Articles by Year: 2013
The San Antonio Fire Museum, located in downtown San Antonio, Texas, was originally proposed in 1997 by a group of San Antonio fire fighters. This group aimed to create a museum that would preserve the rich history of the San Antonio Fire Department, as well as enhance local fire prevention education. However, lack of a site, as well as constant budgetary cutbacks put the project on hold for nearly 16 years! Construction and inspection was finally completed in May of 2013.
After many years of hard work, the museum is now open and ready for business. Members of the museum committee and many other volunteers have gathered a number of historic apparatus and other fire fighting related items. They have even managed to restore the beautiful 1927 American LaFrance Fire Engine to its original state.
The fire education portion of the museum is on track as well. Many educational displays are already available for children, as well as adults. Also, in conjunction with the Fire Prevention Division of the San Antonio Fire Department, the museum will host a variety of educational programs for students, businesses, and the public at large. These programs will cover diverse topics that should be useful for anyone attending.
The San Antonio Fire Museum is set to quickly become a prominent site in the Texas city. If you’re nearby, you’re definitely going to want to visit!
Photo credit: The San Antonio Fire Museum Facebook page.
Congratulations and Happy Halloween to Dan Smith. Dan is our second winner of a pair of Fire-Dex FDXL-50 Grey Leather Boots.
Dan, you will receive an email tomorrow regarding sizing and delivery. Thank you and congratulations again.
Thank you to everyone that participated and completed our survey. We appreciate your feedback. Be watching…we will be announcing the Third Annual 12 Days of Fire-Dex very soon!
On the evening of October 8, 1871 two of the worst fires in history raged through the Midwest. The first being the Great Chicago Fire, the other, North America’s most devastating forest fire to date: the Great Peshtigo Fire. The disaster known as “America’s Forgotten Fire” would go on to destroy millions of dollars worth of property in Northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, and take between 1,200 and 2,400 lives.
The origin of the fire is unknown, but the coupling of a widespread drought in the Midwest, and dangerous industrial practices like the “slash and burn” method of clearing land, provided the perfect conditions for such a disaster to take place. Once the fire began, roads covered in sawdust from the many sawmills and factories nearby ensured that the blaze would reach the town.
A small industrial town in Northeastern Wisconsin, Peshtigo was, like many Midwestern towns, extremely vulnerable to fire. Once the flames reached the town, the many timber-framed buildings proved prime fuel for the fire. Temperatures would reach up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit – enough to cause nearby trees to literally explode from the heat. Worse still, the only way to cross the river that bisected the town was by way of an entirely wooden bridge that would be quickly engulfed.
The fire would kill upwards of 2,400 people, nearly 10 times the death toll of the Great Chicago Fire. Flames continued to burn for days, ravaging 1.5 million acres of land in Wisconsin and Michigan, only beginning to die out once the high winds ceased and rain began to fall.
Today, 3,502 people reside in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, where the Peshtigo Fire Museum is open from May to October, closing its doors on October 8 with a candlelight service marking the fire’s anniversary.
Henry Paintin is the Sales Manager of Canadian Safety Equipment (CSE) and has been with the company since 2008. His strong interest and concern for making sure the Fire Departments are taken care of correctly shows his commitment to the industry. His co-workers describe him as a company man; he’s “always there to share information and help with the success of CSE”. Henry’s time outside CSE is spent in several directions. He has served on the Cookshire Eaton FD for 25 yrs where he holds the position of Captain. Henry also works on the track safety crew for Formula 1 and NASCAR. You probably saw him recently on TV taking Casey Kane out of a car at Loudon Raceway. Henry also has two grown children with one recently entering college. At Fire-Dex, we are glad to have Henry and CSE as a dealer partner in Canada.
Congratulations to our first Fire-Dex FDXL-50 Grey Leather Boot winner, Mike Shellhammer. Mike will receive a pair of our newly released fire boots compliments of Fire-Dex.
We will announce the second winner in our boot giveaway on Thursday, October 31st at 5:00. If you have already entered, you are all set and will be included in our next random drawing. If you haven’t entered, click here to complete our survey to be entered.
Mike, you will receive an email tomorrow regarding sizing and delivery. Thank you and congratulations again!
