SFD and OSERVS ready for first ever fire safety day

Austin Montgomery
City Reporter

The Starkville Fire Department prepared for a fire safety expo, set for next weekend, by practicing rope rescue techniques at Fire Station 1 on Friday.

SFD and Oktibbeha-Starkville Emergency Response Volunteer Services will host a fire safety training expo from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., July 16, at the SFD training facility at the corner of Garrard Road and Highway 389. No registration is needed for the event.

The expo will offer residents a chance to see how the department responds to fires and vehicle accidents. firefighters and OSERVS will lead courses on fire investigations, the importance of having a fire safety plan and smoke detector maintenance.

The department will demonstrate various rescue techniques including rope rescues, rappelling and patient extraction from a vehicle. The extrication gear will simulate a serious car accident response, according to SFD Chief Charles Yarbrough.

Firefighters will have their burn trailer on hand to set couches and various home furniture items on fire to show residents the intense heat fires can generate, and how quickly fires can spread once ignited.

"People have a misconception about fires from what is shown in movies or TV shows," Yarbrough said. "It's portrayed as people going into a house being able to see everything; fires just aren't like that. You can't see anything."

Attendees can also try on some of the firefighters' turnout gear to get a sense of what it takes to fight a fire, he said. The chief also encouraged people who report fires to call 911 directly.