By Dana Kazel
When a house catches fire in a rural community, it's not uncommon for a Sheriff's deputy working patrol to arrive before firefighters. if there are people trapped inside, it's extremely dangerous for a deputy, who lacks fire safety equipment, to try and help them.
Two local Masonic Lodges will be donating 10 portable fire suppression tools to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office to help deputies and the people they are trying to save. The fire suppression tools, generously donated by the Glen Avon Lodge and Euclid Lodge, will be presented to the Sheriff's Office on Thursday, February 8, at 1 p.m., at the Masonic Center of Duluth, 4 West 2nd Street.
The fire suppression tool is a relatively small and lightweight portable device that, when activated and thrown into a burning room, quickly reduces the temperature and flame activity. The device is activated by pulling two pins, and within seconds emits a powdered aerosol that suppresses fire without depleting oxygen from the room.
"We are extremely grateful to the Masons for recognizing the need and for their generosity," said St. Louis County Sheriff Gordon Ramsay. "Obviously we hope we never need to use this equipment, but the reality is we will, and these will help protect both my deputies and our citizens from serious injury or worse."
The Sheriff's Office plans to assign one of the devices to the Volunteer Rescue Squad and another to the Emergency Response Team; the rest will be assigned to deputies throughout the county.
An example of the portable fire suppression tool in use can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR5D_5vNKbA