PUBLISHER COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI FIRE and RESCUE DEPARTMENT EDITOR ANTHONY COLOM ART DESIGN & LAYOUT ANTHONY COLOM PHOTOGRAPHY ANTHONY COLOM CAPTAIN WES MIMS CONTRIBUTING WRITERS MAYOR ROBERT E. SMITH, Sr. INTERIM CHIEF MARTIN ANDREWS CHIEF OF TRAINING DUANE HUGHES FIRE and LIFE SAFETY EDUCATOR / PIO CAROLE SUMMERALL STAFF MARTIN ANDREWS: INTERIM CHIEF BOBBY BARKSDALE: A-SHIFT BATTALION CHIEF MIKE GIBSON: B-SHIFT BATTALION CHIEF MARK WARD: C-SHIFT BATTALION CHIEF DUANE HUGHES: CHIEF OF TRAINING NEAL AUSTIN: SPECIAL OPERATIONS CHIEF TODD WEATHERS: FIRE MARSHAL CAROLE SUMMERALL: FIRE & LIFE SAFETY EDUCATOR / PIO MICHAEL CHANDLER: ACCREDITATION MANAGER ANTHONY COLOM: PUBLIC RELATIONS TABITHA BARHAM: ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Columbus Fire and Rescue Department 205 7th Street S. Columbus, MS 39701 (662) 329-5121
This publication may not be reproduced in whole nor in part without the written permission of the publisher. Copyright © 2014, Columbus, Mississippi Fire and Rescue Department.
mayor's message We' ve Made History
It is an outstanding accomplishment for Columbus Fire & Rescues' achievement, and the City of Columbus, which are dedicated to providing the best public safety to the citizens, and it is with pride that we join the citizens of Columbus in honoring these first responders who continue to respond and provide public safety to the citizens of the State of Mississippi. On March 9-14, 2014, personnel from the Columbus Fire & Rescue Team represented the City of Columbus in Henderson, NV at the 2014 Excellence Conference. There, Columbus Fire and Rescue was awarded accreditation, making Columbus Fire & Rescue one of less than 200 agencies to achieve Internationally Accredited Agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) and the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc. (CPSE). I'd like to commend Columbus Fire & Rescue for its individual and collective commitment of pursuing and achieving such high honors. I, Mayor of the City of Columbus, the City Council, and citizens would like to thank you for your continual pledge and dedication to becoming and being one of the best in public safety.
Inter national Accreditation Status shows the citizens of Columbus, Mississippi that our fire department is among the top 1% of all departments, and that we are the first department in the states of Mississippi and Alabama to achieve accreditation. We ' ve made history here. by MAYOR robertE.SMITHsr. email@example.com
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Photo by anthonyCOLOM
chief's chair ONE YEAR BEHIND ME One year behind me!
Yes, it has been one year since I was assigned the title and responsibilities of Assistant Fire Chief of the Columbus Fire and Rescue Department. We have been faced with many challenges, but with reinforcement from superiors and supportive staff, we succeeded. I extend many thanks and gratitude to Mayor Robert Smith and the City Council, and Chief Kenneth Moore, for affording me the opportunity to exhibit skills and experience. Others who serve in the hierarchy and contribute to the success of the department include Fire & Life Safety Educator, Carole Summerall; Fire Marshal, Todd Weathers; Accreditation Manager, Captain Mike Chandler, and Public Relations Officer, Anthony Colom. Carole Summerall wears many hats in that she is tasked with teaching fire & life safety education in all of the local schools, child care centers, healthcare facilities, and industries. Todd Weathers is responsible for code enforcement, as it relates to fire codes adopted by the mayor and council. Mike Chandler dedicated countless hours on the department 's accreditation project, which involved researching, interviewing, and helping assemble the manual. Anthony Colom, editor of our Columbus Fire and Rescue quarterly magazine, is visible with his digital camera during most fire and rescue events; such as training and public education, and city events as well. He is a mentor at West Lowndes Elementary and Middle School. Without the support of these key personnel and other fire and rescue personnel, the role of assistant fire chief would have been very difficult. As Interim Chief, it is my goal to continue to work hard and motivate others within the Columbus Fire and Rescue Department to be an exemplary department; not just in the state or the south, but on a national level.
