The Fall season is always a busy time of the year for the Graafschap Fire Department. With Fire Prevention Week October 7-13 this year, we as a fire department made extra efforts to inform the public about Fire Safety. We participated in Fire Prevention activities in Holland City and Saugatuck, and also presented a Fire Safety Assembly at Blue Star Elementary School. The theme for Fire Prevention Week this year is "practice your escape plan." We ask all residents to look at their home or apartment and put together an escape plan to be used if a fire should occur. Do you know two ways out of each room in your home, apartment or workplace? Have you designated a meeting area (mailbox, tree, neighbor's yard, etc.) where all occupants can meet during a drill or in an actual fire? It is extremely important to have a plan in place, and then to practice it regularly. This could make the difference between surviving a fire or a possible tragedy. These types of plans and drills are easily adaptable for severe weather or other crisis situations. If you need assistance with putting together an escape plan, please contact Graafschap Fire Department at (616) 396-4060 and we will be happy to assist you.
On October 13th the Department participated in a full scale disaster drill at Tulip City Airport. This drill was in the planning stages for over nine months and was designated to meet the criteria of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and F.E.M.A. The drill involved all of the area emergency services including Fire Departments from Graafschap, Holland City, Park Twp., Holland Twp., Hamilton, Overisel and Saugatuck. Law Enforcement agencies involved both Allegan and Ottawa County Sheriff's Depts., Holland Police Dept., Michigan Sate Police and U.S. Coast Guard. The N.T.S.B., F.B.I. and F.A.A. were also contacted for input and direction. Area Hospitals also participated along with A.M.R. and Pro-Med ambulance from Muskegon. The American Red Cross had a disaster team from Allegan County participating. The Allegan and Ottawa County emergency radio group (R.A.C.E.S.) brought several members to assist with emergency radio traffic as needed. The total number of people involved in this drill plus volunteers who were "victims" was between 300 and 400 people. For those residents who have access to MAC-TV this drill was videotaped and excerpts will be shown at later dates. Watch the MAC-TV listings for dates and times.
As you can see from the above information, a lot of training and pre-planning has taken place to insure the best response. We as a Fire Department try to do our best to be ready for any emergency. What are you as individuals doing to prepare if an emergency should happen to you?
Graafschap Fire Department