LT Mark DeCillis One of the recipients of the 2017 Connecticut District Exchange Club’s Salute
to Connecticut’s Bravest Award at the Oct. 20th ceremony
Mark DeCillis joined the fire company as a probationary member on May 29, 2010 and became a regular member in November of the same year. Mark quickly earned his Firefighter 1 and 2 as well as an EMT certification. Since completing his initial training, Mark has demonstrated a deep commitment to the department. Initially, he became an EMS crew leader taking EMS duty once a week. Mark was elected Lieutenant in 2013 and immediately took charge of our SCBA program. Under his supervison, the program has flourished and has ensured that each firefighter has a functioning air pack everytime it is donned. Mark has also taken an active role in the company as one of the leaders of the junior firefighting program. He has served as a mentor to many junior firefighters and as a result, this program serves a deep pool of qualified members. Mark immediately steps in to fill whatever role is required whether it be basic firefighter or incident command. Marks steps up to any challenge and completes the job. He remains one of our top responders, responding to most fire and EMS calls.
The officers and members of the North Madison Fire Company would like to extend a BIG thank you to EVERYONE that attended the 2017 open house! It was a great success thanks to the dedication of our members and the fantastic showing from the community!!
Today as part of the 2017 Fire Prevention Week children from a local nursery school stopped by the firehouse to thank us for visiting their school to talk about fire safety. They surprised us with fresh flowers, a beautiful handmade card and a huge, delicious plate of homemade brownies! (We will be appreciating those brownies during our monthly clean-up and business meeting tonight). Many thanks to all of them for their thoughtful gifts. What a generous community we live in. Truly neighbors helping neighbors!
The North Madison Volunteer Fire Company will hold its annual open house on Sunday, October 15 from 11AM to 2PM, at the end of Fire Prevention Week. The all-volunteer department provides a full range of fire, rescue, and EMS first-responder services to all of Madison north of The Pines, and works closely with its downtown sister department, Madison Hose Company #1, as well as the Madison Police Department and Madison EMS, to provide a high level of public safety to the community. Roughly 50 North Madison company volunteers respond to just over 400 calls per year.
The department’s annual open house will include a number of fun activities for the family, including a chance for kids to run the hose and put water on a simulated fire, and for adults to practice with fire extinguishers. “The weather forecast for next weekend looks terrific,” observes Company President Paul Harris, “and we hope for a great turnout. We can answer any questions you have about the department, and even take a membership application or a donation.” While the fire trucks and nearly all of the company’s firefighting and EMS equipment are paid for by town funds, the department is not a town agency, and relies on donations to support a number of its activities. The trucks and all of the department’s equipment will be available for inspection by visitors, and company members will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate some of the gear carried on the trucks.
This year’s national Fire Prevention Week theme is “Every Second Counts – Plan 2 Ways Out.” At about 1:30 p.m., the fire company will host a live burn in a simulated room of a house, to demonstrate just how quickly a fire can spread indoors. “In a house fire, the focus has to be on getting out – not on retrieving your cell phone or laptop, or grabbing the checkbook, but getting out. Today’s synthetic furniture components burn very hot and very fast,” notes fire chief Dave Cone, “and running back in, or delaying exiting even briefly, can be fatal.” Courtesy of the Branford Fire Department, a fire safety trailer will be on hand to allow for safe practice of some key fire survival techniques. A number of brochures and posters will also be available for visitors to take home.Read more
Lieutenant Gabriel Balsamo
You and your family are fast asleep when the smoke alarm sounds: Do you know what to do?
October 9, 2017 — Consider this scenario: It’s 2 o’clock in the morning. You and your family are fast asleep when you awaken to the smoke alarm sounding and the smell of smoke. What do you do? If you and your family don’t have a plan in place, it could jeopardize your safety, or even prove deadly.
In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation. It ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use that small window of time wisely.
“Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory,” said David Cone, Chief of the North Madison Fire Company. “That pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” works to better educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it. The North Madison Fire Company is working in coordination with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of the Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to reinforce those potentially life-saving messages. Fire Prevention Week is October 8-14, 2017. We will be ending the week with our annual open house on Sunday, October 15 from 11-2pm!
“Home escape planning is one of the most basic but fundamental elements of home fire safety, and can truly make the difference between life and death in a fire situation,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy.
In support of Fire Prevention Week, Lt. Balsamo encourages all Madison households to develop a plan together and practice it. A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.
NFPA and the North Madison Fire Company offer these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
- Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
- Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
- Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
- Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
- Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
- Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week or to learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” and home escape planning, visit firepreventionweek.org.
This past week North Madison Junior Firefighter Clay Jerzyk, attended Advanced Skills and Concepts, a 6 day training program held at the Connecticut Fire Academy. Students were exposed to a series of advanced skills and concepts designed to expand and sharpen their skill and knowledge base and leadership abilities. Some of the topics covered included: Vehicle Extrication, High-Angle Rescue, Standpipe Operations, Introduction to Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, and Teaching Methodology/Leadership skills. Congratulations to Clay on his successful completion of this course!
by LT Gabe Balsamo in Company Events
North Madison Fire recently headed to Thomaston, CT for their Annual Fire Carnival and Parade. North Madison competed against numerous other fire departments from around the state. Currently, we are awaiting the results from the Connecticut Parade Marshals Association. This year 10-85 and 10-95 headed north to compete for “best appearing” in their respective categories. Check out some of the photos from the evening!
