Photo courtesy of Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services.

Firefighters Check On Seniors During Power Outage

Firefighters are making seniors a priority during power outages.

The first thing fire crews did when the lights went out in parts of Chatham-Kent Tuesday night was check on retirement homes in Dresden.

“A lot of [the seniors] use oxygen tanks, so [firefighters] wanted to make sure that if those tanks needed to be plugged in, hydro was available at the station for them,” says Whitney Burk, public educator for Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services.

She says while a crew of volunteers jumped into the big red trucks to check on seniors living in both Heritage Court Retirement Lifestyle and Park Street Place Retirement Residence, one firefighter stayed behind. The generator was turned on at the station to provide heat and hydro for anyone in the community who might need it. It’s something Burk says the fire department has been doing for over 25 years.

Regardless, they’re renewing the call for every house in Chatham-Kent to have a 72-hour emergency kit. Those scattered outages left thousands of residents without heat – some for a lengthy period of time — but it could always be worse, says Burk.

“You want to have at least two litres of water per person per day, food that won’t spoil, battery operated radio, battery operated flashlight, these types of things,” she says. “I always think of my great-grandmother who was always super prepared. She always had lots of canned goods in the pantry.”

-With files from Natalia Vega.