Author Topic: Observations from the Fires in Washington.  (Read 10472 times)

Offline Cedar

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Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2015, 05:51:35 PM »
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Offline Carl

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Offline Russkie

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Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2015, 08:56:11 PM »
Did this group end up incorporating as a fire department?

And, was there any talk about trying to organize and prepare beforehand, should this happen again next year?

Offline Mo

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Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2015, 04:55:56 AM »
The effort to incorporate as a fire department is underway. There have been some bureaucratic challenges, mostly in regard to the site / buildings from what I understand. I've not spoken directly to the folks working on that.

Privately we've made the repairs on the three fire vehicles we have, replaced and added to the fire fighting equipment. We should have some qualified and certified HAM operators by next year. Individually, many have made adjustments and improvements to their fire defenses.

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Re: Observations from the Fires in Washington.
« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2015, 05:50:22 AM »
I hope you guys do organize and form a department. There's a lot of side benefits in a lot of directions; the fire department can become a community center, the group can be a hub for communications, an official status can make federal and state money and resources available for training and equipment, and it gives you a place and means to share information and training. Our community put three guys through a CPR instructor class last month and last week we put on our first CPR class for free for community members. It was a full house with 12 people in both sessions. More are planned for next month.

Having everyone go through S130/S190, even if it's just the on line version with a field day would get you all on the same page with each other and with the Feds. Eventually I recommend S215, the Wildland Urban Interface class, as that's where the hard lessons are taught on tactics and strategies for saving homes and communities. My instructors were from the Colorado Springs Fire Department and had many lessons from the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires of 2012 and 2013. It's an evolving science and art as each fuel type, home style and set of conditions are going to impact your tactics, but some lessons are universal and homes do not ignite the way I thought they did when exposed to wildland fire. The lessons I walked away with give me both more home that more homes can be saved and a greater safety margin in saving those homes.

As others have said, I'm grateful for both your initial report and your follow up. I'd love to hear more updates as time goes on. From my experience with two volunteer departments, you have some stumbling blocks ahead, as every department has some common struggles that emerge with egos, politics, and reasons for wanting to be involved. It takes a lot of patience and a focus on community and individual strengths, not differences to make things work. Good luck and don't hesitate to message me if you need somewhere to vent about the frustrations you're experiencing.