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Christopher W. Norris: Westhampton fire chief thanks town for equipment support

To the editor:

At this year’s annual Town Meeting, the town of Westhampton approved the funding to put towards retrofitting our fire department’s Engine 1 with a compressed air foam system (CAFS). This type of innovation and technology has been proven to use significantly less water, thus causing less water damage to property and contents of a home, has less of an environmental impact with less water runoff contaminated with the by-products of combustion, has faster knockdown capability than plain water, and greatly enhances firefighter safety by minimizing the exposure to personnel working in these areas that are immediately dangerous to life and health.

A compressed air foam system on fire apparatus is a method by which a foam-producing agent and compressed air are introduced into the water stream, reducing the surface tension of the water, allowing for greater absorption of the solution into the burning objects. In addition, the utilization of foam and air lessen the reliance solely on water for suppression and greatly increases the capabilities of those communities with limited or no municipal water supply.

This proposal was an initiative to improve the services to the community and increase the safety of our firefighters, but it is also important to recognize that this concept has been promoted across the country by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), which has published numerous articles supporting these innovations.

On behalf of the Westhampton Fire Department, we want to thank the community for their continued support each year. We will continually strive to provide the highest level of service to the community and meet the challenges today and in the future to the best of our abilities. Thank you.

Christopher W. Norris
Westhampton Fire Chief

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