A total of 2,081 suppression calls were made and responded to by the CNMI Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services in 2015.
Sixteen of the said suppression calls were structure fires, nine vehicle fires, 1,912 debris fires and suppression assistance, and 136 wildfires, according to the document proclaiming October to be Fire Prevention Month, which was signed by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres yesterday at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multipurpose Center.
Fire departments in the U.S. responded to 1,240,000 fires in 2015, where 357,000 were structure fires causing 3,240 civilian fire fatalities.
According to national statistics provided by the proclamation, working smoke alarms critically lessen the risks of death by fire by half. Smoke alarms also alert the authorities of fire every 86 seconds, and half of home fire deaths resulted from fires reported at night between 11pm and 7am, when most people are asleep.
CNMI Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services Commissioner Clyde Norita shares that first responders are already going the extra mile in serving the community.
“Our first responders go out and educate our community about fire safety because at the end of the day, if they don’t practice fire safety, we’re going to have to respond and fight the fire. And when you fight the fire we don’t know what is behind that. People could be injured already or death could occur,” he said. “We go to the schools and teach children about fire safety”
During the weekend, the CNMI DFEMS goes through residential areas to install smoke detectors, which is a program of the American Red Cross NMI Chapter.
“Every Saturday we are going to go out to the villages and inspect houses for fire safety and install smoke alarms. It’s a Red Cross program, and they’re providing 500 smoke alarms. If they have a smoke alarm and it is not working, we have a thousand batteries to replace them,” shared Norita.