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We have faced many challenges, but with reinforcement from superiors and supportive staff, we succeeded. by INTERIM CHIEF martinANDREWS firstname.lastname@example.org
Battalion Chief Mike Gibson
Close To Home Living with ALS: Lou Gehrig ' s Disease by anthonyCOLOM email@example.com
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as motor neurone disease (MND) in most Commonwealth countries, and as Lou Gehrig ' s disease in the United States, is a debilitating disease characterized by rapidly progressive weakness, muscle atrophy and fasciculations, muscle spasticity, and difficulty speaking, swallowing, and breathing. It is the most common of the five motor neuron diseases. Those suffering from ALS eventually lose the ability to speak, walk, and swallow food, and must be fed with a feeding tube.
Captain Alan Walker
Albert Pierse, husband of Lydia Pierse, a secretary and permit tech with the city of Columbus' inspection department, was diagnosed with ALS in May of 2013. Mrs. Pierse says her husband has had nerve damage for about 10 years, and experienced what he thought was a heart attack before being diagnosed with ALS. “My husband expierences constant pain, can 't walk, can ' t swallow food, and can no longer speak clearly. He' s fed through a feeding tube,” says Mrs. Pierse. Albert, 50, originally from New York, was once very active in the music industry, working as a sound engineer and stage manager for Van Halen, Loverboy, Poison, The Grateful Dead, and The Marshall Tucker Band; and working in venues such as The Hollywood Bowl, Grand Ole Opry, Carnegie Hall, and Chicago ' s Soldier Field. When not on the road with musicians, he would work as a
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mechanic at a local tire store here in Columbus.
“Albert can ' t get disability because they don ' t consider his condition a
disability. He uses a walker to get around. He has a hard time swallowing. He has a feeding tube. He has muscle and nerve loss. Our bathroom is only about 50% handicap accessible. It takes him a very long time to dress himself, and he goes to physical therapy twice a week. Doctors have said that he ' ll probably only live another 1 to 3 years. It would be nice to just have someone come and sit with him 4 days a week (MondayThursday) while I' m at work. I think he' d even enjoy having a teenager sit and talk to him, or read to him just to keep him sharp,” says Mrs. Pierse. ALS has a known hereditary factor. The condition is known to run in families.
editor's note A Well-Oiled Machine
This issue, our 8th, marks the second anniversary of Columbus Fire and Rescue Magazine. Our first issue was released February 2012.
This issue is a milestone in several ways. First, because in reaching our second anniversary, citizens of Columbus and Lowndes County continue to ask for our magazine; and secondly, because this issue is being released at a time when our department is going through a transitional stage: we' ve recently achieved international accreditation status, Chief Kenneth Moore has retired after a 30-year career and almost 9 years at the helm of the department, and a new fire chief will be appointed soon.
Columbus Fire and Rescue is a well-oiled machine. Yes, Im ' biased, but Im ' headed into my nineteenth year with the department and I' ve witnessed the transition from one chief to another (Chief Massey to Chief Moore), and our well-trained men and women (many still with the department) continued to do their jobs as they were trained to do; and although the chiefs were very different men, the vision, goal, and objective remained the same: To be the best. Everyone goes home safe. And Training, Prevention, and Best Customer Service. Chief Massey did a fine job, and Chief Moore took us to another level. He did some amazing things for our city and department (like giving me the ok to create this publication), and we wish him much success on his new job in Louisiana. Interim Chief Andrews will do a fantastic job in his new position, will create some exciting new things, and the department wont' stray away from those values that have made us one of the best departments in the country. Picture the gears turning in a big machine, and the gears routinely being oiled; as long as the gears are oiled, they keep moving; as long as the gears keep moving, the machine keeps running. Our training and education is the oil. You, the citizens of Columbus, Mayor Smith, and the City Council are the electricity that supplies the power to the machine, and we men and women of Columbus Fire and Rescue thank you for the power that enables us to continue to work for you, and we promise to continue to give you the kind of great service that you expect.
