Meet a Paris firefighter


Michael Warner is a senior member of the Paris Fire Department, having joined the department Nov. 18, 2001.

He is in the senior man on the C-2 shift and is in charge if the captain is gone.

“When we do our daily truck checks, if any problems are found by the other men, I’m the one they tell,” Warner said, explaining his responsibilities.

He also holds administrative duties within the department. Warner has been responsible for submitting the state reports for the prior eight years.

His start to a fire fighting career was different from other members of the department who are carrying on a family tradition.

“I was working at a local factory,” said Warner.

One of his friends decided to take the police department test, so Warner tested for a firefighter slot. Both men got hired and his friend advanced to become the police chief for a while.

It is the nature of the job that keeps Warner motivated.

“I’ve helped make some people’s worst days of their lives better — be it a car accident, or a fire or a medical emergency,” said Warner.

Another motivation is his status as a senior leader.

“I’m proud to share my knowledge and experience with the new guys to help them in their future career of helping the community,” Warner said.

His stress reliever is fitness although that has a connection to the job.

“I’ve lifted weights since I was 20 years old, so I’m usually at Dolan’s (Fitness Center) everyday to stay fit for the job,” he said.

Having seen his share of damage and emotional turmoil caused by a structure fire, Warner is using October as National Fire Protection Month to emphasize the importance of fire extinguishers.

He said while a portable fire extinguisher can save lives by putting out a small fire or maybe containing it until the fire department arrives, he emphasized people should not be overly confident with such devices.

“Because fire grows and spreads rapidly, the number one priority for residents is to get out safely,” said Warner.

He described fire extinguishers as one element of a home response plan that includes smoke alarms and a home escape plan.

Here are some tips regarding fire extinguishers:

nUse a portable extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area and is not growing, but be certain everyone has exited, the room is clear of smoke and someone is calling the fire department;

nFor home use, select a multi-purpose style that can be used on all types of fires and is sufficiently sized to put out a small fire, but not so large it cannot be handled easily.

nRead the label and understand how to operate the fire extinguisher before it is needed.

nWhile using the extinguisher, keep your back to a door so there is an escape option if the fire expands. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.

nDo not teach children to use an extinguisher. They may lack the strength needed or the maturity to know when to stop. It is more important to teach them the escape route and safe meeting place.