Two pairs of Fire-Dex FDXL-50 grey leather fire boots will be given away. The first winner will be announced 10/15/2013 and the 2nd winner on 10/31/2013. Winners will be notified via email and will also be posted on the Fire-Dex Facebook page. All registrants who took the survey prior to 10/15/2013 will be given a 2nd chance to win the the 10/31/13 drawing.
*One entry per person. Must currently be an active firefighter or have been in the past year, and intend to be over the next year in order to win.
A massive fire erupted in Chicago, Illinois on October 8, 1871. The devastation of that event included the deaths of 200+ people, the destruction of 70,000 buildings, 73 miles of roadway, and 90,000 homeless. It would be hard to find someone who hasn’t heard some rendition about this monstrous blaze that became known as the “Great Chicago Fire”. But what actually started the fire?
There are many myths surrounding this epic event that destroyed one of the largest cities in the U.S. at that time. Many have heard the version involving Mrs. O’Leary and her cow. After the fire, a Chicago Tribune reporter, Michael Ahern, published the story that the fire started when a cow kicked over a lantern while a woman was milking it. Though the woman was not named in the original report, Mrs. O’Leary was soon identified, since her barn had been the source. Multiple illustrations and caricatures soon circulated depicting Mrs. O’Leary with the cow. The story took the population’s imagination and is still widely spread. In 1893, Mr. Ahern admitted that he made up the story because he thought it would make colorful copy.
While the O’Leary story is the most popular urban legend about the blaze, there are several other myths explaining the start of the fire. Some say it was started by a group of craps players while others believe a milk thief is to blame. Still others attribute it to Biela’s Comet, which was passing over the Northern Hemisphere at the time. Some believe the comet could have dropped methane, which ignited the flames.
What is for certain is this: A warm, southeastern wind blew across the Midwestern Plains on that fateful night. Devastating fires erupted in many cities including Chicago. No one can say for certain the true cause of the fire, however, in 1871 the city was made almost entirely of wood, including wooden sidewalks. As a result, the southwestern wind that blew into the city that night fueled a fiery tempest that demolished the city.
This infographic highlights the details of the Great Chicago Fire. Last week, we featured the history of Fire Prevention Week, which resulted from the Great Chicago Fire. Later this week, we will share myths about the Great Chicago Fire. Stay tuned for more interesting organized information about this historic event.
Fire-Dex, in conjunction with AEC Fire-Safety, is sponsoring an informational seminar on Advanced Materials set for November 13th at 5:30pm-9:30pm at Warrensburg Fire Protection District 420 E. Main St. Warrensburg, Illinois. This informational seminar will cover timely topics such as:
- Blood-borne pathogen barriers in turnout gear.
- How to extend the life of turnout gear with proper cleaning and care.
- How to choose the right materials to give you the right amount of protection and breathability.
- Kirk Owen, End Use Marketing Manager from TenCate: Kirk is the former Chairman of the NFPA Technical Committee on Structural and Proximity Fire Fighting Clothing and Equipment, Assistant Chief at Plano FD in Texas. He will discuss the performance characteristics of outer shells and thermal barriers, and their effect on TPP, THL and the overall performance of the composite.
- Brian Barton, Division Manager – Protective Clothing from Stedfast. Brian’s presentation will concern moisture barriers: how they work; how they are constructed, and what are best compilations for Stedair 3000, 4000 and Gold.
- Andrew Oliver, President of Gear Wash, a third party Verified ISP company providing turnout gear care and maintenance services.
Register now at www.firedex.com/training.
Fire Prevention Week was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, the tragic 1871 inferno that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.
In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation, and since 1922, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which October 9 falls. According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.
National Fire Prevention Week kicks off October 6th and lasts through October 12th. The theme this year is “Prevent Kitchen Fires”.
What special events will you be hosting at your firehouse during Fire Prevention Week?
Earlier this year on June 30th, you may recall the Yarnell Fire Department lost 19 of its Granite Mountain Hotshot Firefighters in a tragic fire in Prescott, Arizona. We are proud to support their fire family as they begin rebuilding their lives and department.
Further, since the event we have donated additional Fire-Dex gear, 9 Extrication Overalls and 2 Wildland Coats.
If you would lilke to support the Yarnell FD in their efforts to rebuild and recover, you may donate to the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation managed fund, the Yarnell Hill Fallen Firefighters Fund. This fund was created to provide the families, friends and colleagues immediate help and assistance. The NFFF states that 100% of the monies collected will be used for this purpose. To donate to this fund, please send your check to NFFF, c/o Yarnell Hill Fallen Firefighters Fund, PO Drawer 498, Emmitsburg, MD 21727 or you may also donate online.
