CVFD holds open house

Chief offers safety tips for cold months


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Volunteer firefighter Matthew Schweizer describes what tools firefighters use to Rob Warren and his 2-year-old son, Mark, during the CVFD open house Saturday, Oct. 13.

MIKE NESPER

Even cool temperatures and snowfall couldn’t keep families from getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life as a firefighter.

Parents and plastic-fire-helmet-clad children toured the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department’s Station 31 during its open house Saturday, Oct. 13. State reps. Anna Fairclough, Bill Stoltze and Dan Saddler also toured the station on the Old Glenn Highway in Chugiak.

The annual event is held in October in recognition of Fire Prevention Month.

“It provides an opportunity for the community to see the fire department,” chief Tom Reinbolt said. “See what we’re all about.”

In addition to the open house, the CVFD, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, travels to local schools every October to educate youths about fire safety. Along with displaying its trucks and equipment and distributing smoke detectors, the open house serves as a way to recruit new volunteers, Reinbolt said.

This month marks the beginning of the department’s busiest time of year, Reinbolt said. Here are a few tips from the chief to help keep you safe during Alaska’s coldest months:

• Be cautious about auxiliary heaters. They should be properly positioned away from combustible materials.

• Open flame heaters use up oxygen, increasing carbon dioxide levels. If an open flame heater is used, crack open a window.

• Have your chimneys and/or wood stoves cleaned and inspected.

• Inspect your fire extinguisher. If you don’t own an extinguisher, buy one.

• Test your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors.

“It sounds cliché, but check your detectors,” Reinbolt said. “It’s a great time of year to check batteries.”

Reinbolt said he couldn’t stress the importance of having working detectors enough.

“Statistics prove that detectors save lives,” he said.

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com.

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