The summer heat will soon be upon us so be sure to stay hydrated and cool. Staying cool might include swimming so it’s important to briefly review just a few swimming safety rules. NO! running, pushing, or shoving. NO! diving in shallow water. NO! glassware in the pool area and don’t leave children unattended in the pool area. Tragedy strikes quickly and with little warning.

An always enjoyable summer celebration is the 4th of July. Though fireworks that explode are generally illegal in Illinois there are many lawful “fireworks” that don’t explode, but that doesn’t mean they are safe. We all enjoy the fireworks and encourage you to watch them in shows put on by licensed professionals over this holiday. An unfortunate fact is that our children are the too-frequent victims of fireworks “accidents” and just as one important reminder, sparklers burn at 1,800° Fahrenheit! For more fireworks safety tips please check our website for links.

Our training facilities are being put to good use and here’s a brief update: Since our first live burn in the training buildings on the headquarters campus last year on April 25th, we have had over 100 live training burns. Plainfield Fire personnel are not the only men and women that are able to take advantage of this significant and robust training facility. Other groups that have taken advantage of our facility include the MABAS Division 15 TRT (Technical Rescue Team), Joliet FD’s TRT, the Plainfield Police & Fire Academy, the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute’s Explorer Program, as well as other Fire Protection Districts including Braidwood, Channahon, Coal City, Minooka, Morris and Troy. These agencies have utilized the burn towers to keep up their life saving skills as well as honing their technical, non-fire rescue skills.

An extremely useful app for your smartphone was recently launched by the Will County Emergency Management Agency. The Ready Will County app will assist you in preparing a custom emergency plan for your family along with a treasure trove of emergency preparedness information in one easily accessible location; right on your smartphone! For example, during an emergency users can alert their contacts that they are safe or need help. Users can also use the map feature to see evacuation routes or road closures. Information you really need, when you need it! I encourage you to download the Ready Will County app right now while you are reading this and make sure you and your loved ones are ready when emergency strikes.

I hope to see you at our next quarterly “Chat with the Chiefs” which is scheduled for July 26th at the Plainfield Police Department. I hope your schedule permits your attendance.

If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.

Be careful out there…

David S. Riddle, Chief