On June 10, 2017 the North Madison Vol. Fire Company traveled to Beacon Falls CT to participate in the Beacon Hose Fire Department annual firemen’s parade and carnival. This event is held every year and it kicks off the CT firefighters parade season, in which many departments around the state hold annual parades leading up to the state firefighters convention in September. This year we are proud to announce that Nomad took home the Best Appearing Brush Truck trophy from this event. We plan on attending more parades throughout the summer including the state firefighters convention in Taftville CT on September 17, 2017.
Concert on the Green
July 1, 2017
Due to the large number of people expected to attend, everyone is encouraged to arrive early as there will be traffic delays and parking restrictions. The Concert on the Green is an alcohol-free event. NO ALCOHOL is allowed on the Madison Town Green. There will be no parking posted in the area including Copse Road from Bradley Road to Britton Lane.
Independence Day Fireworks
July 3, 2017
The Town of Madison Annual Independence Day Fireworks display will be held on Monday, July 3, 2017 at approximately 9:30 PM at the Madison Surf Club. Due to the large numbers of people who are expected at the event, everyone is encouraged to arrive early as there will be traffic delays, road closures and parking restrictions.
- West Wharf Road
- Surf Club Road
- Middle Beach Road
- Middle Beach Road West
- Seaview Avenue
Public Transportation/Shuttle Service
Shuttle service will commence at 7:00 PM and will run continuously throughout the evening. Shuttle service pickup locations include:
- Samson Rock Drive / Stop & Shop Parking Lot
- Railroad Station / Bradley Road
- Durham Road (Rt. 79) Commuter Parking Lot
After the fireworks, shuttle service will return commuters to these locations and will run until all potential passengers are accommodated.
ALL ACCESS TO THE BEACH AREA VIA MOTOR VEHICLE WILL BE CLOSED BY 8:30 PM
WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION/SHUTTLE SERVICE
Independence Day Parade
July 4, 2017
The Town of Madison Annual Independence Day Parade will be held on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, commencing at 11:00 AM. The parade will proceed west on Boston Post Road (Route 1) from Samson Rock Drive to the West Wharf Road and will end in the Surf Club. The parade will require road closures. Residents and motorists should expect traffic delays along the parade route between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Affected areas will include Boston Post Road (Route 1) and all intersecting roads between Wall Street/Samson Rock Drive and West Wharf Road, including:
- Boston Post Road (Route 1)
- Wall Street
- Samson Rock Drive
- Durham Road (Route 79)
- Meig’s Avenue
- Academy Street
- Copse Road
- Island Avenue
- Britton Lane
- West Wharf Road
- Lantern Hill Road
Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes during the parade. Residents/Visitors requiring access to Middle Beach Road, or Madison Beach Hotel should use East Wharf Road to access those areas during the parade. There will be no public access to the Surf Club or to the Madison Country Club (via West Wharf Road) during the parade.Read more
Written by: Firefighter Brendan Collins
~ Aren’t you mostly getting cats out of trees?”
When I first mentioned to people that I was becoming a volunteer firefighter with the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company these were the types of questions I heard frequently. Truthfully, they’re questions I had asked myself at one point. (Side note, to date I have not rescued a single cat.)
Contrary to the levity such questions suggest, becoming a volunteer firefighter is in fact serious business. At times, life and death serious.
Thankfully “working” fires are a small percentage of our calls for service. We also respond to car accidents, carbon monoxide alarms, and theoretically cats stuck in trees.
In addition, a good deal of time is spent connecting with the community and sharing comradery with fellow volunteers. All of these factors contributed to my desire to join and serve our community in this way.
As a prospective volunteer balancing a career, family and other commitments it was initially a challenge. My father has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 50 years so I knew about the late night alarms, and frequent need to leave work or the dinner table when a call went out. What I found out is there is much more to this role I’ve chosen than responding to emergencies.
The first step in becoming a firefighter is to take the state Fire 1 course. This is an introduction to firefighting as well as interior firefighter certification, Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations.
Passing this course requires a significant time commitment but one that is justified when you consider the risk involved. What was surprising to me is firefighting isn’t as simple as putting water on the fire.
During Fire1 volunteers learn everything from carrying and throwing a ladder, to fire attack and search and rescue. The instructors introduce you to countless acronyms and terms such as LDH (Large Diameter Hose), IDLH (Immediate Danger to Life and Health), the “Irons” (Halligan tool and Axe) and positive pressure ventilation (blowing fresh air into a structure to remove toxic gasses and smoke.)
Then there’s the equipment, trucks, tools and protocols. Learning about all these seemed quite daunting at the outset, but I have come to learn that the fire department is full of people who want to help. When I’ve had questions about how things work or what needs to be done there is someone willing to lend a hand.
Being a volunteer firefighter isn’t all lights and sirens, it is ultimately about people. I have met some inspiring members that truly give more than they will ever receive. From doctors, lawyers, sales people, landscapers, engineers, and even professional firefighters they all come together to help serve the community. This extends beyond the firehouse doors as well. I’ve personally witnessed our “neighbors helping neighbors” motto materialize countless times in my brief tenure so far.
In short, becoming a North Madison firefighter has enriched my life in more ways than I can express here. It has fulfilled a need for teamwork and comradery previously filled by organized sports and has given me the opportunity to become an active member of my new community,
When the call comes across the pager that there is someone in need of help, our volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel are part of a team that willingly leaves the comfort of their homes to help others.
These are people I want to know.