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DID YOU KNOW?? Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment!          

          The kitchen is the heart of every home and safety must be the first recipe to follow when preparing the family feast.  On Thanksgiving Day a lot of activities are occurring with friends and family in the home.  “Holidays are a time of celebration. Please follow these simple guidelines to ensure a fire safe Thanksgiving Day meal,” states Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci.


·        Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly by testing them.  Additionally, ensure your guests are aware of all available exits if a fire would occur and have them meet at a designated location outside.

·        The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.  Stay in the kitchen whenever you are cooking so you can keep an eye on things.

·        Establish a three foot “Kids & Pets Free Zone” around any area where hot foods or drinks are prepared.  Plan activities that keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time.  Provide games, puzzles, books, etc. outside of the kitchen to keep them busy.  Kids can also be involved with preparations and recipes that can be made outside of the cooking area. In any case, ensure you turn handles of pots and pans inward on the stove and countertop to avoid spills and burns.

·        Keep a lid nearby when you are cooking to smother small grease fires.  Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the burner, and then leave the pan covered until it has cooled. Do not carry a pan that is or was burning through the house!

·        Keep anything combustible - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, etc. away from the stovetop.

·        Eliminate clutter in the kitchen.  A clean work area allows for better efficiency and less chances for mishaps.

·        Keep matches and lighters out of reach of curious children’s hands.

·        Do not leave lit candles unattended or in places where they could be knocked over by children or pets.


Turkey Fryer Safety


·        Many turkey fryer appliances can be easily tipped over, allowing for hot oil spillage.  Ensure you place them on a hard, level and non-combustible outdoor surface away from all structures. 

·        Do not place a turkey fryer under an overhang or temporary roof.  A flare up can easily ignite materials above the appliance.

·        Partially frozen turkeys can cause a spill over and result in a flare-up.  Thoroughly thaw the turkey before cooking.

·        Turn off the burner before placing the turkey in the container.  Re-ignite the burner after you are sure it is safe to do so.

·        Constantly monitor the temperature of the oil.  It can easily reach temperatures to the point of combustion.

·        Be careful not to overfill the fryer.  Follow manufacturer’s guidelines for proper filling levels.

·        The handles and lid will get dangerously hot.  Use well insulated potholders or oven mitts.

·        Never leave the fryer unattended while cooking.  Keep an all-purpose (ABC) fire extinguisher on hand.  Do not use water in an attempt to extinguish a grease fire.


Following these simple guidelines for fire and life safety will help to ensure a tragedy free holiday meal.  Have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving!





Monday, October 26, 2015              At approximately 11:45 A.M. Fallston VFAC and surrounding Volunteer Fire Companies were dispatched by Harford County DES/9-1-1 for a report of a dwelling fire in the 2300 block of Kings Arm Drive in the Woodsbrook development near Upper Crossroads. Fallston VFAC and Bel Air VFC units were already on the street and attended in their stations due to having just cleared other calls in their respective districts. As units were responding information was relayed from DES that the caller had arrived home and encountered heavy smoke coming from her dwelling. First arriving FVFAC Rescue/Engine 1351 reported smoke showing from the attic area of a large two story dwelling. As the remaining first alarm units arrived and set up for a rural water operation using the dry hydrant at the Woodsbrook pond 900 feet away, Engine 1311's crew assisted R 1351 with an interior fire attack. A working fire dispatch was requested which brought additional staffing and rural water resources from Harford and Baltimore County Volunteer Fire Companies to the scene. Jarrettsville and Bel Air VFC personnel supported the initial firefighting crews by performing interior operations including searches, fire extinguishment, and overhaul. A second alarm was requested by the Incident Commander, Assistant Chief Bob Stanton (Ch 13-1) to provide relief crews for the first alarm units. 

             The fire was contained within 30 minutes. Investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal were on the scene and determined that the cause of the fire was accidental due to an electrical failure and originated in the kitchen of the dwelling. The fire also extended upward into the second floor of the structure in this area. The loss is estimated to be valued at $400,000 to contents and the structure. While no injuries were reported to firefighters or the homeowner, four family pets did unfortunately perish. 

