The Town is asking voters to approve the addition of one (1) Program Coordinator position within the Council on Aging, one (1) Natural Resource Officer position within the Natural Resources Department, and two (2) Firefighter/Paramedics within the Fire Department as a Proposition 2 ½ override in the amount $309,000. Included here is information regarding this request.
On Saturday May 4 the Brewster Fire Department hosted their annual Brewster in Bloom community Open House. This event is one of the principal instruments our organization utilizes to establish and support relationships with our residents and visitors to the community while showcasing our equipment and operational readiness.
Some of the highlights of the day included interactive demonstrations on the use of brush fire attack lines, distribution of fire safety education literature, EMS and fire equipment displays, and tours of our new state-of-the-art fire/rescue headquarters. Hot dogs, popcorn, and other refreshments were provided free of charge by the Brewster Fire/Rescue Association throughout the day.
Our organization would like to thank all of our residents and visitors who took the time to visit fire headquarters to learn more about the professional services we offer, our equipment, and the staff members who provide outstanding high quality fire and emergency medical services to the community.
BREWSTER – A two vehicle crash at the intersection of Main Street (Route 6A) and Stony Brook Road reduced traffic to one lane along Route 6A until the vehicles could be removed. The crash between a Nissan Quest van and a Kia Sportage happened Sunday around 12:30 PM. No injuries were reported at the scene. Brewster Police are handling the investigation.
Photo and video by Jake O’Callaghan/CWN
The trailer which was built by Surrey Fire Safety House, a division of the Walters Group located in Napoleon Ohio comes with a modern group of fire safety education props that will provide our certified Public Educators and other Brewster firefighters the ability to educate a variety of school aged children and other age groups on smoke detector use, cooking safety, surviving a fire, crawling low in smoke, fall safety, 911 notification, and exit drills in the home.
The department plans to utilize this unique fire safety educational resource to enhance the level of fire prevention awareness and daily fire and life safety of the residents of our community. To meet this objective we have developed a robust strategic plan that includes employing the trailer in our schools during fire prevention week, utilizing the unit to present fire safety programs at Fire Department Open House and other selected Town events, and in pre-planned appearances throughout the community during the upcoming implementation of our new and innovative “Visit the Neighborhood” program.
The Brewster Fire/Rescue Department would like to thank the members of the Select Board and our residents for supporting this grant application and the Brewster Fire/Rescue Association for their generous $5,000 donation that enabled us to move this project to realization. We look forward to using this outstanding fire safety resource to educate our residents and visitors to the community for many years to come
BREWSTER — Firefighters regularly visit local schools to teach students what to do in an emergency.
“We try to go out and do basic fire safety messages, like this is what a smoke detector sounds like; make sure you crawl low in smoke; know two ways out of every room,” said Brewster firefighter and paramedic Michael Herrmann.
Herrmann, along with fire Capt. Jeff Sturtevant, tries to hammer home the importance of fire safety and educate students about what to do if the worst happens. But getting any realistic practice in a school gymnasium with a group of about 50 students can be difficult.
“When we go to the schools now, we’ll use things like tables and tarps to simulate smoke or stop drop and roll just in the middle of this wide open floor,” said Sturtevant. “But we don’t take into consideration that there’s stoves, cabinets and kitchen tables there that they have to compete with. It’s not just roll until you hit something.”
That is changing. Over this past weekend, the department acquired a new fire and life safety education trailer to enhance fire prevention and safety awareness in the community.
The 30-foot-long trailer brings an added level of realness to the department’s safety programs.
Inside the trailer is a faux home, allowing the department to show people what to do in an emergency situation in a setting that is similar to everyday life. It includes a bedroom and a small kitchen area, with a microwave, stove and sink.
Doors inside the trailer can heat up just like they would in a real fire and fog can be vented in to simulate smoke. There are also bleacher style seats inside for viewers.
The department is planning an education curriculum for the new trailer and hopes to have it available at events to spread the word about fire safety.
“The imagination is the limit,” said Herrmann, who helped write the grant for the trailer. “It’s kind of cool that we can simulate having a house.”
Having the trailer can prepare people a lot more than having a firefighter stand in front of a room and simply lecture, Herrmann said.
“There is really no way you can compare hands-on training,” he said.
Brewster Fire Chief Robert Moran also plans to use the trailer with the senior community, teaching smoke detector use, cooking safety and home-exit drills, he said.
The trailer costs about $41,000 and was largely paid for with a federal assistance grant. The Brewster Fire/Rescue Association donated $5,000 and there was a 5 percent funding match of $1,775 from a Fire Department grant match funding article.
The department is also planning a “Visit the Neighborhood” program, where it will head out into the community and use the trailer to get out information during the busier summer months. This weekend it will be on display for Brewster in Bloom.
“We have a lot of cool props to train us, but now we have a real cool prop to help train the community, too,” said Herrmann.
— Follow Ethan Genter on Twitter: @EthanGenterCCT.
STOW, MA: From Mass Department of Fire Services: “Electrical fires are the second leading cause of home fire deaths in Massachusetts,” said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. “The best ways to prevent electrical fires are to have a licensed electrician do all work, have your system reviewed every ten years, and don’t overload outlets.”
Know the Warning Signs
“Call your local fire department immediately if you have warning signs such as arcs, sparks, or short circuits,” advises Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts President Timothy J. Grenno. “Other warning signs include hearing a sizzling or buzzing sound or smelling a vague odor of something burning. Immediate attention to these signs can save lives,” he added, “Firefighters can use thermal imaging technology to see excessive heat inside the walls.”
