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Shane Ray interview, I

Mon, 8 Feb 2010|

At the Baggers meeting, Bobby Halton talks to Shane Ray, chief of the Pleasant View (TN) Volunteer Fire Department.

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Transcript

-- welcome to on the road well I'm here in Tulsa Oklahoma. Just twenty miles south of my home and -- bill. And -- a good French and right. But froze for a long time -- -- is that what former volunteer chief the year and currently the chief of Pleasanton fire department. In the great state of Tennessee. And what what else you do -- these nation what else you working -- Well got a lot of projects going on of this and speaking for fire team you're saying impacting USA is a federal grant program that -- -- -- and -- -- workshop. And it's aimed at bring in the fire chief the fire Marshal. A policymakers. And to build an official -- to build relationships. To improve public policy. -- fire protection our communities trying to get ahead of the curve on the for a million. Focus a lot of fire sprinklers. But basically overall community fire protection. They also the associate national director of the assistant national editor the associate director for the national fire -- association. And they of those -- folks my job was to go out and help fire officials. Whatever they came to improve public policy. And understand better how sprinklers can enhance fire safety and absolutely and improve -- -- survivability of the fire. Sprinklers don't guarantee that you're not gonna have -- far that they minimize the devastating effects. Of the fire they keep it keep it small we know that fact. You know we all often throw around the statistic in and you're the guy to ask if it's true or not have we ever lost a firefighter. In this. -- include building with a sprinklers operated correctly now I would say the answer is probably no. They've operated and there's a study from the US fire administration that looks as firefighters who have lost their lives in Sprecher properties but generally we miss. Not only because we don't maintain it but also because we put some -- and in the bill and that the building within the system was not designed for so we overload we overload -- -- occupancy right we've we've put up dividers we do all kinds of goofy stuff. And we don't have enough. Folks boots on the ground who went and checked to make sure that those are still compliant that it renovations. Have -- exceeded what the building was designed more. Which is important stuff. He -- sprinkles and greater perception change I think it's gonna we do a better job educate our -- I think it's of the buzz around them because I think we're finally -- that that's how I got here. I looked at our community and said if our for the city of Brentwood Tennessee with the idea that the time -- lieutenant -- the C. -- we're one of the wealthiest cities are stated we only have three person staffing. So how are gonna look where I live in rule America however under the preventative services to cover this growth. And so when you look at our tax rate. It says it's if -- can have two people in the firings and that's about what knock on the tax tolerance. -- the most of what the good citizens going to be willing to pay no matter what kind of education awareness we work on. And -- and -- looked at tennis and what's the option. And so that's when I got into the part that says -- -- recruits. In -- 813. Are -- for -- house has not made to cut out the fire -- where even the really extinguish the fires to control it. In time for you gotta get out of it. So this fire strikers is just one part of the package but I look pennants and what about farce brokers as of deployment option. If I -- it. Put adequate staffing on the company's and that can't get there are average response time in 2007 was nine minutes and forty -- -- Well. That's not bad for him volunteer. Fire department that's a long time for fire hello. And so it's like if I'm gonna protect the citizen. And if I'm gonna reduce the risk to our firefighters one -- -- got to do it. And so in 2001 since 2001 we've been protected. All new properties. In our community and even our county. By legislation it's so in the in the count him prevalent though to you can't -- and it's -- you -- and play around it to an pleasant view. If you've got -- -- -- for new residential knew anything new anything you bill that you protect that's not philosophy -- as we might not be able to. How many sprinkler activation is have you -- anecdotally. Accidental since then caused any property damage whatsoever actually -- None zero and this is two years now roughly Vanilla Ice. Seven years seven years 2000 wounds were restored. I'm sorry I thought his success of -- seven years not one single accident. Of we have had some way to answer which is important I think that's a gross misconception that these things are gonna -- -- all the time. We -- and when they do it's always human. We've had one word got turned rarely -- -- with a torch. In a closet of a new house he sauter and some stuff turns around. Says the accidentally hit with a torch did I think he was curious to learn -- happen well. Let out of stocks. So but that's classic but. We do think it's part of the package but -- -- codes. Did a piece of tactical pre planning. That's it you know hospital lot of time it was a currently offered all of pretty plans. Right now we need to talk about how we get the hose from the engine to the third floor had been a good pre plan so that's fluid within the power forward with pre plans and actually do and then changes and shared his so that's gonna start looking at codes and force when you look at some of the notch reports and say here's a line of -- this. Well -- these firefighters you look at just