Hopkins County Fire Chief Andy Endsley, who is also Hopkins County Emergency Management Coordinator, was joined by Kristi Springfield, Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator, to discuss families being prepared at home for a fire emergency. Of course, home smoke alarms are a standard protection for fire. Additionally, each family should have an emergency exit plan in place, as well as a designated place for family members to meet up once they have exited the home. It’s even better if families would also review that plan and even practice it, step by step if there are children in the home, according to Endsley. He recommends that a good time to go over your fire emergency plan would be annually, Spring and Fall, around the time we change for Daylight Savings Time. That would also be around the same time it’s recommended that you change the batteries in your home’s smoke alarms.
Springfield brought up that there is a local campaign by the Red Cross called ‘Sound the Alarm’ which will take place in Sulphur Springs on Saturday September 21, 2019. Between 10 am and 3 pm that day, Red Cross volunteers will give free smoke alarms and even help homeowners install the detectors. If you would like to participate in the free program, register by reaching out to volunteer coordinator Misty Batts by email at [email protected] These Red Cross volunteers are teaming up with local volunteers, fire departments and partners during the Sound the Alarm Campaign this Fall. Additionally, Chief Endsley stated that our local fire departments will help homeowners without smoke alarms to install them or check them for safety anytime of year. They can also help change the batteries for homeowners who cannot climb a ladder to reach the alarms at ceiling level. Their main concern is safety for the people of Hopkins County.
When asked about how she got interested in a career in Fire and Emergency Management, Springfield said that when a student at Sulphur Springs High School, she joined a 9-1-1 Explorer Post and decided she would like to be a paramedic. She followed that dream up with training, and has been EMT certified since the year 2000. She currently pairs her fire certification and employment with Hopkins County Fire Department with an Advanced EMT certification. Bringing a number of years of on-the-job experience in emergency management, Springfield was named Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator earlier in 2019 while continuing to serve as a member of the team, all of whom are dual certified in medical emergency as well as fire protection.
Chief Endsley reminded everyone that September is National Emergency Preparedness Month, and October will be Fire Prevention Month, and so he asks that as citizens, we take preparedness seriously. He will return each Friday morning in September with more safety information at 8:15 am during the KSST Good Morning Show.