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Friday, March 7, 2014
In anticipation of daylight
saving time (DST) beginning in the early morning hours of March 9th, the State
Fire Marshal is urging Marylanders to “Change
Your Clock – Change Your Battery” in both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide
(CO) detectors in their homes.
Recognizing that working smoke alarms and CO detectors double a family’s
chance of surviving a home fire and/or unsafe carbon monoxide levels, the State
Fire Marshal says Daylight Savings Time is a great opportunity for families to
change the batteries. “Please
take the little time required to help ensure the safety of your family and
friends by maintaining these early warning life saving devices.”
A new Maryland law became effective on July 1, 2013
involving “battery only” smoke alarms used in residential properties. When these “battery only” smoke alarms have
reached their 10-year life span, they need to be replaced with new long-life
sealed lithium battery smoke alarms with silence/hush button features. The
silence/hush button feature temporarily disables the alarm so the occupant can
ventilate the space from mild smoke conditions typically created during some
cooking operations. The use of these
alarms eliminates the need to replace the batteries during the 10 year life of
new law also requires homeowners to ensure they have a smoke alarm installed on
each floor and in each sleeping area, per National Fire Protection Association
If your property is protected with 120
volt electric smoke alarms, they also should be replaced every 10 years with new
120 volt smoke alarms w/ battery back-up to ensure proper and timely operation
in the event of a fire. Along with working smoke
alarms and CO detectors, Home Escape Plans
are another way Marylanders can avoid injury or death in their homes. By identifying at least two different escape
routes, families can practice the plan together – before an emergency strikes. Practicing the plan helps educate younger
children to the danger of hazardous situations and the importance of
recognizing that the sound of a smoke alarm or CO detector signals a potential
hazard in the home. “Changing the battery in your
smoke alarms and CO detectors, along with developing and practicing a home escape
plan, are two of the best ways to protect your loved ones and yourself from
fire and carbon monoxide poisoning,” stated Fire Marshal Geraci.
Harford County has completed an audit of the expenses and revenues related to providing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Harford County. The report, forwarded to the Director of Administration and the Director of the Department of Emergency Services in February, reveals that the shortfall between revenues generated by EMS transport billing and expenses incurred by Harford County, the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Foundation (the Foundation), and Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association member companies is estimated at more than $5 million per year. The full text of the Auditor's report can be viewed at the link below.
Friday, February 14, 2014
As residents of Fallston and the entire region dig out from two back to back snow episodes, NWS forecasters are predicting another snow event for our region. Beginning around midnight Friday and lasting through Saturday afternoon an additional 1 - 3 inches of snow is expected. Our highway crews are still working to clear secondary roads, neighborhood access, and cul de sacs throughout the county. Please help them by refraining from parking in areas not yet cleared curb to curb. Also, as previously mentioned, please use caution in your activities throughout the weekend. Be aware of traffic safety issues related to the snow removal effort, and use safe practices in your recreation and home heating activities.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
The latest round of winter weather is winding down, with snowfall expected to end this evening. However, winds are forecasted to remain a problem with gusts to 35 mph overnight which could lead to drifting snow and the potential for power outages. Emergency Management and Highway Agencies continue to urge citizens to stay at home and not to travel. Roads are currently hazardous and travel is extremely dangerous. Please follow local media and various Harford County social media outlets for updates. Follow all fire and life safety recommendations as emergency vehicles are also having difficulty accessing many areas.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
SECOND ROUND OF SNOW EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOONNWS advises another round of snowfall approximately 4 P.M. for our area. An additional 1-3 inches of accumulation is possible. All Harford County Highways crews as well as SHA crews continue to work clearing roadways. With another storm system forecasted to move through the state Friday night all roads may not be cleared until Saturday.Please heed the advice to stay off the roads at this time. In an emergency, use caution if you must travel. Follow all safety precautions whether you are staying in or venturing out to play in the snow. Harford County Volunteer Fire Companies have opened their stations as warming centers for those citizens that are without power and/or heat. For locations and more info see the Harford County Fire and EMS Media Facebook page.
As Maryland’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) has recently reported an increase in the number of deaths linked to a potent and deadly batch of heroin that is tainted with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, Lieutenant Lee Dunbar of the Harford County Narcotics Task Force was recently interviewed by Robert Moore of ITV News, a London based news agency and NBC affiliate, regarding the surge in heroin being laced with fentanyl. A link to the video of that interview can be found below.
