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SEE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR FIRE SAFETY AND OTHER INFO!!!!

Always allow 36" clear area around space heaters (courtesy OSFM).

Always allow 36" clear area around space
      heaters (courtesy OSFM).

 

   


 

WINTER FIRE SAFETY - TAKE TIME NOW TO INSURE A SAFE WINTER SEASON

NFPA Winter Heating Safety

With colder temperatures here this is the time to check your home heating and safety systems !

The Officers and Members of the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company (FVFAC) urge homeowners to take a few minutes to perform required maintenance checks and service on your furnaces, pellet stoves, wood stoves, fireplaces and chimneys now. Cold weather is here and these systems need to be operating efficiently for continued use through the season. 

A few minutes of yard work (a great family activity!) to remove dried leaves and other vegetation from around your house and other structures that could pose a fire hazard is also recommended. Pellet stoves often have vent pipes (chimneys) that extend through an exterior wall and heat or sparks from these can ignite leaves, pine needles, or other dried materials along the walls of your home. Your roof should be checked for accumulations of leaves also, especially around your chimney. Always have a qualified individual handle any work that involves climbing ladders or accessing your roof. 

This is also the time to check, replace, or obtain your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. The technology and requirements for these life saving devices has changed and you should be aware of these changes.

Scroll through our previous stories and archives for winter and other fire safety tips. Additional winter fire safety information can be found at www.nfpa.org/safety-information.

     


 

FVFAC Announces the Passing of John C. Behrmann

Wednesday, January 7, 2015                   It is with deep regret that the Officers and Members of the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company announce the death of Life Member and Past President John C. Behrmann.

                 John passed away peacefully January 7, 2015 at home. Funeral arrangements are as follows:  Viewing at the E. G. Kurtz and Son Funeral Home, 1114 Baldwin Mill Road in Jarrettsville from 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. on Monday January 12, 2015 with a Fire Department Memorial Service to be held on the same date at 8:00 P.M. Funeral service to be held at the Kurtz Funeral Home beginning 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday January 13, 2015 with interment following at Highview Memorial Gardens, 3433 Fallston Road. John's friends and family are invited to gather after the graveside ceremony at the Fallston Volunteer Fire Company on Carrs Mill Road to celebrate John's life.    

   


 

BEL AIR VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY LODD

                 The Officers and Members of the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company offer our deepest condolences to the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company during this tragic time.

   


 

PASSING OF JMVFC PAST CHIEF DERRICK LLOYD

                         It is with deep regret that the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company announces the passing of former Chief of Department Derrick Lloyd.


                        The Officers and Members of the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company express their deepest condolences to the Lloyd family and the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company. Rest easy, Brother. 



     

JMVFC Chief Derrick Lloyd

JMVFC Chief Derrick Lloyd



 

SANTA'S VISITS.....

FVFAC Members are always ready to help !!!!

FVFAC Members are always ready to help
      !!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014                      Santa has completed his visits to the Fallston area neighborhoods! The members of the FVFAC are happy to have helped Santa see so many of our families again this year. Remember to visit the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Co. facebook page also for fire safety info and other updates on our activities! 

                      MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL !





   


 

BOGGS ROAD STRUCTURE FIRE - POSSIBLE METH LAB

courtesy Jarrettsville VFC

courtesy Jarrettsville VFC

                  Shortly before 8:00 P.M. on Sunday November 30, 2014 the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Co. (FVFAC) and surrounding Volunteer Fire Companies were dispatched to a report of a building fire in the 1300 block of Boggs Road in Forest Hill. As units responded Harford County Department of Emergency Services (DES) Fire Dispatchers advised that the caller was reporting a fire in an unattached garage. First arriving Chief R. Davis from the Bel Air VFC initially reported a small fire in the two story garage type building several hundred feet from the road. As FVFAC Engine 1311 arrived moments later Chief Davis, having investigated further, upgraded his report to a working fire on the second floor of the structure. Engine 1311, under the direction of FVFAC Chief W. Rosenberg, deployed approximately 700 feet of supply line as they ascended the driveway to the structure. As additional FVFAC units and others from Bel Air VFC, Jarrettsville VFC and the Kingsville VFC (Balt. Co.) arrived firefighters initiated an interior attack on the fire, established a water supply (this is a non-hydrant area), and performed support functions. As the fire attack progressed within the enclosed second floor of the building, interior firefighting crew members experienced unexpected fire behavior conditions. These conditions required a change in tactics to extinguish the fire as it appeared that other than ordinary combustibles were burning. Firefighters began using dry powder extinguishers in areas that water was not effective, and were able to complete extinguishment in this area. The fire was declared under control at approximately 8:40 P.M.