              Volunteer fire companies responding to the scene included Fallston, Jarrettsville, Bel Air, Joppa-Magnolia, Hereford, and Kingsville. Units from Level, Abingdon, and Norrisville Volunteer Fire Companies covered empty stations throughout the area during the incident.   

photos courtesy FVFAC and BAVFC

photos courtesy FVFAC and BAVFC



               Our Open House  will be  held  Saturday, October 17th from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M, at the Carrs Mill Road Station. Stop by and have your family visit with your local Volunteer Firefighters and EMS personnel during our annual Public Safety Open House! We will also have personnel from the Harford County Sheriff's OfficeHarford County Department of Emergency Services, and the Harford County Technical Rescue Team on hand to talk with and learn about the services we provide. Learn about new developments in smoke alarm technology, residential sprinklers, and more! Demonstrations of firefighting and rescue techniques are scheduled to be presented at 12 noon and 1 P.M.

We hope to see you Saturday!  




NFPA Smoke Alarm Calendar

NFPA Smoke Alarm Calendar


The 2015 FIRE PREVENTION WEEK theme is "HEAR THE BEEP WHERE YOU SLEEP!!!"  with  a goal of teaching everyone about the benefits of having working smoke alarms in their homes.

Did you know that Maryland enacted new residential smoke alarm requirements in 2013? These requirements are being phased in and all homeowners and renters should be familiar with them. 

Smoke alarm technology is constantly improving. Smoke alarms are now available with sealed 10 year batteries, wireless connectivity, combination smoke and CO alarms, and more.

Follow the links here to learn more. Smoke alarms are your best protection for early notification of a fire in your home. Your chances for survival depend on having working, properly placed smoke alarms! 




            FIRE PREVENTION WEEK-OCTOBER 4-10, 2015

            Here is a quiz from NFPA to rate your Smoke Alarm IQ! Let's see how well you have been listening to our fire safety messages. (click on story title bar above)

           Please use the information from the Smoke Alarm Quiz to insure that your family is protected to the maximum level of safety that smoke alarms can provide. Remember-smoke alarms are only good for 10 years! If your smoke alarms are approaching 10 years of use (or more) they need to be replaced, and new smoke alarms sold in Maryland are provided with a sealed 10 year battery so that battery replacing is not needed! 

             If you cannot find these new smoke alarms in the store your local Harford County Volunteer Fire Company can provide them for you. See our "LINKS" tab to the left for contact info. 




Sparky on the Street! Escaping a home fire.

             Having working smoke alarms in your home reduces the chances of dying in a reported fire in half. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

             Did you know that your family may have as little as one to two minutes to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s information everyone should know. Unfortunately, not everyone does. As you’ll see in this "Smoke Alarm Smarts” video when Sparky the Fire Dog® asks people how long they have to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds, he gets lots of different answers.

             As Fire Prevention Week is fast approaching, we will work to promote basic but vital smoke alarm messages. Please help us spread the word by sharing this video on your website and/or social media.

             For more information on Fire Prevention Week 2015, October 4-10, and this year’s theme,“Hear the Beep Where You Sleep: Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm”, visit




courtesy NBC5Chicago

courtesy NBC5Chicago

As members of the Fire and EMS service, we never know when our training and experiences which begin here in Fallston and Harford County will be used throughout our travels to help others. Former FVFAC member, George Thiess, and other members of the Blue Angels maintenance crew put their emergency medical skills and training to work, helping a motorist who was trapped and injured in a motor vehicle collision in the Chicago area.

Great work by all and thanks to each of you for your service to our great country!




                The Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company (FVFAC) is pleased to announce that on July 1, 2015 through the combined efforts of the FVFAC, Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association (the Association), and Harford County Government a new Advanced Life Support EMS response unit has been placed at the Upper Crossroads Station of the FVFAC, to be known as Paramedic 13.

                Paramedic 13 will be staffed 24 hours a day- 7 days a week by a paramedic employed by the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Foundation (  This unit will be dispatched by the Harford County Department of Emergency Services (Harford Co. 911) on all EMS calls in the FVFAC district as well as on calls in and near the village center of Jarrettsville and the Black Horse area to supplement the FVFAC and the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company in providing the appropriate level of EMS care to our citizens. The respective volunteer fire companies will continue to provide EMS basic and advanced life support transport units for these calls, with Paramedic 13 providing additional ALS support when needed.  The placement of Paramedic 13 at the Upper Crossroads Station will facilitate improved response times to the aforementioned areas by having an ALS provider on duty there 24 hours a day.

                Funding to implement this Paramedic “chase car” service was included in the Harford County 2015-2016 budget by County Executive Barry Glassman as the need for additional ALS and EMS staffing was identified by the Association and county government as a priority for this portion of the county. As with the ALS chase cars already in service (PM 1 @ Level VFC and PM 6 @ Whiteford VFC) the Association member companies that utilize the chase car provider(s) are charged a fee based on the use of the provider.

