Tuesday, May 25, 2010

SKID - Stop Kids Intoxicated Driving

Hillsboro Fire and Rescue, along with other public and private agencies in the area, took part in another live action melodrama called SKID or Stop Kids Intoxicated Driving. The scene is a prom night with graduating seniors attending a party. Several have consumed alcoholic drinks and the result is a head-on collision resulting in one youth killed and two others sent to hospitals in critical condition.

Hillsboro Firefighters, Hillsboro Police, Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies, Life Flight, Metro West Ambulance, Entercom, Springer and Sons Mortuary and other agencies, along with student actors and local parents, devoted several hours of time to stage the event for Century High School students.
The drama, complete with audio from grieving parents, the arresting officer’s conversation with the driver, the coroner’s discussion and other sound effects, seemed to leave an impression on the students. To date, SKID has been performed before 83,000 students.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sober Grad Night Demo – Glenco High School

Hillsboro Fire Department supported the Sober Grad Night assembly and presentation by Hillsboro Police on Thursday, May 13, 2010. The officers made their plea to Glencoe High School seniors to avoid drinking or taking drugs before or while driving in an effort to reduce student accidents and fatalities on graduation and prom nights. Following the assembly, students went outside to watch Hillsboro Firefighters simulate a rescue from a wrecked car.

Firefighters staffing Engine-1 and Rescue-1 used all of their hydraulic, electric and hand tools to remove the doors and the roof of the car. The process is often necessary in order to make access to injured occupants of the car and to safely remove them from the vehicle without causing further injuries. Wrecked vehicles are frequently found upside down, on their sides, on top of each other, wrapped around a tree/power pole or in ravines. The demonstration will hopefully reach any student who may consider consuming anything that might impair their driving during the final days of their high school education.

Chamber Leadership – Public Safety Day

It was Public Safety Day for the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce Leadership class Wednesday. The group of about 30 Hillsboro business men and women spend one day per month learning about the governance and operation of their city. Following classroom presentations by Hillsboro Fire & Police Departments, the class divided into groups and experienced the following activities:

With Hillsboro Firefighters they:
• Donned firefighter protective clothing, called turnouts or bunker gear, added the air tank and mask, and entered a room filled with theatrical smoke to search on their hands and knees for a rescue dummy lost in the clouded room. This simulated the zero visibility that firefighters experience in performing the search of a structure on fire.
• Donned firefighter protective clothing and used the rescue tools often called the “jaws of life” to cut apart a car. That demonstrated how long it takes to rescue people from a motor vehicle accident.

With Hillsboro Police Officers they:
• Used special training handguns with non-lethal ammunition and practiced shooting at an indoor range.
• Observed a taser being deployed into the body of a volunteer.
• Observed and accompanied a group of police officers in responding to a simulation of an active shooter scenario complete with guns firing blanks and explosions.
• Observed police dog demonstrations finding hidden narcotics and tracking a simulated fleeing suspect.

The entire day was held at the former Master Brand Cabinet building on Walnut Street. Our thanks to the owners of the building for allowing us to use it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This is Arson Awarenss Week - May 2-8

From Miscellaneous

This is Arson Awareness Week, May 2-8, 2010. The U.S. Fire Administration reports more than 62,000 arson fires in 2008 across the country caused more than $866-million in damages. The goal of Arson Awareness Week is to focus attention on the horrific crime and to provide communities with tools and strategies to fight arson in their neighborhoods, schools, businesses and places of worship.

If you think that arson is not a problem in our community, you are wrong. Hillsboro Fire and Rescue works closely with Hillsboro Police, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, and other law enforcement agencies to vigorously investigate and support prosecution of all fires determined to be caused by arson. But, we can’t do it alone. It takes the awareness of the entire community to keep watch and report any suspected arson.

• Contact your fire department or police department if you know of an arson crime.
• Report suspicious activity near houses, apartments or commercial buildings. Participate in Neighborhood Watch Programs.
• Keep leaves and flammable debris away from all buildings. Don’t make it easy for an arsonist to start a fire or facilitate spread of the fire to additional structures.
• Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children. It’s best to keep matches and lighters in a locked cabinet.
• If you suspect your child of having an unusual fascination with fire, contact us at 503-681-6166. We have educational programs designed to help a child understand the dangers involved in misusing fire.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Practicing to Fight LP Gas Fires

Hillsboro Firefighters spent this past week training on propane tank fires at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Though relatively rare, these fires burn extremely hot—as high as 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to the high temperatures the fact that a propane tank heated by a surrounding fire can experience a catastrophic failure (called a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion) and the danger jumps many times. Exploding LP gas rail cars have been hurled three quarters of a mile. That’s why firefighters, especially rookies, spend considerable time learning how to fight them.

In an LP gas fire, firefighters must learn how to advance two hose lines in perfect unison to keep the tank cool and to provide a directional water barrier that pushes the intense heat and flames away. Firefighters used a specially-constructed propane tank prop that simulates such a fire and practiced shutting off the flow of propane feeding that blaze. They advanced the hose lines carefully until they were just inches away from the tank. That’s when the team leader reached through the spray and shut off the flow of propane. Then they retreated in a similar fashion since the fire and leaking propane may not quit immediately.