Extinguishing the risks of fire danger

Published 9:51 am Tuesday, April 19, 2011

COAL GROVE — It doesn’t take long for a small fire to become a large one. Knowing what to do if you are near the fire is crucial for the safety of everyone around.

Thanks to the Coal Grove Volunteer Fire Department, employees at Tri-State Industries and the Lawrence County Board of Education are trained to handle that kind of emergency.

“We do this kind of training once a year,” said Betty Blankenship, production manager for Tri-State Industries. “For some it’s a refresher course, but we make sure we do it for all first-time employees.”

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Monday’s fire-suppression training was at Tri-State Industries in Coal Grove and focused on how to properly put out a fire and use a fire extinguisher. While it is important to have the training for accreditation purposes, there is a bigger reason.

“It’s a big part of our safety for all of our folks to have this training,” Blankenship said.

Rick Lee, employee of Tri-State Industries, has had the training before and took Monday’s training as a refresher course.

“It’s always good to have a refresher,” Lee said. And while he hasn’t had to put out any fires on the job yet, “you just never know,” he said.

Lee said the training has made hi

Members of the Coal Grove Fire Department stand by while Tri-State Industries employee Greg Hunter tries out what he learned about how to correctly extinguish a fire. THE TRIBUNE JENNIFER CHAPMAN

m more comfortable with the fire extinguisher and the process of using it.

Chad Kelly, Coal Grove Fire Department Assistant Chief, said while a fire extinguisher can be used without training, it is helpful to become comfortable with it and to know important steps, like standing the appropriate distance and making sure you have an appropriate escape route away from the fire.

“It’s a service we provide for the community,” Kelly said. He added that public places are the biggest fire hazards.

“This minimizes the risk,” Kelly said. “It takes a few minutes for a small fire to turn into something huge.” He said training like this minimizes the dangers of people becoming injured in a fire.