What's your firefighting strategy in the 'Green Economy?'
By Adam K. Thiel
I tell people all the time that one of the reasons I chose the fire and emergency services as a career is because there's always something new to learn; this story provides a great example.
Clearly, the "Green Economy" has arrived everywhere in the United States, bringing with it the immediate need for fire departments to get training on the impacts of green building techniques on firefighting strategy and tactics.
Personally, I had no idea about how to address photovoltaic (solar) panels on a roof until I saw a presentation at the IAFF Redmond Health and Safety Symposium a couple years ago.
LOWER TOWNSHIP, N.J. — As fire calls go, this one on a cold January night earlier this year was most unusual for Villas Fire Chief Richard Harron Jr.
Stiff winds were causing a Bay Drive windmill to spin out of control. The brake failed and the turbine was sending large amounts of electricity into connections in the homeowner's garage. If there was an off switch somewhere, Harron didn't know where it was. Even after an electrical panel was pulled on the 10-kilowatt windmill, the system was still creating electricity. The windmill company had to be called to come and cut the connections.
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