Letter: Wilton Fire Chief Reminds Residents To Call 9-1-1 In An Emergency

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Wilton Fire Chief Ron Kanterman
Wilton Fire Chief Ron Kanterman Photo Credit: LinkedIn

To the editor:

We are getting an inordinate amount of 9-1-1 emergency calls on the firehouse business phone numbers. 

This is a dangerous practice. In a true emergency whether it’s a fire, medical call or other emergency situation, calling the firehouse will not guarantee you will get an answer, even during “normal business hours.” The fire trucks may be on the road, at a call, at an inspection, at a public education demonstration, at training or other activity. The fire administration may be in a meeting, at training or other activities. 

Another dangerous practice is calling fire headquarters after an alarm is transmitted to your alarm company. Don’t try to cancel us before we get there. We are coming anyway to investigate and to ensure your safety. 

We are concerned well-meaning citizens will get themselves in a bind by calling us off believing “the fire is out” or “it was only food on the stove.” Let the professionals make the determination even if you believe you’ve had a glitch in your alarm system. What appears to be a glitch actually could be an emergency. There are thousands of documented cases where the fire department was called off prior to their arrival, only to get a call 10 minutes later to head back to that very same address with the fire having a good head start. Don’t let this happen to you. For the safety of your family, your home or business: 

  • Dial 9-1-1 if you have an emergency or think you have an emergency. 
  • Do not call fire headquarters for an emergency. 
  • Don’t try to cancel us once we have the alarm. We’re coming to make sure everything is secured and in good order. 
  • Teach your children how and why to dial 9-1-1. 
  • Test your smoke alarms once a month. 
  • Conduct periodic home fire drills. 
  • Test your carbon monoxide alarms according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 
  • When you change your clocks, change your smoke alarm batteries. 
  • Take care when using wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and portable heaters. Keep combustibles far away from these appliances. 

Please use the 9-1-1 system. It’s the best and quickest way to get emergency assistance.

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