The 2017 total solar eclipse will be the first such event visible from the contiguous United States since February of 1979. The path of totality (where the moon will block view of the sun completely) stretches across parts of twelve states, including Oregon, and will likely attract viewers from around the globe. Even outside the path of totality, a partial eclipse will be visible (dependent upon weather) across all of the contiguous 48 states, so media interest and public attention will be very high.
In addition to the Oregon Coast being the first easily-accessible place where the eclipse will be visible, central and eastern Oregon are listed by many subject matter experts as the best sites in the nation to view totality, due to conditions such as dry weather, clear skies, and limited light pollution.
The eclipse will take place on Monday August 21, 2017, beginning at 9:00am (all times are Pacific Daylight Time) and ending at 11:30am; totality will occur for approximately two minutes around 10:20am (with slight variations depending on viewing location).
The 60 mile wide path of totality will run across the state of Oregon for 338 miles before proceeding to Idaho and continuing across the United States toward South Carolina. In Oregon, the path of totality will cross parts of the following sixteen counties: Baker, Benton, Clackamas, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Lincoln, Linn, Jefferson, Malheur, Marion, Polk, Tillamook, Wasco, Wheeler, and Yamhill. Philomath is positioned in the path of totality.
We are committed that this event is enjoyable and safe for all of our residents. Please see the information here for safety tips during this event.
Philomath Fire & Rescue participates with the Oregon Department of Forestry in providing home and property evaluations as part of any Firewise program being adopted by a community. To learn more about the Firewise program, you can click here, or call Pat MacMeekin (Community Wildlife Forester, ODF) at 541.929.9165, or Lt. Rich Saalsaa (Philomath Fire & Rescue Fire and Life Safety Officer) at 541.360.0029 for more information. There is no cost for these services.
These communities have been nationally recognized for their participation in the Firewise program:
- Pioneer Village (2011)
- Wren Community (2016)
- Add your community name here!
All new construction permitted through local city and county building department within our district is reviewed by the Fire & Life Safety Lieutenant in partnership with city and county officials to ensure plans meet applicable fire and life-safety requirements. One of the primary ways the fire service has experienced a tremendous reduction in the number of fires and fire fatalities in the United States over the past 30 years is through improved fire codes and new construction review.
Spring/Summer: Wildland Fires and Defensible Space
Many homes and structures in our District lie within the Wildland Urban Interface. Proper maintenance of a defensible space will help mitigate damage caused by fire in the surrounding forests and grasses. Remember, it's not just the actual fire that is the issue, but also the possibility of 'fire brands' (burning materials that can be carried aloft by the wind for up to a mile or more). For more information on providing defensible space, you can click here to obtain information on Wildfire Protection and planning in Benton County. You can also schedule a home fire safety evaluation by contacting Lt. Rich Saalsaa at 541.360.0029.
Fall/Winter: Chimney Fire Prevention
The Philomath Fire Department has conventional flue brushes and pellet stove flue brushes available for you to borrow. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the safety of your wood stove, or if you would like to borrow a chimney brush, please call 541.929.3002 or stop by the station at 1035 Main Street.
As the weather begins to change, please take the time to clean your chimney and flue pipes. If you have a wood heat source, you should check and clean your flue at least three times during the cooler months. Try to burn seasoned/dry wood. Dry wood burns cleaner and warmer!
An investigation is conducted to determine the origin, cause, and other factors that may have contributed to the ignition and growth of a fire. Fire investigators conduct a fire investigation to compile data and analyze the information related to fires and explosions.
Investigation data is used to:
- reduce loss of life and property
- determine if a fire was intentionally set
- provide a basis of fact for after-fire legal processes
- identify trends
- develop public education programs
- develop codes and standards
What is the Investigator's Job? The Systematic Approach
The investigator's job is to determine the origin and cause of every fire after ruling out all possibilities of how and where the fire started. A systematic approach is used in processing every fire scene.
If possible, the investigator will document a fire scene with still photographs or video prior to the extinguishment of the fire. When the fire scene is secure and safe for entry, the investigator observes and documents the scene while going from the area of least burn to the area of most burn. The scene is secured until the time that the investigation begins, throughout the investigation, and until the scene is officially released back to the property owner.
