Firefighters train for flames

If firefighters fall or are injured, motion sensors on their packs trigger a siren to alert their fellow firefighters that they are in need of help.

Janet Taylor-Birkey

Receiving calls daily, the Cannon Fire Department provides more than relief from fire emergencies. In addition to the obvious job of fighting fires, these Airmen and civilians participate in fire and safety education for schools and base locations, work with confined space emergencies and train to stay physically fit for their 24 on, 24 hour off work schedule.
“We do at least 20 hours of training per month,” said Bruce Ford, Assistant Chief for Fire Prevention, Cannon Fire and Emergency Services, explaining that monthly preparation includes war games, base exercises and internal training to meet certification requirements.
The fire department is also Cannon’s emergency dispatch center, handling all 911 calls on base.
When calling in a 911 emergency from Cannon, callers should use a land phone if at all possible, said Mr. Ford.
Cell phones automatically route the call through the Clovis emergency system, losing valuable time. If using a cell phone, the caller should immediately tell the dispatcher they are calling from the base, and the dispatcher will immediately route the call to Cannon.
Parents need to teach children the 911 emergency call procedure, but this is difficult to do without tying up emergency call lines, said Mr. Ford.
The fire department offers a couple of options for parents needing to teach their children this skill. Parents can bring their children to the fire department to practice making 911 calls, or call the fire department at their main number, 784-2578, to prearrange a time for the child to practice calling.
Mr. Ford said people should use the 911 emergency dispatch whenever sensing help is needed. “We are here to help the community. We would rather have people call us and [not need us] than to neglect calling when needing emergency help.”