Continued Training to Keep Us All Safe

 

This week saw another round of training for your Fairfield Glade Fire Department personnel. The first exercise of the week took place Wednesday night at Station 1 with our dedicated staff receiving on-going training in the use and maintenance of our SCBA equipment. For those of you that don’t know, SCBA stands for self-contained breathing apparatus. This is one of the firefighter’s most important pieces of equipment. The SCBA is the foundational tool that provides the greatest amount of airway protection from toxic gas and harmful particulates resulting from a fire. It’s essential for modern firefighting and today’s complex fire grounds. In addition to providing air to the firefighter, these devices also include alarm technology that notifies others when a firefighter is not moving. No motion is the first sign of a firefighter in trouble.

Instructor and veteran firefighter Kurt Wehrmann took our members through all aspects of the equipment. From assembly and maintenance through donning and doffing.

 

The second phase of this week’s training took place the following Saturday at a vacant house used for training purposes. With a smoke machine, officers flooded the structure with smoke, replicating the environment of a real fire. Smoking makes visibility inside the structure impossible. With the dense smoke in place, two-man teams then entered the house and performed a maneuver known as “Right Hand Search.” The primary search is the most critical and potentially the most dangerous task that is performed on the fireground. The primary search’s first and most important factor is completing the mission objective of locating victims and hopefully the seat of the fire. The search is performed while crawling through the structure and using the right hand to identify obstacles and to also identify victims who may still be inside. To provide the highest level of safety for the responders, both firefighters in the two-man team are in constant physical contact while conducting the search.

 

By continually refreshing and practicing our techniques and maintaining our expertise with our equipment we can continue to provide the best first responder experience to Fairfield Glade Residents.

To support your fire department, we encourage you to click HERE TO DONATE.

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Kurt Wehrmann delivers important live saving info on the SCBA.

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Sharon Ricciardo assembles her SCBA under the watchful eye of veteran Firefighter Charles Licht.

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Firefighters prepare to enter the scene

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Firefighters enter the “Smoke House”

FGFD July 9th Training...
Drafting

Your FGFD was hard at work this morning perfecting the art of "Drafting." Drafting is a practice of drawing water from lakes and streams when there is no other water source to fight a fire. It's an exiting thing to witness, but more importantly, it demonstrates the many varied and complex skills it takes to be a firefighter protecting our community.

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Your Dedicated FGFD Firefighters conduct training in all weather.

While you were home keeping warm, the FGFD was training... In the SNOW! Today's training was search and recovery. In the video below, deputy Chief Chris Young instructs trainees in the art of Right Hand Search. In this first run through, firefighters are working without smoke to become accustomed to the technique. There will be a second run through during which the facility will be smoke filled with zero visibility.

Firefighters: Are They the Ones Who Need Saving?

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Kira Jones

As the siren blared, the fire trucks barrel down the highway in hopes of saving the beloved members of their community. At any given moment, firefighters face more traumatic scenes than imaginable. Many people do not realize the toll these scenes take on an individual's mental health, and luckily, a vast majority of people do not face them in their lifetime. For others, they see these scenes every day. The mental trauma these scenes pose on firefighters are often experiences these brave men and women spend a lifetime dealing with. Regardless of professional help or other methods of emotional efforts of healing, the scenes they see ultimately leads to various amounts of depression or stress, which leads to suicide or suicidal thoughts. This plague torments many first responders, and it is important for these brave men and women to find ways to cope in order to deal with their traumatizing mental experiences.

When the brave firefighters get called, they know not what is ahead. That is something the general public finds difficult, but for these firefighters, this is an everyday experience. Not knowing what is happening next, often causes firefighters to show symptoms of depression because of the constant sense of anxiety. According to Fire Engineering, depression rates found in firefighters were found to be five times higher than the rates in the regular civilization population. (Wilson, 1) Anxiety plagues many individuals around the world, but it is an everyday experience for firefighters. Without proper ways to cope with the repercussions of anxiety and depression, many other, commonly worse, emotional-related illnesses arise in addition to depression because of anxiety, the overall stress of the job is enough to inflict many mental issues upon an individual. Many people handle stress on their own by doing everyday chores, keeping their minds busy with projects, or spending time with their loved ones. For firefighters specifically, these options are not available because of their long work schedules and on-call responsibilities. In many instances, this takes a toll on firefighters, and many studies show a spike in the number of firefighters resorting to drinking in order to cope. A study, outlined in "Firefighters and Addiction" by Drug Rehab, found that fourteen percent of firefighters participated in hazardous drinking, and fifty-eight percent participated in binge drinking. (Tagliareni, 1) Not only is this a dangerous coping mechanism, but the individuals do not solve their problems; it simply aids in forgetting the experiences witnessed throughout their shifts.

