One of the most impressive resources that The City of Bedford provides to its residents is our Fire and Rescue Department. Bedford has one of the most qualified departments in Northeast Ohio. Did you know that the average response time, meaning from when you give your address to 9-1-1 to when they arrive at your door, is 3:43 minutes. That fact is amazingly impressive and these guys and gals work hard to keep their response time that low.
This year, the Bedford Fire Department put together an open house so that City Council members and Civil Service board members could see what it is that the employees of the fire department do on a day to day basis. We were given a first hand look at how the firefighters spend their day on duty, what equipment they have at their disposal and the types of training they do to keep them at their very best levels.
Public services that the Bedford Fire Department does beyond fire and rescue
Before I get into show and tell, I wanted to make you aware that there are free services you can get from the fire department that do not require you to call 9-1-1. These are:
- Free smoke detector program – The BFD will provide you with a free smoke detector for your house. If you do not have working smoke detectors in your house, PLEASE STOP BY AND GET ONE. These devices are often the only thing that will warn you that your house is on fire.
- Juvenile Fire Setters – Have a child in your house that is getting a little too curious about how fire works? The BFD will work with them so that they can have a safe environment to start and put out a fire and talk to them about why it is important not to play with fire.
- Child Seat Inspection & Installation – Have a new baby on the way? One of the trained fire fighters at our station will be happy to help you set up your car seat or check to make sure that you have set up your car seat correctly.
- Home Fire Safety Program – Want to know how you can make your home safer? A fire inspector will be happy to come out and make suggestions on how you can improve the fire safety of your home and help you create a plan on how to get out safely in the event of a fire.
- CPR & First Aid training – Would you like to have a trained CPR instructor come teach a class at your school, organization or church? The BFD will be happy to set up a free class to teach CPR and first aid to your group.
Fun and Education at the Bedford Fire House
And now for the fun stuff…
Dismantling a car
I think the highlight of the evening was the demonstration by some of the firefighters to show us how the spreaders, commonly called the Jaws of Life, are used to open a car. In the video below you can see the firefighters remove the side of a car in this demonstration.
Cutting edge equipment
We were allowed to see some of the state of the art equipment that the Bedford Fire Department carries in their ambulances. One of the more fascinating items was the Lucas CPR machine. This machine can be put onto a victim whose heart has stopped and performs CPR compressions so that more manpower can go towards other injuries. This machine has allowed for many more positive outcomes from potentially lethal situations.
Many of the drugs that are in our Bedford EMS vehicles are only allowed to be carried by a very small handful of emergency teams in Northeast Ohio. The more life saving drugs they are allowed to carry and administer, the more likely you are to survive a life-threatening situation.
The firefighters have access to thermal imaging equipment that helps them to find victims in a burning building.
Air bag expanders can be used in a variety of ways. In this picture, we used them to lift a car, but they can be used in a number of ways to break, split or lift any number of items.
Because the Bedford Fire Department also covers answering emergency calls in the Bedford Reservation, they are also trained in recuse techniques, such as rappelling, that will allow them to reach victims even in difficult to get to places.
Bedford’s Fire Team also participates in SWAT operations. While we normally think of SWAT as a police operation, medical and rescue personal are also needed onsite for unexpected medical situations. Medic SWAT members are outfitted in much the same way as police SWAT members.
I think we all can agree that our emergency personnel here in Bedford is top of the line and we are lucky to have such a stellar group of people serving the needs of our city. If you see them, please make sure to thank them for their hard work.
Below are a few more pictures from that night.