City of Lancaster Fire Department and Walmart Team Up for Fire Safety

Photo courtesy City of Lancaster

LANCASTER – The City of Lancaster Fire Department has teamed up with Walmart to assure ongoing future fire safety in the city.

With all the significant structures being built in the city, according to Lancaster Fire Department Chief Kenneth Johnson, “The partnership with Walmart will better equip us with the capability to ventilate the large box style construction sites, such as the two new facilities that now call Lancaster home.”

As the Lancaster Fire Department continues to expand, the new safety addition is a mobile ventilation unit. This mobile ventilation unit is a large-scale fan mounted on the back of the fire truck and will be used if necessary to remove smoke and toxic gases from large structures. The large-scale fan can also be used as a cooling unit.

While the City of Lancaster would not say how much the mobile ventilation cost, they only responded: “The unit was part of a partnership with Walmart.”

It was revealed that the partnership with Lancaster and Walmart came about because of the development of the large warehouse in Lancaster and the fact that fire safety measures can affect both entities in an emergency.

“It was recognized that we could not efficiently ventilate a building of that size; therefore, they suggested the partnership,” Chief Johnson said.

The size of the building Johnson is referring to is part of the construction of the 1.5 million-square-foot fulfillment facility and the 700,000-square-foot distribution facility, in which the mobile ventilation unit can be deployed if there is a need.

The City of Lancaster has three fire trucks. However, Johnson explained, “The fan is not mounted onto a fire truck. It is mounted to a track that was retrofitted for the fan. The truck and fan are a unit.”

It is not certain how many fire departments in the Best Southwest have these mobile ventilation units, but Johnson said the City of Dallas does have one.

As for how this system will enhance service and offer residents and those at the new facilities under construction better fire protection: “Ventilation is an integral part of any fire attack strategy. The time it takes to ventilate a building is directly related to the volume of fire gases that can be removed and replaced with fresh air. We utilize fans to make the process more efficient. By adding the new “super fan,” we can ventilate the building faster, returning it back to the building representative and decreasing their downtime. The ammonia release a week ago is a good example of the benefits of having the “super fan.”

Johnson concluded that the Lancaster Fire Department is “Very grateful for the partnership with Walmart. As our community continues to grow and develop with larger industrial and manufacturing facilities, in addition to the fire suppression system installed within the building, Lancaster Fire Department enhances its readiness to respond should the need arise.”