SPRINGFIELD, MO - While most folks had the day off to celebrate the 4th of July, firefighters were out making sure the public was safe. It’s just like any other day when it comes to emergency response.
Steve Stinnett, the battalion chief at Station 2, says, “When you become a firefighter, to me, it’s a commitment to service and a dedication to service and that commitment and dedication doesn’t stop on any one day.”
Stinnett has been with the Springfield Fire Department for 18 years and says he’s seen Independence Day celebrations turn for the worst. “A very nice home burned and it was due to fireworks being put in the garage," he explains. "They were put in a waste can in the garage and hadn’t been cooled off properly.”
However, there are proper ways to have a safe holiday. Stinnett explains that, "Standing back a distance from the fireworks while they’re being discharged. Make sure that anything that is going to be sending projectiles is on a stable base so it’ll send the projectiles away from onlookers. And dispose of them properly.” He says to make sure to dispose of fireworks by keeping them wet and outside.
And after years of serving the public on the 4th of July, Stinnett says you do have to be flexible when signing up for the job. "What we’ve dedicated out lives to is serving the public. So, no matter what the conditions are or what day it is we’re going to be here to serve.”
It is illegal to shoot fireworks off in the city limits.