According to OCME data, between September 2013 and today, at least 37 Maryland deaths were caused by the lethal drug combination. The fentanyl/heroin deaths represent approximately 12 percent of 318 overdose deaths during the same time period. This represents the preliminary total of overdose deaths for the period between September 2013 and January 2014.
“Deaths due to the deadly heroin mixture appear to be widespread in Maryland and not localized to any specific area,” says Dr. David Fowler, Chief Medical Examiner for the State. “We have also seen overdose deaths due to fentanyl mixed with cocaine.” Members of the FVFAC have been informed to be aware of the deadly and potentially fatal aspects of dealing with this variation of commonly found street drugs when responding to overdose type of EMS calls.
Anyone with additional questions or needing further information may contact FVFAC EMS Chief Ken Sanner at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Harford County Health Department.
With the winter weather conditions that have been in place for such an extended period, the FVFAC decided to seek seasonal help in the form of characters that are more acclimated to the snow and subfreezing temperatures. These winter heroes are having no problem carrying on the duties of our regular members. If you would like information on joining the FVFAC, please scroll down to the story below and use the contact information provided.
Winter EMS Care photo
credit: Ligonier Twnshp VFD
photo credit: FVFAC-Sarah Venters
The Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company is looking
for new members to help serve the community. You may ask "What can I do to
help the volunteer fire company" We would ask…Well, what can't you do?!?
Our members do the things you expect, for example; respond to medical
emergencies, fight fires, rescue citizens trapped in various types of
incidents, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The training and equipment required to
become an Emergency Responder is generally free of charge to our members through
the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, FEMA, the National Fire
Academy, and other agencies. However, if you do not wish to become an Emergency
Responder we can still use your help as we also do much more in the community! We provide:
A meeting place in our
building for community groups and family events. These events need fire company
members to be present as a liaison to handle housekeeping and other needs.
Fire and Life Safety,
Injury Prevention, and other Community Risk Reduction Programs to groups
throughout the area. These events need fire company members to handle
scheduling, supplies, etc. in addition to delivery of the outreach program.
The internet, social
media, and mass mailing to reach our customers.
We need fire company members to post articles, reply to inquiries, correlate
information and coordinate delivery of mailings.
Bingo, Public Fire and Life Safety Education, etc. We need fire company members
to set up, clean up, work the kitchen, call bingo, cook and more.
We maintain our facilities:
To provide all of these
services. We need fire company members to sweep, mop, change light bulbs, cut
grass, clean equipment; etc;
Each of these tasks your volunteers perform supports your
community and your fire company. However, there are only a limited number of
hours in the day. With calls for emergency service increasing, training
requirements needing to be met and administrative meetings needing to be attended,
our emergency responders are finding less time available to handle these
supporting roles. Joining the volunteer fire service as a firefighter or EMT is
an excellent way to serve in your community and learn a new career.
Currently, our Emergency Response Personnel are also
filling many of these roles in addition maintaining their training, duty hours,
meetings, drills, etc. These “behind the scenes” jobs generally do not involve being
away from your family and loved ones on weekends and holidays and are not
physically demanding. A partial list of
these committees and tasks include:
Apparatus Maintenance Buildings
By-Law Committee Community
Community Risk Reduction EMS
Billing Fund Drive Grant
Writing Hall Rental High
School Parking Permits
LOSAP-Pension (Statistics) Membership
Reflective Address Signs Safety
To begin the membership application process on our website Main
Page (www.fvfac.org) click on "Become a Member" in the column to the
left. A copy of the membership application may be downloaded from there. Our
Membership Chairperson can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com. Or, you may call the "Membership
Hotline" at 410-808-1966 and leave your contact information. A membership
committee representative will be in touch with you shortly to discuss the
benefits of joining the Fallston Volunteer Fire & Ambulance Company.
Please join the Officers and Members of the FVFAC in sending your thoughts and prayers with us to the Toledo (OH) Fire Department. This past Sunday afternoon they suffered the loss of two firefighters while battling an apartment fire which has been determined to be a case of arson. The property owner has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder and arson in connection with the deaths of the firefighters.May their families and fellow firefighters find solace.
Rest easy, brothers. We'll take it from here.
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