News Archives - Central County Fire & Rescue

Planning Ahead for Safety

In 2018, nearly 2 million square feet of office, retail and light industrial space opened in St. Peters. This growth in economic development is expected to continue with the addition of Amazon, FedEx and more in 2019. Before the first shovel of dirt is turned on these new businesses, developers are working with officials from the CCFR Community Risk Reduction team to make them safe for the community.

“We need to ensure that these structures and the businesses operating inside of them comply with International Fire Code and local permitting requirements during construction and once they open,” explains CCFR Assistant Chief Steve Brown, who leads community risk reduction for the District. Continue reading “Planning Ahead for Safety”

10,000 Easter Egg Hunt Saturday

Central County Fire & Rescue Easter Egg Hunt Saturday

CCFR Community Outreach Volunteers to Host Free Community Event With 10,000 Easter Eggs

Central County Community Outreach will host a free Easter Egg Hunt for children up to 10 years old on Saturday, April 20 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Fort Zumwalt East High School, 600 First Executive Avenue, Saint Peters, Missouri 63376.

The event also includes a bounce house, balloon artists and face painting.

Continue reading “10,000 Easter Egg Hunt Saturday”

Two Promotions and New Firefighter/Paramedic Announced

Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) has promoted two team members and added a firefighter/paramedic to its ranks.

Eric Braatz, who has served the District since 1995, was promoted to the rank of captain of the B-shift at CCFR Fire Station #6 on Jungs Station Rd., after serving as an engineer for the past four years. Braatz is state-certified fire investigator and a licensed paramedic. He also possesses certifications in haz-mat operations and in rope rescue, as well as being qualified as a boat operator.

As a captain, he will be responsible for leading a three to four person engine company and serving as an incident commander in emergency situations. He will also coordinate, oversee and recommend training programs for his crew.

Jason Meinershagen, who has served the district since 1998, was promoted to the rank of engineer at CCFR Fire Station #1, on the western side of the District. He will work with the B-shift. Meinershagen previously served the St. Peters community as a firefighter/EMT. He is an active member of St. Louis Regional Urban Search and Rescue Team #1, and possesses technician-level qualifications in confined space, haz-mat, rope, structural collapse, swift water and trench rescue. He is also qualified as a boat operator.

In this new role, Meinershagen will be responsible for driving and operating the fire truck during emergency situations.

“We are thrilled to make these promotions to two incredibly deserving members of the team,” CCFR Assistant Chief Steve Brown says. “Eric and Jason have both dedicated more than two decades of their lives in service to the St. Peters community, and we’re honored they’ve chosen to make their careers with us here at CCFR.”

CCFR has also hired a new firefighter/paramedic to join its ranks. Robert Prest, a graduate of St. Charles West High School, has worked for the St. Louis City Fire Department since October 2016. Prest holds a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from Lindenwood University and a master’s degree in health care administration from Lindenwood University. He started with the District in April on the C-shift. There are now 26 paramedic/firefighters on the CCFR team.

Sprinkler Prevents Major Fire Damage at New Apartment Complex

A single sprinkler head prevented what could have been a catastrophic fire at the new Pure Apartments in the 4100 block of Pure Street in St. Peters, Missouri, which is still under construction. The fire started in a faulty heating and air conditioning unit and was discovered by construction crews at around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 30. This is the second fire at the complex in the past five months.

Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) crews arrived on the scene and discovered heavy smoke on the first floor. Upon further investigation they found a wall mounted heating and cooling unit that had caught fire and was extinguished by a single sprinkler head, preventing the fire from extending past the room of origin. Fire crews quickly shut down the flowing sprinkler head, checked for further hazards and returned the suppression system back to service before leaving.

The estimated damage is approximately $3,000 with a value of the building estimated at $1,300,000. Repairs to the building will include replacement of the wall mounted HVAC unit, paint and water cleanup. No other portions of the building or complex were damaged or impacted. The building is in the final stages of construction and no occupants were present at the time of the fire.

In November, construction workers using a flammable adhesive ignited a fire while using a metal angle grinder in the 2100 building of the complex. The sprinkler system kept the damage to less than $5,000.

Both buildings are three-story wood structures. The CCFR Prevention Bureau requires that adequate access and fire protection systems be in place and in service as soon as possible during the construction process to prevent a major incident.

“In each case, without the sprinkler-based fire suppression system being active the fires would have escalated very quickly and both buildings would have been a total loss,” says CCFR Assistant Chief Steve Brown.

CCFR was assisted by the St. Charles County Ambulance District and the City of St. Charles Fire Department on the call.

Vacation Rentals, Fire Safety and You

Dreaming of your next vacation? Thinking of staying in a vacation rental (ie. Airbnb, VRBO, etc.) instead of a hotel? Before you make your reservations, make sure you read this first!

A 2018 study published in the journal Injury Prevention found that many Airbnb properties lack basic fire safety features. According to the study, 20 percent of Airbnb property owners did not report having smoke alarms; 42.5 percent did not report having carbon monoxide alarms; and 58 percent didn’t report having fire extinguishers.

While fire safety advocates have urged Airbnb and similar vacation or short-term rental companies to enforce current National Fire Protection Association fire safety standards, without uniform regulation across the country, it’s essential that travelers be proactive about fire safety at their home away from home.

If you decide to stay at an Airbnb, VRBO or other rental property while traveling this spring/summer, make sure to review this safety checklist from the NFPA:

  • Do your homework before making a reservation. You should be able to find more information about local regulations online, which you can then discuss with the host before arrival. This is a good time to discuss the property’s preparedness for other emergencies (such as a power outage or natural disaster).
  • Make a list that includes the property’s address, local emergency numbers, emergency contact information for the owner and notes from the owner about all escape routes/exits.
  • Each room should have at least two ways to escape during an emergency.
  • Upon arrival, do a walkthrough of the property to check for:
    • Working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every sleeping room and outside each sleeping area, as well as carbon monoxide alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area.
    • Portable fire extinguishers that are easy to reach.
    • Exterior doors and windows that are easy to open.
    • Pathways clear of any tripping hazards.

By following this simple checklist and acting as your own fire safety advocate, you can relax and know that your vacation won’t go up in smoke!