August 15, 2013

Fire department receives chainsaw donation

Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Fire Department can now replace its chainsaw, which recently broke in a fire.

Fire Chief Tony Miller said since the chainsaw couldn't be repaired, they began looking into buying a new one. Then Ottumwa's chapter of the Travelers Protective Association came along with a $500 donation, the majority of which will go toward purchasing the new chainsaw. The rest will go toward the department's smoke alarm program.

"We use it on structure fires to cut holes in roofs to ventilate," Miller said. "Anytime you have a structure fire, there's some equipment you have to have to make sure the gases and smoke get out of there to make sure it doesn't blow up. The point of cutting a hole in the roof during a fire is because if the gases and smoke don't get out, they'll find their own way to get out, and it's usually through an explosion."

John Hunolt, president of Ottumwa's TPA chapter, said the organization's focus is on child safety, but the chapter had some funds left over and "wanted to help the community somehow" when they found out about the OFD's need for a new chainsaw.