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Down East Seniors Club talk fire

The Down East Seniors Club held its June 27 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Gary Brinn led the meeting. Jim Hackney played for the singing of “God Bless America,” followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Charles Smith gave the invocation, and Ed Hamrick read factoids for the date in history.

Acting for program chairman Jack Pyburn, Bob Diefendorf introduced Josh Ingram as the speaker. Ingram is a shift commander with Washington Fire and Rescue. He said the firefighters on a shift are on duty 24 hours and stay at the fire station during this time so they can be ready to respond whenever a call for help comes in. The shift will then be off duty for 48 hours. Professional firefighters today have to be trained in multiple areas because they respond to not only fires but also medical emergencies, hazardous materials emergencies, wrecks and people trapped in difficult places, among other situations. The reason a firetruck follows a rescue truck in an emergency situation is to provide more emergency medical support personnel to tend a victim. All professional firemen are now also trained in EMS and many in EMT. Professional firemen must pass a stringent physical test every year and continually undergo review training, as well as training in new areas. Modern materials burn much faster than the natural materials that were used 100 years ago and modern cars have many high-voltage components that were not in use 20 or more years ago. All these create extra hazards for firefighters.

Mark Eakes won the 50/50 drawing.