Columbus Fire and Rescue Magazine

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We hope to lower the fire rating of the City of Columbus from a 4 to a 3. Airline Road, next to Columbus-Lowndes Human Society. This new station will be larger and more modern than any of the other four stations in Columbus. The administrative offices and a training facility will be housed at this location in an effort to increase efficiency and provide a centralized area for meetings and such. We are hopeful that this station will be complete and operational late in 2017.

As another year comes to an end and we prepare for a new year to begin, I sit here reflecting on 2016. Columbus Fire and Rescue has made many advances this year. We implemented our first medical response vehicle, Med-1. This vehicle has reduced the call volume on our firefighting apparatus by approximately 30%, just by running the "non-life threatening" medical calls we receive, hence, considerably reducing the wear and tear on fire engines. With the aid of Mrs. Debra Taylor and the staff of Columbus Housing Authority and some very special individuals: Mrs. Josie Fannon, Mrs. Beth Stuart, and Mrs. Betty Crain, we opened a temporary shelter. Thankfully, we have only had to use this facility a couple of times. We are comforted in knowing that this shelter is available for families that are in need when a fire occurs. Perhaps the biggest project Columbus Fire and Rescue embarked on this year, with the support of the Mayor and City Council and the City's Project Manager, J5, is the construction of the new Fire Station #4, which is located at 72

As we approach 2017, we will continue to progress. We are anticipating an audit from the Mississippi Rating Bureau at the end of 2017 or early 2018 to determine if the fire rating will decrease. We hope to lower the fire rating of the City of Columbus from a 4 to a 3. We have ordered another rescue vehicle, Med-2, and expect delivery in February. We will work diligently in 2017 on the renewal of our accreditation status with the Center for Public Safety Excellence and will continue to focus on required core competencies. As retirements and promotions occur, we are proactive in reassigning some of those tasks by filling vacant positions. Overall, 2016 has been a great year. We are looking forward to 2017 and are prepared to embrace all that the future holds for us as a department. With all things being considered, the Columbus Fire and Rescue Department is committed to providing the best service to this community. Our dedication and top priority is to the Citizens of Columbus, and I am proud of every member of my team for the excellent service they provide.

We constantly strive to build relationships with the citizens of Columbus and our communities by giving something of value: best customer service. to the tow hitch on the rear of the vehicle that I drive. The display resembles the large digital billboards on the sides of highways. We use this monitor to display various marketing, instructional, and safety images aimed at eliminating home and business fires, vehicle accidents, and other hazards. Columbus has in its city ordinance an exception that allows for the use of such a display by government agencies when used to promote safety. There are also national highway safety laws that encourage the use of mobile signs to promote traffic safety.

Columbus Fire and Rescue has made many positive changes over the past year. New positions have been created. New vehicles have been bought. New equipment has been purchased. A new Fire Station 4 is being built. A new shelter was opened, and the department has many new faces. My position, public relations officer, was combined with an existing position, fire and life safety educator, to create a sort of hybrid position: public relations and education officer. Marketing and promotion is what I love and it happens to be a part of my duties in handling public relations for our department. We’re always looking for new and improved ways to inform, educate, and teach the public. Our unconventional marketing methods work well for us. In March 2016, we purchased a mobile digital display. The monitor is attached

In early 2016, with much success, we publicly showcased our department’s apparatus, equipment, and extrication skills in our first-ever firefighter expo in Kroger’s parking lot, while also publishing a book of CFR training photos. This book may be found in our local public library and every elementary school library in our city and county. In 2017 we’ll begin using an inflatable fire truck jumper for children to enjoy at Columbus Fire and Rescue events, as well as other city events. This not only promotes our department, but serves as a way of giving back to our community. We constantly strive to build relationships with the citizens of Columbus and our communities by giving something of value: best customer service; and with great vision, always staying ten steps ahead. Can you see what we see ?

Men and women from any strata of society can be molded into the fire-service persona.

My job at Columbus Fire and Rescue brings me into contact with many members of the public. One question I am constantly asked is how does one become a fire fighter? I usually answer by providing the steps in the application process. In the majority of cases, this answer is sufficient. But there are times when this really doesn't answer the question, "How does one become a firefighter?� Some people say that firefighters are born into the profession. They believe that through genetics or a spiritual calling, men and women are destined to become firefighters. They believe that the capacity for selflessness, honor, and community service are the natural attributes that draw individuals into the fire service. Those who support this train of thought often say that firefighting isn't for everybody. It takes a special person to aspire to the fire service.

There is another group of people that take an opposite stance. They believe that firefighters are made through rigorous training, discipline, and perseverance. Men and women from any strata of society can be molded into the fire-service persona. Those who support this train of thought often say, “You have to really want it.� To aspire to the fire service is to never take your eyes off the goal. I believe both trains of thought are true. Over the years, I've observed individuals with no past experience excel in the fire service with little effort. Everything seems to come naturally, and they become incredible firefighters. I've also witnessed individuals who struggled, and seemed destined for failure early in their careers. These persons never wavered in their determination to succeed, and also became exemplary firefighters. How does one become a fire fighter? Columbus Fire and Rescue has open doors to anyone seeking their personal answer to that question.