Call a professional electrician soon if you have any of these warning signs:
- Frequently blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers;
- Dim or flickering lights, bulbs that wear out too fast;
- Overheated plugs, cords or switches;
- Shock or mild tingle – more than normal static electricity;
- Loose outlets or unusually warm or faulty outlets or switches.
Electrical Fires Caused 4 Deaths and $43.6 Million in Damages Last Year
In Massachusetts in 2018, there were 728 electrical fires in buildings. They caused four civilian deaths, 22 injuries, 98 fire service injuries and an estimated $43.6 million in property damages. Most of these electrical fires, 78%, were in people’s homes.
- Last August, an elderly Weston woman died in an electrical fire which was caused by either an overloaded extension cord (space heater, cable box and TV all plugged into the same cord) or resistive heating of the cord because books, clothing and other items were stacked on top of it for a long period of time. Electrical cords need to dissipate the small amount of heat they produce into the air.
Don’t Overload Circuits or Daisy Chain Extension Cords and Power Strips
One way to prevent electrical fires is to practice electrical safety. Plugging too many things into a single outlet or circuit overloads them and starts fires. Another frequent cause is using extension cords. Plug all heat-producing appliances, like space heaters, irons, and toasters, directly into the wall outlet; otherwise, the safety mechanism of circuit breakers and fuses is
by-passed. Do not “daisy chain” extension cords together; each connection is another possible failure point.
- On March 31, 2019, a Brewster family had an electrical fire start when a space heater was left running unattended in the basement. The heater was plugged into an extension cord which was daisy chained into a power strip. The power strip became overloaded. (See related story here).
Give Electrical Systems a Tune-Up Every 10 Years
Extension cords are designed for temporary use, but many people leave them in place permanently and forget about them. Plugging many things into a single outlet or reliance on extension cords are signs it is time to have an electrician review your system. Fire officials recommend having a licensed electrician review a home’s electrical system every ten years. Small upgrades and simple safety checks such as making sure outdoor grounds and connections are secure can prevent larger problems without breaking the bank.
Don’t Charge Your Cell Phone or Laptop in Bed
There have been a number of fires from cell phones charging underneath pillows and laptops left running on top of the bed covers. Cell phones and laptops are always processing when running or charging. Blocking or covering them can prevent air from cooling the batteries and lead to a fire. Failures of lithium ion batteries are more likely to occur during recharging. Charge these devices on a hard surface.
- A 2013 fire in a Framingham State dormitory started when a laptop was left charging on a bed. Fortunately, a single sprinkler head contained the fire and none of the 373 students were injured or displaced long-term.
Hire a Licensed Electrician
“Hire a licensed electrician who knows the code. Resist doing your own electrical work unless you are a licensed electrician,” said Ostroskey.
Keep Furniture from Pinching Cords
Heavy furniture can easily pinch an electrical cord and over time that can lead to a fire. Do not run cords underneath rugs; it is both a trip and a fire hazard. Unplug appliances by grasping the plug; do not pull by the cord.
For more information on electrical fire safety go to: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/electrical-fire-safety .
The Brewster Fire Department will be hosting our annual Brewster in Bloom weekend Open House on Saturday May 4 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Fire department personnel will distribute fire prevention and fire safety education material and several EMS and fire equipment displays will be set up for viewing. Please take the time to stop by, enjoy some refreshments, and learn more about home fire safety and the members of the Brewster Fire/Rescue department who serve you on a daily basis
LARGE CROWD EXPECTED – DOORS OPEN AT 5PM
(BREWSTER, MA) The Brewster Select Board is expecting another large crowd for the upcoming Annual Town Meeting and is urging residents to arrive early. The meeting will begin at 6pm, with check-in starting at 5pm to accommodate the large turnout.
Town Meeting will be held at the Stony Brook Elementary School on Underpass Road. It is important to note that Town officials have established a new entrance at the eastern or the right side of the traditional main meeting entrance in order to accommodate the expected large crowd. Brewster officials have also organized a number of services available during the entirety of the Town Meeting.
TRANSPORTATION SERVICES:The Council on Aging offers rides to and/or from Town Meeting. For information or to schedule a ride to and/or from Town Meeting please call the Council on Aging at 508-896-2737 by noon on Thursday, May 2nd. Rides are available during the entirety of Town Meeting.
Overflow parking will be located at the Eddy School and Town Hall parking lots.
A shuttle bus service to and from these parking lots will start at 5pm.
CHILD CARE SERVICES: The Nauset Youth Alliance (NYA) provides free child care services for children ages 5 – 14 from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, in the Stony Brook School Rooms 220/225 during Town Meeting.
If you would like to take advantage of this service, please call or email the NYA before 4:00 pm on Friday, May 3rd; 508-896-7900 or email@example.com
FOOD & BEVERAGES: The Nauset Youth Alliance will provide food and refreshments for purchase from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm during Town Meeting. Items include sandwiches, chips, desserts, water, coffee, tea and juice.
TRANSCRIPTION SERVICES: A real-time transcription of Town Meeting is available for the hearing impaired. Look for the screen to the right of stage.
NEW ENTRANCE TO THE TOWN MEETING:Town officials have established a new entrance at the eastern side of the school in order to accommodate the large crowd. Brewster voters will take priority in the seating at Town Meeting.
For an online version of the warrant, please go to the Town of Brewster website – www.brewster-ma.gov
For more information, call the Brewster Town Administrator’s office @ 508-896-3701.