Chief Curmode Explains Firefighters' Small Shelters
Steve McIntosh Reporting
WICHITA -- The 19 firefighters killed in Arizona this week were equipped with small, tent-like shelters ... designed to protect them from flash fires. Sedgwick County Fire Chief Gary Curmode tells
KNSS News the shelters work, under the right circumstances. The shelters are made of light-weight material, designed to be carried in a pack on the chest or the firefighter's buttocks. They can be "deployed" in 25 seconds or less and are effective in flash fires. But Curmode says if the flames continue, the material in the shelters breaks down ... and at 300 degrees a firefighter can die "pretty quickly".
Curmode also says damage from the recent wind storm has added a new hazard to fireworks this year, with debris spread across west and south Wichita. Curmode says the brush is drying out ... and can be easily ignited by pyro-technics.