GFD strives to enhance service

GRAFTON—Several members from the Grafton Fire Department took part in a two-day training seminar, over the weekend.

The 36th Annual ESCAPE Conference at Pipestem State Park, included classes that would help the fire department better serve the citizens of Grafton and Taylor County.

“Several of our members attended the classes, that are designed to improve the services of the areas that we protect,” share Dave Crimm, Grafton Fire Chief. “This is training that we can’t acquire in our local area. We always strive to go above and beyond what is required of us, so that we can continue to provide the best service to our community.”

One of the classes provided during the training was, Impact of Tactical Ventilation On Fire Behavior and Fireground Operations, which taught by Assistant Chief Doug Cline from Horry County, SC Fire Rescue.

Firefighters also attended the class, Buildings On Fire: Lessons From The Fireground, which was taught by Chief Christopher J. Naum of the Command Institute from Washington, D.C. According to Crimm, the class focused on Main Street fires, which often occur in aging buildings.

“The class included research from past years, that has been compiled to help ensure firefighter and public safety,” said Crimm. “I feel like the class was very beneficial to us, because we live in a town that has been around for a long time, and some of our buildings have been standing for a hundred years or more.”

According to Crimm, attendees were able to take part in a class that focused on Insurance Services Office Public Protection Program. He explained that the ISO ratings relate to homeowners insurance rates.

“The insurance companies look at certain criteria to determine a homeowners insurance rates, Crimm shared. “They look at the local fire department’s training, equipment, the home’s distance from the fire department, as well as, the distance of the house from a working hydrant.”

During the event, firefighters were invited to a banquet to hear speaker Mr. Hershel “Woody” Williams, Medal of Honor recipient and WWII Veteran, tell of his life experiences.

On Sunday, members from the fire department participated in the Fire Department Roundtable Discussion.

“We were able to sit down with the members of the State Fire Commission, WV State Fire Marshal’s Office, WV Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, RESA, WVU Fire Service Extension, WV Secretary of State’s Office, as well as multiple other fire agencies from all over WV, to discuss multiple topics,” said Crimm.

He said they discussed topics such as, training, staffing, firefighter retention in the state, funding, legislation, safety and more.

“We also talked about different actions we can take to lessen fire-related fatalities in our state and especially, in our communities,” explained Crimm.

According to Crimm, five members were sent to the training seminar, because it is part of their duty.

“We have to ensure that we are receiving training that will better our department. We had five members attend, so that they could come back and teach the remaining firemen what they learned,” expressed Crimm. “It would have been nice if everyone could have attended, but it would have been impossible for the whole department to go. We needed someone here to ensure the safety of our community, in the event of an emergency.”

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