Fort McCoy News January 24, 2014

Fire marshals: 'Eyes, ears' for post facilities

STORY & PHOTO BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Post fire inspector Curt Ladwig brought together dozens of people for fire prevention and safety during fire marshal training Jan. 14. The class was the first of six scheduled for 2014.

Photo for fire marshals article
Curt Ladwig, fire inspector for the Directorate of Emergency Services Fire Department at Fort McCoy, provides a fire marshal training briefing for about 40 people Jan. 13. The training is an annual requirement for people serving as fire marshals throughout the post. Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

Ladwig, the only fire inspector for Fort McCoy at the Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) Fire Department, led the annual effort, which trains people in everything from fire extinguisher inspections to keeping exit doors clear in case of a fire.

"We have a fire marshal for every occupied building on Fort McCoy," Ladwig said. "The fire marshals are my 'eyes and ears' who help keep our facilities safe throughout the post."

During their training, the appointed fire marshals watched a video about how quickly fire can spread throughout a building and how to respond. They were also trained on every aspect of a fire extinguisher and how to inspect them, how to keep egress and exit paths clear from improper storage according to established fire code and overall fire safety practices.

Approximately 200 or more people are appointed fire marshals at Fort McCoy, Ladwig said. The training is an annual requirement to keep people aware of the latest fire safety techniques and processes.

Additionally, Ladwig keeps in contact with all appointed fire marshals throughout the year though email, phone calls and facility visits providing fire safety messages, advice and inspections.

"Fire marshals are a very important part of our overall fire safety program," Ladwig added.

The fire department at Fort McCoy is one of only four Armywide that are internationally accredited by the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE). Fire marshal training is one aspect of the department's accreditation maintenance efforts. Post fire officials must complete fire marshal training every year.

According to the CPSE, their fire accreditation program is administered by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International in which is a subsidiary of CPSE. The program "reflects a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation model that enables fire and emergency service organizations to examine their service levels and performance in a way that allows them to compare to industry best practices."

For more information about the post fire marshal or fire inspection programs, contact Ladwig at the DES Fire Department at 608-388-4077/4151.