Apr 16

Brewster Firefighters Respond to Motor Vehicle Accident

On Tuesday April 14 Ambulance 243, Heavy Rescue 241, and Car 231 (Chief Moran) responded to a reported motor vehicle collision involving a rollover at the intersection of Freemans Way and Ebenezer Lane. The first arriving officer (Off duty Captain Christopher Flavell) reported a two vehicle collision with one car on its roof and all occupants self-extricated from the vehicles.

As the units arrived on scene the Incident Commander (Captain Flavell) directed firefighters to initiate patient evaluation and control and stabilization of the vehicles. The assessment identified one patient that required transport to Cape Cod Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Brewster units remained on scene as a precaution until the rolled over vehicle was up righted and secured by the towing company.

Apr 05

Brewster Firefighters Battle House Fire


At 2:08 a.m. Saturday April 4 the Brewster Fire Department received a 911 call reporting a house fire at 3811 Main Street. Brewster Engine 239 under the command of Captain Kevin Varley, Ladder 237, Engine 234, Heavy Rescue 241, and Car 231 (Chief Moran) responded to the scene. Orleans Tower 176 and Harwich Engine 68 were also dispatched on the structure fire line box assignment.

On arrival Engine 239 reported a heavy volume of fire on the first floor of a two-story wood frame private dwelling extending to the second floor via the exterior siding of the home. Car 231 arrived on scene, assumed command and requested the working fire assignment bringing an additional engine from Eastham and a Harwich ambulance to the scene. The crew from Engine 239 immediately stretched a 1 ¾ pre-connected attack line to the interior of the structure and initiated fire suppression operations. The Orleans crew began horizontal ventilation while other arriving units were assigned to a variety of critical fireground tasks such as conducting searches of the residence, stretching additional attack lines to the upper floors to prevent fire extension, roof ventilation operations, overhaul, rapid intervention, and command and control of the scene. A second alarm was requested by command for additional manpower and resources.  This assignment brought a Dennis engine, Harwich Ladder, and a Chatham engine to the scene. The aggressive interior fire suppression operation initiated by the first arriving companies allowed the units to quickly extinguish the heavy fire conditions found on their arrival and limit fire extension from consuming the upper floors of the dwelling. The fire was placed under control approximately 60 minutes after the initial 911 call.

Luckily for this family an 18 year old male occupant of the home whom had been sleeping in the first floor room of origin was awakened by the fire and quickly ran upstairs to alert the remaining family members who then quickly removed themselves from the building.  The rapid thinking and actions of this individual in immediately alerting other family members of the fire was a significant factor in their survival and safe removal. In total the fire displaced 3 adults and 2 children.

Fire Departments assisting Brewster at the scene included: Harwich, Orleans, Dennis, Chatham, and Eastham. Yarmouth and a Dennis ambulance covered Brewster Fire headquarters. One Orleans firefighter suffered a minor laceration which did not require transport to the hospital.

The Brewster Building Official and electrical inspector responded to assist in assessing damage to the home and to support the fire investigation efforts. Due to severe fire damage to primary building components the building was posted as uninhabitable. The Red Cross responded to assist the family with temporary housing and to provide rehabilitation services to the firefighters operating at the incident.

After a thorough investigation including witness interviews and a systematic search of the point of origin the fire was determined to be accidental in nature due to an internal electrical failure of a wall outlet in the first floor bedroom.


Apr 03

New Massachusetts Laws Prohibit Beach Fires at Crosby Beach and Linnell Landing

New Laws governing the use of State property will terminate the fire departments distribution of beach fire permits at Crosby Beach and Linnell Landing. *See announcement below.

Existing Town of Brewster By-Laws prohibit beach fires on all Town Beaches. Owners and/or renters of properties that include private beach access may apply for a beach fire permit at the Brewster Fire Department located at 1657 Main Street Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Rental agreement or proof of ownership is required.



Apr 03

Brewster Firefighters Conduct Forcible Entry Training

Brewster career firefighters are responsible to spend at least two hours of their 24 hour shift conducting fire and/or ems based training.  The pictures below show members of Group 4 conducting daily training on forcible entry techniques using our door prop that was donated to the department by a local family.


These daily sessions are guided by the departments adopted career firefighter training program which was designed to ensure each firefighter maintains proficient skill sets in the delivery of fire and EMS services.


The training schedule is divided into monthly components that include diverse subject matter specific to the job of a firefighter/paramedic/EMT. These topics are guided by annual fire and EMS training requirements set by the State of Massachusetts, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the Insurance Service Office (ISO).  In addition, during each three month period each shift is expected to conduct some type of training with our surrounding mutual aid fire departments. Here is an example of the schedule.



