Springfield, IL – The Springfield Fire Department has gone through an intensive fire sprinkler training to better understand the different fire sprinkler systems they come across throughout Springfield. Over 160 members of the department participated in the 3 days of training. There are between 2,500 to 3,000 fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems in Springfield, and the fire department interacts with them more than one would think.
According to Battalion Chief Chris Cole, unless a firefighter intends to move into the prevention bureau, they typically only receive formal training on fire sprinklers in their initial recruit academy, even though they work with them regularly. When Justin James, Fire Sprinkler Training and Development at F.E. Moran Fire Protection National, contacted BC Cole regarding training, he jumped at the opportunity.
BC Cole was in the Fire Prevention Bureau until recently moving to the training division. He knew the importance of fire sprinkler training. While the fire crews know how to turn off and drain more common systems, more complicated systems can create challenges. Many of the calls the fire department receives are water flow alarms, especially in the winter when improperly maintained fire sprinklers can freeze and burst. The fire sprinkler training helps firefighters mitigate property damage.
BC Cole said, “One primary benefit of this training is preventing unnecessary water damage when a system is activated accidentally or due to fire. Many calls are water flow alarms when pipes freeze. This training made our guys better at preventing any additional property damage. It makes them more efficient at shutting the systems down and knowing what to expect to get them back into service after an incident.”
James designed the program with firefighters in mind. The training teaches firefighters about what they run into during their day, responding to sprinkler system alarms or activations.
James said, “I wanted to load them with as much knowledge that I could with things they may see or find.”
The Springfield Fire Department and F.E. Moran Fire Protection National are working together to educate the Springfield community about fire sprinklers. BC Cole explained that the Springfield community will be impacted by this fire sprinkler training.
BC Cole said, “[This training] will help [the firefighters] explain and educate owners on the myths surrounding fire sprinklers. Because they are out on call and in the community, they have the opportunity to educate the public on fire sprinklers. It makes them better advocates for fire sprinklers and it helps owners better understand how the fire suppression systems in their buildings function and why maintaining them is important. Much of the public and many building owners still believe that if a fire sprinkler system activates, the whole building will flood, just like in the movies, but that just isn’t the case.”
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James said, “We understand that they have a very tough position, and anything we can do to support these men and women will be done to the best of our capability. We are all focused on protecting our neighbors and community, whether it be by fire sprinklers or firefighting.”
F.E. Moran Fire Protection National is a fire sprinkler contractor in Champaign, IL. They work in Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana, protecting businesses from fire with well-maintained fire sprinklers.
You can learn more at https://www.femoran.com/fps-landing-page.
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