- Associated Press - Sunday, September 27, 2015

DUNCAN, Okla. (AP) - The history of firefighters started over 600 years ago when knights fighting in the crusades became firefighters out of necessity when their enemies used flaming arrows, boiling oil and glass bombs containing naphtha, according to a firefighter brochure.

The brochure, written by Eric Morganthaler and Susan Walker, explains that badges, shields and the Maltese Cross used by knights became symbols in the firefighting community.

A Duncan Fire Department firefighter’s shift starts at 8 a.m. one day and finishes 24-hours later when the clock hits that eight again - assuming there are no calls keeping them at a scene, The Duncan Banner (https://bit.ly/1NPEN6O ) reported.

“We just keep going until we are done or relief comes,” said firefighter Lane Smiley.

The department consists of 42 firefighters divided into three fire stations situated strategically around town to be able to cover the whole city.

The department has a call volume of 3,600 annually. DFD has a current ISO rating of 4 within the Duncan City Limits. DFD provides fire, EMS, hazmat and rescue services within a 52-square-mile area, assisting a population of 24,600. It also assists the community with child car seat installation, car seat inspection, CO2 and smoke detector installation and inspection, fire inspection, code enforcement, tours, visits, CPR classes, AD classes and first aid classes.

During their days, firefighters spend most of their time making sure their equipment works before heading out to a fire or emergency call.

“We want to make sure our equipment works when we need it,” said Duncan Fire Department Capt. Ryan Ellis. “Once a week we do pre-plans. We go to a business and check the layout. That way if we have a fire we can know where everything is.”

Ellis said about one of every seven calls received are fires and the rest consist of medical calls and accidents.

“We got a lot of holdover (due to being short-handed),” said Ellis. “Sometimes we have to work 48 (hours) before we can go home.”

“It’s a good job and we have very good benefits and a retirement program,” he said. “It’s a great and challenging career with plenty of team building.”

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Information from: The Duncan Banner, https://www.duncanbanner.com


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