PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

October 11, 2012

Groves FD hosts open house

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

GROVES — Ledger Hansing wants to follow in the footsteps of his Uncle Dale.

Dressed in a fire fighters gear complete with a child sized plastic ax and hat, the 2 1/2 year old Port Neches tot smiled from ear to ear as he aimed a fire hose at a toy playhouse nearby. Groves Volunteer Firefighter Cameron Dale lend a helping hand.

Hansing’s Uncle Dave, also known as Groves Fire Chief Dale Jackson, walked the perimeter of the fire station surveying the ongoing activities of the department’s annual open house. This year Jackson decided to add a few new elements to the already popular event which is held during Fire Prevention Week.

“We added new stuff this year,” Jackson said as fire fighters repelled from the station’s tower with the aid of a ladder truck from Port Neches Fire Department.

Jackson said this year the focus of the event is in the importance of fire escape planning and practice. Every year house fires cause thousands of injuries and death.

“Basic protection can help save lives and prevent injuries in the home whenever a fire occurs. Plan two ways out of each room in the home, establish an outside meeting place where every family member will meet, install smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area and test the detector at least once a month for proper operation. Remember to change the battery whenever you set your clock during the spring and fall and most importantly, be proactive in eliminating fire hazards in the home,” he said in a press release.

Hands-on practice also included a demonstration of the proper use of a fire extinguisher. A burner was set up at the back of the station and Groves Volunteer Firefighter Jared Trimble explained that homeowners need to have a fire extinguisher that is Class A-B-C which can be used for common materials such as paper and wood, flammable liquids such as gasoline, paint remover and grease and electrical fires.

Trimble asked the crowd if they knew the “old remedy” of what to do in case of a grease fire. The answers ranged from “put a towel on it” to “throw flour on it” and “throw baking soda on it.”

“You can easily put out a grease fire by placing a lid on the pot or using baking soda. Never use flour,” Trimble said. “Flour will cause the fire to flare up. And even if you think the fire is out, call the fire department. We love to come out and make sure you’re safe.”

Trimble also reminded parents to make sure the fire extinguisher in their home is checked yearly.

Groves Volunteer Firefighter Erica Moore demonstrated the proper way to use a fire extinguisher by using PASS, an acronym for pull the pin, aim, squeeze, sweep side to side.

Hunter LaBarge, 3, was one of the first children who lined up to take a turn at using the fire extinguisher with the assistance of Moore. His father, Zane LaBarge, said he enjoyed the event and felt it was good for the kids to learn fire safety.

The open house featured representatives from Groves Fire Department, Groves Volunteer Fire Department, Nederland Fire Department, Port Arthur Fire Department, Bridge City Fire Department and Acadian Ambulance.