Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rombout firefighters hold safety session for hearing impaired

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Rombout Fire Company, in partnership with Taconic Resources for Independence, hosted a fire prevention seminar for the deaf and hearing-impaired last month.

The event required the hiring of certified sign-language interpreters who were sponsored by Emery & Webb Insurance of Fishkill.

The seminar started with the staff of Taconic Recourses and about 20 guests experiencing the simulated smoke conditions in the Town of Fishkill Fire Prevention Safety Trailer. The trailer helps teach about fire prevention at home and urges planning and practicing a fire escape plan. This was followed by a car extrication drill with the Jaws of Life.

Firefighter Adam Montfort suited up in his bunker gear and self-contained breathing apparatus, showing what a firefighter would look like searching a burning building.

Rombout First Assistance Chief Wes Hall, who is also a 911 dispatcher, was a representative for the Dutchess County Emergency Response Center.

He had a presentation about the Sorenson Video Relay Service used by the dispatch center. This service provides a video link between a victim's home and a sign-language interpreter at a national call center. The interpreter is in phone contact with a 911 dispatch center and translates the information about the emergency to the dispatcher. The interpreter relays any questions from the 911 center to the homeowner.

The seminar was aimed at informing the deaf community about fire prevention, and it also helped Rombout firefighters better understand the needs of this community.

Jeanine Byrnes from Taconic Resources said: "Definitely they learned a lot from the smoke house, and with fire safety in the home. They also learned about the stop, drop and roll, and we were surprised some adults didn't know that."