 

Likewise, the experiences firefighters witness causes them to ultimately experience many of the symptoms of mental deprivation in many different magnitudes. If any of these symptoms become experienced at the same time, any person expects to possess mental issues. In 2019, deaths by suicides in firefighters constituted thirty percent more deaths than the ones in the line of duty, according to Fire Engineering. (Wilson, 1) For firefighters, suicide, or suicidal thoughts, commonly occur throughout the industry. For many, the resources for help are available, but it is often frowned upon given the profession. Given that only forty percent of all suicides were reported in 2019, according to Fire Engineering, this proves few firefighters seek help before it is too late. (Wilson, 1)

In order to overcome this issue, ways to help are available; coincidentally, a firefighter overcomes this issue with a great support system, such as friends, family, and coworkers.

However, the first step in helping firefighters is to look for the warning signs. These signs are substance abuse, isolation from others, extreme mood swings, and talking about being trapped and wanting to commit suicide. The second step is the final step, talk to them and get them the help they need. Finding the proper help is crucial for firefighters' personal health because mis-assigning the proper aid, makes their situations worse, increasing their symptoms. The way firefighters deserve to be remembered is not by the horrible scenes they see, but by the outcomes of the people they save. As a veteran firefighter reported in "Silent Suffering: Firefighting and Depression" once said, "The most challenging part of the job is seeing things the human minds were not designed to see. That is the most frustrating and mentally challenging thing about being a firefighter." (Staff, 1) This calls for new outlets for firefighters to find the help they need to continue to serve the community. These important members of society are crucial to ensuring a safe community for everyone because in the moment of crisis, these are the first people there to help. Therefore, instead of waiting on them to save the members of the community, it is time for the members of the community to stand up to save the firefighters.

 

 

Works Cited

"Firefighters and Addiction." Drug Rehab

https://www.drugrehab.com/addiction/firefighters/.

"It Could Never Happen Here: PREVENTING Suicides in the Volunteer Fire Department." Fire Engineering, 13 Dec. 2020, https://www.fireengineering.com/health-safety/it-could­ never-happen-here-preventing-suicides-in-the-volunteer-fire-department/#gref.

"Silent Suffering: Firefighting and Depression." IAFFRecoveryCenter.com, 14 Feb. 2020, https://www.iaffrecoverycenter.com/blog/silent-suffering-firefighting-depression/.

       

New Recruit Training

Training has begun for seven new recruits to the FFG Fire Department. This past Saturday our new recruits, as part of the 70 hours of training required to become a firefighter, they participated in fire extinguisher training. This includes the various types of extinguishers and their intended use. Specific kinds of fires require a specific type of extinguisher be used to fight it. Check out the pictures below to see the various types of extinguishers in action.

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Another Saturday... Another Training Day

On February 12th, more than 20 members of the FGFD worked hard training at Station 1. The day was spent reviewing safety procedures on donning equipment, the assembly, safety features and alarms and use of our air packs, the filling of air pack bottles, and of course, the maintenance of our vehicles. We followed this with some exercise on the track... in full gear. That'll get the heart pumping. We put a little presentation together to demonstrate some of the activities of the day. We included a picture of our new Incident Command Vehicle, which adds another layer of efficiency to our emergency management capability. Click on the short video below to sample our work for the day.

FGFD... Working Hard to keep us safe!

Training to keep you SAFE!

To become a firefighter, our members must complete more than 70 hours of training. In order to maintain their firefighter status they must also complete 40 additional hours of training annually. Our crews inspect and test all apparatus and equipment once a month.  Additionally, we conduct training sessions on the 2nd Saturday of every month, RAIN, SNOW or SHINE. This past Saturday, in the snowy cold was no exception. We work tirelessly to protect your lives and your property. We appreciate your support.

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Your FGFD... Always at the ready to protect and serve.
Continuous Equipment Testing ensures readiness!

From the Chief...

On December 4th and 18th your Fairfield Glade Volunteer Fire Department tested all the hose on their trucks. This is a long process during in which each and every hose is taken off of every truck tested and then put back on. I would like to thank all the members that helped and I appreciate all of their hard work.

I would like to especially Thank Pastor Doug Elders and the members of The First Baptist Church for their generosity and support by letting us use their parking lot.

Wishing Everyone have A Safe and Healthy New Year.

