Jan 28

Storm Information from the Brewster Office of Emergency Management

 The Brewster Office of Emergency Management would like to share the following storm information:


  • Town Hall will be closed today (January 28, 2015). All evening meetings have been cancelled.
  • All schools are closed.
  • Primary roads and main thoroughfares have been plowed and are open as of 7:00 am.
  • Many secondary roads are in need of plowing and may be impassable. These roads will be addressed today (January 28).
  • It is suggested that residents limit driving to emergencies only.
  • As of 7:30 this morning (January 28) 441 residents are without power. NSTAR will be working in Town today and should have power restored by this evening.
  • The DPW will be working throughout the day cleaning roads and opening Town facilities. Residents with DPW related issues may call 508-896-3212.
  • Stop & Shop (Rt 137 Harwich) and Shaw’s (Orleans) are open.
  • Please ensure all heating, dryer, and other exterior venting devices are clear of snow.
  • In the event of an emergency (police/fire/EMS) please dial 911.





Jan 26

A Message from the Town of Brewster Office of Emergency Management

A blizzard warning has been issued for all of Cape Cod from 7:00 p.m. tonight through noon tomorrow.  Brewster emergency personnel will be working throughout the storm.  A State of Emergency and travel ban has been issued by the Governor. The travel ban begins at midnight tonight. Residents are requested to remain off the roadways so emergency personnel can complete their work.


A regional shelter will be open beginning at 6:30pm at the Cape Cod Regional Tech School on Route 124 in Harwich for anyone in need of sheltering. Pets will be accepted. Those residents who live in areas that frequently loose power and wish to use the regional shelter should make arrangements to arrive before the midnight driving ban goes into effect. Emergency transportation to the shelter at Cape Cod Tech may be arranged by contacting the Brewster Police Department at 508-896-7011. Due to the travel ban this transportation will be limited after midnight.


For emergencies please dial 911.


To report a power outage, contact NSTAR at 1-800-592-2000.

Jan 25

Emergency Management Storm Information


A powerful winter storm will affect the area beginning tomorrow evening. It is forecast to bring intense winds, 10” to 12” of heavy wet snow, and white out conditions which may lead to numerous power outages and downed trees throughout our community.


The Local Emergency Planning Committee would like to share the following information:


  • Residents are urged to prepare properly for what could be an extended storm event of greater than 24 hours in duration.
  • Flashlights, spare batteries, medications, food, and a radio should be available.
  • The shelter at Cape Cod Tech will be open for any resident wishing to stay overnight in a secure facility. The shelter is pet friendly. The expected opening will be Monday night at approximately 8:00 p.m.
  • Residents are urged to remain indoors and stay off roadways during the storm.
  • The Local Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is expected to be operational beginning Monday night.
  • DO NOT use any generator indoors. This will create elevated levels of carbon monoxide and will compromise your safety.
  • DO NOT use kerosene heaters indoors.
  • DO NOT place any heater closer than 36” to any combustible material.
  • Stay tuned to local news stations, Channel 18, and the Town and Fire Department websites for further information.


Jan 22

Brewster Fire Department Assists Police with Search for Missing Female

On Tuesday January 20, 2015 at 7:51 p.m. the Brewster Fire Department responded to the EPOCH Assisted Living Center on Harwich Road to assist the police department with a search for a missing elderly female resident of the facility who was reported to be on foot and possibly attempting to return to her home in Eastham. Brewster Police and Fire departments set up a unified command post in the lobby of the facility to ensure proper coordination and deployment of resources utilized throughout the large scale search. Using ATV’s, a boat and thermal imaging cameras Brewster Fire and Police personnel along with a Massachusetts State Police helicopter, State Troopers, and Barnstable Sheriff’s Department K-9 dogs searched the area around the facility, Fisherman’s Landing, Sheep’s Pond, Nickerson State Park, and the Cape Cod Rail Trail to the Eastham line while Harwich and Dennis Police Departments conducted searches of the Rail Trail in their communities for several hours throughout the night.

A few hours after the search was again commenced on Wednesday morning a caretaker of Camp Favorite Girl Scout Camp located off Crowell’s Bog Road along the Harwich border found the missing female at approximately 7:30 a.m. while conducting his normal daily check of the property. The Brewster Fire Department responded to the scene and transported the patient to Cape Cod Hospital for evaluation of possible exposure and several non-life threatening injuries.

