Jailers Learn From Firefighters

Nacogdoches County jailers receive assistance from Nacogdoches firefighters in the training for a fire emergency. Driver-engineer, Steven Arreguin shows jailers how to handle a fire hose with the pressure of water running through it. " Turn it back and forth. That's a straight stream. Then you've got your fog,"  he illustrates.

Of all the things that can go wrong in a jail, fire is the biggest potential danger. Jail supervisor, Leland House said, " In the interest of life safety for the inmates and the jailers, we feel like this training is absolutely necessary." Effective fire training can help jailers make immediate decisions. Fire Captain Joseph Ramirez said, " In the event of an incident you're adrenaline gets going and you've got to be entrenched with the training, so that you can do the right thing. "

Since most jails don't have automatic sprinkler systems, jail officers must rely on fire hoses and portable fire extinguishers until the fire department arrives. Firefighter Jeremy Baber demonstrated,  " What you do is you come up on the fire like that, you sweep, like you're doing, walk up on the fire and once you got it out, you back away from the fire."

Yet smoke, not burns cause most deaths in jail fires.   Jailer Tnisha Steadman sports a heavy breathing apparatus on her back.  She said, " This is called an air pack. It basically slides on like a coat." The tool is essential when evacuating inmates. Steadman said, " If anything goes off here this is your first priority, get it on if you can and evacuate the inmates. "

Prevention is the number one lesson with fires. That's why firefighters advised all the jailers to take one minute out of their day to review firefighting safety rules.  It could be the minute that saves a life.