Morton Salt gifts saw

Manistee public safety director Dave Bachman shows off the saw donated by Morton Salt. Also pictured is Jacob Bialik of Morton Salt.

MANISTEE — It would take quite a lot to saw through this partnership.

“For years, the City of Manistee Fire Department has worked with Morton Salt on confined space training and pre-fire planning,” said city public safety director David Bachman. “We have always had a relationship with them, and in years past, when we have done confined space training and fire transfer training, Morton has always made a donation.”

Past donations have been safety harnesses and metal anchor points, and after the MFD responded to a fire at the plant on Feb. 8, the parties discussed what would make an approproate gift.

This time, Morton Salt upped the ante and matched the fire department’s need for a ventilation saw. The saw was donated on Thursday and will immediately be placed on the department’s ladder truck for use.

“This saw is a top of the line, firefighting certified, ventiliation saw,” Bachman said. “For a ventilation saw, it allows us to cut through rafters, shingles, asbestos, steel. It’s a carbide tip, and you can actually set the depth. It’s a 20 inch blade but you can set the depth to be 4 inches so if you are cutting through a roof, you may take the shingles and the sheet wood off but not cut through the rafters.

“It allows us to vent the building, and not damage more than you have to to make the ventilation.”

Morton Salt and the Manistee Fire Department have had a history of training, Bachman said, that has lasted for years. The MFD trains there because of the “unique” amount of hazards the factory houses.

“When an employee is working, they could get trapped in a confined space, they have a lot of places,” Bachman said. “Anywhere from their boilers to their silos to their tanks, they have a lot of places where an individual could be injured and in a confined space. We train there because their employees have some confined space training, and we have the confined space expertise.”

With the saw, the Manistee Fire Department now will be able to ventilate burning structures while reducing firefighter fatigue and increasing effectiveness.

“There isn’t any question about that thing,” Bachman said. “If you have a fire, that saw will get used.”

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Posted by Eric Sagonowsky

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