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Syracuse Fire Chief: Department Is Always Preparing For Fires Like One In The Bronx

Syracuse Fire Department

The Syracuse Fire Chief said the last thing any fire department wants is to encounter a situation like the one that unfolded at a high-rise apartment complex in the Bronx. Michael Monds said it is difficult to watch firefighters and first responders work so hard, only to have a tragic outcome after all of their efforts.

“There’s work down there to do their best to try to save as many lives as possible and still end up with 19 deaths with many children is definitely the somber gates for all first responders but pretty much it’s the somber gate for all citizens,” Monds said.

Monds said the fire department is constantly checking high-rise buildings in Syracuse with its High Occupancy Monitoring and Enforcement Unit. It is a way to ensure lifesaving equipment and fire alarm systems and smoke detectors are working, and up to code. He said his team is always preparing for fires like the one in the Bronx.

“It starts with our training,” Monds said. “Our department annually trains more than 30,000 hours a year and we go over any type of call that we imagine we will be dispatched on and outnumber one propriety is to preserve life and then property.”

He warns that space heaters should never be used as a primary source of heat. Monds also suggested reading all owner’s manuals before using them and never plugging electric heaters into an extension cord. The City of Syracuse Fire Department is looking to hire more firefighters. A Civil Service entrance exam is set for March 19th and the deadline to apply is February 11th. To apply go to the county's website and type in the keyword: Civil Service.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.