Thursday, May 31, 2012

Smoke Alarms

Every three hours, someone in the U.S. dies in a home fire.  And if a fire breaks out, you only have minutes to escape.  Is your family prepared? The Fairview Fire District reminds you that placement matters; install working smoke alarms on each floor, in hallways, living areas and inside of all bedrooms.  The sooner you hear an alarm, the more time your family has to escape.  Check alarms regularly, replace them if they’re more than 10 years old, and develop and practice an escape plan with your family.  It’s these Smart Choices that could save lives.  For more information, go to

Thursday, May 24, 2012

First Responders Recognition Ceremony

Last night (May 23rd) firefighters and a member of the board of fire commissioners went to Putnam County to be recognized by Congresswoman Nan Hayworth with a Special Congressional Commendation.  The congresswoman recognized members of the emergency services community for their “exceptional acts of bravery or service.” 

Congresswoman Hayworth said “The past year brought many trials and challenges to our first responders. I'm happy to join all of our neighbors in the Hudson Valley in thanking the men and women who staff our emergency services.  They are our first line of defense for homeland security, too. Our police, fire and EMS personnel put themselves at risk every day to serve their communities, and they deserve recognition for their courage, valor and service.”

The members, officers, chief staff, and commissioners would like to thank Congresswoman Hayworth for acknowledging not just Fairview, but all of the nominees, especially the father of Police Officer/Detective John Falcone.  We would also like to thank Nancy Dewitt from St. Francis Hospital for writing to Congresswoman Hayworth’s office.  Lastly, we would like to thank Fire Protection Specialist Kathleen Way from the Office of Fire Prevention and Control for her work with the Fairview Fire District and the “Door to Door Campaign.” 

Nancy Dewitt’s letter is as follows:

Over the past year, every Fire and Ambulance Service in our region has served the public – twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  Typically the public sees the lights and hears the sirens.  What they do not see are the incalculable hours spent behind the scenes with continuing education and training; making certain the documentation for the Hudson Valley Region and New York State is complete, accurate and submitted on time; checking and cleaning the equipment and apparatus; recordkeeping; recruiting new membership – only to mention a few of the responsibilities necessary to keep a service compliant and operational.  In the time I have been in my position as Emergency Department /EMS Liaison for Saint Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, I have had the opportunity to visit many of these services I speak so highly of and can tell you, each is an organization that their communities and personnel can be very proud of.
Through the Continuing Medical Education training programs that Saint Francis sponsors, I have also had the privilege of getting to know many of the fine paramedics and Firefighter/EMT’s that work and volunteer in this region. Choosing a nominee for this award is a bit like asking a mother to choose her favorite child.  Working with these brave men and women is an extraordinary honor. After much thought, I would like to nominate the heroic men and women of the Fairview Fire District. They are a combination of volunteer and career firefighter/EMT’s that has been in existence for over 100 years. Presently, the 16 career staff is comprised of 12 firefighter/EMTs, 3 Lieutenants and 1 Captain and 1 Chief. Career staff is on duty every day of the year, operating in four-man groups, working 24 hour shifts. Volunteers compliment the career staff. Unfortunately, the volunteer ranks diminished as the district became more developed. But there is still a small solid group that works closely with the career staff.
Nearly all of their career staff plus their volunteer base bravely fought a fire that broke out in a Poughkeepsie home in the early morning hours of January 21, 2012 that claimed the lives of two Marist College female students and a male friend. Four other people, two female students who lived in the home and two male students, managed to escape the blaze. One of the Marist male students who was sleeping upstairs awoke at about 1:30 a.m., determined the doorknob of the bedroom door was hot. The student and the female who was in the room with him jumped out the second-floor window to safety. Fairview had the support of the Town of Poughkeepsie Police, Arlington Fire District, Roosevelt Fire District, City of Poughkeepsie, the Dutchess County Fire Investigation Division and Hyde Park Fire Department.  The first firefighters to respond to the emergency call tried to get into the house, but were forced back by the heat and flames, said Chris Maeder, Chief of the Fairview Fire District. One victim was found on the second floor of the house, one was downstairs and the third was under “considerable collapsed debris,”

While fires occur every day in Dutchess County, fires of this magnitude rarely occur in this area. When they do, they hit the community hard.  Fairview recognized that and went a step above. While it is a firefighter’s job to be “reactive,” Fairview chose to be “proactive.”

After this devastating event where firefighters were pulling victims from the scene the same age as many of their children, they were out canvassing the neighboring promoting fire prevention. In three hours, Fairview along with members of the New York State Fire Prevention Bureau visited 210 residences on twenty seven streets. They tested batteries, looked for smoke detectors, etc. The firefighter installation team was well received in the community. The next day the firefighters attended a memorial service for the Marist Students who had died in the fire.
This fire came after a year of natural disasters that kept the department running. There was Hurricane Irene and the October Snow Storm. Both of these events racked up hundreds of calls for this tiny department in just hours. The members always maintain their professionalism, no matter the nature of the call, the hours they have put in. They are role models to the public and leaders in their community. They provide the highest quality of service possible to the residents of Fairview.

Respectfully Submitted By:

Nancy DeWitt
Emergency Department/EMS Liaison 

Monday, May 21, 2012

National Emergency Medical Services Week

This week is National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week.  We celebrate the medical professionals (both paid and volunteer) who provide life saving services when and where you need it.  The Fairview Fire District provides EMS to the people who live and travel through our community with prompt (average response time so far in 2012 is 4 minutes and 35 seconds) and professional service.   Please remember that your firefighters and EMT’s are here for you 24 hours a day 7 days a week. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Probationary Firefighters Graduate Fire Academy

Yesterday, (May 17th) Fairview Firefighters and a member of the Board of Commissioners traveled to the New York State Fire Academy in Montour Falls, NY.  They were pleased to attend the graduation ceremony for Probationary Firefighters Charlie Boettcher, Bradley Hildenbrand, and Eric Foster.   These new members just completed eleven weeks of basic training and earned a number of both state and national certificates.  Topics covered in fire academy included physical fitness, basic firefighting, rescue techniques, safety and survival, codes enforcement, and vehicle rescue.   To top it all off, Probationary Firefighter Hildenbrand drove to Schenectady after graduation to take his New York State EMT certification which he passed with flying colors.
The members, officers, and commissioners would like to congratulate these men on their accomplishments.  We are pleased to have you on board and look forward to working with you.  We wish the new probationary firefighters long, heathy, and successful careers with the Fairview Fire District.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sunday Training

Firefighters are given a briefing of the days events

Firefighters prepare to enter the burn building for an evolution

Fairview Firefighters remove a ladder from Hyde Park's ladder

Firefighters review the previous evolution in an effort to improve things for the next run.

Firefighters enter the maze building which is designed to improve their abilities and confidence while wearing a mask in limited viability.

Firefighters practice using saws on the peaked roof simulator. 

Fairview firefighters (both volunteer and career) spent their Sunday morning at the Dutchess County Fire Training Center training with mutual aid personnel from Staatsburg and Hyde Park Fire Departments.  Personnel trained on a number of topics including live fire, peaked roof ventilation, and SCBA confidence.  Nineteen members participated in this training event from the Fairview Fire District.  Continuous training allows firefighters to perfect our trade and better serve our community.   It was a pleasure to work with our mutual aid departments.  Fostering good working relationships ensures that at the end of the day everyone goes home safely.