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FVFAC AND THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL RECOMMENDS THAT YOU “SPRING” INTO FIRE SAFETY

Spring-cleaning is an annual ritual for many people! State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci suggests that Spring-cleaning can take on another meaning. “It's the ideal time to check our homes, porches, garages, sheds and yards for dangerous materials and unsafe conditions and to spend some quality time to protect our families and properties.”

Saturday, March 22, 2014 saw the Fallston Volunteer and Ambulance Co., along with surrounding Volunteer Fire Companies, respond to several fires which could have been avoided had property owners and occupants adhered to the State Fire Marshal’s advice! At approximately 4 P.M. Fallston and Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company units were dispatched for a field and woods fire on Timberlea Drive. This fire began in or near an outbuilding on the property, quickly consumed the structure, and spread to approximately five acres of wooded area and at least one additional structure due to dry vegetation and weather conditions. Equipment and personnel from the Jarrettsville, Kingsville, and Whiteford Volunteer Fire Companies were also operating on this call. Shortly after 7 P.M. Fallston units were again dispatched for a field and woods fire, this incident was located in the 2000 block of Pleasantville Road. On arrival units found an approximately one acre field fire that was approaching and endangering a house, bringing additional units from Bel Air, Jarrettsville, and Kingsville Volunteer Fire Companies prior to being controlled. This fire was the result of a recreational fire that quickly became uncontrolled due to the weather conditions. A third fire in the Glen Elyn area of Fallston a few minutes later, at approximately 7:30 P.M. on Morningside Court destroyed a wood deck and damaged the wall of a home. This incident again brought Volunteer Fire Companies from Fallston, Jarrettsville, Jacksonville, Bel Air, and Hereford to quickly control and extinguish the fire. The cause of this fire is under investigation by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, however it appears to be the result of unattended and misused equipment involved in a recreational or cooking fire.

Start your safety cleanup activities by taking a few minutes to plan your day.  You will want to check each room in your home, including the attic and basement.  Also, don't forget the garage, yard and storage shed.

Plan to do the following:

1.      Remove All Hazards:

                Check and correct items such as:

o    Frayed or damaged appliance cords, wiring, fuses or breakers.

o    Accumulations of rubbish, trash and yard debris. Do not begin any fire during periods of elevated temperatures, low humidity, and/or breezy winds. Frequently check National Weather Service or other weather outlets for fire weather warnings.

Remove stacks of paper and magazines and place them in recycling containers.

o    Check for water leaks, especially near electrical appliances.

o    Check for adequate clearance between heating appliances and combustibles.                                             

2.      Properly Store Flammable Liquids and Home Chemicals:

o    Make sure that gasoline and cleaning fluids are well marked and are out of the reach of children and pets.  Store in a cool, dry place outside the house.

o    Clean up work areas.  Put dangerous tools, adhesives, matches or other work items away and out of any child's reach.

o    Make sure that all chemicals are kept under lock and key and out of reach of children and pets.

3.      Check Fire Protection and Safety Equipment:

o    Test your smoke alarms and CO detectors.  Do It Now while you're thinking about it

o    Make sure all doors and windows open easily and are accessible for fast escapes.

o     Make sure your street numbers are posted properly and are clearly visible.

o    Check and make sure you have a working flashlight and battery-powered radio for the approaching storm season.

4.      Plan Your Escape:

o    Sit down with your family and make sure that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire by designing a home escape plan.

o    Make sure you have two ways out of every room and that you have a meeting place outside the home for the whole family.

o    Practice the plan.  Even the best plan is no good if you don't practice it!

You can do a lot to protect yourself, your family and your property.  In fact, you are the key to your safety.  A little time spent on simple common sense prevention will do a lot to make your home a safer place to live!



     
courtesy HCVFEMSA

courtesy HCVFEMSA

courtesy Asst. Chief R. Blevins

courtesy Asst. Chief R. Blevins



 

CHANGE YOUR CLOCK ---CHANGE YOUR BATTERY!!!

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 the alarm. 



          The 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 (NFPA) recommendations. 



          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.



 

 

 

   


 

NEXT FVFAC BINGO APRIL 6, 2014 Doors open at Noon, Games begin 1 P.M.

 

   


 

HARFORD COUNTY PERFORMS AUDIT OF EMERGENCY MEDICAL COSTS

           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.  

     


 

FALLSTON AREA TO ENDURE ANOTHER WINTER WEATHER EVENT

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.

   


 

SNOW TO END OVERNIGHT, WINDS TO INCREASE

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.

   


 

FALLSTON AREA RECEIVES FOOT OF SNOW

Thursday, February 13, 2014  SECOND ROUND OF SNOW EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON

NWS 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.

   


 

DHMH and HCSO Warn of Potent and Deadly Drug Combination

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 13456@fvfac.org or the Harford County Health Department.

   


 

SEASONAL HELP !!!

           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

Winter EMS Care photo
      credit: Ligonier Twnshp VFD

photo credit: FVFAC-Sarah Venters

photo credit: FVFAC-Sarah Venters



 
 
 

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