Submitted by: Bob Norton, Haddam Fire Company Public Information Liaison
Members of the Haddam Volunteer Fire Co. responded to 38 calls for emergency services in November. The breakdown of calls is as follows:
Medical Emergencies - 26
Fires, alarms etc. - 6
Motor Vehicle Crashes - 6
Training for the month included mandatory blood born pathogens annual refreshing, Automatic Emergency Defibrillator (AED) refreshing, and ice rescue. As a “defib” service, the Fire Company must refresh annually on the use of the AEDs. Classroom presentations as well as several life-like scenarios were used to test and improve the skill level of Emergency Medical Responders and Emergency Medical Technicians.
During the Ice Rescue Training, safety procedures were reviewed. The Fire Company is equipped with cold water suits, life lines, and a special sled type device to be used when performing rescues on ice. After some classroom discussions, the Fire Company utilized the skating pond at the Haddam Meadows State Park to practice using the suits, lines and sled. Safely performing an ice rescue is extremely complicated. All personnel know exactly what has to happen, and what type of personal protective equipment is required. Line tenders must be wearing personal floatation devices. Rescuers must be tethered and clipped in using a dual carabineer system. Good intentioned by-standers should stay on shore and await rescuers to aid in the location of victims and not cause additional persons requiring assistance.
The Firefighter I class being hosted by the Fire Company completed its state required live burn at the CT State Fire Academy. The 8 Haddam students, along with the rest of the class, practiced search and rescue as well as hose line evolutions inside a structure designed to produce heat and flame using high volume propane. Outside a car fire prop was used to simulate the hazards of fighting gasoline fueled vehicle fires. After course job performance requirements (JPRs) and a course final written exam, the class moved on to a month’s worth of Hazardous Materials Operations Certification training.
With the high cost of heating, many have begun to use alternative heating sources. When not properly installed, maintained and utilized, serious conditions can develop.
Kerosene heaters, when not vented directly outside, produce high levels of carbon monoxide. Never use any fuel not designed for use in the heater by the manufacturer. Never fill it when it is in use or hot. Be sure the device is in good working order and legal to use as a heating device within a residence.
Woodstoves should be installed by professionals and inspected. Chimneys should be cleaned and inspected annually. Only seasoned hardwood should be burned to reduce the chances of creosote buildup inside the stove pipe and/or chimney. Should there be any evidence of a chimney fire, dial 911 and leave the building. Firefighters with special training and tools can ensure that the fire has not extended outside the chimney and into hidden spaces within the structure.
February brings some of the best winter recreational conditions to our area. Be sure that the ice is thick enough before you venture out onto that lake. Stay in control when sliding down that hill on a sled, toboggan, skis or snowboard. Take care not to over-do it when shoveling that white fluffy snow – frequent breaks and proper hydration are keys. Be sure to dial 911 immediately should you or a family member feel any chest pains or discomfort while strenuously removing snow or performing other activities. Enjoy the winter as soon it will be Spring!
More information on the activities of the and ways you can get involved can be found on our website – www.HaddamFire.com.