Truro fire chief warns of scams

The incidents are few, but Truro Township residents need to be on alert that scam artists are using the good name of the fire department as a ruse to gain private information.

Truro Township Fire Chief Jerry Foltz said his office has heard a trio of reports of people claiming they were contacted via the telephone by an unidentified individual saying they were with the Truro Township Fire Department. Residents were told they would be contacted again at a later time and to have their credit card and identification ready.

"I want to assure people we don’t call them for information," said Foltz following the May 1 Truro Township trustee meeting. "If we need to know something, we’ll send someone out and we certainly would never ask for credit card information."

Foltz said anyone contacted in a similar manner should notify the fire department.

Other Truro news

•Foltz said Truro Township met with Amtrust Bank and realtor Gene Johnson regarding the Stapleton house and its use as a site for live fire training. The house is located in an area bought and once considered for development by the Perry Company. If all of the national requirements are met, Foltz said training could take place within four weeks.

"As soon as they get the title, they want us to burn it," Foltz said, "and we’ll probably have it down by the first of June.

•Foltz said that on April 25, Truro firefighters trained with the Reynoldsburg Police SWAT team dealing with a shooting incident in a large building. This helps both departments see what each of our responsibilities are. We hope to have a larger, multi-agency training this summer with surrounding fire and SWAT teams."

•Foltz also reported on House Bill 500 dealing with reduced cigarette ignition propensity standards. The bill would require that only cigarettes certified as meeting established reduced ignition propensity standards, which are less likely to burn when left unattended, be sold in Ohio.

Members of the tobacco industry support the legislation and nine states passed laws already in effect. Fourteen other states have passed similar legislation and are awaiting implementation with another 19 introducing legislation. In Ohio in 2005, 16 percent of all fire deaths were caused by smoking and smoking-related fires caused over $5.7 million in property damage.

Vermont saw fire deaths from cigarettes drop to zero in 2007 from a 10 year average of 2.7 annually, which accounts for 24 percent of their fire fatalities.  There was also a 40 percent drop in the number of structure fires caused by smoking materials. In New York, a 35 percent drop in fire deaths followed in the first six months after reduced propensity cigarettes were sold.

Smoking is the number one cause of home fire deaths in the United States and between 700 and 900 people are killed every year from smoking material home fires. There were 82,400 smoking material structure fires in the country in 2006.

Of the fire deaths who were not smokers, 34 percent were children of the smoker and 25 percent were neighbors or friends of the smoker.  

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