Haz Mat/Weapons of Mass Destruction refresher

Decon trailer refresher

Haz Mat response (Brewster Fire Department/Barnstable County  SOG’s)

Annual SCBA refresher/SCBA refill station refresher

Mask confidence course

Building construction review and discussion

Ice rescue operations

Review Brewster Fire Department SOG’s





Cardiac/12 Lead

Respiratory Emergencies

Trauma Emergencies


Infection Control


Due to weather restrictions and daily emergency incident responses the Group Captains have the ability to revise the training schedule to fit the needs of their individual groups.


In addition to the daily training by career members the department also conducts two evening fire training sessions and one evening EMS based session that allows our Call department members the opportunity to maintain their proficiency and certifications while training with our career staff. This monthly training schedule also includes separate mandatory topics that that are guided by State and National standards. Here is an example.


Month            Year               Subject

September    2014               Advancing Attack Lines/Foam

October          2014               Vehicle Extrication/Stab/Air Bags

November     2014               Forcible Entry

December     2014               Ice Rescue

January         2015               SCBA Refresher

February        2015               Ropes/Knots/Rope Guided Search


Your Brewster firefighters and emergency medical personnel remain dedicated to conducting the training required to ensure we maintain the proficiencies that allow us to deliver outstanding, professional services to our residents.




Mar 25

A Message from Your Fire Chief “The Importance of Working Smoke Detectors”

Having spent the past 37 years providing fire and EMS services to communities in urban, suburban, and rural environments I have personally witnessed the tragedy and suffering that comes to families, communities, and first responders following fatal fire incidents as both a firefighter and Fire Chief. From a firefighters standpoint carrying the lifeless body of a person out of a building is something that will be indelibly etched into an individual’s identity for the rest of their lives. Yes, many people will say that’s what the job entails and the firefighters knew exactly what the hazards and potential related afflictions were when they signed up. However, while there is some validity to that opinion I can personally articulate the fact that it does not make it any easier when an event of this nature occurs. It is affixed to your character forever and it is not pleasant.

From another more global view as your Fire Chief in Brewster I can attest to the fact that myself, my peers in Barnstable County, and Fire Chiefs across the country are trained to proactively evaluate their individual Towns fire risk and develop and implement programs designed to reduce fire occurrences and losses in their communities. Typically this is accomplished through partnership based community programs that encompass and focus on the core fire service deliverables of life safety and property conservation. One major problem that arises is that no matter how well these programs are designed and communicated to the community a huge responsibility to ensuring their success falls on the individual occupants of each dwelling and their attitude toward preserving their own life safety.

An extremely popular and accurate fire service term used in many applications in our business is “complacency kills” Firefighters know this to be true because many of the approximately one hundred annual firefighter fatalities that occur in the United States when investigated involve some type of complacency and lack of situational awareness on the individual member. Sadly, in my experience I have also found this term to be one of the more predominant reasons community fire risk reduction efforts fall short of their intended goals. Occupants of dwellings become complacent to the potential fire hazards that exist within the very spaces they occupy and then fail to implement simple proactive measures such as ensuring working smoke detectors are present on each level of their home. In essence the theory of “it won’t happen to me” becomes the norm until such time a tragedy occurs and the community becomes immediately stimulated to the issue until time passes and residents once again bury their heads in the sand.

Since January 1, fifteen Massachusetts residents have been killed in residential fires including one resident of Chatham. In total, 779 individuals across the United States have been killed during the same time period including 226 deaths that occurred during 89 multiple fatality fires including last week’s fire in Brooklyn, NY that claimed the lives of seven children and critically injured another sibling and the children’s mother who jumped from second floor windows prior to the arrival of fire department units. This tragic fire, like several others across the country where working smoke detectors were not present in the effected occupancies have taken the lives of 38 individuals including a large number of innocent children who assumed when they were brought into this world that their parents would safeguard them from the many uncontrollable dangers they face on a daily basis including those involving fire.

After many years of service and witnessing numerous tragedies of this nature the fire in Brooklyn in which seven helpless children were killed and numerous lives changed forever prompted me to write this opinion. There is a simple, yet powerful message for each reader to take away from this piece and it is a phrase that your local fire department has delivered time and time again, “Smoke Detectors Save Lives”. The real question is, are you listening? If so, take action. Do whatever it takes to make your family and home safe. Don’t become a statistic.

Our organization understands that it is our responsibility to provide you, our stakeholders with partnership based programs and inspection services designed to reduce our community’s overall fire risk. While we do believe we successfully accomplish this goal our members also acknowledge that nothing is perfect so we are continually reviewing methods to improve our efforts in this area.  However, in reality no matter how successful we are it is also incumbent that each resident assume a certain level of responsibility of becoming more aware of the available programs, the risks associated with fire, and their own individual need to take proactive action toward ensuring their home and family remain fire safe.

If you are a Brewster resident and your home is not protected by a working smoke detector or you would like our members to conduct a fire safety inspection of your residence visit or contact the Brewster Fire Department at 1657 Main St. (508-896-7018). Our members and my office look forward to the opportunity to work in partnership with our residents to improve the level of fire and life safety within this great community.