As long as the gears are oiled, they keep moving; as long as the gears keep moving, the machine keeps running.
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by anthonyCOLOM, Public Relations firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by anthonyCOLOM
Firefighter Training ( Ventilation) / Firefighters herbertTEDFORD & taylorMITCHELL
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Send all comments to: email@example.com I live in the county, but I congratulate ALL firemen (city, county, & Columbus Air Force Base). I have very high respect for you all. Jean T. Good retired firemen front cover. Always good to see old firemen. Albert B. Thank You Columbus Fire & Rescue for Sharing the fire & life safety information and shots of the department. Keep it comin and we will help spread the word on fire & life safety. Terry J. So proud of our first responders and all that they do for our community. Tom S.
This event (Lowndes County Full Scale Disaster Exercise) has not only laid a cornerstone in the Golden Triangle, but also a door of opportunity for the "W" to expand its curriculum. Ross F.
LOOKING GOOD COLUMBUS! Tonda B. Thankful!!! Mott E. So proud of my husband and all the other great guys!! They do an awesome job!!! Linda M. Awesome pics!!! Tina J.
Too cool. I'm gonna need a big stack of these magazines when they are available. Michael B. Words will never be able to express how grateful the boys and I are at the service you performed. We were so touched and Mike would have been so honored
knowing his friends stood guard over him. You will just never know, truly, how much your actions meant to us. K. Pratt (widow of Mike Pratt). So awesome !!! THANK Y'ALL ALL !! God bless y'all great job ! Lacey S. How blessed we are to have these special people. Hazel H. Excellent! Thank you all for your service! Very proud!! Janet L.
THANK YOU MEN: Heros, lifesavers. Fred S.
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Fire Safety at local schools: Engineer anthonySMITH
Photo by anthonyCOLOM
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fire and life safety HOW I ANSWERED
I was at a class in Maryland recently when a retired fire chief asked the question, "If you knew 2 weeks in advance that the tragedy of 9-11 was going to happen, what would you do differently?" That is a difficult question for students, and there were a range of answers. I started thinking about the everyday emergencies that our firefighters respond to. If we knew 2 weeks in advance about a house fire that devastates a family, a boating accident that leads to a drowning, or a tornado that wipes out a neighborhood, what would we do differently?
Preparedness and mitigation is how I answered this question. If we put some interventions in the sequence of events that occur, we may be able to prevent or lessen the effects of emergency situations. For example, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and fire injuries. A person decides to fry something but winds up with a house fire. What could have prevented or lessened the effects of the fire? Stay in the kitchen, make the cooking area safe by keeping kids and pets out of the kitchen, keep the pan handles turned toward the back of the stove so they can't be bumped or pulled over, move things that can burn away from the stove. What if your pan catches fire, what do you do then? Slide a lid or cookie sheet over the pan to smother the fire and turn the burner off; never put water on a grease fire it will only make it worse. Don't waste valuable time trying to put the fire out if it is out of control. When in doubt, just get out and call 9-1-1 from outside the home. After you get out, stay out; never go back inside a burning building. Fire is Everyone's Fight,TMwe all have a role in stopping fires before they start, and most home fires can be prevented; you only need to follow safety tips. Do you have a working smoke alarm? When was the last time you tested it? When was the last time you changed the batteries? Can you and your family members hear it from your bedrooms? Does your family have an evacuation plan and know where to meet outside if your smoke alarm goes off at 2 A.M.?
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If something is predictable, it is preventable; if it's preventable, it's not an accident. What are some accidents that you could have prevented and how will you answer "The Question"?
by FIRE and LIFE SAFETY EDUCATOR /PIO caroleSUMMERALL firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Katie Dyck SMOKE ALARMS SAVE LIVES I PHOTO BY ANTHONY COLOM (bottom) l COLUMBUS FIRE and RECUE MAGAZINE
THE SIGNS OF A STROKE SYMPTOMS A stroke occurs when blood vessels, located inside the brain, are blocked by a clot or hemorrhages. The symptoms of a stroke can vary from person to person based on the severity of the damage inflicted, as well as the type of stroke. Symptoms and warning signs can develop unexpected and suddenly, or they can gradually happen over several hours, days or weeks. When a stroke is small or subtle, symptoms may not be noticeable at all. Many people mistaken stroke symptoms for other minor discomforts of the body, but it is very important to seek emergency medical care if one or more of such warning signs occur:
ment is crucial within a certain time frame. Waiting too long can result in permanent damage, or even death. It is best to take preventative measures against stroke symptoms in general, and have a healthy lifestyle. Make sure that you report any symptoms that cause you worry or suspicion, even if you think that they are minor, as stroke symptoms and warning signs are a serious indicator of the possibility of stroke. Seek a medical opinion immediately.
