We appreciate all our local firefighters, who put their lives on the line every day to protect those in the Tristate area. Through the month of October, you can help look out for them!

This month the Dubuque County Firefighter's Association is the recipient of funds from Kwik Stop's Kwik Care program.

This morning we visited with Captain Phil Arnsdorf from the Dubuque Fire Department, who told us they were humbled and excited to learn they were receiving the honor. Phil mentioned that Kwik Stop has been a great partner to all of their departments within the county. He said it feels even more special to know they were selected as next week marks the start of National Fire Prevention Week.

So what is the Dubuque County Firefighter's Association? It's made up of 13 departments... one career department, Dubuque, and the remaining 12 are county volunteer fire departments. They provide both fire and EMS services to their residents.

When you're driving behind the Dubuque County Fairgrounds, you've probably seen a tall, funny-looking building there just off of Seippel Road. That's the Dubuque County Emergency Responder Training Facility. It was built in 2005 and used by area emergency responders to train safely and as a group, so they can involve firefighters, police, and EMS together.

The facility includes a tower that is used as a live burn building. This can be used for live-fire sessions in a controlled environment, so if there's an issue, the fire can be extinguished with the push of a button. They can also practice searching for victims and high-angle rescues.

There is also a set of classrooms and an evolution lab, which allows them to do their academic work and then practice things in a controlled setting.

As for National Fire Prevention Week, we talked about changing the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as we fall back with Daylight Savings Time.

Captain Arnsdorf mentioned this years theme selected by the National Fire Protection Agency is learning the sounds of fire safety. When you have a smoke detector in your house and you hear 3 repetitive beeps, it means that smoke or fire has been detected and you should get out of your home and call 911.

There are some smoke detector/carbon monoxide combination devices. If you're hearing 4 repetitive beeps, it might be indicating the detection of carbon monoxide. You should again get out of your house and call 911. In this situation, the fire department is happy to come and investigate as they have special equipment to determine if there is danger.

You may be hesitant to call out of fear you're troubling the fire department, but they would rather you call. Captain Phil said that's what they're there for! Better to be safe than sorry!

With the leaves starting to change, it won't be long until people start burning their stuff. Captain Phil says there is a recreational fire policy in the city of Dubuque. This allows you to have campfires outside... but there are restrictions! (You can find what you can and can't burn at their WEBSITE.)

If you have general questions that are non-emergency, you're welcome to call 563-589-4160 and the fire headquarters will be glad to answer your questions.

The final reminder Captain Phil shared for National Fire Prevention Week is to go over your family's fire safety plan. Make sure everyone in the house knows two different ways to get out... and where you're family meeting spot is once everyone has exited. He also said to make sure you leave any furry friends behind. The fire department will assist you when they're on the scene.

All this month you can drop your extra money in the Kwik Care canisters at area Kwik Stop, Dairy Queen, and Fazoli's Restaurant locations. If you're a cashless person, you can round up your purchase to the nearest dollar to help the Dubuque County Firefighter's Association.

Captain Phil says they'll use that money to help improve their training classrooms and supplies for the training of emergency responders.

Our thanks to all our Dubuque firefighters and emergency responders!

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