The quick thinking and fast action of a local contractor assisted in staving off potential major damage to numerous boats at the Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht Club Marina on April 29, high-lighting the importance of having proper fire extinguisher training.
Aaron Sims, paving foreman for Adventure Construction, was just starting his shift at 8 a.m., paving the first job of the year, at the yacht club, when he was alerted to the someone yelling there was a fire and smoke coming from one of the boats moored in the marina below.
“I’ve got a couple of fire extinguishers in the truck. I grabbed my big fire extinguishers and just ran down there and put the fire extinguisher on it.”
“There was a guy on the boat. He was there with a garden hose. He had a couple of small fire extinguishers, but he had exhausted those already,” Sims said.
“There’s two hatches there, one was open in the back and I could see they were working…there, so I did the other half. I shot about half my fire extinguisher off and then jumped in the cab and got a good spray and did the other half,” Sims said of the fire located in the engine room.
Sims credited the company he works for as being strong with safety and providing him proper training.
“It is number one all the time. They train you and make sure you have all your equipment,” Sims said.
“Just the other day, I had a safety meeting with my crew. This is the first job of the year, so safety was one of the first things on the list,” Sims said, noting he always packs two fire extinguishers and safety kits in his truck at all times.
Sims supervisor, Kelly Adam, project manager at Adventure Construction, said Sims saved the day.
“With his action and safety training he was able to save the boat from further damage, as well as save the other boats around it. He was awesome.”
Deputy Fire Chief, Chad Copper, said that fast action and proper training are key components to assisting with suppressing a fire.
‘With a fire that is in the early stages of development, a person that is competent, has received instruction and training on how to operate a fire extinguisher safely, is highly effective at suppressing a fire,” Cooper said.
“When we respond to potentially a boat fire, we expect the worst and plan accordingly for it. Boats are flammable and they usually contain a lot of fuel, they have a lot of confined spaces on them.”
“The biggest misconception about fire extinguishers is people assume that there are there for them to fight a fire, but, that is only if you have been trained on how to use it and know the application for it,” Cooper said.
“Who knows what would have happened. You hope nothing would have happened, but the fire could have engulfed the boat probably. As the boss, I had the extinguishers, I have the training, there was an opportunity there, I am not going to sit back and just (leave it)… any one else would have done it,” Sims said.
“Definitely, his quick action in realizing there was a fire and his quick thinking with activating 911 right away, then grabbing the extinguisher and containing the fire potentially saved that boat from extensive fire damage,” Cooper said.
The Prince Rupert Fire Department offer training to local businesses on proper knowledge and use of fire extinguishers on an appointment basis.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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