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, limbs or one side of the body - Sudden paralysis of the face, limbs or one side of the body - Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or difficulty under standing other people - Sudden trouble seeing with one or both eyes, or blurriness in vision - Sudden trouble with motility, dizziness, loss of balance, coordination or control of muscles - Sudden, splitting headache accompanied with extreme pressure and a throbbing sensation WARNING SIGNS In addition to looking out for yourself, one should always be on alert for warning signs of stroke in other individuals around you. If someone loses control of their facial muscles, starts drooling, has slurred speech or suddenly has trouble comprehending your conversation, then he or she may be experiencing symptoms of a stroke, and you should immediately call 9-1-1. Basic motor skills and communication may also further be affected. In addition to looking out for yourself, one should always be on alert for warning signs of stroke in other individuals around you. If someone loses control of their facial muscles, starts drooling, has slurred speech or suddenly has trouble comprehending your conversation, then he or she may be experiencing symptoms of a stroke, and you should immediately call 9-1-1. Basic motor skills and communication may also further be affected. Many times, people overlook symptoms as minor discomforts or signs of other illnesses, since strokes share symptoms with other medical conditions. For example, sudden confusion or inability to comprehend conversation in the elderly may be misinterpreted by others as symptoms for dementia, a degenerative brain condition that commonly affects older people. Sudden, splitting headaches and blurriness of vision may be misinterpreted as a bad case of migraine. In such cases, it is advisable that you make an independent judgment call on whether to seek medical help. If emergency protocols are taken,then make sure to document the time of the first onset of stroke symptoms, as treat-
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Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke using the acronym F.A.S.T. : F - Look at the individualâ€™s FACE and check for a drooping mouth. A - Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. S - Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently, i.e. I like Chicken Soup) T - Time to call 9-1-1 If he or she has trouble with any one of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke: Stick out Your Tongue. Ask the person to stick out his tongue. If the tongue is crooked; if it goes to one side, that is also an indication of a stroke. (662) 329-5121
FIRE and RESCUE 'S
command staff CITIZENS
From smoke alarm installation to car seat inspection, Columbus Fire and Rescue provides in ways not traditionally associated with a fire department. Many citizens and elected officials of Columbus are unaware of the many roles Columbus Fire and Rescue plays in the community. This lack of knowledge affects the department's mission of accomplishing the goals of public education, code management, and incident response. One idea to combat this perception problem is a Citizens Fire Academy. A Citizens Fire Academy would educate elected officials and the public as to the services and responsibilities of Columbus Fire and Rescue. Having gained this first hand insight, Fire Academy attendees would become external stakeholders in the department, providing feedback as to the relevance and quality of service provided to the citizens of Columbus, Mississippi. A course curriculum involving emergency medical service, technical rescue, public education, and code management will be offered. Project success will be gauged through surveys which indicate participant awareness of services Columbus Fire and Rescue provides. These surveys will be conducted each day of the Citizens Fire Academy. Participants will also be given the opportunity to express opinions of the services provided, as well as offer suggestions as to their improvement. Members will be encouraged to offer suggestions for areas of service not presently provided.
An element of enjoyment and discovery is necessary for the success of the Citizens Fire Academy. Allowing the opportunity for interaction with on-duty Firefighters along with plenty of hands on activities provides the perfect environment for an exciting learning experience. The Columbus Fire and Rescue Citizens Fire Academy is a fresh new approach that combines public education with good old fashioned fun!
