Putting out fires

NORWICH – Most chief executives are adept at putting out fires, metaphorically speaking. But last month John McHale, CEO of CWS, had the chance to try his hand at extinguishing an actual fire. Or more precisely, a simulated one, during a training session conducted by the Chenango County Bureau of Fire.

According to Deputy Fire Coordinator Mike Beckwith, the purpose of the training is to instruct people on how to safely operate a fire extinguisher, and so they know what to expect in the case of an actual fire.

McHale was one of approximately 150 of the sheltered workshop’s employees to complete the training in one of eight sessions, according to CWS’s chief safety officer, Mike Tiffany. The purpose of the training, he explained, was both to meet OSHA requirements, but also to give employees knowledge which could also be applicable to them at home.

Beckwith reviewed the different types of fire extinguishers one might encounter, and explained that they were only for small fires. Before reaching for an extinguisher, however, you should always reach for the phone.

“When a fire is discovered, the first thing you do is dial 911,” he explained.

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