about column in the a look at some code violations. You could take Charleston. You go back way beyond anything to do with fire department going back to the planning commission approving. A bill than that probably. Sending a bit on the -- Anecdotally a friend of mine. -- -- with Jed Lowrie. Was the last fire inspector and Charleston inspected nineteen. I believe that anecdotally I believe that's what -- -- it was but. He left the job several years ago one he was -- -- -- perspective so what what happened there actions. You know I mean -- and 99 and in a long time and in. And we just don't have enough inspectors -- -- guys out and do and that kind of war you know and and shame on us the process and that. We need to get more boots on the ground doing that because if -- even if we get everything new sprinkler. All that other stuff is still out there and it ain't going away anytime soon so I think we need to. Be cognizant of that and we still talk about sprinklers -- it. The true knowledge about ourselves out of business here and another important discussions and -- the right guy for this into his. Let's talk for compliments about photovoltaic and -- agonizing smoke detectors -- and when -- state recently. There was there was activity the legislative level the state legislature. To outlaw agonizing smoke detectors and and tremendous amounts research on it. But are we throwing the baby out with the bath -- is is my position and I'm not. My position and that you speak for yourself what my position is use -- -- until we find better technology to we find more accurate. Measurements and more accurate systems. You should have a photovoltaic. And an agonizing detector. In every in every room in your home -- my in my opinion. You where do you come down. If we we we held off that legislation in Tennessee because of the fact that it. Even when they amended it to say well all right we're not gonna buy and I reservation detection. They put in there that -- detector. And so with the dual sensing technology though it hasn't it's not tested the same as the others in the nist report. So if we go on in this report you're exactly right see if we need to put a photo electric and me our organization. Now I understand that company that produces the duo. Is coming back with the European version. That was not scaled down but is significantly more expensive it's the price of two detectors. -- which you just say shouldn't bother having -- something twice. But good for them and and I think that what had happened was that the American consumer. Was refused to pay. What what they needed to pay to get that from initial -- He's visual right the one that's currently out there. That the sensors were its tone down for whatever reason I don't know why. And that's -- fewer -- this study and down the road led to all of this controversy which I think is misguided. So so from your perspective someone who's unknown and studies this problem. But involved. And as the final accident -- fire -- safety six and I AFC -- -- of the smoke -- folks in the fire service to say let's get back together and really evaluate this. And that's where -- place a lot of the blame if you will I think the fire service we got a little complacent in the last twenty years -- -- laughed as did. In the -- had guys like. And the other thing we know is that the predominant gases hydrogen cyanide which isn't going off on -- there -- organized as a that's the killers I've his -- -- -- and -- because of all the polymers so. Now we know folks at Sandia labs and folks at Los Alamos and and -- a little more looking and trying to create that technology. Make a transportable for domestic and and commercial applications -- -- people can identify those -- so we're getting better and I think that's that's not part. To the private sector that was the fire service push in the private sector and we got to keep pushing to -- they're not gonna -- we don't. So. And that's where to eat that's where you gotta take that's where it's every firefighter every fire officer every part -- It -- you don't it's. Our job. To know about those situations and understand that fire protection in the community is a complete packet. When we come around so -- kids sleep they smoke detectors. If there under fourteen the sleep specialists and we knew there forever. Well those are Johnston to inform the citizen about that this is a complete package that way you do have smoke detection. You do have fires for interest he did have an adequate fire department response for its community and that when the family doesn't. Have a plan. And those kids know where the escape routes are and they know what to do. And they know -- to me and they've got some adult and they've got phone numbers and I think that's of that that that's critical stuff and you're right we. We got away from it that's -- normalization -- that drifted to failure that. Whole conversation we've been -- but it's also part of the staffing issue and we've we've gotten away from articulating what it takes to fight. Standard fire today and it's it's a man power intensive operation there's no way around it. And and -- our communities don't wanna pay for it. Then have to understand the best we can do sometimes exposure protection and they need to understand clearly what that means you're gonna burn your house down. And protect your name. Yeah and that's where today than are we off from the policy option that front offices that's where you do that and smoke detectors. Fires workers local code adoption is not just about fires. You look at slips and falls and stuff from our elderly if we're cared about -- we'll make sure there's a -- -- code. -- there's fares that don't in the bathtub -- -- on our backs go around picking them up.

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