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                As the temperatures have dropped fire departments across the region are seeing an increase in calls for fires in the home. Some of these fires have originated in the chimneys and other heating components of the homes. Chief Will Rosenberg of the FVFAC and the State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci are stressing the importance and value of insuring your safety by having chimneys and flues properly inspected. 

          As we depend on multiple types of heating sources to stay warm inside our homes these systems must be continually maintained to insure safe operation. “Elements of home heating continue to be a significant factor in dwelling fires in Maryland,” according to the State Fire Marshal.  “Following the attached guidelines, we can work together to reduce the number of residential fires.. 

           Please follow and share these basic guidelines to protect yourself and your loved ones from the effects of a heating system fire.


·         Ensure that your chimneys and flues are inspected and maintained annually or more frequently if used as the primary heating source.

·         Never use a flammable liquid to start a fire in a fireplace or heating device. Only use combustible materials like newspaper, kindling wood or approved commercially available fire starting products to safely create a fire in a fireplace or woodstove.

·         Use properly sized fireplace screens or enclosures.

·         When disposing of your cooled ashes, do not use paper or plastic containers to remove them. Instead, use a metal container.  Ashes will insulate hot embers long after the fire is considered out. Place the metal container outdoors and away from decks, etc. to prevent a fire from starting in an unattended area.

·         Make sure fuel burning stoves and heaters are installed according to local fire codes and the manufacturer’s instructions.

·         Have your home furnace inspected and serviced annually.

·         Check portable electric heaters for frayed or damaged wires. Ensure the heater is clean and placed on a flat level surface.  Use only heaters that are “listed” by an approved testing laboratory (UL, FM, etc.) and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

·         Do not use extension cords or multi-outlets with portable electric space heaters.  The extension cord or strip outlet may overheat and cause a fire.

·         If you use kerosene fuel fired heaters, use only “K-1” kerosene fuel.  Never fill the unit inside, remove it to the exterior after it has cooled before refueling.

·         Open a window enough to provide proper ventilation when using a fuel fired heater.

·         Keep combustibles (furniture, curtains, clothing, paper goods, etc.), at least three feet from all heat sources. Combustibles placed too close to a heater can ignite easily.

·         Provide a non-combustible protective barrier to keep children and pets from making contact with any heating appliance.                                                                            

·         Fuel burning appliances can produce the deadly, tasteless and odorless gas known as carbon monoxide.  Install and maintain CO alarms inside your home to provide an early warning of dangerous carbon monoxide levels if you have any fuel fired appliances.

·         Always turn off portable heating equipment when leaving the room or area for extended periods.  Portable heaters should never be operated unattended


     Along with these heating tips, check to make sure your smoke alarms are in good working order.  “Routine maintenance and safe operation of heating equipment combined with properly installed and operating smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are a life-saving combination for all Marylanders,” stated Geraci.  Fallston residents who need smoke alarms replaced or have questions about the proper use of smoke alarms in their home should contact the FVFAC at 410-638-4890 or by email at








          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.

          We deliver:

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.

          We utilize:

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.

          We hold:

Fundraising events, 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 & Grounds              

          By-Law Committee             Community Outreach

          Community Risk Reduction      EMS Billing

          Fund Drive                           Grant Writing  


          Hall Rental                           High School Parking Permits

          Historian                              IT Committee

          LOSAP-Pension (Statistics)       Membership (H.R.)       

          Reflective Address Signs           Safety Committee

          To begin the membership application process, stop by the Carrs Mill Road station any day or evening to tour the station, speak with an officer, and pick up an application. Or you can go to our website Main Page ( 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 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.





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

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





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



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.    




                 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.




                         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



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 !




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.



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