Today, we’re going back to safety basics!
Between school bullying and terrorism, the concept of see something, say something is being repeated a lot lately. Despite the phrase initially being developed in regards to terrorism, those aren’t the only situations where speaking up when you see something applies!
Since we began our online presence in the summer of 2016, we’ve had a break in at Frink’s and two intentionally set fires. With each, we encouraged everyone who might have seen something that at the time didn’t seem too important but still seemed a bit off or weird or unusual to come forward. You never know when you hold an important puzzle piece!
But this phrase doesn’t just have to apply to criminal actions either! It can apply to fires and medicals too! We have had reports that during house fires, neighbors have called the homeowners first. During a wildland fire, firefighters in and out of town received personal phone calls and Facebook messages asking about the fires. All instead of calling 9-1-1!
While it’s great that people knew something was a little off and reached out to someone, instead of calling homeowners or firefighters or posting about it on Facebook, they should have called 9-1-1. Every moment counts during fires! Just minutes can mean the difference between a fire being contained to a single room and an entire house being destroyed. Every minute counts when we’re trying to contain a quick moving wildland fire too! We’ve all seen the devastating effects of these fires in recent years on the news and how quickly they can spread. We were incredibly lucky last year that our own wildland fire was contained so quickly!
It is incredibly important that our dispatch knows that there is a potential fire so that they can officially send your volunteers out – and call in any neighboring agencies that we might need assistance from, such as Polk 1 on a house fire or Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) for a wildland fire (who we owe a lot of thanks for the containment of last year’s Riley Central Fire!). We do not get to just respond and neither do our neighboring agencies. We all must go through dispatch.
When you talk with the call takers at our 9-1-1 dispatch, be ready to tell them:
- Who and/or what you saw!
- When you saw it! Let them know when you first spotted the problem. This can give them an idea of how long something has been occurring. Remember every moment counts!
- Where you saw it! And where you’re calling from!
- Why it seems off or weird or unusual! Do you see smoke coming from up outside of town where there are no houses? We all get into our daily routines – we know when something is a bit unusual around us!
So if you see something, whether a criminal act or a fire or a medical emergency, say something! Pick up the phone and call 9-1-1! You might solve a mystery or save a neighbor’s house or life!