


New Jersey: Salders Ditch fire

The fire that started Tuesday 10 miles southeast of the Philadelphia suburbs has now burned 1,950 acres and is 50% contained. Some areas within the fire are swampy and contain peat which can be several feet deep, requiring massive amounts of water to put out. Smoke will be a problem for quite a while, possibly requiring additional closures of a major highway, Route 206.

A video about the fire on the courierpostonline.com site included this image of a clever fire danger sign on the back of a vehicle. We assume the arrow is magnetic and can be easily moved.

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