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Fire Prevention Week kicks off with $10,000 donation

Enbridge Pipelines Inc. presented a $10,000 Safe Community donation toward the expansion of the Hastings-Prince Edward Counties Fire Mutual Aid Association training tower. Enbridge representative J.D. Booth (far left) is pictured making the donation to association officials, including, from left: Deputy Fire Chief Robert Rutter of Prince Edward County; Chuck Naphan of the Quinte West Fire Department (and president of the Mutual Aid Association); Fire Chief Richard Caddick of the Township of Stirling-Rawdon; and Belleville Mayor Neil Ellis.

Enbridge Pipelines Inc. presented a $10,000 Safe Community donation toward the expansion of the Hastings-Prince Edward Counties Fire Mutual Aid Association training tower. Enbridge representative J.D. Booth (far left) is pictured making the donation to association officials, including, from left: Deputy Fire Chief Robert Rutter of Prince Edward County; Chuck Naphan of the Quinte West Fire Department (and president of the Mutual Aid Association); Fire Chief Richard Caddick of the Township of Stirling-Rawdon; and Belleville Mayor Neil Ellis.

Area firefighters kicked off Fire Prevention Week early with a $10,000 donation toward the Hastings Prince Edward Mutual Fire Aid  Training Complex facility upgrades.

fire-towerThe project cost is estimated at $400,000 in upgrades for the facility, located in Trenton, where 17 area fire departments receive hands-on fire fighting training and take Ontario Fire College courses and certifications.

The association is also seeking provincial and federal investment  over five years for upgrades, including water, sewer and natural gas connections. Over the past few years, the facility has expanded to include police training for emergency response teams and canine units.

The rescue training facility on Chester Road in Trenton is the only training facility in eastern Ontario, the closest being the fire college in Gravenhurst.
The site includes a training tower, maze building and garage, classroom and washrooms.

“We are at the very early stages of fundraising, said Robert Rutter, PEC Deputy Fire Chief. “The original training tower building is now 30 years old. A raffle for a fully loaded Ford Lariat is now under way. Just 2,500 tickets are being sold at $100 each. Tickets are available at the Picton Fire Hall. The draw will be held Dec. 1.

During Fire Prevention Week, the Prince Edward County Fire Department will be in the community educating children and adults on fire prevention and in particular, preventing kitchen fires.

With support from local businesses, the Prince Edward County Fire Department is giving local Grade 4 and Grade 5 students the opportunity to participate in an educational fire safety initiative designed to prevent fire-related injuries and fatalities.   Fire Prevention Officer Mike Branscombe will be presenting the program and giving students a copy of the handbook Fire Safety: Smart Choices for LIFE – a resource designed to educate children and families about fire safety. The handbooks will be distributed to students in nine Prince Edward County elementary schools.

“On behalf of the fire department, I would like to thank the local businesses who generously supported this initiative,” said Branscombe. “While the program rolls out in the classroom, we are urging kids to talk to their parents about fire prevention and to come up with a family plan.”

In addition to visiting local schools, the Fire Department will be going door-to-door to raise awareness about Fire Prevention Week, check for working smoke alarms, and educate the public about fire prevention in the kitchen.

Careless cooking is the number one cause of home fires in Ontario. Most of these fires start because pots and pans are left unattended on the stove.

If you must leave the kitchen when you are cooking, turn off the stove. While cooking, always keep a large lid nearby.

If a pot does catch fire, slide the lid over the pot, then turn off the stove.

Many fire injuries and deaths are caused by:
• Unattended cooking and distractions
• Loose clothing and articles near the stove
• Children playing near the stove
• Attempting to extinguish a grease fire with water
• Attempting to cook while under the influence of alcohol.

Always make sure to:
• Stay in the kitchen and pay attention when cooking!
• Drink responsibly when cooking.
• If a fire occurs, get out immediately and call 911

Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.

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