Troy fire district receives national safety award

SHOREWOOD – As the firefighters say, “Safety first.”

And second, third, possibly fourth.

On Tuesday, the Troy Fire Protection District was presented with an award of recognition by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“We are only the second municipal (agency) in the state to get this award and the third fire department in the country,” Fire Chief Andy Doyle said.

The process began when a state OSHA inspector made a surprise visit to the district in March 2016 and spent several hours examining both stations. There also was an extensive review of the department’s documentation for testing and safety procedures, Doyle said.

Based on that report, four inspectors returned last summer for another daylong inspection and came back again weeks later.

“They looked at the gear, the apparatus. We had someone out mowing the lawn that day and they checked to make sure he was wearing ear protection,” Doyle said.

Doyle said the department did make “a few tweaks” as they went through the evaluations.

“They wanted to review our plan in the event of a fire,” Doyle said. “This is a fire station. We’d grab a hose and put it out, but we had to formalize what some of the administrative staff would do.”

Doyle said such inspections help taxpayers by keeping the district’s insurance premiums and workman’s compensation claims low.

“Firefighting is already inherently dangerous, but I think this shows we have policies and procedures in place to keep people as safe as possible in the fire service,” he said.