November 20, 2013

Editorial: Fire planning at its best

We’ve written often on this page of the immense training volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services personnel are required to have and maintain.

Just about every Monday evening throughout the year firefighters from across Clinton County meet at their respective firehouses to conduct weekly siren, radio and pager tests as well as to ensure fire and rescue equipment are in top working order. They also perform training activities at the same time.

Besides that, they also tour large business enterprises and housing complexes in their fire districts and plan fire strategies in case firefighters are called to engage an emergency at those locations. And that training often occurs on weekends.

That’s being touted as a main reason firefighters from two dozen fire companies from Clinton and Essex counties were able to successfully attack and control a raging conflagration at a 12,000-square-foot warehouse at the Schluter Systems complex in South Plattsburgh on the evening of Nov. 9.

Firefighters and apparatus from the South Plattsburgh Fire Department’s two stations were the first on the scene, and from what we’re told, were able to position some of their equipment — along with fire trucks from other fire companies dispatched to the scene under Clinton County’s Mutual Aid System — in an area separating the warehouse from the manufacturing facility.

That wasn’t guesswork. Knowing the complex from pre-planning visits to it, firefighters knew where they needed to go on the multi-building campus and were fortunately able to do so. In the process, firefighters were able to save one of only two tremendously expensive machines in the world capable of making waterproofing panels produced at the campus.

Both the manufacturing plant and the damaged warehouse are the property of SSF Productions LLC, a partnership between Schluter Systems LP and Selit, a German-based producer of polystyrene foam.

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