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What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless odorless gas produced by incomplete combustion. CO can be produced by a number of things including: an automobile, a faulty furnace, or a faulty water heater. CO attaches itself to the red blood cells while displacing the oxygen that is normally carried by these cells. This depletes the amount of oxygen being delivered to the body?s vital organs. CO builds in the body cumulatively over time. Therefore, a small dose over a long period of time can be just as dangerous as a large dose over a short period of time.
Do I really need a CO detector?
Yes. A CO detector can alert you and your family to this otherwise undetectable lethal gas. Signs and symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, and drowsiness. These are all the same type of signs and symptoms of a typical cold. You may go to bed to relieve this ?cold? not realizing that you have been poisoned by CO. Just like in this case, a CO detector could save your life.
What do I do if my CO detector starts going off?
First of all do not panic. Complete a check of yourself and your family to make sure everyone is fine. Find out if anyone is feeling ill (dizzy, lightheaded, headache, fatigue, etc.). If someone is not feeling normal evacuate the house and call 911. The fire department and ambulance will be dispatched with medical equipment to treat your symptoms and CO monitoring devices to survey your residence. If everyone is normal and has no complaints, do some investigating. Start with the detector, make sure it is operating properly and check the battery. Next check anything that produces heat. Make sure these items are in proper working order, vented properly and clean. You may call 911 and request that the fire department investigate or call a licensed contractor to detect the problem and fix it.
Where should I install my smoke detectors?
It is important to install a smoke detector on every floor of your residence. It is also a good idea to place a detector in every bedroom. Remember, smoke travels up and out so place detectors where the smoke will go first. You should test every detector once a month. A good rule of thumb for changing your batteries is to change them when you change your clocks in the spring and fall. There are new smoke detectors with ten-year batteries. The life of a smoke detector is about ten years so replace any detector that is over ten years old.
Can I burn leaves in the City of Kentwood?
Open burning is illegal in Kentwood. You may use an approved contained fireplace to burn wood. It must have a bottom pan, a screen around the sides, and a lid covering it. When using an approved fireplace there are a few rules: an adult must be present, a hose or extinguisher must be in the area, you may not use it on a deck, only burn logs and only use on grass, sand, or driveway.
Who do I talk with if I have a group that would like C.P.R. training?
We have a community C.P.R. program. This program is coordinated by Fire Fighter Tim O?Connor. You can contact him by calling 616.554.0806.
How do I arrange a tour of a fire station or a visit by a fire engine?
We enjoy visitors in our stations. We also like taking our show on the road. You can arrange a tour of one of our three stations or a visit to your event by a fire engine by calling 616.554.0806.
I saw a fire engine go through an intersection with the red lights and siren on and then turn them off. Why did they do that?
We only respond emergency (red lights and sirens) to actual emergency calls. Sometimes when we are responding to a call we are cleared or downgraded to non-emergency (no red lights and sirens) because the situation is no longer an emergency. Another reason is that another fire engine, police unit, or ambulance has taken care of the situation or discovered the situation is not an emergency.
What am I supposed to do if I see an emergency vehicle with its red lights and siren on?
You are supposed to pull to the right, slow down and yield the right-of-way. It is also helpful to turn on you hazards or turn signal and, if possible, make eye contact with the emergency vehicle driver. Once the emergency vehicle has reached you do not make any sudden movements. This is very important at intersections. At this time the driver is trying to make his/her way through the maze of vehicles. The emergency vehicle driver will try and guide traffic so that they may pass through safely.
How do I get a copy of a fire report?
Contact the Kentwood Fire Department administrative offices at 616-554-0803 to make arrangements. Fees are: $10 for the first page and $1 for every additional page.
How do I get information about Youth Fire setter programs and help?
Contact the Kentwood Fire Marshal at 616-554-0805 or the Fire Inspector at 616-554-0804.
Can I use a fire hydrant to fill my pool?
The City of Kentwood Water Department handles all permits for filling your pool. Please contact the Water Department at 616-554-0734.
What is anthrax?
Anthrax is a disease caused by bacteria that has a short course of possibly severe illness. The bacterium, Bacillus anthracis, most commonly occurs in warm-blooded animals, but can infect humans.
Symptoms of human infection by inhaling (breathing in) the bacteria:
usually occur within 7 days of being exposed to the bacteria
initial symptoms may resemble a severe cold or influenza
after several days, a person may have severe breathing problems and may go into shock
an X-ray may show a widened area between the ribs
Symptoms of human infection by swallowing the bacteria:
the intestinal tract becomes inflamed
people feel nauseated (sick to their stomachs)
there may be loss of appetite
there may be vomiting and fever
these symptoms are followed by abdominal pain, vomiting blood, and bloody diarrhea
Symptoms of human infection by skin contact (cutaneous exposure):
severe itching followed by a lesion (sore)
lesion becomes elevated and rounded (papular), then blister-like (vesicular), then in 2-6 days becomes a depressed black scab (eschar), surrounded by swelling
pain is unusual
if untreated, may cause septicemia
Is there any anthrax vaccine available to prevent me from getting the disease?
The anthrax vaccine is not currently available to the general public. The vaccine is only available to the military because of the risk they may encounter overseas. Even in light of the current situation, the risk of exposure to anthrax by the general public is considered to be low. Exposure to anthrax can be treated with early interventions. Anthrax does not spread from person to person. If a person is exposed to anthrax, plans are in place to ensure that appropriate interventions reach affected communities.
Should I be tested for anthrax?
If you believe that you have been exposed to anthrax, you should contact the local law enforcement in your community. Local law enforcement will determine if an exposure has occurred. They may call the FBI to assist in making the assessment of exposure. If a decision is made that there is a credible threat of exposure, environmental samples will be collected for testing to see if anthrax is present. If anthrax is found to be present, you will be tested. Without laboratory evidence of an exposure to the bacteria, testing is not recommended.
The need for testing will be determined after a credible threat of anthrax exposure has been made in our community.
What is the treatment for anthrax infection?
The diagnosis for anthrax infection is done by finding Bacillus anthracis bacteria in a person's blood, skin lesions, or respiratory secretions, or by measuring specific antibodies in the blood.
Anthrax is treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics must be given early - any delay, even hours, may lessen chances for survival. For those treated with antibiotics, the risk of recurrence is high for 60 days.
You should not purchase or take antibiotics, especially penicillin or ciprofloxacin, in order to prevent getting anthrax disease without knowing if you have been exposed. Using these antibiotics unnecessarily may promote resistance when antibiotics are really needed.
If I think I have been exposed to anthrax, (I received a suspicious letter) what should I do?
If you receive a letter you think is suspicious, please follow the Michigan Department of Community Health guidelines, found at http://www.michigan.gov/documents/CIS_WSH_security_73971_7.htm contact your local law enforcement for a threat assessment. Local law enforcement will determine if there is a risk of exposure.