Two Firefighters

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Recent Updates

New Utility Vehicles entering service with the Fire Department

Utility Vehicles 3
Two new vehicles will soon see service with the Fire Department.  The First, a 2007 Chevy Trailblazer was donated by Enbridge Energy and will be primarily used by the Building Official.   Enbridge has donated several used vehicles to area departments including the Fire Departments 2007 Chevy Silverado which is used for a variety of roles including towing and plowing.  The second vehicle, which replaces the departments 2007 Ford Expedition,  is a new 2017 Ford Explorer.  This unit will be used primarily for inspection and code enforcement related services.  Both are currently receiving their matching reflective lettering and emergency equipment installation and should begin to see service in the upcoming weeks.
Apple Fest
The City of Niles Police and Fire as well as the Niles Charter Township Fire Department teamed up again this year to provide Safety Education at the Niles Apple Festival.  Over the past 25 years on and off duty firefighters and police officers have brought characters like Captain Murph, Pokey, Officer Friendly, Sparkey, Smokey, Flash and Flicker to life to make our community safer.  The group also assists with providing a safe place to go at the festival and contributes  with security and EMS at the festival grounds.  SMCAS also staged units at the Public Safety Tent throughout the event.  The weather at this years event was absulutly beautiful and the group was honored to recieve the Golden Apple Award in this their 25th Year with a tent at the festival.  Thanks goes out to everyone on the Committee for anouther great Niles AppleFestival.  See you all next year.  
Pictured from Left to Right Driver Chad Cherrone, Firefighter Casey Sandoval, Firefighter Matt Sarrels, Firefighter Jacob Hosler, Chief Larry Lamb.

Three Niles Firefighters recently received their Michigan Firefighter 1&2 Certification.  This certification process began in September and runs through June.  Trainees invest over 300 hours during the training which includes classroom work and hands on training with practical and written testing to complete the training.  The successful firefighters also received certification in Vehicle Operation, Hazardous Material, and Incident Command.  The program is operated by the Berrien County Firefighter Training Committee which provides training to firefighters from all around the County.  

Firefighters have recently received two new thermal imaging cameras through the Federal Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program.  These specialized camera systems allow firefighters to see right through the dark and smoke laden conditions of a structure fire allowing them to quickly find trapped victims as well as locate fire spread.  These cameras see heat instead of light and portray slight temperature changes in shades of color.  This allows firefighters to find people as they're 98.6 degree temperature shows up much differently than the walls and heat from a fire.  The total grant award was for $12,210.   The lifesaving tools are now in service on the departments Ladder (6744) and Lead Engine (6723).  These cameras are one of the first items deployed on fires in the City as well as the Township.
Don't Forget the Sidewalks and Fire Hydrants
Firefighters Prepare for Medical Calls
Medical Training

City of Niles Firefighters are consistently training to assure they stay up on the latest techniques.  They work hand in hand with  SMCAS Ambulance Personnel to provide Emergency Medical Services to our residents.  This was a short class to teach firefighters how to use the new IGel Airway.  This new tool has been selected and approved for use by Berrien County Medical Control.  Firefighters in the City of Niles are trained to at least the Basic Emergency Technician Level  though several hold Advanced and Paramedic Certifications.   Firefighters respond to approximately 900 medical emergencies annually . 
Code Enforcement Corner
Property Maintenance

Firefighters when not responding to emergencies do their best to assure our neighborhoods are healthy and safe for our residents.  They are out in the neighborhoods performing  a variety of inspection services.  These inspections range from commercial property inspections to rental property inspections  to exterior property items which includes zoning and local ordinance enforcement.  Some of the issues we find most include;  

Leaves and Sticks - Take leftover leaves to the South County Landfill. The City Street Department also offers a brush chipping program but it is limited to  the amount of brush they can take. To get on the list call 683-4700 Ext. 3062 and listen to the message.  Remember there is no burning of yard waste allowed in the city.

Trash and Litter - Remember only those things that are being used for their designed purpose can be stored outside. Residents are asked to store items like furniture, tires, scrap lumber, and other misc. items, whether the items has value or not, inside.

Car Parking - Remember that cars  must be parked on driveways and cannot be parked in the yard, they shouldn't block sidewalks and they must be operational and plated to be parked outside a garage.

Trash - Trash containers should not be left at the street or in front of the house. Containers should be placed at the curb no sooner that 24 hours prior to pickups and should be returned following pick up.

Finally, don't forget to mow! Any lawn that reaches 10 inches in height will be mowed (without notice) and the property owner will be billed. 

Remember the law requires working smoke detectors in all sleeping rooms, outside sleeping rooms, and on each level of your home. They are your best chance of escaping a fire.

Restaurants - Hood Inspection (6 months) and Cleaning (as required 3 months - 12 months based on use and style of cooking)not performed at appropriate intervals.

Fire Extinguishers - Not inspected annually with an approved service card.

Exiting - Egress lights out, batteries dead, blocked, etc.  It is so important to make sure occupants can escape as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Sprinklers - Fire Sprinklers save lives and property.  Assuring the system is tagged annually and inspected and heads are not blocked assures that it will function as designed when its needed.

Smoke Detectors - Detectors must be less than  10 years old, with a good power source.  They must be located inside each bedroom, audible from outside each bedroom, and on every level.  We recommend that you have both ionization and photoelectric to assure quick and appropriate alerting.

Windows - It is unbearable in the summer when you don't have appropriate ventilation in our homes.  The code requires screens from early spring to the fall on all open able windows.  They're must be open able windows throughout the home and in bedrooms they must stay open under their own weight. 

Carbon Monoxide Alarms - They are required in homes with 3 or more units or in homes where renovations take place.  It is recommended that they be installed in all homes with gas appliances, fire places, or attached garages.  

Please call the Building Safety Division at 269-683-2374 with any questions.