Image of the day
Sunday, June 7, 2015
Open burning not allowed between June 1 and September 1.As in past years, a seasonal open burning ban is now imposed in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's counties and Baltimore City.The ban includes open burning that is primarily used as a form of disposal of certain waste materials by individuals, farmers, and developers.The burning of any material, without possessing a lawfully issued open burning permit and producing such a permit for review when duly requested by a law enforcement officer or representative of the fire department, shall be illegal in Harford County during this period. The ban does not affect backyard barbecue grilling or open fires for recreational purposes, such as campfires.For additional information see http://www.mde.state.md.us/programs/Air/AirQualityCompliance/Pages/Programs/AirPrograms/air_compliance/index.aspx.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
The Officers and Members of the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company have had a productive and busy past few days. On Friday May 29 members spent the morning inspecting and testing several dry hydrants in and around the district, allowing new drivers to train under the watchful eye of experienced pump operators. The ability to obtain water from these dry hydrants in a prompt and efficient manner is not only a requirement to be cleared to drive fire apparatus but is paramount to a successful outcome on our fireground as most of our district is not served by public water (fire hydrants). On Saturday members of FVFAC along with members of the Bel Air VFC, Jarrettsville VFC and Fawn Grove (York County, PA.) VFC participated in a live fire training exercise using an acquired structure in the 3000 block of Charles Street. Firefighters were able to train under the watchful eye of certified instructors in as realistic an environment as possible. This training is conducted in accordance with National Fire Protection Association Standard on Live Fire Training Evolutions (NFPA 1403). The structures used for these "house burnings" must meet strict guidelines related to ownership, demolition permits, structural integrity, removal of hazards, etc. In addition there are mandated instructor to student ratios, water supply requirements, and prior student training requirements. While many FVFAC members were attending this training other VOLUNTEERS attended the station to host a fire safety themed child's birthday party as part of our community risk reduction and outreach program. Early Sunday morning at approximately 2 A.M. FVFAC and Bel Air VFC units were dispatched to a motor vehicle crash with persons trapped on Baltimore Pike (Business Route 1) near Old Joppa Road. First arriving BAVFC units confirmed two passengers trapped as a result of a single vehicle crash which appeared to be a car versus guardrail and utility pole type crash. Fire and EMS crews from Bel Air and Fallston worked together to remove the doors, roof, seats and to displace other vehicle components to access and extricate the front and rear seat passengers of the vehicle. Both victims were treated by EMS on scene and transferred to Maryland State Police Aviation Command EMS to be flown to a regional trauma center for treatment of serious injuries. The driver was transported by Bel Air EMS to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. As FVFAC members were preparing to attend the monthly membership meeting on the evening of Monday June 1 flash flood warnings were posted for the region. Just before 7 P.M. Harford County DES dispatched FVFAC and other area rescue crews to a report of a vehicle in high water on Bel Air Road near Milton Avenue. While this call proved to not be of a life threatening situation, high water on area roadways was a hazard once again for late rush hour commuters. These are just a few of the activities that the VOLUNTEER members of the FVFAC regularly perform to promote fire and life safety in the Fallston community. If you are interested in becoming a member of your local emergency response organization PLEASE contact our Membership Committee by clicking on the "Become A Member" link on the left of this page.Additional photos available on FVFAC facebook page (photos courtesy of FVFAC members).
Eng 1312 Operating at the Woodsbrook Dry
Charles Street Live Fire Training
courtesy of Christine Sullivan
The FVFAC and other area fire companies will partake in a live fire training exercise Saturday May 30 beginning at approximately 8 A.M. in the Upper Crossroads area utilizing an acquired structure. The training event will result in non-emergency fire apparatus traffic in the area throughout the morning and afternoon, however this will not result in any roadway closures. You may also observe smoke in the immediate area of the exercise, again this should not cause problems for any residents of the area. Specific location information will be posted on our facebook page after 8:30 A.M. Saturday morning. Feel free to come and view this training event during the morning and early afternoon. A safe area for observers will be established. Please follow any and all instructions from fire personnel at the event.
As summer temperatures arrive, families throughout the area will venture outside –
either to the beach, the mountains or maybe just to their backyard. Increased outdoor activities also result in
an increase of outdoor fire risks; therefore the Fallston VFAC and the Office of the State Fire
Marshal are providing a few common-sense tips that will help everyone enjoy a
safe grilling season.
