Firefighters leading way on safety

Published 9:44 am Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It has been said many times but the point rings as true as ever: Saving lives from house fires starts long before the first flame is ever ignited.

That is the approach that has been taken by Lawrence County’s fire departments and the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office. Officials with those groups got together last week to talk about the disturbing statistics that showed Lawrence County leads the state in fire-related deaths this year and is also among the highest counties for the past 10 years.

We applaud the fire chiefs and officials with those departments for taking the initiative and working pro-actively to save lives. These efforts include public education campaigns as well as providing free smoke detectors to residents.

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Education is the first step and hopefully these efforts will pay off.

If even one family has heeded this advice and ensured that their smoke detectors are working properly, then this effort will have been well worth it.

The reality is that something has to be done because there is a clear problem that is resulting in loss of life.

Lawrence County has a tremendous group of volunteer and paid fire fighters. These men and women risk their lives and make many sacrifices to protect their neighbors.

But even the most dedicated, well-trained and well-equipped firefighters cannot prevent tragedy that occurs before they arrive.