                What will our citizens expect to see as a result of this new service in the Upper Crossroads area? On each EMS call to 911 in addition to an ambulance being dispatched PM 13, a four wheel drive SUV carrying full ALS supplies and equipment including a LifePak 15 cardiac monitor/defibrillator will be dispatched on the call. In many areas, this unit will arrive prior to the fire company’s ambulance. The paramedic will be able to start the patient assessment process and in many cases begin necessary pre-hospital treatment prior to beginning to package the patient for immediate transport to an appropriate hospital facility upon arrival of the ambulance.

                "The implementation of this much needed service was truly a combined effort of the Volunteer Fire Companies, the EMS Foundation, the Chief Officers Liaison Committee of the Association, and Harford County Department of Emergency Services. We are proud to add this service that ultimately helps the citizens of Harford County" Michael Kalck, Vice President of the EMS Foundation stated.




Sunday, July 5, 2015              As many area families were enjoying the 4th of July holiday attending public fireworks displays Saturday night, Fallston VFAC responded to the 1800 block of Brickhouse Lane shortly before 10:00 P.M. for a report of a subject burned by fireworks.

            The incident occurred at 9:50 PM as a teenager and her family were observing an illegal fireworks display in front of 1802 Brickhouse Lane. EMS personnel from the Fallston VFAC and the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Foundation responded and located a 15 year old female patient with burns to various areas of her body. She was treated on the scene by paramedics and transported by ambulance to the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Burn Unit in Baltimore.  

             Investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal determined that the homeowner, Jeffrey S. Hoffmann (51) was igniting both ground based and aerial fireworks when a stray aerial firework did not launch properly and exploded in the front of the girl as she was sitting on the ground approximately 25 feet away. In an effort to provide medical aid, the teen’s father placed her in the homes swimming pool. She was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital Pediatric Burn Unit with 2nd Degree Burns to approximately 9% of her legs and fingers.

              At the conclusion of the investigation, Deputy State Fire Marshals determined the aerial fireworks that injured the teen were purchased in Pennsylvania. Investigators issued Hoffman criminal citations totaling $500.00 for the discharge and possession of fireworks without a permit.

             As stated in previous FVFAC website and Facebook page articles the use of illegal fireworks is a dangerous practice! With illegal fireworks so readily available just across the state line we see injuries and property damage every year during the 4th of July holiday from the use of these items. We urge all citizens to refrain from providing and attending any display of illegal fireworks for the safety of your friends and loved ones. 

             “Every year Marylanders are injured by fireworks. By acting responsibly, we can help eliminate injuries. I would again, highly suggest the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the many public displays throughout the state” stated Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci.




            Now that we are into the 4th of July holiday weekend, State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci is suggesting that all citizens use proper fire and life safety practices when choosing how to enjoy the outdoors. For the upcoming 4th of July, attend only approved public fireworks displays. “I would highly suggest the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the many public fireworks displays throughout the state.” stated Geraci.  To help our citizens enjoy a safer summer season, the State Fire Marshal offers several ways to enjoy fireworks while avoiding injury:

·        Consider only attending the public fireworks displays scheduled throughout the area this year. Leave fireworks to the professionals.

     For those individuals who insist on the use of legal consumer fireworks:

·        Purchase the fireworks in the location where you intend to discharge them. Check with the local municipality to determine what fireworks are considered legal for use in that area.

·        Read and follow label warnings and instructions.

·        Do not allow small children to use fireworks.

·        Do not consume alcoholic beverages while using fireworks.

·        Have a bucket of water or hose available

·   Fully extinguish remains of fireworks in water before disposal.


      “Fireworks have been a long tradition of the 4th of July holiday celebrations. Please make safety your number one priority so everyone can enjoy the holiday season.” adds the State Fire Marshal. “By acting responsibly, we can help eliminate fireworks injuries in Maryland.”

      In addition, be sure to follow all safety procedures when entertaining family and friends this summer. Grilling safety is a priority. Remember to NEVER grille on a porch or balcony! Grilles should only be used 15 feet or more from any structure. You must be sure that there are no overhead obstructions when grilling to eliminate the chance of unintended ignition of structures or trees. And always dispose of ashes in a metal container, never place them in a combustible container or within a structure awaiting disposal.

        For additional fire and life safety information check out  and

courtesy Christine Sullivan

courtesy Christine Sullivan

NFPA 4th of July Fireworks Safety


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