Photo: Anthony Colom

Photo: Anthony Colom

Christmas Party Photos: Anthony Colom

Around The Station Photos: Public Relations and Education Officer Anthony Colom

Teddy Bear Hugs Saum Chiropractic Clinic donates teddy bears

by Saum Chiropractic. The community spirit of organizations such as Saum Chiropractic exemplify the best in giving back to the community. Columbus Fire and Rescue is proud to have taken part in this effort. We look forward to similar partnerships in the future, as we constantly strive to better serve the citizens of Columbus, Mississippi.

Words: Assistant Chief Duane Hughes Photos: Anthony Colom Columbus Fire and Rescue recently took part in a tremendously generous Christmas effort with a local city business. Saum Chiropractic Clinic chose Columbus Fire Department to distribute stuffed animals in the community. What a great way to spread Christmas cheer to children who might otherwise go without. Saum Chiropractic's decision to choose CFR to distribute their stuffed animals is truly a blessing. The fire department keeps stuffed animals on each fire truck. These toys are given to frightened children at emergency scenes. The soft, plush toys calm and soothe small children. They also provide an emotional boost to firefighters who use the gifts to restore hope to traumatized children. Some little ones will awake Christmas morning to hug a stuffed animal donated Smoke Alarms Save Lives

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Columbus firefighters work 24-hour shifts, and sometimes, two and three shifts in a row. They miss birthdays, holidays, school events, and other major family events. I had a Battalion Chief's wife sit me down just before my husband started in the fire service. She gave the best advice: "You have to continue your day to day routine as if he is home, whether he is or not. However, the hardest part of that is his adjusting to your routine." Whether he is gone 24, 48, 96 hours, or a two week class, our routine at home is always the same. But if he is working 3-4 days straight, the family atmosphere in the station helps to ease the strain of

daddy being gone. I can take our boys to the station to visit their daddy, or help cook supper for everyone. Having the 24/48 hour shift can be a blessing and a curse. There are many times when they can swap with another firefighter for a weekend getaway, or swap a few hours so they don't miss thier child’s ball game. But then there are the times when your child is crushed because daddy had to hold over, work through a birthday party or a deer hunt, or take an unscheduled over-

We recently spoke with a couple of CFR wives to get their thoughts on how their families handle a firefighter’s work schedule. time shift. Those are the tears that are the hardest. As his wife, I understand this is how he provides for us and supports his brothers. As a mother, it's the hardest part. There is nothing I can do to console their hurting hearts. But when his fellow brothers cover his shift for that surprise date, surprise pick up at school, and they go out for ice cream, it melts the tears and the pain away. Being married to a firefighter is like being married to your own hero. But even heroes need down time. Working the long hours and sometimes tough calls, they can come home exhausted, irritable, and difficult. It is often hard as a firefighter's wife

to take it all in and be understanding that our bad day is much different than their bad day. Some firefighters don't open up to their wives about the bad calls. Mine doesn't. All he will say is, "It was a tough shift." That is my que to leave him alone. He will talk to his brothers about the bad calls. I feel for us, that is probably more beneficial to him than talking to me. However, he knows I am always here for him. Through the good times and bad times, I love being married to my hero. Like his shift with his brothers, it's a 24/7 commitment.

Being married to a firefighter who was with the department for 27 years has been a rewarding experience. During the first years it was difficult at first, learning to do things by yourself, then when the kids came, it was a little easier. The holidays were the next hardest thing to adjust to. We would have Christmas at our house either very early before Bobby would leave for work, or as the kids got older, we would wait until the next day. You learn to adjust your life around a firefighter's schedule when it comes to holidays, birthdays, and other special

events in your life . I was worried about Bobby when he first started as a firefighter. I was worried about his safety, but thru the years I overcome my fear because of the training he had as a firefighter. When Bobby was hurt a couple of years ago, by our horse, the department reached out to us in so many ways. We were so grateful. The department truly is like one big family. So overall, being a firefighter's wife and family has always been a rewarding experience for us. You just learn to adjust your life around their schedule.

our life y t s u j d a o t n r You lea edule h c s 's r e t h g i f e around a fir idays, l o h o t s e m o c when it cial e p s r e h t o d n a b i r thdays, life . events in your



I have the privilege of serving on peer assessor teams that go to other departments to evaluate their operations and determine if they meet accreditation standards. the department now arrives on scene approximately 2 minutes quicker. Consequently, quicker responses equate into improving survivability rates of sudden cardiac arrest events and other life threatening emergencies as well as reducing damage caused by fires. Several initiatives pertain to improving department safety. The department has implemented the beginning phases of a Health and Wellness program addressing firefighter fitness. Also, the department is in the process of installing vehicle exhaust systems on apparatus to eliminate firefighter exposures to airborne toxic fumes. Each of these initiatives should result in a healthier workforce, reducing lost time as a result from injuries and illnesses.

