We had a hot and unpredictable July and it looks like August is going to give us more of the same.

Hope your summer is going well.

With the firework season past us, I would like to share an update from the fire department perspective. Although the city ordinance states; fireworks can only be used from 8 a.m. to midnight on the 4th of July, many were taking part well before and after the allowed time frame.

As stated previously, if you find anyone shooting fireworks off illegally, please call 911 and report it so the police can enforce this ordinance. The fire department responded to two fires on the evening of July 4th , both fires were directly caused from fireworks.

One fire involved a pickup with spent fireworks being placed in a pickup bed that re-ignited and spread to another vehicle, both vehicles were a total loss.

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The other fire occurred when a wheelbarrow with spent fireworks was brought into a garage, which re-ignited and caused smoke damage in the garage and residence. So on this 4th , fireworks did cause damage to property. Is this a common occurrence with fireworks? In my opinion, yes it is!

Many problems exist with fireworks; not only from dangers associated with them starting fires but from improper use (too young to be using, intoxication etc.) to not disposing of them correctly.

We want you to enjoy fireworks but please do it legally and safely.

August will be bringing us more hot weather ... don’t complain because cold weather is only a few months away. I realize most people are tired of hearing about COVID-19 but I think it should be addressed from a fire department stand point. As you aware, the West Fargo Fire Department also does medical runs. We have developed a protocol for our fire crews on how to respond with proper personal protection during these particular calls. Believe me when I tell you, this virus is real.

Ask any medical person on the front line; ambulance, fire and police and they will tell you from what they see every day that this virus can and will kill without prejudice. Without going to deep into the effects of the virus to the public, let me explain the ramifications to a fire department when this virus hits them.

The fire department is made up of four man crews, with all training and calls completed within close proximity of one another. Social distancing is practiced, along with mask wearing when possible.

Crew members interact with other crew members when changing shift and with chief officers throughout the day. Taking one person out of a crew, in reality is taking a minimum of four people out, with the possibility of taking the whole fire department out. This is not counting family members and the people they have had close contact with. If one of our crew develops a case of this COVID-19 virus, this firefighter is taken out of service for 14 days and cannot be brought back until test result is negative. His fellow crew members (three individuals) are taken out of service until tested.

Everyone associated with that positive contact are contacted and made aware that they should be tested, and need to wear masks until test results come back. So the effect of a contagion on the fire service can have a drastic result. The fire department stations and apparatus are sanitized daily to minimize any potential infection. So when you see us in a mask (or in fact anyone), it is for your protection.

The act of wearing a mask is to help prevent the spread and to protect others. The wearing of a mask limits the spread from us to you. This is a precaution that we would recommend everyone follow, along with keeping six feet apart, and thorough handwashing. Until this virus is under control we owe it to each other and to our front line workers to do what we can to prevent the spread of a disease that has already claimed the lives of over 145,000 Americans.