The Brewster Fire Department would like to remind our residents of the availability of participating in our popular File of Life program. The File of Life is an extremely valuable emergency medical form that is used to assist responding EMS personnel in the event a patient is too ill or injured to provide life-saving medical information to our staff. The document, which is typically kept in a common location such as a homeowner’s kitchen refrigerator or other easily accessible area, includes critical patient care information such as the patients name, current medications, past medical history, physician information, allergies, and emergency contacts. We highly suggest that the form be updated and reviewed on a six month basis in order to ensure the most up-to-date information is available to our first responders. Our organization supports and highly encourages all of our residents in Brewster to use these life saving forms. Any individual interested in obtaining the File of Life package can visit Fire Headquarters or the Council on Aging Monday thru Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
At 8:31 p.m. on Tuesday April 2 the Brewster Fire Department was dispatched to a service call for a reported boiler malfunction at 59 Thomegan Road. Upon arrival at the scene Engine 234 conducted an investigation of the basement area of the home and found the overhead garage door and the lower level of the west side gable end wall of the home pushed outward several feet and debris in the driveway from the force of a past boiler explosion. Further investigation of the basement found extensive interior destruction throughout the area including damage to a vehicle parked in the adjacent garage caused by large pieces of the furnace, debris, wooden partition walls, and storage being propelled throughout the area. In addition, the 1st floor directly above the basement boiler room was dislodged and pushed upward. The fuel oil tank was found to be displaced from its normal position and a minor leak was present.
Fire personnel immediately secured the electric to the building, plugged the leak from the tank, and spread speedy dry throughout the area to absorb the spilled fuel. The Brewster Building Department responded to the scene to assess the structural damage to the residence. Based on the damage to the building, the fuel oil spill, and the utilities being shut down a determination to vacate the structure until a more thorough investigation could be conducted was made.
NSTAR was contacted and responded to secure the utilities in the street and the DEP was notified of the fuel oil spill. Red Cross representatives were present and provided emergency housing for the residents of the home. All Brewster Fire units returned from the scene and were placed back in service at 10:15 p.m.
Over the past several months members of the Brewster Fire Department initiated a project to rebrand the department through the development of a new patch and logo. The purpose of this endeavor was to develop a patch that would bond the department to the community’s rich history and tradition, strengthen our relationship with our residents, and afford our personnel a fresh and contemporary outlook toward future organizational excellence and continued outstanding customer service.
Personnel collaborated on and discussed several design possibilities including use of the Town seal or a community point of interest as the core component of the revised logo. After much thought, members made the decision to incorporate an illustration of an original Brewster Sea Captains ship as the key element and central feature of the design. In doing so the organization was able to meet our objective of integrating a celebrated and renowned piece of Town history into our own rich tradition and heritage.
Our members are extremely pleased to have enhanced the ties that bind us to the history of our community and look forward to continuing to provide unsurpassed emergency services to our residents under our new creative modern brand.
On Sunday March 24 at 11:33 p.m. the Brewster Fire Department responded to 45 Cranberry Lane for a reported chimney fire. On arrival at the 1.5 story private dwelling Engine 234 under the command of Firefighter Glen Cefalo found an active fire within the chimney with flames showing from the exterior at the top of the flue. Based on these conditions a full department recall was requested for additional manpower. Ladder 237 and Car 231 arrived on scene with Car 231 (Fire Chief Moran) assuming command. The ladder crew placed ground and roof ladders to the roof and initiated clean out and suppression operations. Additional personnel arrived on Engine 239 and were assigned to the interior areas of the structure to check for fire extension and to remove the blockage from within the flue. All living and attic areas were evaluated using the thermal imaging camera (TIC). This state-of-the-art equipment allows firefighters to search for heat sources and fire hidden within walls and other void spaces in the structure without causing structural damage. Our professional staff of firefighters was able to remove the blockage and fully extinguish the fire within approximately one hour with no extension into the building. Units were placed back into service approximately 1 ½ hours after the initial call.
An interesting note about this fire is that the homeowner who was inside the residence at the time of the incident was unaware of the fire until a neighbor who saw flames and embers coming from the chimney quickly called 911 to report the fire. During this incident the fire department also responded to a Priority 2 medical call at which a mutual aid ambulance from Harwich transported the patient to Cape Cod Hospital.
The Brewster Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to remind residents who utilize fireplaces and wood burning stoves to have their chimneys and flues cleaned and/or inspected by a professional cleaning service on an annual basis. Remember, preventing these types of incidents from occurring and causing damage to your residence should be a priority for every homeowner.
The Fire Department is pleased to announce that the recent community CPR classes provided by our organization in November and February proved to be extremely successful events at which 36 total attendees were provided training in adult, child, and infant CPR and choking, and the effective use of Automatic External Defibrillators (AED’s). Our instructor staff of Firefighter/Paramedic Kirk Rounseville and Firefighter/EMT Amanda Rounseville described the group as being extremely eager to learn and exceptionally dedicated to the program.
Our organization would like to thank all of the attendees for their commitment to learning these life saving techniques, for assisting us in our efforts to saturate the community with residents capable of establishing an immediate medical response to a sudden cardiac arrest event, and for enhancing our status as a Heart Safe Community.
Brewster Fire will be hosting additional CPR classes in the near future. Interested residents should monitor our website at Brewsterfire.com and local newspapers for dates and times.
On Saturday February 23, 2013 members of the Brewster Fire Department participated in a six hour classroom/hand-on training program on the use, care, and maintenance of their newly purchased Gemtor personal harness systems. These individually fitted, multi-purpose harnesses which are worn by firefighters over their turnout pants are designed to enhance the safety of every firefighter operating at an incident through a number of methods that were expertly detailed during the day by a professional group of experienced fire service instructors.
