Wildland Fire Safety
Humor us for a moment. Close your eyes. Imagine a rapidly growing brushfire advancing towards your home, threatening to turn your cozy sanctuary into an unwitting bonfire. Now picture having a fighting chance against such a formidable force of nature. Which would you choose?
As our region continues to grow, building up and around natural landscapes, we must buy into the importance of defensible space, (and we’re not referring to Star Wars or space battles), a proactive measure we can all take to protect our homes from the tinderbox known as urban wildfire interface.
Defensible space refers to the buffer zone around our homes that is intentionally cleared of flammable materials. By creating this zone, we create a line of defense against encroaching wildfires.
Our beautiful surroundings, with lush forests and scenic landscapes, are a double-edged sword. While they offer tranquility and natural splendor, they also increase the risk of wildfires. However, by adopting defensible space practices, we can strike a harmonious balance between preserving our environment and safeguarding our lives.
The first step towards creating defensible space is to assess the immediate vicinity of our homes. Remove dead vegetation, dry leaves, and fallen branches that act as kindling for flames. Trim tree limbs within 10 feet of structures, creating a barrier against fire spreading from the ground to higher levels.
Maintaining a minimum clearance of 30 feet around structures is equally essential. Regularly mow grass, keeping it short and well-hydrated. Replace highly flammable plants with fire-resistant alternatives. By reducing fuel sources, we hinder the progression of fires and minimize the intensity of flames that reach our doorsteps.
Creating defensible space is not a one-time task. It requires ongoing maintenance and vigilance. Regularly inspect and clear gutters, remove debris from roofs, and maintain adequate clearance for vehicles and emergency personnel access. Let us be proactive, not reactive.
Remember, we are not alone in this endeavor. Collaboration is key. Engage your neighbors, form community groups, and encourage everyone to take action. Together, we can build a united front against the wrath of wildfires.
Are You Water Safe?
It may not feel like swimming weather is near, but the reality is, it’s just around the corner. After an incredibly long, cold and wet winter, the minute the sun stays out longer than a week, experience tells us people will flock to the water. We don’t blame them. In fact, we may be some of those early champions testing the waters. Access to water recreation is one of the elemental appeals of living and playing in Bellevue. From swimming in community or private pools, playing at one of our beaches or
boating on the lake, water activities are a fantastic way to unwind, have fun and create cherished memories.
However, amid the excitement, it’s crucial to prioritize water safety before a good time turns tragic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning remains one of the top five causes of unintentional injury death from birth to 54-years of age and is the leading cause of unintentional injury death from ages 1-4. On average, 4,000 people drown each year in the United States with an additional 9,000 being seen at emergency departments for non-fatal submersion injury.
One essential component of water safety that should never be overlooked is a life jacket. Life jackets, also known as life vests or personal flotation devices, are a fundamental tool for keeping you and your loved ones safe. Designed to help you stay afloat with your head above the surface, wearing a life jacket when recreating on or near water is the single most important thing you can do to prevent drowning.
Learning CPR and taking swimming lessons are other elements of water safety not to be ignored. Learning to swim can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% for children 1-4 years. Bellevue Fire offers free monthly CPR classes and the Bellevue Aquatic Center has swim lessons.
Drowning does not discriminate. Strong swimmers drown. Boaters drown. And as one Bellevue mother knows and shares, children never intended to be in the water drown. We owe it to ourselves, our families and our community to keep everyone safe!
Become a Bellevue Firefighter
The Bellevue Fire Department is currently seeking firefighter candidates who are passionate about service above self, strive to make their community better and enjoy problem solving in a team environment. Learn more about the job and how to apply.
Bellevue is the fifth largest city in Washington and one of its fastest growing, with a fire department that has grown to meet the expanding needs of our community. We respond to approximately 20,000 incidents each year, 75% of them medical in nature.
The department maintains one of the highest cardiac arrest survival rates in world. One of a select few firefighting agencies with a Class 2 rating from the Washington State Survey and Rating Bureau, Bellevue Fire ranks in the top 1% of the 46,699 departments in the U.S., and is one of the top three in the state.
In-home COVID-19 vaccinations
As cold and flu season ramps up and more people become eligible for their COVID-19 booster, we wanted to share information on Public Health, Seattle and King County's in-home vaccination program. In-home vaccinations are available for people 6-months of age and older who are eligible for a primary series or booster does and have an injury, developmental disability or a medical or mental health condition that makes it difficult to leave the home. More information can be found on their frequently asked questions sheet.
To request an in-home vaccination, please contact the King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-848-0243 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
PulsePoint Life Saving App
You know CPR. You've been trained how to use an AED. But will you ever be in a position to save a life? We'd say the chances have recently increased. On June 1, 2022, the King County Fire Chiefs Association, in coordination with the Medic One Foundation launched PulsePoint, a life saving mobile app that notifies users when someone nearby is in cardiac arrest and needs immediate help. Similar to emergency alerts that are pushed out to cell-phones, registered PulsePoint users will be alerted anytime there is a cardiac arrest emergency in their immediate vicinity, allowing hands-only CPR to be started minutes earlier.
More information about Pulse Point and PulsePoint AED can be found at the Medic One Foundation.