Have you ever experienced a house fire and after the flames were extinguished and the firemen were gone, you wondered what you were going to do next? Russellville Fire Chief Billy Poole is concerned for those left at the scene as well. His concern has prompted him to put together a pamphlet full of informative questions and answers, along with fire prevention tips, important phone numbers, etc. that will help those who have experienced such a tragic loss, and don’t know where to turn once the smoke clears.
Poole brought his idea to the attention of the mayor and city council last week. His idea was met with approval and gratefulness. “I thought it was an excellent idea,” said a very supportive Mayor Mark Stratton.
“So many times after a fire when we are packing up our equipment, people are standing in their front yards looking at their houses like what do we do now?” said Poole to the council Tuesday. “We saw it again at a fire a month or so ago.”
Poole said he started doing a little research and found a couple of fire departments that have come up with similar ideas. He felt like one department in Texas had done something the city could mimic.
Poole complied a sample pamphlet which covers just about anything you can think of after a fire occurs. It will held the citizens who have lost everything, even their phone book, said Poole, who included a list of important phone numbers that he thought they might need after a fire.
“We get asked all kinds of questions after a fire. A lot of time they ask us why we cut holes in roofs and why we break windows,” said Poole, adding that all that information will be in the pamphlet. Poole said even if it’s just a small fire, it is still going to smoke up everything in the house, so they put tips in the pamphlets about cleaning.
The chief told the council he had checked with a local printer who quoted $210 to print 50 pocket sized pamphlets. “Fifty will probably last us a year. We have about 20 to 30 house fires a year,” said Poole.
Councilwoman Pat Bell said that it sounded pretty reasonable. “We appreciate it. It’s a lot of good information,” said Bell.
Councilman Jack Whipple wanted to know if it would need to be updated at anytime. Poole said it shouldn’t have to. Whipple also asked how much more would it cost to print more than 50, noting the more you print the cheaper it probably would be.
Councilman Bill Decker wondered if there was information the city could hand out before a fire occurred. Poole said the pamphlet could act as that as well.
“Let’s see what we can cover with the grant we received, and if nothing else, we can do a 50/50 match or something like that,” said mayor Stratton.
The council agreed to see how much it will cost to print 500.