Jan 22

Brewster Fire Department Responds to Propane Tank Leak

On Friday January 16 at 4:26 p.m. the Brewster Fire Department responded to a reported gas leak at the Town water pumping station located on Freemans Way. On arrival Engine 239 under the command of Captain Varley found a white vapor cloud coming from a 1000 gallon propane tank used to power the backup pumps at the station. Captain Varley immediately requested NSTAR to the scene to cut the electric power to the area in order to eliminate any potential ignition sources. He also requested the response of the Brewster Water Department and Snow’s Propane to assist with mitigating the leak. Upon further investigation personnel found the leak coming from a valve used to remove liquid product from the tank. In an effort to reduce the flow of propane as quickly as possible and provide time to develop a mitigation plan a hand line was attached to the top of the tank and water was used to create an ice barrier around the valve.

Captain Varley requested the response of the State Hazardous Material Team to the scene for technical assistance. On their arrival a plan to safely burn off the leaking vapor using a propane gas burner unit was developed and implemented. The crew from Snow’s propane set up the vapor burning device and the unit was ignited. Brewster units remained on scene standing by during the burn until approximately 7:00 a.m. the following morning when the pressure in the tank was reduced to the point the propane company was able to cap the leak. During the incident the Red Cross provided rehabilitation services to personnel at the scene.





Jan 14

Ice and Cold Water Safety

Each Winter 

Many people are injured from exposure in cold water. Skaters and ice fishermen fall through the ice; boaters and canoeists capsize.

Learn how to protect yourself and others.

Ice Cold Water Safety

What is hypothermia?

Hypothermia is the excessive lowering of body temperature. Core body temperature below 95˚ F causes shivering, confusion, and oss of muscle strength. If not treated and reversed, hypothermia leads to unconsciousness and death.

Safety experts estimate that half of all drowning victims die from the fatal effects of cold water, not from water-filled lungs!

What do you do if someone falls through the ice?

• Call 911 immediately. Make sure properly trained and equipped rescue personnel are alerted to respond.

• DO NOT go out onto the ice. Many would-be rescuers have become victims themselves.

• Reach, throw or row. Extend a branch, pole or ladder to the victim. Throw them a buoyant object such as a life ring or float tied to a rope. If a boat is nearby, row out to the victim or push it towards them.

How cold is cold water?

Any water that is cooler than normal body temperature (98.6˚ F) is, by definition, cold water. Cold water drains away your body heat 25 to 30 times faster than air! Cold water does not have to be icy, it just has to be colder than you are to cause hypothermia. 

The lower the temperature of the water, the faster the onset of hypothermia.

Personal safety

Always wear a personal floatation device (PFD) when boating, any time of year.

Waterlogged clothing makes it difficult to keep your head above the surface of the water.

Dress properly

Clothing that is made from man-made fibers does not protect the wearer for long when wet. Wool insulates better from the effects of hypothermia when dry or wet. Keep your head covered, 50% of body heat is lost through the head.

How thick is safe ice?

Ice on moving water in rivers, streams and brooks is never safe. The thickness of ice on ponds and lakes depends upon water currents or springs, depth and natural objects such as tree stumps or rocks. Daily changes in temperature cause the ice to expand and contract, which affects its strength. Because of these factors, no one can declare the ice to be absolutely “safe”.

The only safe ice is at a skating arena! 


Jan 14

Think Safety First When Heating your Home this Winter

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 10.19.03Heating caused more than 10,768 fires over the past five years and is the number two cause of home fires in Massachusetts. Use your home heating system and space heating appliances wisely and responsibly. That’s the way to . . . Keep Warm – Keep Safe.

Cover the ABCs of Fire Safety 

Make sure there are working smoke alarms on every level including one outside the bedrooms.

Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly and change batteries twice a year, when you change the clocks.

Hold home fire drills to practice the home escape plan.

Practice home fire safety and set a good example for the children.

Be Careful When Using Fireplaces and Solid Fuel Stoves 

If you heat your home by burning solid fuels (coal, firewood, pellets), be careful before, during and after using these kinds of fuels.

Have the chimney professionally cleaned every year.

Make sure the stove is approved by a national testing agency such as Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL).

Get a building permit before installing a stove.

