Fire Marshal offers Halloween safety tips

STOW, MAFrom Mass Department of Fire Services: State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey in offering fire and life safety tips for celebrating Halloween said, “Consider using battery-operated tea lights in jack-o-lanterns instead of candles to prevent fires, and keep all decorations away from heat and flames.”

More children are hit by cars on Halloween than any other single day, so it’s important for children to be visible and to practice pedestrian safety. State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “Children should carry a flashlight or glow sticks and costumes should be bright-colored or have reflective tape to highlight them. Remind children to cross at corners and use crosswalks.”

Drivers should use extra caution: drive more slowly and turn headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.

Reminder: Be Careful with Halloween Costumes, Decorations and Trick-or-Treating
• Switch to battery operated candles.
• Keep all decorations like cornstalks and hay away from heat sources and lit candles.
• Be sure all parts of costumes are labeled flame retardant.
• Costumes should not have trailing materials or tails long enough to cause falls.
• If a child is wearing a mask instead of make-up, make sure the eye holes are large enough to see through clearly.
• Make sure your home is well-lit inside and out and that there is a clear path to your door.
• Children under 12 should always be with an adult. It is best to take little ones out early. If older children are going out without you, go over the ground rules first and set a curfew. Have them travel in a group, with a cell phone and flashlight.
• Remind youngsters to cross at crosswalks or corners and not to dart out between parked cars.
• Teach children to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, do not run across the street.
• Fireworks are dangerous and illegal in Massachusetts. The ban includes firecrackers, cherry bombs and party poppers.
• After use, remember to put matches and lighters away in a high, locked cabinet, because children may be tempted to relight jack-o-lanterns themselves without having the ability to understand the danger.

For more information on Halloween Safety, contact your local fire department or look at the Department of Fire Services website at, type Halloween Safety in the search bar, or call the Public Fire Safety Education Hotline at 1-877-9-NO-FIRE.

Brewster Fire/Rescue Visits Local Schools for Fire Prevention Week

On Monday October 7 Captain Jeff Sturtevant and FF Richard Bunker visited the Town’s local elementary schools to present several classroom and hands-on based fire and life safety education programs to the students and staff. The sessions were designed to educate the attendees on several fire and life safety tips such as smoke detector use, calling 911, kitchen fire safety, crawling low in smoke, stop, drop, and roll, and developing and practicing home escape plans. During the day staff utilized the department’s new Fire Safety Education trailer to create real-life scenarios using theatrical smoke and other built-in props to educate the students in these life-saving techniques. 

Brewster Fire/Rescue would like to thank the staff at the Eddy and Stony Brook Schools for supporting Fire Prevention Week and for allowing us to educate the children in these essential fire and daily life safety practices.


Fire Officials Launch Fire Prevention Week: October 6-12, 2019

STOW — State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts President Chief Dennis Condon are launching Fire Prevention Week, October 6-12, 2019. “This year’s theme Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape, emphasizes how important it is for every family to make and practice a home escape plan. Even families of one,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey.

Chief Condon said, “There is nothing firefighters like to see more when they respond to a fire than the whole family standing at their meeting place, safe outside. Working smoke alarms coupled with a practiced escape plan increase your chances of surviving a fire.”

“If you have a fire at home you may only have less than three minutes after the alarm sounds to get out safely. Knowing what to do can mean the difference between life and death,” says State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. “Fire Prevention Week is a great time to hold a family fire drill: test the smoke alarms, practice two ways of getting outside and going to the meeting place,” he added.

Fire departments across the state will be busy during Fire Prevention Week visiting schools and senior centers, holding open houses, participating in community days, and sharing information to help everyone in their community learn to prevent fires and survive those that do occur.

For additional information, visit the Department of Fire Services Fire Prevention Week  webpage or visit and type in “Fire Prevention Week” in the search box.

PSA – Fire Prevention Week Oct 6th-12th

PSA – Fire Prevention Week Oct 6th-12th from Lower Cape TV on Vimeo.

Fire Prevention Week Open House Saturday October 5th

On Saturday October 5th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.the Brewster Fire Department will host a community Open House to kick off the start of Fire Prevention Week. This year we are using the event to support this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme of “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape, Plan and Practice Your Escape” and to foster improved community relationships,showcase our new fire safety education trailer, anddeliver important fire and life safety messages to our community. The department is offering free fire safety literature and souvenirs to attendees and the Brewster Fire/Rescue Association will provide refreshments free of charge throughout the event including hot dogs and popcorn. Please join us for a fun filled day.


Employment Announcement – Full Time Firefighter/Paramedic

Brewster Fire Department

Employment Announcement

Full Time Firefighter/Paramedic

The Brewster Fire Dept. is recruiting to fill a full time FF/Paramedic position. Applicants must hold FF I/II certification from the Massachusetts State Fire Academy or Pro-Board equivalent and be a Massachusetts licensed Paramedic or be capable of obtaining a Massachusetts Paramedic license within six (6) months of hire. The individual shall successfully pass a physical agility test, background check, and a medical exam prior to hire.

Applicants must hold a valid driver’s license, be 21 yrs of age or older, and possess a HS Diploma or equivalent (GED). Employees must live within 6 air miles of Brewster Fire (1671 Main St.) within 6 months of date of hire. Starting salary is $56,776.00/yr.

