By Alyssa Schnugg
In an effort to better aid those in the LOU community who have disabilities, the Oxford Fire Department is unveiling new stickers to place on home windows. The stickers indicate to those arriving on the scene someone with a disability is in the house and where his or her bedroom is located.
Oxford Inspector and Public Educator Jamie Phillips said the Oxford Fire Department has the Person in Need of Assistance stickers available to anyone who has a disability — whether mental, intellectual or physical — and may require extra help in case of a fire or other emergency.
A homeowner will receive at least two stickers, one that goes on the front door and the other to go on the bedroom window of the person who may have trouble leaving the home by themselves.
“Whoever is on scene first has to do a 360 of the house in the case of a fire,” Phillips said. “Once they see the sticker on the front door, then they can find the bedroom and the firefighters would make that their point of entry into the home. This way, instead of guessing, they can get to that room right away.”
Those interested in receiving the stickers can pick them up at the Central Fire Station on McElroy Drive or call OFD if they need them delivered to the house.
Free Smoke Detectors
OFD also offers free smoke alarms for homeowners who are senior citizens, disabled or would otherwise not be able to afford to replace or update broken equipment.
“We can’t put them in apartments or rentals since it’s the landlord’s obligation to keep the smoke detectors working,” Phillips said.
Most homes will be given at least two smoke detectors to be placed in the critical areas of the home.
“We will come out and install them as well,” Phillips said.
In 2009, OFD firefighters went door-to-door in Oxford asking if residents needed new smoke detectors or assistance in changing the batteries in existing smoke detectors.
“We plan on doing that again in 2019,” Phillips said.
The free smoke detector program is paid for with grant funds.
Fire Explorer Program
A new program being offered by OFD is aimed toward the area’s young men and women 15 to 20 years old who want to learn more about being a firefighter.
The Fire Explorer program will kick off in January. Those teens involved in the program will meet twice a month and learn everything about firefighting, Phillips said.
“They will do road work, fire training and take the basic volunteer firefighter training course,” Phillips said. “When they are 18 years old, they can then apply to be a volunteer firefighter with Lafayette County and then possibly be hired as a paid firefighter.”
OFD also offers a free, non-certification CPR class.
For more information on any of OFD’s programs, call Phillips at 662-232-2408, ext. 305.