                   As firefighting operations continued, checking for complete extinguishment and to determine if fire had extended to other areas within the building, firefighters observed a number of items which are considered to be hazardous materials. The Harford County Hazardous Materials Response Team (HM Team) was requested to respond to assist the Incident Commander in determining what, if any, actions needed to be taken to safeguard firefighters continuing to operate on the fireground and to mitigate any other hazards due to the presence of the materials present.

                   As investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) worked to determine the cause and origin, and representatives of the HM Team investigated the hazardous materials involved, it was determined that the fire was possibly involving a clandestine laboratory used for the manufacture of methamphetamine. At this time the Harford County Narcotics Task Force was requested to respond also to assist the agencies operating on the scene.

                    Due to the exposure of firefighting personnel, as well as their tools and protective equipment, to the smoke and other products of combustion during the burning of the chemicals within the fire area the incident scene was now to be treated as a hazardous materials incident. All exposed equipment and personnel underwent decontamination procedures at the fire scene prior to being released from the scene. In addition all hose, firefighters' personal protective equipment (PPE-helmets, hoods, coats, pants, gloves, boots, etc.), and breathing apparatus needed to be removed from service, placed in a secure area, and evaluated to determine if the items can be adequately cleaned and returned for use. The products of combustion from meth lab fires are extremely hazardous to the health and safety of anyone exposed to them. Hazards include atmospheres consisting of toxic fumes, poisonous gases, and corrosive chemicals which can be absorbed into PPE or worse, by a firefighter not properly protected. The non-metallic seals and gaskets in our breathing apparatus, the life-line we depend on daily in every hazardous environment,  is also subject to corrosion and failure through exposure to these products.

                   As a result of the exposed equipment being required to be placed out of service, and to the lack of readily available (in-house) replacement PPE and other items one FVFAC Engine was placed unavailable for service to the Fallston community Sunday night. This Engine was placed back in service Monday evening after breathing apparatus normally used for training, and from non-firefighting units was made available to be placed thereon. Also, nine (9) sets of firefighting PPE (turn out gear) were either completely or partially condemned due to exposure and disposed of. As these sets of PPE are measured to and constructed for individual members, we now have a number of members that do not have PPE available to them until new or certified de-contaminated PPE is available. In addition, all Volunteer Fire Company members on the fireground at this incident who were exposed to the products of combustion or to the hazardous materials during operations on scene, have filed a First Report of Injury for workers compensation insurance coverage in the event that any member develops symptoms of illness or other ailment that was caused through this exposure. 

                   While fires and other incidents that emergency service agencies respond to normally are short duration events that affect only a small area or population, the response to this fire has placed an onerous burden on the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company, other responding Volunteer Fire Companies, and the Greater Fallston Community as a whole. Due to this fire one of two Engines of the FVFAC was not available to respond to the Community's needs for approximately twenty-four hours. Nearly a dozen emergency responders do not now the have required personal protective equipment that they did have prior to this fire.  Firefighters actively engaged on this incident scene, while performing their duties in a VOLUNTEER status and saving the property of a member of the community,  now must await  results of lab tests to determine what potential health issues may await.  The FVFAC must expend tens of thousands of dollars to obtain new PPE and have other items certified as acceptable and safe for use.

                      Clandestine laboratories present a community-wide health, safety, and economic issue. These labs have been found in all types of communities, hotels, and even in mobile vehicles. The response by public safety agencies to investigate and dismantle these labs is hazardous to responders and costly to the agencies involved. As stated above, the response to a fire at a potential or verified clandestine lab can have outcomes that affect the entire community for days, weeks, and even months. 