Applications may be picked up at Fire Headquarters (1671 Main Street Brewster MA, 02631) between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday beginning Monday September 30, 2019. Submitted applications must be accompanied by licensing documents, cover letter, and resume and be returned no later than 4:00 p.m. Monday October 14, 2019. EOE

25 fire deaths were reported in the U.S. news media

25 fire deaths were reported in the U.S. news media


Home fire fatalities
Sept. 8-14, 2019

U.S. map with 1,405 overlayed


1,405 fire fatalities have been reported in 2019.


25 home fire fatalities were reported by the U.S. news media for Sept. 8-14.




Gender unreported

Children 14 and under

Adults 65 and older

Number of multiple fatality incidents

Number of deaths in multiple fatality incidents

Number of states with fatalities

Total number of incidents reported










Explore 2019 home fire fatalities reported on by the news media.

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends everyone should have a comprehensive home fire protection plan that includes smoke alarms, fire sprinklers, and practicing a fire escape plan.


Brewster Fire/Rescue Receives a 2018 FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) for $123,050

On Friday September 20th Brewster Fire/Rescue received notification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that our 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Application had been approved and would receive funding in the amount of $123,050. In providing the award FEMA stated “after considerable consideration, the recipients project described in the narrative and details section of the application which included financial need, project description, cost/benefit, and statement of effect information was consistent with the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program’s purpose and worthy of an award”.


Since 2010 the department has received seven Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) awards and one Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant totaling more than 1.5 million dollars in funding for fire and EMS equipment, fire safety education programs, training, and staffing.  


With this award the department will replace three older cardiac monitors with new technologically advanced, state-of-the-art units that will significantly enhance patient care in the pre-hospital setting, improve firefighter safety at emergency incidents, and allow for a more effective and efficient delivery of emergency medical services to Brewster residents with minimal impact on the Towns taxpayers. 


Brewster Fire/Rescue would like to thank Congressman Keating, Senator Warren, and Senator Markey for their support of this vital Federal grant program and for the valuable assistance provided by their offices during this year’s application period. In addition, we would also like to thank David Parr our FEMA Region 1 Fire Program Specialist for the outstanding comprehensive and expert guidance delivered to our organization throughout the entire grant process.       

Brewster Fire/Rescue Responds to Motor Vehicle Accident

On Wednesday September 11 at 10:35 a.m. Brewster Fire/Rescue was dispatched to Long Pond Road for a reported single car motor vehicle accident. Squad 241 and Ambulance 244 under the direction of FF/Paramedic Kirk Rounseville and Car 231 (Chief Moran) responded to the scene. Upon arrival units reported a motor vehicle had vaulted over the guardrail into the adjacent woods. The occupant was found outside the vehicle laying in the roadway. Firefighters immediately began to assess the patient’s injuries and found that the driver had suffered an apparent medical issue that caused his vehicle to swerve off the road and into the woods. Personnel quickly moved the victim into the ambulance where he was transported to Cape Cod Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Brewster Police provided scene security and traffic control during the incident.  

September is Campus Fire Safety Month

Best Roommates Evah! – Working Smoke Alarms and Two Ways Out

Massachusetts is the home away from home to thousands of college students, and most upper classmen live off-campus. Every student has the right to safe housing and that includes working smoke alarms and two ways out. In student dormitories, fraternities, and sororities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts alone, 2,997 fires occurred in the last five years (2014-2018) resulting in six civilian injuries, six fire service injuries, and an estimated $1.4 million in damages.

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said, “College is the start of a young adult’s journey and injury or death from fire should not cut that journey short.” While most colleges work to make sure dormitories have fire alarm systems and fire sprinklers where required, officials are most concerned about the safety of off-campus housing. Across the nation, according to information compiled by Campus Firewatch, the last fatal fire in on-campus student housing occurred in 2005 and the last fatal fire in Greek housing occurred in 2006. Since that time, every student-housing related fatal fire has occurred in off-campus housing. In Massachusetts, two college students have died in off-campus housing fires in the last decade: James Huffman, age 21 and Binland Lee, age 22.

State Fire Marshal Ostroskey stated, “We need the help of both students and their parents to make sure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are still working and exits are still clear three months from now. If you’re old enough to live on your own, you’re old enough to take responsibility for the fire safety of everyone in the building.” Sometimes smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working on move in day, but are later disabled by tenants, putting everyone at risk.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, NFPA, USFA, and Campus Firewatch collaborated on a national campaign called See It Before You Sign It to encourage parents to see the off-campus apartment where their young adult will be living before signing the lease.

Ostroskey reminds parents and young adults that they should “feel free to contact local housing, building or fire authorities for an inspection if they have any concerns about the safety of an apartment they have rented.”

In 2016, a group of fire chiefs, building officials, college safety officials and campus fire safety advocates met to share strategies for enforcing fire and building codes in off-campus housing. They launched a public awareness campaign about the importance of working smoke alarms and two ways out, called “Best Roommates Evah!” Go to for more information.

For a quick list of resources and links to educational materials, please go to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services website and search on College Fire Safety.