If the fire is in a large occupancy or a multi-alarm fire, Philomath Fire & Rescue utilizes investigation teams, dividing responsibilities such as:
- Interviews of witnesses, bystanders and first-in firefighters
- Processing the physical scene by examining the structure or scene for fire patterns and evidence
- Documenting the scene with photographs and diagrams
- Preserving and collecting evidence by maintaining the "Chain of Evidence" so it is clearly documented who has handled it, when, and why
- Giving information to the Public Information Officers or acting on their behalf with both television and newspaper media
After the investigation is complete, the investigator is responsible for releasing the occupancy back to the property owners. The investigator may work with insurance adjusters and private investigators throughout the investigation.
Lastly, the investigator submits a report containing all information regarding the investigation in standard format. The investigator may be called on to testify in either a civil or criminal case with his or her conclusions concerning the investigation.
Philomath Fire & Rescue is committed to keeping its community safer through fire and life safety education. Methods used to increase safety awareness include: in classroom school education, fire extinguisher training, community meetings, community events, safety fairs, mass media, safety campaigns, home and business safety inspections and planning, speakers for presentations at school and businesses, and station tours.
FIRST AID AND CPR CLASSES
Philomath Fire and Rescue offers AHA certified First Aid, CPR, and AED classroom courses at the Fire Station. Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED is a classroom, video-based, instructor-led course that teaches students critical skills needed to respond to and manage a first aid, choking or sudden cardiac arrest emergency in the first few minutes until emergency medical services (EMS) arrives. In this course, students learn skills such as how to treat bleeding, sprains, broken bones, shock and other first aid emergencies. This course also teaches adult, child, and infant CPR and AED use.
Upon successful completion of the course, including a first aid, CPR and AED skills test, students receive a Heartsaver First Aid CPR
AED course completion card, valid for 2 years. There is a nominal charge for the course. Arrangements can be made for a course for businesses, schools, churches, and other groups. Click here for a course flyer.
READY, SET, GO!
This program was primarily designed for wildfire evacuation, but can also be adapted for use in the case of earthquake or other disaster situations. Philomath Fire & Rescue can provide a class on disaster preparedness, and the use of Ready, Set, Go materials. For more information click here or contact us for more information.
Philomath Fire & Rescue welcomes the opportunity to educate our residents - both young and old! We offer Station tours for pre-school, school age, seniors, scouts, and other groups that want to get to know what we do. Hear the Beep (smoke alarm), Dress the Firefighter, Engine and Truck tour, basic safety, cooking safety, fire extinguisher training, and more are offered in tours that last from 30-90 minutes, depending on the size of the group. Fire Prevention take-home materials, coloring books, helmets, and badges are free to tour guests.
CHILD PASSENGER SEAT INSPECTIONS
Philomath Fire & Rescue hosts car seat inspection events throughout the year, and district residents can call to make an appointment to have a car seat inspected. We will assist educating you on the proper installation and use of a child safety seat (including infant, rear facing, forward facing, convertible, combination, and booster seats). We have an on-site National Child Passenger Safety Certified Technician to assist you and answer your questions. The service is available Monday-Friday from 9am to 4pm (regular business days) - call ahead to make an appointment.
Does your home have a smoke alarm? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the answer is likely yes: NFPA research shows that most American homes have at least one. But do you know how old your smoke alarms are? If you’re like most people, you’re probably not so sure.
A recent survey conducted by NFPA revealed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced. That lack of awareness is a concern for Philomath Fire & Rescue and NFPA, along with fire departments throughout the country, because smoke alarms don’t last forever.
To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, simply look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase). Smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and batteries should be replaced once a year or when they begin to chirp, signaling that they’re running low. New detectors are now being manufactured with 10-year lifespans including the batteries (which can last up to 10 years).
If you are having issues with your smoke detector, or need assistance in replacing it, please contact our office at 541.360.0030 during normal business hours, and we would be happy to come out to assist you. If your smoke detector sounds, and you are uncertain as to the reason, call 9-1-1 immediately.
For more information, or scheduling events and courses, contact Lt. Rich Saalsaa at the Fire Department: 541.360.0029 or send in a request for information by clicking here.
Help Us Help You by educating yourself on safety!