Don Higgins is the territory manager for Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast, and lower mainland in British Columbia. Don is well known in his territory as he is a life-long resident of the island and currently resides in Victoria. Don brings over thirty years of sales experience in industrial and PPE sales to Wholesale Fire & Rescue (WFR).
Don served on the Shawnigan Lake Fire Department for 20 years, and 8 of those years as deputy chief.
Restoring vintage automobiles has been a passion for Don. His latest restoration is a 1922 Model T 4-door touring convertible. Previous completed projects have been a 1929 Nash 2-door sedan, a 1950 Plymouth Businessman’s coupe, and a 1950 1-ton Chevy single axle truck.
Thank you, Don, for all your hard work in sales and for your service to the Fire Department.
Fire-Dex has released a new structural leather boot that offers lightweight comfort & protection together with a traditional, throwback styling that won’t break your budget.
One such story comes from a Regional Sales Representative Lance Matiste. He was in a meeting with FDNY just a few blocks from the World Trade Center when the attacks happened. Lance recalls that day: “It was like a scene out of a movie, like the world ended or something. You’re going through the biggest city in the United States and there was nobody.”
Pat Burrows was several states over, working at Fire-Dex headquarters in Medina, Ohio when the planes hit. Pat still remembers the feeling of shock that she felt that day. Through the years it has served to remind her that when she sews gear she is “sewing the lives of our fire fighters out there.”
No matter what you were doing, everyone remembers where they were on 9/11/2001. You can watch Lance, Pat, and other members of the Fire-Dex team tell their stories by watching Fire-Dex Remembers 9/11 on our blog.
To commemorate the events of September 11, 2001, countless memorials and parks have been constructed. The most notable of these is, of course, the beautiful 9/11 Memorial Park at Ground Zero in New York City. The beautifully designed grounds features artifacts, stories, and photos from the aftermath of the events. The memorial itself honors the nearly 3,000 people that lost their lives on September 11th; each person’s name is inscribed in bronze around one of the twin memorial pools.
Also in the memorial park is the famous “Survivor Tree”. This tree was found on Ground Zero during the aftermath of the attacks and transported to a nearby nursery. In December 2010 after reaching a height of over 30 feet the tree was returned to the memorial park to become a symbol of hope and renewal.
Another such memorial is in downtown Hilliard, Ohio. The First Responders Park is the largest of its kind besides the aforementioned one on Ground Zero. The theme of the park is “We Will Never Forget” and features a stainless steel sculpture that combines elements of light and shadow to cast images depicting the 9/11 attacks.
In addition to these large memorials many U.S. cities, and even cities around the world have established 9/11 memorials of their own, many including pieces of steel that were distributed from the rubble of the World Trade Center.
The Breckenridge Red White and Blue Fire Museum is located in Breckenridge, Colorado, right next to the city’s Fire Department. The museum serves to honor the city’s long standing Fire Department, and houses the town’s antique fire apparatus and artifacts.
The Red White and Blue Fire Department was created in the late 1800s as a response to the constant threats of major fire that a growing city such as Breckenridge faced. The department, and the museum get their name from the original three companies that made up the department – the Red, the White, and the Blue.
Today, anyone can visit the Red, White and Blue Fire Museum and see a variety of displays from an original human-powered ladder cart, a restored horse card, and firefighting equipment and uniforms that were used by the original three companies. Visitors are also able to receive a tour of the museum by visiting the beautiful Red, White and Blue Fire Station.
Photo credit: Breckenridge.com
On July 6, 2013, Fire-Dex’s Customer Care Rep Sarah Finch was able to take part in the Brunswick Ohio mass casualty training. With fire departments from three jurisdictions in attendance, a head-on vehicular collision was simulated in exact, real-world conditions. After the firefighters arrived on the scene they were able to assess the “victims’” injuries and practice extracting passengers from the vehicles. Sarah remarks that it was “A very hot, but exciting day.”
Fire Medic Andrew Pavell says that this type of training will go a long way towards preparing the city to respond to serious car accidents in the future. All in all, Pavell says that everything went flawlessly. The exercise not only allowed firefighters and EMT’s to better prepare for major accidents, but also helped foster teamwork and leadership between all emergency responders.