Volunteer fire department is involved in the community

Busy weeks ahead for East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts and our volunteer fire departments, stations 4 and 5, in the Topaz/Holbrook area of southern Douglas County. So many things are happening. An "Emergency Preparedness Training Day" has been planned for Aug. 19, at the Topaz Ranch Estates Community Center, located at the end of Carter Way in TRE. Starting at 9 a.m. and running until 1 p.m., the East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts has gathered together professionals from many different fire prevention and public safety agencies as well as businesses, to come speak and demonstrate information we, as a community, need to know to make our area a safer place to live during disaster situations. Wildland fires are a constant threat during the summer and early fall months, but earthquakes are of concern as well. We may all think we know what to do but, in truth, there is still a lot left to learn. Here is a chance to learn one more thing that just might save your life and/or property. And, guess what, it's free.

This will be a "hands on" training day on just how to prepare for any disaster in our rural area. There will be a hands-on demonstration as to how to use a home fire extinguisher provided by Marilee Smith. It seems like a simple thing but it isn't. I have had several fire extinguishers in several places around my house and vehicles for years and thought it was a very simple safety device to have available. I felt safer because I had one. At a training day at The Record-Courier a few months ago, I found out just how unknowledgeable I really was. Smith will be there to explain all the technical things about the different extinguishers, their expiration dates, the different classification listed on the different containers, as well as the purpose of each by their classifications, the amount of extinguishing power each type has, and give you hands-on experience on just how to put one to use. It's very valuable information. Trust me, I know. Before the demonstration, I thought having an extinguisher was all I needed and I was wrong. If you don't know how to use it correctly, it isn't much help.

Do you know how to shut your utilities off in case of an emergency? Do you know where all the shut-offs are? I know I don't. Will you think of the gas, electric and yes, even the water in the case of a critical situation? These are things we all need to think of in an emergency. Amerigas as well as other professionals will be on hand to give you this information.

How many of us have thought of a fire escape plan if a fire happens in the middle of the night? Not something pleasant to think about but something that can be life saving if the situation ever happens. There will be home fire escape training in a simulated smoke trailer. It is designed to teach children but for all of us adults out here ... not a bad idea either.

There will be wildland fire safety and how to prepare your home as a safety zone. The seasonal workers will come to your property, give you an assessment of what you can do to make you property a safe place to live, help protect your neighbors, explain potential fire hazards and define defensible space around your property. If we work together, we will help not only ourselves, but our neighbors in case of an emergency. It is really a simple thing to do. Let professionally trained people assess the simple things we would overlook to avoid probable dangers.

There will be TREVFD equipment demonstrations as well as Jill Catlow there to offer information on the Sierra Saver, an inexpensive insurance plan that will cover the potentially exorbendent costs of emergency transport to hospitals.

For more information about this event, contact Capt. Walt Kesteloot at 266-3780 or Toni Braga at 783-6415.

n Only a couple of weeks left until the 39th annual Topaz Lake Volunteer Barbecue which will be noon to 6 p.m. Sept 3. This is the largest of all the East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts fundraising events. Last year the fundraiser generated over $10,000 in funds which allowed the volunteers, over and above the purchase of necessary equipment for the station, to donate $3,000 to the East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts burn fund, provide over 320 free Fireplace Ash Cans for safe fireplace ash removal, re-institute the provision of reflective address signs for property in our area, and this year, in honor of Sen. Lawrence Jacobsen, $1,000 was just donated to the Douglas County Fire Department Museum in his name. The volunteers of TLVFD will also be participating in Relay For Life, the cancer research fundraiser that will take place Aug. 26-27 at Lampe Park in Gardnerville. This is in honor of Linda Fields, wife of Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Fields, who is battling breast cancer.

This year's barbecue will include the in-ground pit barbecued tri-tip with an abundance of salads and deserts, music by Buffalo Country, raffles and prizes galore and a silent auction. It is a great community gathering to support the wonderful work our volunteer fire personel do to make our area a safer place to live. Make sure to show you appreciation by attending this event.

n Topaz Lodge and Casino and the Valley Cruisers are going to host the Topaz Lodge Show and Shine, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sept. 16. Registration for the event begins at 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. with eight classes to enter your 1928-1972 vehicle in. Registration fee is $25 by Aug. 31 or $30 thereafter. This will be a day of fun for the entire family. There will be hamburgers, hot dogs, soft drinks and beer available as well as music and a bounce house for the kids. All proceeds from this event will be donated to local charities. Information online at www.valleycruiserscarclub.com or call the lodge 266-3338 as well as Lisa or Billy Tucker 265-5836 or Bill Thomas 267-1511.

Until next week ... just keep on keepin' on.

n Jonni Hill can be reached through The Record-Courier at jhill@recordcourier.com or by calling 782-5121, ext. 213, or after hours at JHILL47@aol.com


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