As Columbus Fire and Rescue enters its third year of being accredited, the department has made progress in completing major initiatives identified in our Strategic Plan as well as the recommendations made during the accreditation site visit. A total of 22 initiatives were identified. All of these initiatives lead towards an organizational self-improvement process that benefits both the community and department, most notably in the delivery of quality services. The department has been using incident data to identify specific risks that have a negative impact on the community, such as falls or causes of residential fires. This information is used to map locations within the community and develop educational programs or public safety announcements to target these events. Ultimately, the overall goal is to reduce the occurrence of these risks. The department purchased MED-1, a "quick response SUV", that responds to non-emergency calls. Its deployment allows engine companies to respond to emergency calls in a timely manner. With regards to incident response,

Accreditation has extended beyond the friendly city. In the past two years, several departments have implemented the concepts and processes currently being used by Columbus Fire and Rescue into their own organization's operations. This has served as validation that what we are doing in Columbus not only has purpose, but also works. Additionally, I have the privilege of serving on peer assessor teams that go to other departments to evaluate their operations and determine if they meet accreditation standards. I have been on three such visits. Each time, I have been fortunate to bring back ideas that we can use to improve our department. Simply, accreditation promotes the exchange of ideas that improves department operations. The department has made documents related to accreditation available to the public on its web page. The documents support governmental transparency. These documents include our Strategic Plan and Standards of Cover. Additional plans will include the inclusion of monthly "dashboard" reports that document incident calls, response time performance, and other tasks that the department performs as part of its daily operations. Annual addendums to the Strategic Plan and Accreditation Recommendations will also be part of these published reports.


Columbus Fire and Rescue has partnered with Columbus Housing Authority to open a new shelter for victims of house fires and natural disasters. The shelter has been opened for use since January 27, 2016.

Photos: Anthony Colom

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Construction Under Way On New Fire Station 4

In The Community

In The Community



MALE HEALTH 1. Tart Cherries

5. Ginger

How do the Pittsburgh Steelers soothe sore muscles? Cherry juice. Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, and Steelers team dietitian, says she keeps some in their training room at all times. "The pigment in cherries and cherry juice mimics the effects of some anti-inflammatory medicines," says Bonci. "And there are no side effects."

Ginger may help calm inflammation in the body - which can come in handy when you push yourself too hard. Eating ginger regularly may help reduce the pain of exercise-related muscle injuries.

2. Chocolate Chocolate may improve blood flow if you eat the right kind.The flavanols in dark chocolate may curb levels of bad cholesterol, improve circulation, and keep blood pressure in check. Men with poor blood flow are more likely to have erection problems, so heart-wise foods may protect your sex life, too. But too much chocolate can lead to weight gain. Enjoy 1 ounce a day instead of other sweets.

4. Fatty Fish Fatty fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and halibut are another excellent source of healthy fat. They have a special type known as omega-3 fatty acids. These protect against heart disease, the top killer of men in the U. S. Two servings of fatty fish a week can lower your chances of dying from heart disease.

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8.Pistachios Nuts provide protein, fiber, and zinc while satisfying the urge for a crunchy, salty snack. Pistachios are a stand out -- higher in plant sterols that can improve cholesterol levels. Eat them from the shell, so you work harder for each one. It's a fun way to snack and keeps you from gobbling up too many calories too quickly.

9. Soy Foods The food that offers the best protection against prostate cancer may be soy. That's the finding from a study of 40 nations. Tofu, miso soup, and soy milk are all delicious ways to eat more soy. In Asian countries, people eat up to 90 times more soy foods than Americans eat. And prostate cancer is far less common in those countries.

3. Avocado Sure, this creamy fruit is high in fat, but it's the good kind. The monounsaturated fat in avocados packs a one-two punch against cholesterol. It can knock down total cholesterol and "bad" cholesterol (LDL), too. The trick is to use a "mono" fat instead of saturated or trans fats. And eat no more than 25%-35% of all your calories from fat. Olive oil and nuts also contain good fats.

potassium may be as important as eating less sodium when it comes to lowering blood pressure.

10. Leafy Green Vegetables 6. Milk and Yogurt The whey in milk and yogurt is another source of leucine, a muscle-building amino acid. Bonci recommends Greek yogurt, with a thick, creamy taste that men may like better. It's also packed with protein, potassium, and friendly bacteria that keep the gut healthy. "Plus, it requires no preparation whatsoever."

7. Bananas The banana is celebrated for its bounty of potassium -- and with good reason. Potassium is critical for muscle contractions and bone health. It also helps blood pressure. Getting enough

Spinach, collard greens, and kale can help the eyes as well as the prostate. These leafy green vegetables have plenty of lutein and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients protect against cataracts and agerelated macular degeneration, an eye disease that impairs vision.

11. Orange Vegetables Orange vegetables are an excellent source of beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin C. These nutrients may lower your odds of developing an enlarged prostate, according to a large study. Good choices include red bell peppers, carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.

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