Some people say they spend much of their work-week putting out –metaphorical- fires. The Hesston Fire Department, however, has spent the last very busy week keeping the whole of Hesston, and surrounding areas, from going up in flames.
Russ Buller, Emergency Services Director, said the Fire Department is one of the most flexible city crews.
Under the Emergency Services Department, the Fire Department is the partner to the Emergency Medical Service.
“There are a lot of EMS assist calls because, depending on staffing needs, we often use fire response to facilitate the EMS call. But, we are an all-hazards department. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, we are the ones you call and we evaluate, look at and see if we can handle it or if we need to bring in specialty teams, special rescue or hazard teams,” said Buller.
Buller said in the weekly public record Fire reports, residents see many of the same types of calls.
“We do lots of strange odor calls, smoke calls, lots of smell of gas responses. Between us and City Utilities, we assess who needs called and what needs to be done to mitigate the hazard,” he said.
Buller said these seemingly insignificant calls can be a critical part of avoiding a major disaster.
“What seems benign can be a near-miss kind of call. A “hot smell” or, “Why does my CO detector keep going off?” Those kinds of calls we run a lot and many times it is discovering a situation that, at this moment, is very manageable because we discovered the source. But, given another five minutes or another hour or another three hours, the outcome would be much different,” he said.
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