SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Proposal to purchase property for Fire Station 7
By Ed Fry


June 21, 2010

In response to both Chief Hull and Mr. Dial, the questions that were asked were on target and appropriate; thank you Mr. Dial for calling the questions.

5 total losses in 5 years on structure fires are somewhat of a concern to me. One of the total losses was around the corner from my house and in my mind s eye, should my house catch fire, I am prepared for a total loss as well. Water storage and availability seems to be the theme, in my 25 years of fire and rescue experience (career and volunteer), you can put out a fire with a lot of water, a technique that is called surround and drown.

Likewise, here in Ketchikan, notification is another concern. Fire doubles it size every 10 minutes. Hence by the time a crew is assembled, appropriate number of crew make scene, chances are 10, 20, or even 30 minutes have gone by, thus making the structure unstable for interior attack and a set up for the surround and drown.

We as residents need to be more proactive on investigating other alternatives in fire protection rather than being taxed more for water storage. Why hasn t North Tongass initiated any grants for home protection? 800K for equipment to sit and be used 5 times in 5 years with speculation that it may have helped is not a good statement to have on record, nor is it making me feel any more fire protected.

Water is the medium of choice, an appropriate question to ask is on each of the fires, what was the total number of gallons used to knock down and extinguish each of the fires? My guess would be upwards of 10,000 gallons or more. Which if and when you get the fire out your damage is 2 fold, fire damage and water damage.

I would like to see some home grants that initiate home protection systems such as home sprinkler systems, alarm ties, and monitoring. A home sprinkler system cuts down on water usage, lowers insurance premiums, and costs far less over time than a tax increase to have water waiting for use. The cost? Averages are 1-3% of your home value. That is why instead of spending 800K for purchase and additional expenditures of equipment, operating costs, and insurance make this a fiscal challenge. Those monies could be used to have a grant application in kind to provide residents with fire protection that can snuff out a fire when and if a fire starts in a home and water usage of far less than 10,000 gallons. In fact, it would be less than 1,000 gallons saving the structure.

The only way this could happen is to pass a resolution(s) stating as such and taking care of fire protection in a way that saves structures. Again, having water waiting is not a good return on the investment especially when 62% of structure fires are total losses. I am investing in a home fire protection system for peace of mind.


Ed Fry
Ketchikan, AK

About: "25 years career and volunteer firefighter paramedic. Bachelorate University Instructor of Fire Protection and Detection Systems and Public Administration"

Received June 21, 2010 - Published June 21, 2010


Related Viewpoints:

letter Proposal to purchase property for Fire Station 7 By Dave Hull

letter A letter to North Tongass Residents By Rodney Dial

Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor



Note: Comments published on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.

SitNews ©2010
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska