With the largest firefighting show in the world coming up this month, The Municipal has public safety — particularly firefighting — on the brain.
We’ve been intrigued lately by the invasion of wildland urban interface into practically every community in the nation, as developers indulge residents who want to live on the border of national parks and other naturally scenic locales. Unseated weather patterns that might have mitigated wildfire damage in the past are now compounding the danger.
Of course, there’s no ignoring the fact that this winter has been a perfect example of unpredictable weather. Not once, not twice, but multiple times city officials scratched their heads regarding how to get rid of 4 inches of snow — without a snowplow — or how to keep residents off of roads that became covered with ice. There was a bit of a learning curve for all us.
The Municipal is also fortunate this month to be able to share some relevant advice from Chief John Pope III of the Collins, Miss., Fire Department and the Mississippi Firefighter’s Association. Pope’s jurisdiction includes the largest bulk petroleum fuel storage facilities in the U.S., so despite its relatively small size, the department has become an expert source regarding large-scale flammable liquid fire and spill incidents. As Pope says, identifying the unique needs of your community and preparing to handle your likely incidents goes a long way toward cementing a department’s value in the eyes of officials and residents.
Lastly, and also in regard to public safety, if you’re curious about the Project Lifesaver program, then please enjoy the article by Barb Simienski that you’ll find in this edition. The tracking technology used by Project Lifesaver International can pinpoint the location of a subject down to just a few inches, and the program has had great success in locating wanderers of various ages and afflictions. This valuable service can often be underwritten by local service groups or by a grant.
I hope you’re having a safe spring.