      This incident is under further investigation by OSFM and the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

   


 

THANKSGIVING WEEK - FVFAC RESPONDS TO NUMEROUS INCIDENTS

                The members of the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Co. (FVFAC) responded to several incidents during this past Thanksgiving holiday week. Starting on Tuesday morning FVFAC Fire and EMS personnel responded for an injured worker from a tree trimming incident in the 2800 block of Pleasantville Road. The worker was standing on the ground while a tree was  being cut by co-workers. Part of the tree fell on him causing serious injuries. The patient was assessed, treated, and packaged for transport by FVFAC members and turned over to MSP Aviation for transport to a trauma center.

                 Tuesday evening FVFAC was dispatched to cover for the Joppa-Magnolia VFC at their Old Mountain Road station (House1) while JMVFC and area Volunteer Fire Companies fought a dwelling fire on Windstream Way.

                 Thursday night FVFAC handled a possible chimney fire on LaSalle Road. Personnel investigated using thermal imaging equipment and a visual inspection of the flue and found no hazards.

                 After handling several other calls including vehicle crashes, automatic fire alarms, and various medical emergencies Wednesday through Friday, Saturday afternoon the FVFAC was dispatched as part of a Tanker Strike Team to a dwelling fire on Jarrettsville Pike in the Jacksonville area of Baltimore County. FVFAC Tanker 1321 responded along with Jarrettsville VFC units from Harford County to assist our Baltimore County Volunteer and Career brothers and sisters in extinguishing this fire.

                On Sunday evening shortly before 8:00 P.M. FVFAC and surrounding Volunteer Fire Companies were dispatched to a building fire in the 1300 block of Boggs Road. Fallston, Bel Air, Jarrettsville, and Kingsville VFC arrived and battled a fire in a 2 story structure containing a three bay garage on the first floor. The Harford County Hazardous Materials Response Team was requested to the scene due to the possibility of hazardous materials being involved in the fire. This incident is under investigation by Harford County Sheriff's Office and the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

                 The Officers and Members of the FVFAC urge all residents and visitors to the area to drive safely and utilize fire safe practices throughout the remaining Holiday Season! 

     
Pleasantville Rd. fly-out..courtesy Tim Holt

Pleasantville Rd. fly-out..courtesy Tim
      Holt

LaSalle Rd...courtesy Tim Holt

LaSalle Rd...courtesy Tim Holt



 

CADET HIGH SCHOOL FIRE AND EMS TRAINING PROGRAM

Cadets training with portable extinguishers

Cadets training with portable
      extinguishers

               Did you know that High School Seniors in Harford County are able to learn the basics of firefighting, hazardous materials response, and emergency medical services through their school curriculum? The Harford County Board of Education and the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association have partnered to provide a vocational program for seniors to obtain the entry level training, experience, and credentials which enable students to move forward to a career in emergency services upon graduation from High School. Classes are held each day at the University of Maryland-Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute North East Regional Training Center in Harford County. If you are interested in obtaining additional information on the Cadet Program please contact Mr.John Richter, Cadet Program Coordinator, at jrichter@hcvfa.org or 443-903-8098.

   


 

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY FIRE SAFETY

NFPA Thanksgiving Fire Safety Video

                   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,” Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci asks.  

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

·        Did you know that the leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking?  Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.

·        Establish a three foot (36") “Kids & Pets Free Zone” around any area where hot foods or drinks are prepared.  Be sure to have 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 with recipes that can be made outside of the kitchen area.  Just in case, ensure that you turn the handles on all pots and pans inward on the stove and counter top to avoid spills of hot foods.

·         Always 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.

·        Keep anything that is combustible - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, etc. away from the stove top and other heating elements. 

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

·        ALWAYS 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. 

·        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 of oil 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 only 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 the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper filling levels.

·        Remember that 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.

 

The FVFAC and State Fire Marshal ask that you follow these simple guidelines for fire and life safety to help to ensure a tragedy free holiday meal.  Have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving!



   


 
 
 

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