Home Heating Fires Are A Leading Cause of Death;
Most Fires Reported in December-February
According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. With proper precautions, they can be prevented. The Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company offers the following information for staying fire safe while keeping warm this winter.
“There is nothing like coming in from the bitter cold to the comfort of a warm home,” says Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Tyc. “However, no matter what heat source you choose, there are fire dangers. While it’s easy to take short cuts with heating and put off having the furnace and chimney inspected and cleaned each year, it is absolutely not worth the risk.”
Here are some simple steps can prevent most heating-related fires from happening:
In addition, while many enjoy sitting by an open fire on a cold night, open flames inside the home can be dangerous. When using a portable ethanol burning fireplace, be sure to store ethanol fuel in a closed container, away from the fireplace and out of the reach of children. It may not be easy to see the ethanol fuel flame. Always close the lid or use a snuffer to be sure the flame is extinguished before refueling into a cooled fireplace. Use only fuel made specifically for the fireplace. Follow this advice:
The Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company is currently participating in Everyday Hero CT, a program dedicated to increasing the number of volunteer firefighters throughout the state. Eighty percent of all fire personnel in Connecticut are volunteers, and the majority of fire departments throughout the state are experiencing a volunteer shortage. Local fire departments need volunteers of all skill levels and abilities, people willing and able to respond to emergencies whenever called upon.
“The skills and experience gained as a volunteer firefighter are invaluable and have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of others,” says Chief Fred Dudek, Everyday Hero CT program manager. “Those who join their local fire departments sign up for one of the most rewarding opportunities they’ll ever have.”
About the Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company
Established in 1934, the Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. (MVFC) protects and safeguards the lives and property within the boundaries of Middlefield and Rockfall by doing everything within its power to provide firefighting and rescue services, as well as provide mutual aid support to surrounding communities. The MVFC is dedicated to providing for the safety and welfare of the community through the preservation of life, property, and the environment, by maintaining a constant state of readiness through firefighter training, and public education. The MVFC operates out of the firehouse located at the intersection of Jackson Hill Road and Route 157 and utilizes two engines, two tankers, a rescue truck, a pickup/brush truck, a pickup medical response truck, a small boat, and an antique parade engine. Anyone interested in learning more about the MVFC should call 860-349-7142, visit http://www.middlefieldfirect.org/, or stop by the firehouse any Monday night after 6:30.
About Everyday Hero CT
A partnership of the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association (CFCA) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the Everyday Hero CT campaign is a two-year Volunteer Workforce Solutions (VWS) initiative designed to address the shortage of volunteer firefighters in Connecticut. It is helping achieve a viable and sustainable volunteer firefighter workforce for 15 Connecticut fire departments: Broad Brook Volunteer Fire Department, Cromwell Fire and EMS Department, Gales Ferry Volunteer Fire Company, Gardner Lake Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. (Salem), Greenwich Fire Department, Killingworth Volunteer Fire Department, Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company, Old Mystic Fire Department, Rocky Hill Fire Department, Somers Fire Department, Stamford Volunteer Firefighters Association, Trumbull Volunteer Fire Services, Westfield Fire Department (Middletown), Windsor Volunteer Fire Department, Wolcott Fire Department. Everyday Hero CT is funded by a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant awarded to the CFCA by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a model to enhance the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. For more information, visit www.EverydayHeroCT.org.
Tuesday Evening, members of the Middlefield Fire Company, along with Firefighter Ryan Parmelee from South Fire District, gave an ice safety presentation to the local Cub Scout Pack. The group was given information on when the ice is safe to be on, as well as what to do in an emergency if someone were to fall through the ice. Captain Jeff DiCostanzo, Lieutenant Dana Arnold, Lieutenant Steven Tyc, Past Chief Bruce Villwock, and Firefighter Nicholas Tyc gave a demonstration on the equipment used and methods of rescuing a victim during an ice water rescue incident.
If someone is in trouble on the ice, or falls through, it is important not to go on the ice to try and rescue them, as the ice is probably not safe to be on. If you do witness someone fall through the ice, the most important thing is to call 911 and keep your eye on that person at all times, and give responders an accurate location of the victim.
Over the past month, three dedicated teens from the Middlefield Fire Explorer Post attended a week long training course put on by the Connecticut Fire Academy. This intense training, called Introduction To The Fire Service (ITTFS) is an immersive, residential program designed to provide youths between the ages of 14 and 17 with an opportunity to explore the Fire Service. A strong emphasis is placed on teamwork, self– and mutual respect and character as students select their own leaders and learn the basics of Fire Department organization, the Incident Command System and the core fireground skills required of successful engine, ladder and rescue company personnel.
ITTFS courses are taught by a small, hand-picked and specially trained team of instructors. The environment that they create in ITTFS provides a safe, empowering, inclusive, positive, teamwork and character based learning experience. Over the years, participation in ITTFS has inspired graduates to become full members of their Fire Departments, seek out college opportunities within Fire and EMS and to earn positions as career Firefighters.
Explorers James Helmedach and Jake Layman attended the first week of training in the beginning of July, where Jake Layman was chosen by his peers as the Incident Commander for the week. His duties were to oversee the group as a whole, and organize tasks with the four group leaders. James Helmedach was chosen to be a Squad Leader for his group, where he was charged with overseeing his squad, and reporting to the incident commander.
The last week of July, Explorer Zak Czellecz attended the Advanced Introduction To The Fire Service. During this week, Zak was elected as a Logistics officer for his squad, responsible for making sure his group had all the equipment they needed, including making sure they had plenty of water during this very hot week of training.
At the conclusion to both weeks, the Connecticut Fire Academy put on a graduation ceremony followed by a presentation of all the skills the cadets learned that week. The Officers and Members of the Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company would like to congratulate all three Explorers on a job well done.
Interested in becoming a member or and Explorer, contact us here!