Originally Published: July 29, 2016 6 a.m.
The City of Prescott is launching a volunteer program to help keep the city’s firefighters focused on their primary job: Protecting life and property.
The new auxiliary fire personnel will be part of the Community Services Unit, as we report in today’s front page story.
This is a great step forward in alleviating the burden the city firefighters face.
Volunteers will perform “routine, non-emergency services, such as smoke alarm installation, fire inspections, pre-incident fire planning, and possibly, quality assurance/improvement reviews for emergency medical services.”
Officials are going about this plan in a good way, too. There is a screening process and a training program.
Area police departments use volunteers in this fashion, as do quite a few fire departments across the country.
It’s a good model to follow and Prescott will most certainly benefit from this program.
While we’re talking fire departments
Fire restrictions were lifted this week in some parts of the county. Specifically, Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Dewey-Humboldt, Jerome, Groom Creek, Walker, Crown King, and Central Arizona Fire and Medical.
Even though those restrictions were lifted for these areas, that doesn’t give residents and visitors license to be careless. Not every area received monsoon rains – exercise care when burning anything – the campfire, the backyard torches, trash – one spark is all it takes to launch the next big wildland fire.
In case you missed this part and plan on camping or traveling nearby: fire bans remain in place for Mayer Fire District, Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Camp Verde, Sedona, Montezuma Rimrock, Paulden, Ash Fork, Seligman, Yarnell, Skull Valley, Peeples Valley, Congress, Wilhoit, Wickenburg Rural and Black Canyon City.
From fire to water: There have been flash flood warnings this week due to the monsoons. It’s a simple rule, really. Do not drive into a road covered in water – even if you think it’s not dangerous. Not only can a vehicle be swept away in a flash flood, a road can cave under the vehicle’s weight, so the depth of the standing water doesn’t matter – it can still be deadly.