October 1, 2010

For Additional Information:

Shelly Houston

(208) 489-0531



Fire Chief Encourages Public Awareness of Fallen Firefighters

in Conjunction with Fire Prevention Week


Meridian, ID – (October 1, 2010) – On October 3, 2010, members of the Meridian Fire Department will join firefighters across the country in marking the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service honoring the nation’s firefighters who have died in the line of duty.  Meridian’s five fire stations will fly their flags at half-staff on that day, and will sound the 5-5-5 siren signal from each station at 12:00 noon. The 5-5-5 signal used to be used by telegraphs if a firefighter fell in the line of duty.


“The Meridian Fire Department wishes to express our gratitude to all men and women who have lost their lives while serving and protecting their communities. Our department has been very blessed in that we have not had to face the tragedy of losing a member while on-duty. However because the fire service is a family, we mourn for those brave men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice. On this day, and every day, we honor them,” said Meridian Fire Chief Mark Niemeyer.


The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service coincides with Fire Prevention Week which runs October 3-9, 2010. This year’s campaign is designed to better educate citizens about smoke alarm recommendations under the theme “Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!”


According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), statistics show working smoke alarms cut the chance of fatalities in a fire nearly in half if working properly.  However NFPA data shows that many homes have smoke alarms that aren’t working or maintained properly, usually because of missing, disconnected or dead batteries, with roughly two-thirds of all home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.


“Many homes may not have smoke alarms, not enough smoke alarms, alarms that are too old, or alarms that are not working,” says Joe Silva, Fire Marshal for the Meridian Fire Department. “We want residents to understand that working smoke alarms are needed in every home, on every level (including the basement), outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom. And, if a smoke alarm is 10 years old or older, it needs to be replaced.”


Meridian Fire Department offers the following tips for making sure smoke alarms are maintained and working properly:


  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button, and make sure everyone in your home knows their sound.
  • If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they’re 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested.
  • Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.


To find out more about Fire Prevention Month programs and upcoming activities in Meridian, please contact Deputy Fire Chief Joe Silva with the Meridian Fire Department at 888-1234.

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The City of Meridian is located at the center of the Treasure Valley in southwest Idaho, minutes from the State Capitol. Founded in 1893 and incorporated as a city in 1903, Meridian is now one of Idaho’s largest and fastest growing communities. As the home to many young families, Meridian is a vibrant community whose mission is to be a premier city to live, work and raise a family and was selected in 2010 by Family Circle Magazine as one of their Top 10 Best Cities for Families, by Money Magazine as one of its 100 Best Places to Live, and by America’s Promise Alliance and ING as one of the nation’s 100 Best Communities for Young People For more information about Meridian, visit