Public education at forefront of Puslinch fire activities

Puslinch fire chief Steve Goode said there is a lot going on with fire prevention and public education.

In his June report to council, Goode noted the local fire department partnered with the Wellington County emergency management team and went to Aberfoyle Public School to teach emergency preparedness to the primary grades.

Questionnaires were handed to students – with one of the questions being what they did during the recent power outage.

Answers ranged from hooking up a generator to cuddling under a blanket to helping neighbours, he said.

One response included using a woodstove to keep warm, buying bottled water from the store and using creek water to flush the toilet.

“It was very innovative, but it shows people are doing what they need to do to get through (an emergency).”

Goode added, “As you are aware Puslinch fire is taking a very proactive approach when it comes to barn fire safety.”

He referenced the partnership of Puslinch fire with the University of Waterloo and the National Fire Protection Association. In April, the Puslinch fire department organized a controlled burn of a barn on Laird Road in an effort to provide training and research and also to create a safety video.

With the help of a Rockwood videographer, the event was captured on video to provide new data regarding barn fires. “This data is going to be very useful in assisting not only the public education aspects, but also possible legislation changes,” said Goode.

He has asked chief fire prevention officer Jason Benn to attend the Sept. 7 council meeting to discuss details about the research conducted, “and some of the legislation changes to the farm building code which may be coming our way.”

As to the Classy Lane fire investigation, “we still don’t have results of that. They are being extremely cautious. It’s getting a lot of attention and the premier of Ontario has requested this information for her desk, therefore the engineers are being very careful with their report.”

Also planned is a viewing of the public education video along with showing of the improvements made at Classy Lane Stables. “They have done many, many things to improve the systems in their barns,” Goode said.

Councillor Matthew Bulmer noted the message of barn safety is getting out there. He noted his own barn underwent a cleanup from top to bottom as a result of the ongoing education.