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‘Safety house’ will be used for fire prevention training in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 February 2017 at 12:15 pm

File photos by Tom Rivers: The fire safety training trailer from the Hilton Fire District was used by the Fancher-Hulberton-Murray Volunteer Fire Company last April 24 for an open house. This photo shows FHM firefighter Ray Keffer assisting a girl in climbing down a ladder of a trailer. That trailer also has a smoke simulator.

ALBION – Fire departments in Orleans County will have a new “safety house” to help teach children about fire prevention.

State Sen. Robert Ortt approved a $75,000 State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM) grant to purchase a fire safety training trailer. The trailer will be owned by Orleans County’s Emergency Management Office, and will be available to all 12 fire departments in the county.

“I’m very excited about it,” said Dale Banker, the county’s emergency management coordinator. “It will be a great tool.”

The County Legislature on Wednesday accepted the $75,000 grant which comes through the Dormitory Authority of the State of NY.

Banker said a committee of fire officials has been formed. That group will visit other fire departments with the training trailers to determine what model would be best for Orleans County. North Greece, Gates and other departments outside Orleans have the training trailers.

Some of the trailers are designed to resemble kitchens, while others have bedrooms. The trailers can simulate smoke. Fireifghters use the trailers to talk with children and community members about the dangers of unattended stoves, overloaded extension cords and other household fire hazards.

Banker said the trailer is expected to be ready in the fall. He wants it in service before the first week of October, which is fire prevention week when local fire departments visit elementary schools to discuss prevention.

Banker said the trailer could be used by about 3,000 elementary students each year. He also expects it will be at fire department open houses, community festivals and the 4-H Fair.

Kali Keffer, an FHM junior firefighter, joins children in a safety drill inside the trailer from Hilton during the April 24 open house.

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