Safety & Survival training, a New Jersey based company who is the sole supplier of the training for the Gemtor Company conducted the program for the group of approximately 30 members. A two-hour classroom component started off the day after which personnel completed four hours of intense, hands-on evolutions covering skills and techniques in the areas of rescuing and removing lost, disoriented, or injured firefighters from the interior of a structure, personal self- rescue or “bail out” of the upper floors of a structure, establishing rope rescue anchor points, and use of the harness as a personal safety device during ground and aerial ladder operations.
Enhancing the safety of our staff through the purchase of new, innovative, and state-of-the-art equipment is an ongoing goal of our organization. Due to the estimated cost to finalize this project it was designed to be completed in stages. Beginning with the purchase of new turnout gear capable of supporting the equipment, purchase of the harnesses, and completion of the training the project took approximately 24 months to complete. Funding for the turnout gear and harnesses was provided by the residents of Brewster through our annual operating budget. A portion of a substantial donation received from Brewster resident Mrs. Susan Schechter in memory of her husband allowed us to complete the training component of the project. We offer our sincere gratitude to the residents of Brewster in particular Mrs. Schechter for their support and commitment to improving the safety and capabilities of our professional staff and allowing us to complete this life-saving safety initiative.
On Saturday February 23 at 2250 hours the Brewster Fire Department was dispatched on a line box assignment to Orleans for a reported structure fire at the Hearth & Kettle Restaurant. On arrival the Orleans fire department found a heavy smoke condition throughout the two story lightweight wood frame building and requested additional units to assist in searching for and extinguishing the fire. Brewster Car 231, Ladder 237, and ambulance 243 responded directly to the scene. Ladder 237 placed their aerial ladder into service to check the roof mounted HVAC units. The company also assisted in searching the building for the source of the smoke and also provided ventilation fans for smoke removal purposes, Car 231 was assigned as the interior operations Chief, and ambulance 243 stood by as the medical unit at the incident. After a long and tedious search of the building using thermal imaging cameras companies determined the source of the smoke to be an overheated piece of machinery in the unoccupied attic space. All Brewster units returned to quarters and were placed back into service at 0027 hours.
On Friday February 22 at 2103 hours the Brewster Fire Department was dispatched to the Town of Dennis for a coverage assignment due to a working fire on Surfside Road in Dennis. Engine 239 was requested to respond and cover Station 2 and Ambulance 243 responded to Dennis Fire Headquarters to provide EMS coverage for the community. During the coverage activity units answered several calls for assistance. All Brewster apparatus returned to headquarters and were placed back in service at 0025 hours.
The Brewster Fire Department began pre-storm preparations on Thursday February 8 by conducting visits at facilities within the Town including nursing homes, food establishments, gas stations, and other locations identified as critical infrastructure within the community. The Office of Emergency Management held a meeting on Friday February 9 with various Town departments including Fire, Police, DPW, Water, Administration, Maintenance, and Natural Resources. At this meeting the group reviewed the town emergency management plan, discussed staffing issues, resource capabilities, and developed an action plan for storm operations.
Beginning on Friday at 6:00 p.m. the fire department brought in additional staff to supplement on duty firefighters. These staffing levels remained in place until Monday at 6:00 p.m. During this period the fire department responded to over 200 requests for service ranging from downed power lines and trees, medical emergencies, fire alarms, well-being checks, flooded basements, electric and gas emergencies, and requests for mutual aid fire and ems resources.
In addition, a rehabilitation center for Town employees was established at fire headquarters. At the center personnel were provided with a secure area to rest, shower, and obtain a hot meal during the entire 72 hour storm period.
The Towns Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was opened on Saturday morning to assist in transporting Brewster residents with no electric and/or heat to the local warming center which was established at the Eddy School and then to a regional shelter staffed by the Red Cross at Nauset Regional High School in Eastham. The EOC also assisted in coordinating other resource and service requests from Town departments and residents through Saturday night. A total of 55 Brewster residents were transported to the regional shelter during the height of the storm and then returned to their residences Sunday and Monday as power was restored throughout the community.
The members of the Brewster Fire Department who responded to and worked efficiently and professionally through dangerous conditions during the storm would like to acknowledge our residents for the perseverance, resilience, and spirit they displayed during this highly stressful, long term emergency event and remind you that we remain always at your service.
I am pleased to announce that The Brewster Fire Department was recently awarded with an improved structure fire suppression rating by the Insurance Service Offices (ISO). Reducing the community rating was one of the main goals identified in our five-year strategic plan published in early 2012 and available on this website for your review. We are excited to have reached this very important objective and I wish to personally thank the Board of Selectmen, community stakeholders including the Brewster Water Department, our regional fire service partners, and most importantly the dedicated members of our organization for their continued development and delivery of professional Fire and EMS services to our customers.[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”] Please take a minute to read the letter below on how Brewster residents and business owners may personally benefit from this improved rating.[/pullquote]
TO: Town of Brewster Resident/Business Owner
RE: Brewster Fire Department Public Protection Classification Upgrade
The Town of Brewster Fire Department was recently evaluated by the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO). ISO collects and evaluates information from communities in the United States on their structure fire suppression capabilities. The data is analyzed using ISO’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) which reviews several key components of a fire departments operation including dispatch services, staffing, apparatus, training, and water supply capabilities. Most insurance companies utilize this information to develop and set commercial and residential fire insurance rates.
We are pleased to report that the Brewster Fire Department received an upgraded Public Protection Classification moving from a Class 4 to a Class 3 which makes the Brewster Fire Department one of a few combination fire departments in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to achieve this rating.
Feel free to provide a copy of this information to your insurance company who will then make a determination as to whether a reduction in your commercial or residential fire insurance rate is warranted based on this upgraded rating.
Yours in Service,
Chief of Department