First Battalion an asset to county

Published 5:19 pm Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The newly formed First Battalion of Shelby County is gaining a lot of experience this year.

Although the first month of the new year isn’t over, the battalion has already responded to eight fires in Shelby County and the surrounding areas.

The new effort includes the fire departments for Brierfield, County 17 in Maylene, Montevallo, Pea Ridge and West Shelby. The unified effort gives the fire-fighters more resources and manpower for the emergencies they face.

Brierfield Fire Chief Spruce McRee said the creation of the battalion was a response to the declining number of volunteer firefighters.

McRee said there doesn’t seem to be a connection or underlying cause between the eight fires the Battalion has responded to this month.

We would like to thank the members of the First Battalion of Shelby County, as well as the men and women who serve on fire departments throughout our county. They put their lives on the line for our citizens, and make our county a better place to live.

The U.S. Fire Administration offers the following home fire safety tips:

  • Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. A working smoke alarm can double your chances of survival.
  • Replace your smoke alarm after 10 years of service or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Never overload circuits or extension cords. Do not place cords and wires under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas.
  • Overheating, unusual smells, shorts and sparks are all warning signs that appliances need to be shut off, then replaced or repaired.
  • Practice an escape plan from every room in the house.
  • Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible at least three feet away
  • Use fire screens and have your chimney cleaned annually. Following these simple tips can keep you and your family safe throughout the year.
 The editorial is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.