Ontario Fire & Rescue are thankful for all the community support. Sometimes it is just the little comment made, or it might be a little note of thanks, and at times it is even a treat to show gratitude We are thankful for those we get to work for and with, some of those are the City Councilors, Ontario Rural Fire board, the administration staff at city hall, and those who work for Jacobs and Oster companies that all work together to provide a quality community to live and work in.

The firefighters are especially thankful for the other public safety organizations that all work together multiple times a day to keep each other safe and provide for the wellbeing of the community. We are thankful for the doctors, the nursing staffs and those of the health department, and county task force that have worked so diligently during this stressful past year to keep us informed and supplied with the information and products we have needed to keep us safe and able to do our jobs.

A couple of other groups that we could not go without thanking for their continued support are the faith-based organizations and the veteran groups from Ontario. We are thankful for the media and those in the community who have shown us so much support and backing in trying to reach our goal of having a regional training facility, that will benefit a multitude of different groups and organizations in the area.

At this time of year when education is on the forefront of our minds, we want to thank those who help us to spread the message of fire safety.

The second week of October was declared Fire Prevention Week in 1925. Ontario Fire and Rescue uses the whole month of October to promote fire safety in the home. The schools and teachers are our first allies in teaching the children about fire safety and then they often take the message home and teach their parents and siblings. The Bureau of Land Management also assists us throughout the year spreading the fire safety message. These are done at the county fair, during elementary school classroom presentations, through civic group organizations and with the use of signage and printed material.

During most years our staff goes out into the community on Tuesday nights in October and checks on smoke detectors in the homes, at times this is just testing the detectors, or it might be just replacing a battery. Many times, the staff replaces or installs smoke detectors where they are faulty or do not exist at all. A couple of organizations, that make this public service possible are the Ontario Rural Fire Protection Board and the American Red Cross. They provide smoke detectors for the firefighters to install for those people that are not able to afford any for their own homes. So, during these last few months of 2021: Be safe, check your smoke detectors and give someone a smile.

Thank you to any who I may have forgotten to mention.

TERRY LEIGHTON is the chief of the Ontario Fire Department. Citizens can submit questions for the column to editor@argusobserver.com with “safety” in the subject line or by calling them in to (541) 823-4818. The opinions and views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Argus Observer.

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