Resident Wins Money For Local Fire Department in Nationwide Competition

JOHNSTON, Iowa – Thanks to a resident, the Johnston-Grimes Fire Department receives national recognition from UL Firefighter Safety Institute.

Adam Koch created an original video that tells a story about three important steps to do at home that could potentially save your life in case of a fire. Those steps include closing your bedroom door before going to bed, turning the oven off when you are done using it and making sure the smoke detectors work.

Koch entered the video in the nation-wide competition ‘Close Before You Doze.’ It placed 8th and won $5,000 for the department to use towards its education program.

Johnston-Grimes Fire Chief Jim Clark said the department was surprised when they heard Koch entered the video for the department.

“That was a surprise to us when we found out about the video we shared it out on our social media sites. All of our individual members were able to share it and go out and vote for it. It actually made the top eight," Clark said.

Clark said the money will be used to buy supplies for their education program and also start a fire alarm system fund to provide people with batteries and new smoke detectors who may need them.

“We are going to step up our efforts that when we are in homes whether it is on a medical call, whatever the situation might be, ask the people do you mind if we check your smoke detector while we are here. When was the last time you checked it? If we find they are missing batteries or they are too old and need to be replaced we are going to try to purchase a cash so we will have those available to carry on our fire engines, fire trucks and ambulances,” Clark said.

Clark said during Fire Prevention Safety Week the department will host an open house for the public to learn about creating a safety plan, smoke detectors, importance of keeping a bedroom door closed overnight and how to properly use a fire extinguisher through technology.

“The fire extinguisher actually shoots a laser at the screen. We’ve got simulated flames, simulated smoke and then it gives direct feedback to the fire extinguisher so that if you are not moving it correctly and if you wouldn’t be able to put that fire out if it was a real fire it won’t let you put it out on the digital screen,” Clark said.

The open house is October 12th from 1:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m.

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