An Update from the Firehouse
By Fire Chief Drew Smith
April 24, 2020

It’s April 24 and the PHFD is now 53 days into life with COVID. We are thankful none of our firefighter/paramedics have taken ill. We are thankful that we have been able to remain stocked with enough mask, N95s, gloves and gowns to protect ourselves while caring for whoever calls us for help. Mostly, we are thankful for the signs of support from all of you. Those signs, gestures, well wishes – big or small – are all very much appreciated. Each firefighter/paramedic works a 24-hour shift and when we are not on a call we are pretty much confined to the firehouse. The living area of each firehouse is about the same as that of a house. There is one difference: we have six adults all living in that roughly 2000 square foot space. It can get too cozy at times with no alone time. The dorm is one large bedroom with six beds. Normally, we spend a good deal of each shift outdoors on calls, training, visiting schools and businesses but not presently.

We are seeing our fair share of sick people. Most are not too sick but sick enough they need a doctor. We also have the usual heart problem patients, people hurt from falls and car accidents, people reporting a possible fire in their building, and gas leaks, to name a few. In this time of uncertainty we ask you remain vigilant not just about your health but about fire hazards as well. If you haven’t used the fireplace in a while, maybe now’s not the time to try it out unless you have it checked by a pro. If you plan to use your fire pit or grill ensure it is in good shape and be careful with liquid fuels.

Did you change your smoke alarm batteries when the time changed? If not, now’s as good a time as any. Those 9-volt batteries in the smoke alarms should be changed every six months (change your clocks, change your batteries). If the smoke alarms are more than ten years old, it’s time for new ones and now we promote buying the ones with the ten-year battery sealed inside. Those require no maintenance for ten years and pay for themselves after one year (two 9-volt batteries are more than one of these ten-year smoke alarms).

As Allstate Insurance reminds us, mayhem doesn’t take a day off and neither does fire or accidents. DO what you can to minimize the effects or even prevent something from happening in the first place. If you have any questions about fire prevention or safety just call the firehouse at 847-253-8060 and press 2 to speak to one of our highly trained firefighters who will be more than happy to speak with you.