2014-08-28 / Around Town

Hands-On Safety Lesson

By Jack Kelly


Salve resident assistant Sarah Jodrie for Greystone Dorm #3 practices proper fire suppression techniques, with Newport firefighter Nick Treantafillou and Captain Kevin Garcia looking on. (Photo by Jack Kelly) Salve resident assistant Sarah Jodrie for Greystone Dorm #3 practices proper fire suppression techniques, with Newport firefighter Nick Treantafillou and Captain Kevin Garcia looking on. (Photo by Jack Kelly) All 54 Salve Regina University dormitory resident assistants were recently given a hands-on lesson in campus fire prevention in preparation for student movein over the weekend. Newport Fire Department’s fire prevention officer and assistant deputy state fire marshal, Captain Kevin Garcia, conducted a safety seminar and practical demonstration that illuminated the dangers of dormitory conflagrations. Garcia was aided during the program by Salve safety and security personnel and the Newport Fire Department.

The group gathered in the parking lot at the Antoine Academic Center, where firefighters had prepared three roaring fires of wood and paper in metal trash cans. The proper procedures and standards for fire alarm response and building evacuations were outlined, as well as the most efficient use of chemical fire extinguishers.

Employing the term PASS (Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle, Squeeze the trigger, and Sweep the nozzle at the base of flames), Garcia drove home the stark reality of a dormitory fire and the potential for injury or loss of life. “In the past 15 years, there have been three serious fire incidents involving Salve students. Two on-campus fires in Miley Hall and Lawrence Hall resulted in heavy property damage but thankfully, no injuries. An offcampus incident did result in the death of a Salve student who was overcome by smoke while rescuing his housemates,” he said.

After the eye-opening presentation, the student advisers lined up to practice their skills at suppressing the raging trash can fires. As each participant sprayed and swept, clouds of thick smoke and chemical fire retardant rose into the sky, creating a surreal atmosphere that engulfed the area. Firefighters quickly resupplied fuel and stoked the fires to demonstrate their tenacity and danger.

Campus Safety and Security Director

Michael Caruolo commented, “This demonstration goes a long way in reinforcing the training that our student advisers receive. Captain Garcia has presented this program for a number of years now, and it is an important tool in campus safety.”

“These presentations follow the national criteria for campus safety, and we know that this is an important aspect of our fire prevention program here in Newport. Our job is to prevent fires and to educate the public in practices that will ensure the safety of everyone involved,” Garcia said.

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