Fire Suppression Tool (FST) Donation Program
FST Media Coverage and Testimonials
Cambridge Masons Donates Fire Suppression Tools to Police, Sheriff
BY Bill Stickels III
Isanti-Chisago County Star
Firefighting efforts in Isanti County just received a vital upgrade in its arsenal, which could mean the difference between life and death during a structure fire. Each of the four law enforcement departments in Isanti County is now equipped with unique fire suppression devices, thanks to a generous donation from the Cambridge Helios Lodge Freemasons.
The FST devices look like a small, square carrying case that is sometimes described as a “grenade.” To activate the FST, a person simply pulls two pins before tossing it into the structure. The FST is equipped with an eight-second timer which, once it counts down, releases chemicals into the air. These chemicals, which are safe for humans, will knock down the fire, and more importantly, decrease the temperature of the fire by about 1,000 degrees in less than a minute.
The Freemasons chose to give the devices to law enforcement since often, they are first on the scene of a fire, especially considering local fire departments are all-volunteer.
“We hope that this tool is something they don’t have to use,” said Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Minnesota representative Greg Vokovan, “but we know that isn’t the case so hopefully this will be one more thing they can use to keep the citizens safe here in Isanti County.”
While the Freemasons have donated FSTs to other law enforcement departments, this is the first time all law enforcement departments within a Minnesota county will be equipped with one of their own.
“It’s exciting to know that Isanti County is the first county in the state to equip all of its law enforcement agencies with a Fire Suppression Tool,” said Isanti County Sheriff Wayne Seiberlich. “More often than not, law enforcement arrives on the scene of fire calls before fire departments. These FST’s, with the proper training and understanding on when and how to deploy them, are most certainly an asset we can use in saving lives.”
This isn’t the first time the Helios Lodge has been on the cutting edge of donating life-saving equipment to the community. Previously, the Lodge donated AEDs to the schools and the Isanti County Ice Arena.
Litchfield Masons Donate Life-Saving Fire Suppression Devices
The Litchfield Golden Fleece Lodge #89 donated 7 life-saving fire suppression devices to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Department and the Litchfield Police Department last night. Members of the Lodge and law enforcement posed for a photo last evening in front of the Meeker County Law Enforcement Center as the donation was made.
These tiny devices fit in the trunk of squad cars. They can dramatically reduce fire and water damage in enclosures like houses, garages, sheds or stores. They are lightweight and easy to deploy – you just pull the pin and throw it in.
Within 35 seconds, the fire is suppressed and the temperature inside the enclosure drops over 1000 degrees, making it a safer environment to extract trapped fire fighters or citizens. These devices will help save lives, and the Masonic Lodge and its Charitable Foundation are proud to donate these devices to help make the community and county a safer place.
Past Master of the Golden Fleece Lodge Terry Miller says this is a statewide effort that began last year, and the Lodge donated 5 for the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office and two for the Litchfield Police Department. He says the devices may not completely put out a fire, but could dampen a fire enough by law enforcement personnel who are usually the first ones on the scene until the fire department arrives.
Eveleth Masons Donate Fire Suppression Tools to Fire Departments
BY JIM ROMSAAS
EVELETH—The Virginia and Eveleth fire departments each received a potentially life-saving fire suppression tool (FST) Monday from Eveleth Masonic Lodge #239.
The firefighting devices are invaluable to those battling fires and citizens trying to escape a blaze.
“The big significance behind it is it will reduce the temperatures in a smaller, contained structure,’’ said Past Grand Master James A. Christensen. “When you can drop the temperature a thousand degrees, my God, that’s unbelievable. When we fight fires, these firefighters know the significance of dropping a fire a thousand degrees and how that can help save their lives and citizens’ lives. That’s such a significant factor.’’
“One just has to pull the pin and throw it in,’’ he added. “Incredibly in only 35 seconds, the fire is suppressed … making a substantially safer environment, should you need to extract trapped citizens or firefighters.’’ Eveleth Fire Chief Guy Spurlin and Virginia Deputy Fire Chief Erik Jonassen already have plans for the new equipment. Spurlin said he plans to place the FST in the chief ’s squad command vehicle, which is often first on scene and can cut down the fire temperature sooner with the FST’s chemical reaction. “We’re all about community safety,’’ he said. “If we can knock a fire down faster, that just makes it that much better.’’ The average fire is about 1,200 degrees, he added, but they do get hotter.
“We’re putting the piece of equipment on our ladder truck due to the mines in the area,’’ Jonassen said. They have large rooms with high voltage electronics and fires in those areas are not conducive to battling with water. Regarding fighting a potential fire with water, the same can be said for the Century Link regional internet serve in Virginia, he added.
Members from both departments have already received FST training, which was also paid for by the local Masonic lodges.
The compact FST unit can fit in the trunk of a squad car ora first responder vehicle. “These compact units can suppress a rolling fire in a contained area and will dramatically reduce fire and water damage in enclosures like houses, garages, stores, or sheds,’’ Christensen said.
The donations of the FSTs and other fire department equipment are a big part of what the Masons do.
“The members of the Eveleth Masonic Lodge #239 have been a part of the community for over 120 years,’’ Christensen said. “We are committed to ensure that we make our communities a better and safer place.’’ One bigger donation was providing the first “Jaws of Life’’ vehicle extraction tool to the Eveleth Fire Department, he said.
“Eveleth Masonic Lodge, with the help from grants provided through the Minnesota Masonic Charities, is proud to make our communities better and safer places.’’
Eveleth Mayor Bob Vlaisavljevich was pleased with the added equipment for each city.
“It’s nice to see the technology coming to our departments because they work so close together. We’ve got cutting edge equipment and the people know how to use it.”