By Ron VandenBoom
A small drop of blood drawn from the tip of a finger and placed in a glucometer can tell the Havre Fire Department a victims blood-sugar level in a matter of seconds and a pulse oximeter placed on the end of a finger gives firefighters the oxygen content of the blood and a heart rate.
These are both devices Havre Firefighters hope they will never have to use, but on Tuesday, as part of National Fire Prevention Week, they were demonstrating that if they do, they are well trained and prepared to save a life.
The Havre Fire Department will be having an open house from 1-7 p.m. with free demonstrations throughout the week from 1-4 p.m. The Fire Department will offer a special "Jaws of Life" demonstration at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 in the area just south of the Department.
Also on the agenda during this week will be IV and Intubation techniques on Wednesday and use of the spinal backboard and the cold weather rescue suit Thursday. Friday, Oct. 13 will be a demonstration of rope rescue.
Visitors to the Department can also sign up for free drawings for gift certificates and smoke detectors during their visit. Free grab-bag giveaways and presentations of fire safety videos will also be offered.
The theme for this years event is "Fire Drills-The Great Escape."
The public is invited to stop in and sign up for the prizes, tour the facility, and visit with the firemen.
The roots of Fire Prevention Week stem from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 in which more than 250 people died and more than 100,000 left homeless.
The fire destroyed more than 17,000 buildings and destroyed more than 2,000 acres in approximately 27 hours.
Chicago historian Robert Cromie proved several years ago that the popular legend of Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicking over a lamp was untrue and did not start the great fire,
Its actual cause may never be known, but it is known that 40 years later the first National Fire Prevention Day was observed and in 1920 President Woodrow Wilson issued the first proclamation establishing National Fire Prevention Week.