Outdoor Cooking Safety Tips for Gas Grills:
¨ Liquefied Petroleum Gas
(LPG) cylinders should always be transported in the upright position on the
floor of the vehicle with all windows open.
Never transport cylinders in the trunk of a car. Remove the cylinder from the vehicle as soon
¨ Ensure all connections are
tight. Check all connections with soapy
water. The appearance of bubbles indicates leaks, re-tighten leaking
¨ Make sure grease is not
allowed to drip onto the hose or gas cylinder.
¨ Store the cylinder
(including those attached to barbecues), outdoors in a shaded, cool area out of
¨ Read thoroughly and follow manufacturer’s instructions for gas grill use. Save the
instructions for later reference!
Outdoor Cooking Safety Tips for Charcoal Grills:
¨ Use only a small amount of
charcoal starter fuel. A little goes a long way! Consider using charcoal that
does not require starter fuel for ignition.
¨ Once a fire has been
started, never add more starter fuel! Fire can easily follow the stream of fluid
back to the container causing an explosion and potential serious bodily harm.
¨ Use great caution in
disposing of ashes. Ashes may contain
live coals that can start a fire if not disposed of properly. The safest method is to wet the ashes
thoroughly with water before emptying the barbecue. Only transport ashes in a metal container.
With any outdoor cooking
equipment, never be tempted to use them inside – not even in a garage with the
door open or on a porch or a balcony. “Outdoor
grills produce carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas which
even in small quantities can cause injury or death. LPG cylinders that develop
a leak indoors can cause an explosion with devastating results,” states State Fire
Marshal Brian S. Geraci. By following these simple safety guidelines you can help to insure a safe and enjoyable summer grilling season for yourself, your friends, and your family! (click on the link below for NFPA's Grilling Safety Video)
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Monday evening seemed to be the start of another normal week at the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company (FVFAC). Members were staffing the station, our officers were attending the scheduled monthly officer's meeting, and other members were attending to family events in the community. As the evening news was concluding, it soon became evident that the upcoming hours would be likely to present extreme challenges for area emergency service agencies. By 10 P.M. what had started as a localized disturbance in the Mondawmin area of Baltimore City resulted in episodes of civil disobedience throughout the City. As a result, Baltimore City asked for statewide assistance from area law enforcement and fire/EMS agencies. At approximately 3:30 A.M. Tuesday morning FVFAC and Bel Air VFC were dispatched to re-locate units to the Old Town Station of the Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD). Engine 1311 and Tower 331 joined other mutual aid units from throughout the state at the Old Town Station and were given their deployment assignments. For approximately 24 hours Engine 1311 was stationed in the quarters of BCFD Engine 42, Medic 6, and Battalion Chief 4 located at 4522 Harford Road in the Lauraville section of the City. The Fallston "day shift" crew was relieved at the City station at 7 P.M. by a "night shift" crew from FVFAC before Engine 1311 returned to Harford County at 4 A.M. Wednesday morning. While Engine 1311 was covering areas of Northeast Baltimore, other FVFAC units responded to another multi-acre woods fire in Fallston on Tuesday. This late afternoon fire was located in the Gunpowder State Park along Guyton Road near Bottom Road. Units from FVFAC, Bel Air, Joppa-Magnolia, Jarrettsville, Abingdon, Level, Norrisville Volunteer Fire Companies in Harford County; the Kingsville, Long Green, and Jacksonville Volunteer Fire Companies in Baltimore County; and the Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department responded to this fire or covered Fallston VFAC stations. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources also responded to oversee the final extinguishment of the fire. This fire presented several challenges for fire crews including limited access and hilly terrain necessitating the requests for specialized equipment and additional personnel. Also, this area is not served by public water ( fire hydrants). Special Unit 1381 drafted from the adjacent river to supply engines and other units during fire extinguishment operations. The last units cleared this fire scene at approximately 8 P.M. The fire did not involve any structures and no injuries were reported. Again, the importance of our mutual aid and automatic aid policies played an important role in the prompt and efficient delivery of emergency services in the region on this day. Not only FVFAC and Bel Air VFC, but also the Kingsville VFC had re-located an engine to Baltimore City during Tuesday afternoon. Interoperability with and interdependence on our mutual aid partners is now part of the daily routine in the fire service. Without it, we could not provide the services that our citizens require. The Officers and Members of the FVFAC offer our prayers and support to all Fire/EMS and Law Enforcement personnel operating in the City of Baltimore during these challenging times. By far, the majority of citizens within the City are also extremely supportive of these public servants. During our time in the City on Tuesday many citizens offered words of encouragement and support to us and the crew of Engine 42. FVFAC would like to give a huge THANKS! to B.C. 4- K. Haag, Capt. Jenkins and the entire shift at Engine 42 for their hospitality and camaraderie; and also to the other units of the 4th Battalion that made sure we had the tools we needed.
