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Hillsboro F.D. raises awareness with community event

Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Hillsboro firefighter Melissa Carter helps Tyler Sherrill, 5, direct water at a pretend fire.

Staff photos by John Coffelt -- Above, Abigail Carter, 5, helps Hillsboro Volunteer Firefighter Tony Ocheltree with a fireman's belay that adds friction to the rope supporting firefighter Brandon Gunn as he demonstrates ascending techniques at Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department’s open house Saturday at Station 1.

Cooking oil will start to smoke at about 400 degrees, if left unattended, in minutes it can auto-ignite at a temperature of just over 600 degrees.

Members from the Hillsboro community practiced extinguishing grease fires Saturday at    the Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department open house held at Station 1.

For the demonstration, firefighters first lit cooking oil and carefully dashed water on it to show how a grease fire will flare if water is used to try to extinguish it.

Then the firefighters showed participants how to properly cover the fire with the pan’s lid or use an extinguisher to douse the fire.

“Put a lid on it and it will go out,” said Hillsboro firefighter Aaron Brown.

Brown explained that the lid starves the flame of oxygen causing it to die.

Participants also practiced using fire extinguishers to douse burning propane that bubbled through a tank of water that simulated a larger fire.

Children were able to spray a mock house fire with a real fire hose.

Hillsboro Fire Chief Jerry Brown said that the event was an opportunity for the community to see the department’s equipment and procedures.

Much of the station’s equipment comes from matching-fund grants from the federal government.

One of the station’s newer pieces of equipment is a mobile air system that can be used to refill the team’s air tanks on scene.

Chief Brown said that to outfit a firefighter in turnout gear costs about $1,500.

Firefighter Aaron Brown demonstrates what happens if water is used to try to extinguish a grease fire.

“Someone is going to get the grants. Every grant we get is a plus for the community,” he said.

The station has 25 firefighters and nine trucks between the two stations.

AEDC firefighters and the state forestry department brought equipment an educational information.