Positive changes for fire safety

Published 4:23 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A couple of changes to the Clanton Fire Department could make the city a safer place.

At its Monday meeting, the Clanton City Council voted to take applications for three on-call firefighters, in addition to the 19 already on staff.

On Aug. 10, 2009, David Driver became the department’s first full-time employee when the council tapped him as the city’s fire chief.

It’s good to see the department still growing because a larger, more competent staff will mean a safer Clanton.

No one doubts a fire can destroy property and lives. Two recent events illustrate this: a fire destroyed a home near Thorsby on Jan. 12, and, the next day, a Refuge woman died when her travel trailer burned.

There’s nothing local firefighters could have done differently in those cases, but having more firefighters can only help with future fires.

The council also voted to change the application for firefighters. During their one-year probationary period, firefighters must complete 20 hours per month of volunteer time at the station.

Driver said the hours would help improve the city’s ISO rating by meeting a requirement for recruit training.

A better ISO rating can lower residents’ insurance premiums, but the changes at Clanton FD could go even beyond that—to helping protect our property and lives.