Engine 1311 @ Station of BCFD Engine 42
Friday, April 24, 2015
The Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company (FVFAC) has once again improved its' Public Protection Classification (PPC) grade through a review of our structural fire suppression capabilities by the Insurance Services Office Inc. (ISO). The PPC grade is based on an evaluation by ISO of: Needed Fire Flows (theoretical amount of water necessary for fire suppression), Emergency Communications (9-1-1, dispatching, and telecommunications), Fire Department (equipment, staffing, training, community risk reduction, etc.), and Water Supply (hydrants and alternative water supplies). To help establish appropriate fire insurance (casualty and homeowners) premiums for residential and commercial properties, insurance companies need reliable and up to date information about a community's fire protection services. The PPC rating from ISO provides that information by collecting data about the quality of public fire protection in more than 47,500 fire protection areas across the United States. In each of those protection areas, ISO analyzes the relevant data and assigns a Public Protection Classification — a grading from 1 to 10. Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire suppression program does not meet ISO’s minimum criteria. Most U.S. insurers of home and business properties use ISO’s PPC when calculating premiums. In general, the price of insurance in a community with a good PPC is lower than in a community with a poor PPC, assuming all other criteria are equal. Statistical data on insurance losses bears out the relationship between excellent fire protection-as measured by the PPC program- and low fire losses. The PPC community rating classification for the Fallston VFAC is now a Class 3/3Y . This is an improvement over our previous Class 4/9 which was assigned by ISO in 2010 (see http://www.fvfac.org/news/fullstory/newsid/118609). The improved Class 3 rating is applicable for all properties within five (5) road miles of a FVFAC fire station and within 1,000 feet of an ISO creditable water supply (fire hydrant, dry hydrant, etc.). The Class 3Y rating is for those properties within five (5) miles of a FVFAC fire station but beyond 1,000 feet of a creditable water supply. "The efforts of all those personnel involved with the data collection, record keeping, and delivery of services of the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company are to be commended for helping achieve our Class 3 rating. To improve a Fire Department's rating from a Class 7 to a Class 3 in less than six years illustrates the level of professionalism, dedication and planning that the current and recent leadership of the FVFAC have instilled in our Officers and Members" stated FVFAC Chief Will Rosenberg. Throughout the U.S. less than 6% of all the more than 48,000 Fire Departments rated by ISO are Class 3 Fire Departments. Only 4% (11) of the 268 Maryland Fire Departments are rated as Class 3 (from ISO website- http://www.isomitigation.com/ppc/1000/graphs/MD.html). The improved rating was earned with a Total Credit of 79.18 out of a possible 105.5 points placing FVFAC just 0.82 points out of a Class 2 rating. The improved PPC rating achieved by FVFAC should be reflected through the reduction of insurance premiums for those property owners in the Class 3 areas of our district. Please contact your insurance agent to determine if your insurer utilizes the ISO PPC for underwriting purposes. For additional information related to the FVFAC PPC Rating contact FVFAC Chief Will Rosenberg or PIO Dave Williams at email@example.com.To learn more about ISO and the PPC program visit www.isomitigation.com.
FVFAC will be at the Youth's Benefit Elementary School Spring Bazaar Friday April 24 from 4 P.M. to 8 P.M. See you there!!!
On Saturday March 28, 2015 the Officers and Members of the Fallston
Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Co., Inc. (FVFAC) held their annual Awards Banquet
and Installation of Officers for 2015. In addition to the swearing in of fire
company officers for 2015, members of the FVFAC were recognized for their
service to the citizens of Fallston and Harford County during 2014. County
Executive Barry Glassman served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening.