Mar 23


Beautify Brewster

Mar 16

Town of Brewster 2015 Hazardous Waste Collection Schedule

HHW_2015_8.5 X11_BCH

Mar 11

Ice Safety Tips


What should you do if you fall through the ice?

First, try not to panic. This may be easier said than done, unless you have worked out a survival plan in advance. Read through these steps so that you can be prepared.


1.Don’t remove your winter clothing. Heavy clothes won’t drag you down, but instead can trap air to provide warmth and flotation. This is especially true with a snowmobile suit.

2.Turn toward the direction you came. That’s probably the strongest ice.

3.Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface. This is where a pair of nails, sharpened screwdrivers or ice picks come in handy in providing the extra traction you need to pull yourself up onto the ice.

4.Kick your feet and dig in your ice picks to work your way back onto the solid ice. If your clothes have trapped a lot of water, you may have to lift yourself partially out of the water on your elbows to let the water drain before starting forward.

5.Lie flat on the ice once you are out and roll away from the hole to keep your weight spread out. This may help prevent you from breaking through again.

6.Get to a warm, dry, sheltered area and re-warm yourself immediately. In moderate to severe cases of cold water hypothermia, you must seek medical attention. Cold blood trapped in your extremities can come rushing back to your heart after you begin to re-warm. The shock of the chilled blood may cause ventricular fibrillation leading to a heart attack and death!


General Ice Thickness Guidelines (For New, Clear Ice Only)


2” or less – STAY OFF

4’’ – Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5” – Snowmobile or ATV

8” – 12” – Car or small pickup

12” – 15” – Medium truck


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.

Mar 11

Brewster Firefighters Train on Ice Rescue Operations

The real life training conducted by Brewster firefighters on a daily basis is an important component of being able to safely and effectively respond to and mitigate the various all hazard emergencies that occur within our community. On any given day your Brewster firefighters can respond to a variety of incidents ranging from hazardous material spills, structure fires, emergency medical calls, motor vehicle accidents, and ice rescues to name a few. We fully understand that it is our duty for us to be properly trained and prepared for the next time you call 911with an emergency.

With the winter season coming to a close over the next several weeks and our frozen ponds beginning to thaw the potential for ice rescue responses will increase dramatically. In an effort to proactively prepare for a response of this type the members of Group 4 recently conducted a hands-on ice rescue refresher program on the department’s ice rescue equipment, standard operating guidelines, and victim rescue techniques at Fisherman’s Landing on Sheep’s Pond. Group members pictured here at the drill site are Captain/Paramedic Kevin Varley, Firefighter/Paramedic Joseph Cox, Firefighter/Paramedic Thomas Osborn, and Firefighter/EMT Gary Stobbart.

The Brewster Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to issue a safety warning to our residents concerning the use of our ponds over the next several weeks. While the ice may support your weight and that of any equipment at this time the spring thawing process will result in dangerously thin ice conditions and increase the potential for an individual or pet to be thrown into the water. If enjoying outside activities in the area of a body of water please keep this in mind.



Mar 09

Brewster Fire Department Responds to Eastham Structure Fire

On Sunday March 8, 2015 at approximately 7:55 a.m. multiple Brewster Fire Department units responded on a mutual aid request to assist the Eastham Fire Department at a structure fire located at 105 Townsend Road. On the initial working fire assignment Engine 234 under the direction of Captain Anthony Dalmau and Car 231 (Chief Moran) responded with the engine assigned as the drafting engine at Great Pond and Chief Moran assigned as the Operations Chief at the fire scene. On their arrival Eastham firefighters initiated an aggressive interior attack on the large 2 ½ story wood frame dwelling. These efforts were supported by additional mutual aid units until such time the lack of fire hydrants in the area caused significant water supply and safety issues for crews working on the interior of the building. These hazardous conditions required the withdrawal of those companies and the switch to a defensive exterior attack. With the fire moving swiftly through the building the incident commander (Orleans Chief Anthony Pike) requested a second alarm assignment which brought Brewster Engine 239 under the direction of Captain Christopher Flavell to the scene. Due to the lack of hydrants a tanker task force was also requested which brought additional Barnstable County units to the incident to assist in establishing a continuous water supply. In addition to the tanker shuttle firefighters had to stretch approximately 1000 feet of 4” supply hose down the only access road to the incident which was narrow and ice covered from recent storms. Working without a reliable water source for a considerable amount of time impeded operations and allowed the fire to burn through the roof of the structure causing several localized collapses of the floors and roof. Due to the large fire loss the State Fire Marshal’s Office was requested to respond to the scene to conduct an investigation. Fire departments operating at the incident or providing station coverage included Eastham, Brewster, Orleans, Harwich, Chatham, Dennis, Yarmouth, Sandwich, West Barnstable Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown. All Brewster units returned to service at 4:46 p.m.

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