Many citizens and elected officials of Columbus are un aware of the many roles Columbus Fire and Rescue plays in the community. by CHIEF of TRAINING duaneHUGHES email@example.com
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Photo by anthonyCOLOM
Mentoring at West Lowndes Elementary School: Engineer michaelMILLER
The Next Level
Columbus Fire and Rescue, in seeking accreditation, was visited recently by The Center for Public Safety Excellence Peer Assessment Team. The 4-man team spent 4 days in Columbus assessing the department, meeting and greeting citizens and city officials, and touring the town. The result: Columbus Fire and Rescue was recommended for accreditation, and was approved for international accreditation status after meeting with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International in Henderson, Nevada, March 11, 2014. Columbus Fire and Rescue is now considered to be among the top 1% of fire departments in the United States.
we stay on a certain course that the commission sets for us. I’m ultimately responsible for a 50-page report that we write. This report is about all of our findings concerning the department. All four of us have input into recommending the department for accreditation. I will travel to the commission meeting in Las Vegas with the chief and accreditation manager, and I will advocate for you guys in front of the commission, which is made up of 13 representatives from the industry; and these are people who have reached the top of their careers: metro chiefs, insurance representatives, and Department of Defense representatives. It covers a vast array of departments. They’re free to ask any questions based on the findings in our report. You guys do your own assessment internally, and our job is to verify and validate.
CF&R: Mr. Gray, we understand that you’re the assessment team leader. What exactly is your role as CF&R: What is accreditation, and team leader? why would it be useful to a fire department? Will Gray: The only difference between me and the other three guys with me, is, I do some of the early arrange- Will Gray: We look at it as an accountaments and facilitate some of our meetings. I make sure bility tool, where you basically look at
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Interview anthonyCOLOM/Photo by CPSE
every program, every process that you have in the fire department, and look for where you’re strong and where you’re weak. This is a process to some degree that forces you to fix what is weak, in a way that benefits your community. So your community will get a faster fire service. A safer fire service. A better fire service. The guys will have a safer environment to work in. We look at your government’s administration, strategic planning, assessment and planning, goals and objectives, and finances. We also look at all of the programs: fire suppression, fire investigations, ems, public education, tech-rescue, haz-mat, domestic preparedness, resources (facilities, apparatus, tools), human resources, wellness and fitness plan, communications, water supply, and administrative staff. In meeting with your mayor, council, and department’s command staff, we’ll explain what our findings are. There will be strategic recommendations, and there will be specific recommendations. CF&R: In the whole accreditation process, how many team members are involved? (662) 329-5121
Will Gray: There are about 220 team members, and 40 team leaders in the country. Right now, there are about 36 site visits scheduled for this cycle; because every 5 years, you have to be re-accredited. CF&R: So are the same team members paired together each time there’s a site visit? Will Gray: We almost never work together. The four of us just met each other upon arriving here Saturday and Sunday. We introduced ourselves and assigned our categories while talking on the phone a couple of times in preparation for this visit. If you guys are accredited, and when it’s time to be re-accredited in 5 years, you’ll have a new team coming in. CF&R: What impresses you most about Columbus Fire and Rescue? Carey Slauter: I’m really impressed with the haz-mat technical rescue program. A lot of time has gone into those programs. The resources through grants. The way the equipment is organized and maintained, you can tell that the department has put a lot of time and effort into maintaining this program. I was very impressed with the opening breakfast (Meet and Greet) that we had. You could see that the entire community is fully supportive of the department’s efforts. I also think that your department’s magazine is a very valuable and useful tool in educating the public.
Rudy Ruiz SMOKE ALARMS SAVE LIVES
CF&R: Are there any changes or improvements that you think we should make as a department? Carey Slauter: I think your community would be better served if Columbus Fire and Rescue went on all emergency medical calls. I think somewhere down the line, maybe the department may want to collect data to see if running ambulance service or rescue vehicles out of the stations is something it wants to do. This may or may not be something that is in the vision for your agency.
Will Gray (Team Leader)
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Adam Ballard Photos by anthonyCOLOM
Currently there are less than 200 accredited fire departments out of 38,000 in the United States. 27
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2013 ChristMAS PARTY
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Columbus Fire and Rescue Magazine Volume 3 Number 1