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“While you are sleeping your Fairfield Glade Fire Department volunteers their time 24/7 to protect all community members.  This sunrise scene is at a recent Medivac from Dartmoor dam.  Please consider making a donation to this vital organization this holiday season! You can mail a donation payable to

FGFD, P.O. Box 1547, Fairfield Glade, TN 38558;

or you can drop off donations anytime at the FGFD station on Peavine Rd; or by

Clicking on this Link.

Thank You 

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Squad 31's Pumps are Always Ready

Our Squad 31 vehicle is a vital part of our firefighting team. With its 300 gallon tank and 1000 gallon per minute pump, it provides additional support on scene for water supply to fight fires. As with all our equipment, it receives annual testing of its systems. Here are some photos of last Saturday's pump testing.

Photos Courtesy of John Ryals and Dave Kappler

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Making sure our equipment is always ready to protect you and your property

Our firefighters were out today testing Engine One's pumps. We keep all our equipment in tip top shape, ready to be called into action in the event of an emergency.

Photos Courtesy of Firefighter John Ryals 

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September Training... "Drafting"

Each year our FGFD conducts mandated "Drafting" exercises. Drafting is a procedure whereby we can utilize standing water to fight fires when hydrants are not available. Our crews and 4 of our engines participated in this years drill. Thanks to  firefighter John Rayls for these photos.

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We PLAN and PLAN and then we PLAN some more!

Recently, Bruce Pylant, our Chaplain and the department's Fire Prevention Officer, gave a presentation to the FGFD membership on just what goes into a Pre-Fire plan. It is the purpose of a Pre-Fire plan to document the layout of every commercial and public building so that, in the event of an emergency, the fire officer who is in command of the incident will have as much pertinent information available as possible. This includes hazardous materials, unique dangers, entry/access, utility shut-offs, and emergency contact persons.

From the Druid Family Pool to Westminster Church and from the Dorchester Cart Barn to the CMC Wellness Center every building and facility is reviewed. With this info, the responders are better equipped to safely protect life and property. Don Arbuckle has devised an amazing program, which allows easy access to these forms by the officers of the department.  The PRE-Fire plan information is updated regularly. The Fairfield Glade Fire Department is nearing the conclusion of a massive redesign for the Pre-fire plans and hopes to finish it by the end of 2021.

Assembling this information takes countless hours of documentation and interviews to accumulate, collate and catalog.

 

So now you have a better understanding of just one of the many "behind the scenes" actions your FGFD performs to protect YOU! 

A special ‘thank you’ to the Fire Prevention team: Bruce Pylant, Ray Kratt, Gary and Josephine Cassidy

 

As always, we appreciate everyone's continued support of these efforts.

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May 4th Storm Damage

Cleanup has begun. Special thanks to contributors, Bob Templin, Jim Etzel, and Scott Tubandt for some photos of the devastation.

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A lightning strike in this back yard burned tree roots underground.

Downed trees blocked several roads including Forest Hill and Mariner Drive.

This big guy went down in a backyard on Lake Dartmoor.

This is a 24 foot pontoon boat AND its dock that were ripped from the shore by the EF-0 storm. Luckily, some neighbors got together to lasso the flotilla and secure it before it could damage other docks and boats.

This utility pole and along with its transformer were sheared off in the storm. Thanks to quick action by VEC the pole was replaced and power restored by the end of day on Tuesday.

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No tree was too big to bow to the high winds. Jo Templin models the size of this one.

This branch narrowly missed a house on Forest Hill. Other houses weren't so lucky.

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This 100 foot plus giant went down on Brae number 2. Damage to trees like this one has forced the closure of the Brae for two days while crews effect cleanup.

Helping Hand

It's a big job but the FGFD loves to help. We lend our equipment and expertise every year to filling the swimming pool at Druid Hills.

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Town Hall Meeting

A big thank you to our presenters and to everyone who attended.

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Fire Department Boot Drive a Success!

Volunteers from the Fairfield Glade Fire Department conducted a "Boot Drive" at Food City on Saturday November 21. The purpose of the drive was to collect funds to replace those donations that are usually collected at the department's Pancake Breakfast. The breakfast events have been cancelled this year due to the restrictions posed by COVID-19. A special thanks goes out to our community members for their continued support of the departments efforts to keep our lives and our property safe.                 THANK YOU FAIRFIELD GLADE!!!

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SEPTEMBER TRAINING

Your "Always Learning" FGFD was hard at work this past Saturday soaking up some HAZMAT training and soaking down a car fire. Our newly minted Captain, Tim Malone gave his class information on containing a HAZMAT emergency. We have a number of gasoline filling stations in the Glade, all of which are potential HAZMAT emergencies. Your FGFD stays on top of the latest techniques to combat these emergencies and protect your life and property.

