Chiefs learn new firefighting processes

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN)- Firefighters headed indoors for some training at the Mahoning County Fire Chief’s Association seminar.

Around 30 departments from all over Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania gathered at Boardman High School on Sunday to learn about the changes in their field.

Experts from Columbus were brought in as part of the seminar to educate firefighters on current and progressive safety measures.

One of the main topics was plastics and how they burn much quicker than before.

Western Reserve Fire District Fire Chief Chip Comstock said in the past a family would have 10 or 15 minutes to get out of the house. Now, that time frame is shrinking.

“Now, it’s three or five minutes to get out. It makes a difference for the people living in the house that they have to exit quickly, but also makes a difference on how we fight fires,” said Comstock.

Former Mahoning County Emergency Management Director Clark Jones was honored at the meeting.

Fire chiefs and county commissioners thanked Jones for his service as EMA director. Jones took time to thank the area chiefs for coordinating efforts with the agency.

“A lot of people have contributed to my success as EMA director and to them I owe a hearty thank you,” said Jones.

Jones is retiring due to health issues. Deputy Director Dennis O’Hara is filling in as acting director.

As part of the program, a September 11th first responders addressed the gathering of chiefs.

Lieutenant Scott Maxwell’s company was sent to the World Trade Center right after the second plane hit. While he remembers a lot from that day and the days after, he said a lot of it’s a blur.

“We just got caught up in the spirit of the day. We were lucky enough to get under the fire truck as the building was collapsing, and my crew did survive,” said Maxwell.

Along with sharing his story, Maxwell also talked with firefighters inspiring them to kick it up a notch and be leaders in their communities.

This is the 16th year for the event.

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