Simply put, Scott Wichern became a firefighter to help people in need.
Cody Willis has always known he wanted to be a firefighter. He joined the crew at O’Fallon Fire Protection District as a junior firefighter in 2011 and said he quickly realized he wanted to spend his career there.
Heather Gump grew up in O’Fallon, and is excited to protect and serve her hometown community.
Jeff Woodson comes from a family of firefighters; his oldest brother, stepfather and father-in-law all share the profession.
For Trey Thomure, becoming a firefighter offered him a chance to have a rewarding career while also giving back to his hometown.
Temperatures are rising throughout the St. Louis area, and with it the risk of heat-related illness. Take precaution during periods of extreme heat and/or humidity to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this summer! Children, older adults and sick individuals are especially susceptible to extreme heat.
Prepare for extreme heat by listening to local weather forecasts — extreme heat can occur quickly and without warning. Find places in your community where you can go to get cool, such as libraries or local cooling centers.
Stay Safe During Extreme Heat
- Find air conditioning.
- Avoid strenuous activities. Take breaks if you must be outside.
- If you go outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Check on family members and neighbors.
- Drink plenty of fluids – even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- Watch for signs of heat-related illness.
- Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as this could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.
- Never leave people or pets in a closed car — even with the windows rolled down.
Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illness
- Heat Cramps
- What to watch for: Muscle pains or spasms in the stomach, arms, or legs.
- What to do: Go to a cooler location. Remove excess clothing. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if cramps last more than an hour.
- Heat Exhaustion
- What to watch for: Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, or fainting.
- What to do: Lie down in an air-conditioned space. Loosen or remove clothing. Take a cool bath. Take sips of cool sports drinks with salt and sugar. Get medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour.
- Heat Stroke
- What to watch for: Extremely high body temperature (above 103º) taken orally; red, hot, and dry skin with no sweat; rapid, strong pulse; dizziness; confusion; or unconsciousness.
- What to do: Call 9-1-1 or get the person to a hospital immediately. Cool down with whatever methods are available until medical help arrives.
Celebrating Memorial Day weekend with family and friends? Stay safe with these tips from the American Red Cross.
Don’t let your Memorial Day BBQ go up in smoke. Improper use of backyard grills and smokers can lead to an increase in home fires and burn injuries.
- Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
- Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
- Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
- Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
- Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
- Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.
If you’re spending time in, on or around the water this Memorial Day weekend, make sure you’re practicing water safety. According to the CDC, about 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning, making it the No. 5 leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States (and the No. 1 leading cause of unintentional injury death for kids ages 1 to 4).
- Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well, and understands water safety.
- Supervise children, staying within arm’s reach of young children and new swimmers.
- Enclose home pools and spas with four-sided, 4 foot fencing, and use self-closing, self-latching gates.
- Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when on a boat or if in a situation beyond your skill level. Inflatable children’s toys and water wings can be fun, but they are no substitute for a life jacket and adult supervision.
- Reach or throw, don’t go! Know what to do to help someone in trouble, without endangering yourself; know how and when to call 9-1-1; and know CPR.
Headed out on the road this weekend? Memorial Day weekend is the deadliest holiday for car accidents. Avoid driving while tired or distracted, wear seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road. Use designated drivers (always!) if you plan on drinking alcohol.