Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sun, Sept. 20

Fire Department Ready for Busy SeasonAlleyways

The Fire Department services 35 miles in every direction from Winslow, which equals approximately 900 square miles. The department is on a Mutual Aid contract, which means they also help the Forest Service and will meet the Flagstaff Fire Department half way between the two cities when they are needed.

Candelaria said because Winslow is not a wide-open area, the city does not have as many fires to worry about as surrounding areas do.

“Most of the fires we got in the past were dumpster fires, but because the city went to the new totes, we haven’t had any,” Candelaria said.

“That’s the best thing that could have happened for us,” he said.

The department will be busy during the upcoming 4th of July celebration with an emergency response team and a fire team on hand to ensure safety. They will also be responsible for setting off the fireworks display. Candelaria said citizens should beware that setting off fireworks, unless in a display such as the citywide celebration, is against state laws and is accompanied by a fine of $500.

Each time the department responds, they are ready for both a fire and an emergency situation. Responding to emergency situation are a big part of the job since 75 to 80 percent of the calls they get are emergency service calls, not fires, Candelaria said.

Of the department’s three trucks, each is stocked with emergency equipment as well as fire fighting equipment. The fire trucks are main-line pumpers, which able them to pump 1,500 gallons per minute when hooked up to the City’s water lines. The trucks are combined rescue units, which means that are set to respond to rescue and fire calls, Candelaria said. The city also has two trucks at the City’s secondary firehouse at the west end of town.

The recent change of the trucks’ appearances from traditional red to white with blue decals is so the trucks are easier to see at night.

The department is staffed by 28 on-call and seven full-time personnel and none of the firefighters are volunteers. A majority of the firefighters are cross-trained as emergency response workers. Of the workers, seven are ladies.

The department also has a full-time fire prevention officer who goes to schools and teaches a fire prevention program. The campaign also consists of brochures on how to avoid fires and how to protect yourself if the case of a fire that are distributed in the schools and around town.

“We see the [prevention program] is effective because of the calls we don’t get,” Candelaria said.

Also on staff are two arson investigators with another one currently in training and two instructors. The instructors work with both the Arizona State Fire Training Center in Phoenix and Northland Pioneer College’s Training Center.

Candelaria said the department helps to certify firefighters from Winslow, as well as the Reservations, Holbrook, Joseph City and the other surrounding areas. There are approximately 20 people from different areas currently in the training courses.

Candelaria offered some tips to help prevent fires in the area. He said that keeping the weeds around houses short and Keep brush away from houses will help. He said most citizens cooperative and do both of these to do their part.

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