Keep anything that can burn three feet away.

Dispose of the ashes in a metal container, with a lid, away from the house, garage and porch.

Space Heaters Need Space 

Fires caused by space heaters are rare but often deadly. If you must use a space heater, do so safely.

Do not use space heaters as your #1 heating source.

Keep anything that can burn three feet away.

Use only heavy-duty extension cords.

Always turn off when going to bed or leaving home.

Portable kerosene heaters are illegal in MA for home use.

Maintain Natural Gas Equipment 

Natural gas is a safe and efficient way to cook, heat our homes and hot water.

Have your furnace and hot water heater professionally checked every year.

Do not use or store gasoline or painting supplies inside where they can be ignited by the pilot light.

Gas leaks can be dangerous – if you smell something like rotten eggs or you think there might be a leak,

Move outdoors.

Do not smoke or turn on or off electrical switches – sparks can cause an explosion.

Dial 911 immediately.

Maintain Oil Heating Equipment 

Home heating with fuel oil is also safe and efficient.

Have your furnace professionally cleaned and checked every year.

Don’t let the tank get completely empty.

Call for service if the oil burner releases smoke or soot in the house.

Carbon Monoxide: the Silent Killer 

Heating equipment is the leading source of carbon monoxide (CO) in the home.

Install carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home.

Don’t use the gas stove or oven for heat.

Have furnaces and chimneys checked annually by a professional.

Keep appliance vents and exhaust pipes clear of drifting snow and bushes.

Fuel Assistance 

For information on fuel assistance, please call the HEATLINE at 1-800-632-8175 (or for Boston only 617-357-6012) or on-line at www.mass.gov/dhcd. 

For more information go to: 


Jan 13

Brewster Firefighters Respond to Underground Electrical Emergency

On Tuesday January 13 at 11:54 p.m. Brewster Fire-Rescue was dispatched to 257 Bog Pond Road for a backhoe that had struck an underground energized electric power line at the site of a new home construction. A potential tragedy was averted by the backhoe operator and work crew having the presence of mind to remain in the seat of the backhoe until power could be cut. Engine 239 under command of Captain Kevin Varley secured the area to await the arrival of NStar to cut the power to the area, so that the backhoe operator could safely exit the machine. No injuries were reported and fire crews cleared the scene within about 1/2 hour.


Jan 13

Brewster Firefighters Respond to Chatham Structure Fire

On Monday January 12 at 10:19 p.m. Engine 239, Ambulance 244, and Car 231 (Chief Moran) responded to 235 Stage Island Road in Chatham on a mutual aid “working fire” assignment. On arrival Chatham firefighters were confronted with a fully involved single family dwelling that was threatening another residential dwelling on side B. Chatham firefighters quickly placed several 2 ½ inch handlines into place to protect the exposure building and initiate fire suppression operations. On arrival Brewster Car 231 provided assistance to the Chatham incident commander and ambulance 244 was assigned to staging to provide EMS services to firefighters operating at the scene. Engine 239 responded to Chatham Fire Headquarters to cover the Town in the event of additional responses. The Orleans and Harwich Fire Departments also assisted at the scene and an Eastham Fire Department ambulance covered additional medical responses from Chatham’s headquarters. Car 231 and Ambulance 244 were released from the fire scene in approximately two hours. Engine 239 returned to Brewster Fire Headquarters at 3:00 a.m.



Photos courtesy of Craig  Chadwick


Jan 12

Open Burning Season Starts January 15

Open burning season begins on January 15, 2015 and ends on May 1, 2015. In order to burn residents must obtain a permit from the Brewster Fire Department and follow the regulations guiding open burning established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts which are available when picking up the required permit.

You may visit brewsterfire.com and click on the Fire Prevention link then click on Open Burning Rules & Regulations to obtain further information on the process necessary to obtain a permit and on the method required to utilize the mandatory daily brush fire call in phone line.

Permits may be purchased Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at fire headquarters beginning Wednesday January 7, 2015 or via mail using the on-line application available at brewsterfire.com. Residents with further questions regarding the Open Burn season may call fire headquarters at 508-896-7018.

The Brewster Fire Department requests all of our residents to take the time to read the safety precautions and rules regarding open burning and to be considerate of your neighbors and the environment when conducting these fires.

Remember, Burn Safely and Responsibly!

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