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Car fires are always a possibility. Your FGFD team is regularly practicing the best way to combat these fires. It is also a great opportunity to allow the team to handle different size hoses. These firefighting hoses, when charged with high pressure water take several team members to handle them. 

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Did You Know About DRAFTING?

As part of the FGFD's efforts to keep our ISO rating low, the department conducts ISO mandated "Drafting Exercises" annually. You need water to fight fires. What better way to get that water than from one of our 11 lakes. The ability to do this is very helpful fighting wildfires in locations that may not be served by any of our more than 400 fire hydrants. This year the department chose Lake Oxford for the exercise. In the exercise our team places a siphon in the lake and pumps water into a fire engine and uses the engines water pumping system to add pressure so that the water can get to the fire. For this exercise, we discharge the water back into the lake. Our Chief Engineer, Ron Burchette, overseas the engineers performing the pressure tests. Enjoy the photos below compliments of Public Information Officer, Dan Wind and Director, Cyd Riede.

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Loading our NEW 5 Inch hose onto Engine 1

 
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August Training

Battling the rain the almost unbearable heat while carrying over 50 lbs of gear takes a lot dedication and our FGFD firefighters have it. This months training was at the FGFD facility inside the friendly confines of what we like to call

"The Hot Box."

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Always Learning, Always Training...
 Your FGFD Firefighter Team continues their training to protect you, your family and your PROPERTY. Take a look at what they reviewed in July.
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Chief Engineer, Ron Burchette reviews the equipment on our, newly returned to service, "Squad 31." Fully ISO compliant, our Squad 31 adds a great fire firefighting tool to the FGFD's FIRST CLASS Fire Protection arsenal.

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Everyone gets a chance to "wrangle" the "anaconda of hoses"... the 5 inch. Handling this baby when its "charged" is not for the faint of heart!

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Safety Officer, Jeff Ongemach, reviews the rescue equipment on the FGFD Polaris "Search and Rescue" vehicle.

 

FGFD Hydrant Crew at Work

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Bill Andrews checks the hydrant's FLOW pressure

Gary Morrison checks the hydrant's STATIC and RESIDUAL pressure.

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Bob Jasak paints the hydrant a color that signifies what level of water pressure the hydrant can deliver.

  • Red = up to 500 gpm (gallons per minute)

  • Orange = 500 to 999 gpm

  • Green = 1000 to 1499 gpm

  • Blue = Greater than 1500 gpm

Chuck Buck lubricates the hydrant's valve opening mechanism, assuring easy operation in a fire emergency.

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Ed Ostrowski and Jay Damron "flush" a hydrant. Flushing removes sediment that builds up in the hydrant over time. In case of a fire emergency, this sediment, if left unchecked, would make its way into the fire engine's pumping system damaging it.

Ed and Jay lubricate the "pumper caps." Making these covers easy to remove reduces the time it takes to get an engine connected to the vital water source needed to fight the fire.

 

Special Thanks to all who volunteered to raise money for the FGFD

at our booth at the Art Guild Fair.

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June 13, 2020 Training

Our members working hard to stay at the top of their game for your protection.

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In honor of all those practicing safe distancing during the pandemic, our very own SPARKY* is sporting a mask, like a good neighbor should. Our Sparky was acquired during the Chief Howard Robb administration by FGFD Engineer Gary Storer who received it as a donation by Joe Scooter of Landscape Solutions. FGFD Engineer Chris Rhind  painted Sparky. Chris and Engineer Bob Tavernier made the base where Sparky sits 24/7. So, why a Dalmatian? Read on!

The tradition of Dalmatians in firehouses dates back more than a century. Nowadays they mainly serve as mascots, but before fire trucks had engines, Dalmatians played a vital role every time firefighters raced to a blaze.

Dalmatians would run alongside horses, keeping pace even when sprinting long distances. The dogs would even defend the horses from other dogs or animals that could spook or attack the horses during the ride.

Dalmatians often ran in pairs, with one on either side of the coach, or close behind the horses. English aristocrats during the early 1700s were among the first known to use Dalmatians to accompany their carriages, according to Trevor J. Orsinger's book, "The Firefighter's Best Friend: Lives and Legends of Chicago Firehouse Dogs." 

The use of Dalmatians carried over to the horse-drawn wagons that firefighters rode to the scene of a fire.
* Sparky is a registered trademark of the NFPA

 

Fairfield Glade Fire Department

Always Learning - Always Training

Every month the firefighter of the FGFD participate in training. All aspects of fire fighting and rescue are covered. All firefighters must be certified. Here are some photos of our recent training session.