Catching fire

By Joyce Ervin

If you thought the Milan Area Fire Department just puts out fires, you thought wrongly.  The department responds to all kinds of emergencies.  Mayor Michael Armitage said, “Milan has an excellent department that we all should be proud and supportive of.”
In the past few months, the department has been found assisting in fires, administering emergency medical care, clearing accidents on Milan streets and interstate highways, holding training exercises in burning buildings and planning community events.
Fires burning along U.S. 23 on July 29 kept firefighters busy for many hours, as they brought a string of grass fires under control. OnAugust 9, they assisted other area departments to extinguish a barn fire.  There were 30,000 bales of hay being stored in the barn.
On August 25, the crew found themselves busy on U.S. 23 near Cone Road dealing with a tanker truck involved in a median accident.  The driver was transported to St. Joseph Hospital and the roadway was cleared. 
When they arrived back in town, they were summoned to County and Dexter streets where a semi had taken out a pole and wires and a traffic light.
Training is paramount within the department.  On Sept. 20, firefighters participated in a night training, Self-Rescue”.  They were tasked on getting themselves out of life-threatening situations, while flames were seen overhead.  The department thanked Jennifer Foster for donating the house the department used for the training.
Armitage said, “The Milan Area Fire Department has been extremely busy, and I appreciate the sacrifices made by our firefighters to answer the call for help 24/7.”
Not only are firefighters keeping citizens safe through actions and training, they offer safety information to the community.  On Monday, Oct. 10 from 6 to 9 p.m., the department will hold their annual Fire Prevention Week Open House at the station.
There will be lots of free family fun activities including pizza and beverages.  Local businesses and safety-minded organizations are on hand to offer safety information.  Firefighters visit elementary schools providing safety information for the students during the week.
Assistant chief and Fire marshal, Martin Ritchie said, “Prevention, planning and being prepared will be our biggest assets. Further he said, “It’s a great day, when we do not turn the wheel.”

Joyce Ervin is a freelance writer reporting on Milan.  She can be contacted at:  jlervin42 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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