Fire prevention week kicks off in Marcellus

Due to the smoke, "we can't see when we go into a real house fire," Fisher said. "It can be a little scary."

To begin battling a blaze, firefighters first attack with a handline, which are the large water hoses used in a fire. One boy in the crowd said he could be a firefighter because he knows how to use a hose. Handlines have much more pressure than a regular hose, though, and generally take two full-grown people to control, Fisher said.

House numbers are also an important part of fire safety, Fisher said. When firefighters are on a call, they need to be able to see the numbers on the houses in order to find the fire.

"Big numbers, too, so we can see it from a ways away," said Assistant Chief Tom Lanning.

Though firefighters go through a lot of training and procedures, Lanning said giving the kids the added education in fire safety is a great experience.

"It's the best part of it," he said. "We see enough bad stuff."

Going to the schools allows the crew to give each student an idea of what firefighters do on a regular basis and show them what firefighters look like in their gear so the kids aren't afraid of them.

"Don't be scared of them. They're there to help you," Wiley told the children.

The firefighters also demonstrated throughout the day how to use a thermal imaging camera that they carry on the truck with them.

"If a firefighter is down, it's out job to go in and get them," Lanning said. "We have one in our possession that we got four or five years ago."

The cameras are used to detect body heat so the firefighters know where a person or fellow firefighter is in a blaze. The cameras also pick up latent body heat images, or the heat left in a spot after something warm has been removed from the area.

On average, the cameras cost between $10,000 and $12,000, and though grant opportunities are available to purchase additional equipment, the department holds several pancake breakfasts in a year to help with finances.

The department also continually takes auxiliary members and welcomes additional firefighters to join the crew. Firefighter Josh Calley recently completed Firefighter I training, which includes 120 hours of training at the state level. He will now go through the Marcellus Fire Department's training.

"We are always looking for people to join," Lanning said.

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