|Lions Becky and Mike Allison waiting for their turn at fire suppression.|
We have certain commands to use going into a fire and coming back out. You'll notice Lion Becky (below) is not taking her eyes off the fire, while Lion Mike A. is guiding her out with his hand on her shoulder.
As a member of CERT, our number one priority is to stay safe! I have to agree! If we can't put a fire out in five seconds, we're to leave the scene.
We also learned to NEVER do this alone, that we always work with a buddy. The two of us walk into the fire together, both with a fire extinguisher in hand, and the two of us walk back out together. One member always keeping an eye on the fire (as they walk backwards) and the other person guiding them with their hand on their shoulder. As Lions Mike and Becky are doing above.
|Lions Mike Norton, Mike and Becky Allison|
I was nicknamed Mrs. Murphy as in... .if something could go wrong.... Three extinguishers later, squirting the instructor in the face.... not being able to squeeze the handles to spray.... not getting the fire extinguisher to STOP spraying, and after much frustration, the fire was put out.
|Lions Nancy and Mike Norton taking their turn.|
I think not! This was the fire I had to put out! Needless to say, it was a little out of my comfort zone.... but with the help of the instructor, Lion Mike N., three attempts later, and pure determination.... I won the fight!
This training will give us an opportunity and the confidence to help our family and neighbors in the event of an emergency. If a house is on fire down the road, we can be the first people on-scene. We can assess the situation, put small fires out, do light search and rescue if need be, provide any basic medical attention, and report what we've found to the responders when they arrive.
Remember, if you're ever in the situation of having to use a fire extinguisher.... PASS. Pull the pin. Aim. Squeeze the handle. Sweep. You sweep the fire extinguisher at the BASE of the fire, not the top where the flames are.
I hope you learned something from this exercise. I did. In an emergency situation, I think we'll do just fine.