By Fred Mullen
We made it through the winter and spring wildland fire season in pretty good shape. It’s greened up quite a bit, so fire may not spread as fast, but folks still need to be mindful of wind speed and direction. Remember, prepare before you burn. Have a shovel and rake, a water hose handy, burn away from and downwind of structures and power-lines. Also, be sure to call the Franklin County Dispatch Center at 479-667-4721 to let them know you plan on burning.
Some Responders including Dispatchers have taken advantage of quite a bit of training the past couple of months. Two incident command classes, hazardous materials, wilderness search and rescue, shore based water rescue, auto-extrication, storm spotter and introductory level fire fighter classes have all be held locally.
The Fire Services Advisory Board has asked OEM to prepare a training notice to be placed in our two county newspapers. We are hoping this can become a comprehensive notice of all Responder training that is open to all disciplines and agencies. We’ll work out the details on how often—weekly or monthly—with the paper’s editors this week and pass along the schedule to you next week. You can also check the www.oem.org webpage. Also at the suggestion of the Board, Melissa, has set up a Training Face Book page. For more info on it, you can call her at 479-667-4909
Special thanks to the Altus Spring Gala Committee and the Altus Fire Department for helping make our Code Red sign up effort a success. On Saturday, we signed up thirty-nine new subscribers to the free weather warning service. Subscribers receive phone calls and/or text messages providing them with severe weather warnings as they are issued by the National Weather Service. If you are interested in receiving this service call Melissa at 479-667-4909.
Thank you, to all of you who support the fund raisers for our Fire Departments. A few dollars here and there from pie suppers, chili dinners, raffles, etc help us buy the fuel, insurance, and supplies we need to continue to serve you and your families.