Monday, July 9, 2012

July 4th Celebrations proceed without a hitch

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July 4th Celebrations proceed without a hitch

As a result of extensive preparations and staffing by the Orland Fire Protection District (OFPD), both of the two major July 4th celebrations took place without any major problems.

There were no medical responses required due to fireworks although there were three minor brush fires that were contained quickly contained. It is not unusual for the fireworks to cause small brush fires during the shows in fields in the region where the fireworks are launched and where embers may fall.

Here’s an overview of Independence Day responses for Orland Hills and Orland Park.

Orland Hills, June 30

Once again a great start to the National Holiday was had by all at the Orland Hills Party in the Park.  

One of the highlights of the event was the fantastic fireworks show that was staged and launched on Saturday Evening at 9:30p.m.  

The fireworks event was the culmination of a coordinated effort, which was started about a month prior to the show.  Individuals from the Parks and Recreation Department, Mad Bomber Fireworks Company, Orland Hills Police Department, the Village Manager, the Mayor’s Office and the Orland Fire Protection District met.  Prior to the June 30th event, there were several inspections done by the Orland Fire Prevention Bureau. 

This was to assess the excessively dry conditions and subsequently plan to stage additional pieces of fire apparatus (Ladder Truck, Engine, and specially equipped Wildland Fire Fighting Rig) in the neighborhoods. 

This strategy was to be ready and head off the potential of fire from fireworks fallout during these unseasonably and excessively dry conditions.  Thankfully the “in place” strategy did not have to be implemented but it was ready.   

The event went off on Saturday night with nothing but cheers from the huge crowd that had gathered for the weekend event.  It was a great time, safely enjoyed by all due to the teamwork of those mentioned above. 

These types of planning processes have existed for a long time, with a great safety record.  Through this coordinated effort everyone has enjoyed a safe and glorious Independence Holiday each year.  The Orland Fire District is looking forward to next year for another successful 4th of July Memorial celebration at the Party in the Park.  Thank you.

-      Patrick G. Collier Orland Fire District Inspector #33

Orland Park, July 4

In an effort to help ensure the safety of the audience at fireworks displays within the district, the Orland Fire District utilizes a proven process which includes: permitting, preplanning, coordinating with other taxing bodies, site inspections and emergency vehicle stand-by for all such events. 

The process for this year’s Fourth of July fireworks display at Centennial Park began in early June with the permitting portion of the process.  The fireworks permit application was reviewed by the Fire Prevention Bureau to ensure that the proper licensing requirements were being met, the proper procedures for launching the fireworks were being utilized, the safety/exclusion zone around the launch site was of the appropriate size and that all state and local codes/ordinances regarding fireworks displays were being adhered to.

The inspection portion of the process began the week before the show, with an inspection of the site and the immediate area around the site.  Due to the drought conditions that we are experiencing this year, it was determined that the fireworks site would have to be watered down prior to the show to prevent small brush fires from starting; this was accomplished by a coordinated effort between the Orland Fire District and the Orland Parks and Recreation Department. 

Early in the afternoon of July 4th, a Fire Inspector met with the lead pyrotechnician from Melrose Pyrotechnics at the Centennial Park site, to discuss how the show was going to be set up and launched, the safety procedures that were going to be followed and an inspection was performed on the racks and tubes that were going to be used in the show. 

Four hours prior to the start of the fireworks display, another inspection of the site was conducted by the Fire Prevention Bureau to ensure that the launch site/exclusion zone was secure, that the fireworks were set up per the approved plan, that there were no hazards in the launch area, emergency procedures were reviewed and radio communications were established between the lead pyrotechnician and the Fire District personnel that were standing by in/around the park during the show. 

Upon the completion of the fireworks display, a final inspection was made by the Fire Prevention bureau to ensure that the site had been cleared of any misfired fireworks and that there were no spot fires and/or other hazards in the area.  Once this inspection had been completed, the site was deemed safe and the fire equipment that was standing by in/around the park was released to return to their stations.

This year’s fireworks display at Centennial Park went very smoothly and safely due to the combined effort of the Village of Orland Park, the Orland Fire District and Melrose Pyrotechnics.  This cooperation, coupled with diligence and attention to safety led to a very enjoyable and safe experience for the audience.

-      OFPD Fire Chief Ken Brucki