Operational awards for 2014 included EMS Officer of the Year which was presented
to EMS Captain Robert Griffith and Fire Officer of the Year which was presented
to Captain Jason Tarbell. These awards are voted on by the respective
operational crew members each year. These officers have steadfastly performed
their duties at a high level and continue to serve both the fire company and
the Fallston community.
The award for EMS Person of the Year for 2014 went to EMS Lieutenant Christos
Poneres. The FVFAC Firefighter of the Year award for 2014 was presented to
Firefighter and FVFAC Chaplain Michael Hayden Sr. These two honorees have
displayed a strong desire to serve the needs of the Fallston community by expanding
their roles through increased training, fulfilling emergency response roles,
and also by handling many of the “behind the scene” duties that are required to
support the activities of the FVFAC.
Each year the FVFAC bestows a Rookie of the
Year award on new members of the fire and EMS service who have made an
immediate impact on the delivery of services to the community and the efficient
operation of the fire company. The EMS Rookie of the Year for 2014 was awarded
to EMT Josh Burkins. The Fire Rookie of the Year award was presented to F.F.
John Hefner. These members have obtained training, attended many drills and
other activities, and have become integral members of the fire company in a short
period of time.
following members top the lists of Fire and EMS responses for the FVFAC in 2014.
FIRE OPERATIONS TOP 10 RESPONDERS
2. Brian Leschke 148 calls
4. Jason Tarbell 118 calls
5. Robert Stanton 87 calls
6. Michael W.
Barlow 86 calls
8. Josh Burkins 86 calls
9. Randy Reinecke 80 calls
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES
TOP 10 RESPONDERS
1. Brian Leschke
3. Josh Burkins 147 calls
4. Julie Adams 116 calls
5. John Richter 112 calls
6. Christos Poneres 100 calls
8. John Hefner
9. Jon Martin
10. Tim Holt 44 calls(photos courtesy of Christine Sullivan)
Administrative Officers for 2015
2015 Chief Officers
Monday, April 13, 2015
Members of the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Co. along with representatives of the Jarrettsville VFC, Long Green VFC, Harford County Hazardous Materials Response Team, Harford County Sheriffs Office, and Harford County DES toured the Colonel Pipeline Bel Air Compressor Pump Station on Charles Street in Fallston. The pipeline stretches from Texas to New York and transports approximately 1million gallons of petroleum products daily. Through cooperative efforts such as this industry, responders, and emergency planners continue to work to keep our communities safe. The Officers and Members of FVFAC wish to thank Colonial Pipeline and their employees for their hospitality and commend their attitude toward cooperative safety for our members and area citizens.
FVFAC and other personnel learning from
courtesy Scott Blankenship, FVFAC
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Co. and other surrounding fire companies have been busy throughout the day battling woods and brush fires in the area. After handling a motorcycle crash on Baldwin Mill Road involving personal injuries which sent patients to a local hospital and a trauma center shortly before 2 P.M., Fallston VFAC units were dispatched to the area of Bel Air Rd. and Reckord Rd. for a report of a field fire. Units arrived to find a multi-acre woods and brush fire over a mile from the paved road. Access to the fire was a challenge, as only ATV's and SUV's could be used to shuttle personnel and equipment to the fire scene. Assistance from Kingsville, Bel Air, Joppa-Magnolia, Whiteford Volunteer Fire Companies, Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department, and the Perry Hall Station of the Baltimore County Fire Department was dispatched due to requests for specialized equipment and manpower. No injuries were reported and the fire was declared extinguished after approximately 2 1/2 hours. At approximately 7:30 P.M. Bel Air and FVFAC units were again dispatched for a field fire in the 1100 block of Red Pump Rd. Units arrived with a fire in the wooded area that was contained in approximately 30 mins. With the current weather conditions we are experiencing your local volunteer fire companies urge all homeowners and recreational users of our wooded areas to be constantly vigilant concerning all ignition sources in wildland areas. Please do not discard smoking materials or ashes from cooking fires in any combustible material. Do not conduct any open burning in windy conditions and always have a water source (hose) close by to control any sparks or embers.
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