Wednesday, January 20, 2016

4 YEARS LATER: THE MESSAGE REMAINS THE SAME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE





4 YEARS LATER: THE MESSAGE REMAINS THE SAME
The Fairview Fire District Urges its Residents to be Vigilant about Fire Hazards

Last week, hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country walked into a lottery retailer and bought one, or many, two dollar Powerball tickets in hopes of becoming a multimillionaire overnight. Imagine pulling into your driveway after that trip finding your home engulfed in smoke and flames. You see none of your family members outside, and your heart drops. Are they home? Do they know their chances of getting out alive are minimal? Did I change my smoke alarm batteries this year? If only I had not put “install smoke alarms” on the bottom of my “to-do list.”

Don’t let this dreadful experience happen to you. Do not become a statistic. Check your smoke alarms today. The Fairview Fire District wants to keep you and your family safe and they report some simple tips that can be followed in your home that could just save your life.

“First and foremost is ensuring that you have a working smoke detector in every sleeping room as well as on every floor,” says Justin Bohlmann, Fairview Fire District’s Public Education Coordinator. “Second is making sure that once the detectors are installed, that they are tested monthly. Furthermore you should never take a battery out of a smoke detector unless you are putting a new one in,” Bohlmann says.

Fairview would also like to reinforce that once the smoke detector sounds, do not hesitate, evacuate. In most cases, seconds count in surviving a fire. “It is also important that families practice Exit Drills in The Home, otherwise known as E.D.I.T.H.,” Justin says. “Always knowing two ways out could save you minutes and your life.”

On January 21st, four years after a horrific fire at 112 Fairview Avenue, the Town of Poughkeepsie community will remember three young lives taken too soon. The structure may be gone, classmates graduated, neighbors moved away, but the victims’ names are still etched into our minds. Eva Block, Kerry Fitzsimons and Kevin Johnson perished on that dreadful night in 2012. As a community, it is our job to ensure that their lives were not taken in vain. It is our job to ensure that our families not have to go through the pain and heart ache of waking every morning without a loved one. 

It is because of that responsibility to our families and community member’s that the Fairview Fire District announces an aspiration for 2016. We as firefighters and community educators wish to install 100 smoke alarms in homes across our district and we are looking to you for help. Do you know someone you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms for their home? Do you have an elderly neighbor who cannot or may not think to check their alarms? Please contact the Fairview Fire District Public Education Coordinator at 845.452.8770 to schedule an appointment. Remember you too can save a life today. The odds of winning the Powerball are slim, but the odds of dying in a fire are much greater; especially without the help of simple precautions such as a smoke alarm.

In closing, the Fairview Fire District wants to remind its residents that in addition to smoke alarm assistance, the Office of Public Education is always available to answer any fire safety questions that you may have. 

Founded in 1910, The Fairview Fire District is located in Dutchess County, New York. We protect the Northern part of the Town of Poughkeepsie and the Southern part of the Town of Hyde Park. The district is four and a half square miles large. There are homes, businesses, colleges, schools, health care facilities and more in the district. Public protection is provided by a combination career and volunteer staff 24/7/365.

If you would like more information on this topic, have questions, or would like to set up an interview with Justin Bohlmann, please contact Chief Christopher Maeder at 845.452.7453 or at cmaeder@fairviewfd.net.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015- The Year in Review for FFD



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Christopher Maeder, Chief
Fairview Fire District
258 Violet Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

It is an end of another year and 2015 was another year of growing call volume and need for the services from the Fairview Fire District.  In total the FFD responded to a record 2054 calls for assistance.  It is notable that this record breaking number was without a disaster, unlike the previous high year in 2011 when Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee hit, resulting in 1954 calls.  

Call Volume from 2009 through 2015
Despite responding to a record number of alarms, the average overall response time for all types of calls for service was 4 minutes and 39 seconds after being dispatched.  This number is considerably better than nationally recognized standards for fire response.   On the EMS side, we are even more proud of the average 3 minute and 45 second ambulance response time.  

2015 was the year for new fire apparatus for FFD.  Through well thought out planning, Fairview members were able to take delivery of new Pumper/Engine replacing a 20 year old piece of obsolete equipment.   The new 41-12 (which came in under budget) has a higher pump capacity, carries more water, has spacious compartments, allows for more personnel, and is safer for our members and the public we serve.     We are proud of this new piece of apparatus and hope our residents are as well.  


The purchase of a new vehicle was not the only equipment improvement as a number of equipment purchases were made through the annual budgeting process.  Bigger purchases include the replacing of all the 5 inch supply hose which was originally purchased in 1997 and is starting to show its age.  Additionally, the district leased new portable radios for personnel that are P-25 compliant replacing radios that had reached the end of their service life.  All issued turnout gear is less than 10 years old due to the process of purchasing a small number of sets each year, therefore reducing the need for bulk purchases.    
    
In addition to responding to calls for service, members of Fairview have been very active in public outreach by educating the public we serve, providing car seat checks, and installing smoke alarms.  The FFD installed and/or inspected 188 car seats and determined that only 17% of them were installed correctly.  This program makes our kids safer.  Additionally, public education was provided to 1200 individuals who live or visit the fire district.  

One other very important aspect of being an emergency responder is the process of being prepared for the next call, as well as staying on top of our skills.   In 2015 Fairview personnel participated in 4703 (wo)man hours of documented training.  This is in addition to multiple hours of informal training that sometimes are not documented due to the shift being hectic.  Many of the members received certifications in Fire Instructor, Fire Officer, and Advanced Incident Command. 

As we look forward to 2016, we hope to achieve ways to improve how we provide our essential services in the most reasonable way possible, despite increasing costs and call volume.   

In closing we would like to wish all a happy, healthy, and safe 2016.   Please remember that your Fairview Firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians are here when you need assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.