‘Turn your attention to fire prevention’ this month

Firefighters from the city’s nine fire stations will be canvassing neighborhoods this month in an effort to make sure Biloxi homes have working smoke detectors.

The Fire Prevention Month effort, called “Turn Your Attention to Fire Prevention,” is a project of the Biloxi Fire Department, the American Red Cross, Firehouse Subs and volunteers being trained by the Red Cross. The program is patterned after a successful initiative by Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Fire Chief A.J. Martin.

“Our firefighters, assisted by representatives of the Red Cross and Red Cross volunteers, will go out into neighborhoods this weekend and two other weekends this month to offer free fire safety tips to homeowners,” Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney said. “We’ll also be checking smoke detectors and have free smoke detectors for those older homes that need them.”

Many of the 400 smoke detectors were provided by Firehouse Subs and through fire department grants. The self-contained detectors are powered by a lithium battery that is supposed to last 10 years.

“This is not just about smoke detectors,” Boney said. “This is about fire safety. In September, we had our first fire fatality in four years in Biloxi, and we’re looking to take every step that we can to avoid that situation from happening again.”

As many as three dozen Biloxi firefighters and a host of Red Cross workers and volutneers will be in neighborhoods Oct. 17, 24 and 31.

Those Biloxi residents interested in having a home visit or a free smoke detector should call the Biloxi fire chief’s office at (228) 435-6200 or email jboney@biloxi.ms.us or contact the Red Cross at (228) 896-4511.


Swetman wins Best of Show at Madisonville show

The Biloxi schooner Glenn L. Swetman was named the best of show and first place in its size during the 26th Annual Wooden Boat Festival in Madisonville, La., an event that attracts 30,000 people each year.

The 72-foot, 49-passenger schooner, a two-masted gaff-rigged oyster vessel,  is one of two Biloxi schooners owned and operated by the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum.

The Swetman, which was built in 1989 by Biloxi master boatbuilder Bill Holland,  was named best of show from about 80 participating vessels, which ranged in length from 12 to 70 feet.

Each year since 1990, either the Swetman or its sister schooner, the Mike Sekul, have made the trip to Madisonville, where the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum stages the two-day festival.

“It is amazing the people we meet and the contacts we have made over the years attending the show,” Seafood Museum Director Robin David said. “It’s excellent PR for letting people know they can come to Biloxi and charter the schooners.¬† It was amazing to hear how many people have visited the new museum since we opened last year, and it was so refreshing to see the children excited to step aboard and look in the engine room, and to look in the forward cabin. They sit at the helm and steer, while their parents take pictures.”

The two Biloxi schooners are available for walk-on or chartered sails regularly from the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum pier.
Learn more about the Biloxi schooners



News and notes

Planning Commission: The Biloxi Planning Commission meets Thursday afternoon at 2 at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Municipal Building on MLK Boulevard. To see the agenda for the meeting, click here.

Streets work: To see the latest status on infrastructure work and other street repairs throughout the city, click here.

Infrastructure overview: For an overview of the city’s $355 million infrascture project, including a video and the most recent status reports, click here.