Byron Willems, a Craig City Council member and president of the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board, outlines proposed plans for a live fire training tower near The Memorial Hospital in Craig during Tuesday’s council meeting. Willems said construction is scheduled to begin this summer.

Photo by Joe Moylan

Byron Willems, a Craig City Council member and president of the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board, outlines proposed plans for a live fire training tower near The Memorial Hospital in Craig during Tuesday’s council meeting. Willems said construction is scheduled to begin this summer.

Fire board president presents to Craig City Council

In other action ...

At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Craig City Council:

• Discussed lease negotiations with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265.

• Heard a month-end financial report for March.

• Heard water and wastewater monthly reports.

• Heard a Norman Rockwell town challenge and window art presentation from Melody Villard, Moffat County Tourism Association director.

Public reaction has been mixed to the Craig Rural Fire Protection District Board's plan to build a live fire training tower near The Memorial Hospital in Craig.

To address public concerns about staging fires near the hospital, fire officials have embarked on a public campaign to discuss details of the structure and how the department plans to use the facility.

On Tuesday night, those efforts continued as Craig City Council members were presented with details of the proposed live fire training tower, which is slated for construction this summer.

Byron Willems, a city council member and president of the fire board, led Tuesday night’s discussion, which was well-attended by Craig residents.

Considering smoke is one of the major concerns with the project, Willems began the presentation discussing what type of fuels will be used in the fire department’s training.

According to the presentation, and Environmental Protection Agency regulations, Willems said the fire department can’t use anything except Class A combustibles such as straw, hay, and wood pallets.

“Not only are Class A combustibles more than efficient for training purposes, they also have predictable burn properties making them ideal for safe training,” Willems said.

“In addition, they produce a white smoke that dissipates more quickly than the thick black smoke typically found with a structure fire.”

Willems argued that the quick dissipating properties of smoke produced from Class A combustibles coupled with the tower’s location more than 740 feet south of TMH would ensure training would not have any adverse effects on the hospital or patients.

“As everyone knows, the wind rarely ever blows north in Craig, so the smoke should never head toward the hospital in the first place,” Willems said.

“But just to be sure, we will be using the hospital’s real time weather system prior to and during all live fire trainings.”

A compilation of that data during the course of the last 120 days showed a dominant north wind only occurred eight times.

But, that explanation wasn’t good enough for one audience member.

“There’s all these conversations about how the center will affect the hospital, but what about the rest of us?”

Michael McCleery asked. “All of Craig’s growth is taking place to the west, how will the smoke affect those of us who live out there?”

Willems discussed the fire department’s future plans in his answer.

“This is just phase one of a long-term project,” Willems said.

“Craig’s growth is going to be to the west and when it’s appropriate this will also serve as the site for Station 2.

“Whereever you find live fire training centers, you also find fire stations within 50 feet.

If we believed this was a legitimate concern to the health and well-being of the overall community, we wouldn’t want to build a station to house firefighters that close…it wouldn’t make sense.”

Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.

Comments

David Moore 1 year, 12 months ago

"It is shameful that there are people so filled with their ptiful egotistical selves that they can't tell the difference between complaining and stating opinions."

I simply cannot believe you made this statement because someone sort of called you out. What, no sense of humor? Again, a typical response. You are the epitome of pitiful and egotistical with your beliefs that you know everything about anything and that your "opinion" is the only one that matters. And no, we can't tell the difference between your complaining rants and your opinion, they are one of the same.

0

justoncrack 1 year, 12 months ago

Seems to me that anyone who doesn't support improved training of our EMS, in this case our fire department, is a raving lunatic. But, let's not let common sense get in the way of some good entertainment. Next up, stranger520......

0

David Moore 1 year, 12 months ago

No rant, just facts, and I am not taking offense to anything or anyone else's opinion, just yours, cause it's fun. You say I take offense to when my opinion is challenged:

-15 April 2012 at 4:26 p.m. Suggest removal Permalink ranger520 (Anonymous) says… I have never read so much stupidity come from so few people in my life.

You take offense to anyone challenging you...I challenged your opinion and what did I get in return, name calling, it's what one does when they have nothing else to bring that resembles intelligence. Nobody is allowed an opinion on here when it does not match yours, if it doesn't, you do exactly what you are doing to me, it is a classic response and every single person that reads this crap on here knows it. Lastly, you don't know me, you don't want to know me and I certainly don't want to know you, that claim is as pointless as your posts are. Get a life ranger.

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.