Guilford EMS Reassesses Procedures, Education After Deadly Fires

8:52 AM, Jun 21, 2013   |    comments
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Guilford County - The Guilford County Emergency Services is holding what it deems a "community risk reduction" course Friday to reassess safety procedures, in light of a house fire in the county that claimed the lives of two children in March.

Gibsonville Fire Department personnel and Fire District 28 will co-host the class, in which fire officials will identify community risks--like where and when most fire fatalities occur. Guilford Co. EMS said 82 percent of fire fatalities occur in residential fires, and 48 percent occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The course also will explore prevention and mitigation strategies, such as how to better educate the public on early fire detection and the importance of smoke detectors. The department said 22 percent of residential fires happened in homes in which smoke detectors were not working. One of those homes was where a one-year-old and four-year-old died in March after a space heater ignited.

In Friday's meeting, fire personnel also will develop a mitigation plan to expand public safety education and device monitoring accountability in both urban and rural areas of the county. Fire officials also will review agency initiatives to find opportunities for joint outreach of fire service, law enforcement, EMS, social services, public health administrators and non profits.

Chief Mike Wright, Guilford County Emergency Services Operations Deputy Director, spoke with WFMY News 2's Good Morning Show Friday to discuss the course and stress the importance of making sure smoke detectors always are properly functioning. He said periodically, people should use a home fire safety survey checklist from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to ensure their homes are equipped with life-saving provisions that can help homeowners both avoid and detect fires.

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