North Madison Fire Food Drive April 2017

by LT Gabe Balsamo in Company Events, General



For the sixth year in a row, CT shoreline fire departments will host a one-day food drive on Sat. April 8th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to collect non-perishable food for shoreline residents in need.

At a time of year when food donations are low, this food drive will help to restock the pantries and ensure that everyone in our local communities will have a place at the table. The Soup Kitchens’ five pantries distributed over 1 million pounds of food last year to needy residents. Only 40 percent of this food comes from the CT Food Bank; the remainder must be either purchased or donated, so every item is appreciated. Last year’s drive brought in close to 4,000 pounds of food, and this year’s goal is 6,000 pounds.

Please join the effort by donating food on Saturday, April 8, 2017. North Madison Fire will be stationed outside Roberts Food Center from 9-1p Please do not drop off food before that date.

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10-55 Engine Replacement: In Progress

by LT Gabe Balsamo in General

An article from our most recent newsletter “Getting to know us Volume 2, Issue 2”

10-55 Engine Replacement: In Progress 

By Donald MacMillan


The North Madison Volunteer Fire Company (NMVFC) is in the process of replacing 10-55, our 24-year-old pumper.

To provide the best fire protection to the residents of North Madison we need two pumpers, each custom built to fulfill its mission.

Our primary pumper, 10-57, is specifically designed and employed to attack fires, while 10-55 serves as a water source pumper. Since North Madison does not have water hydrants, we rely on mutual aid water supply and the water we have in our underground water tanks. We use 10-55 to get the water from the tanks and to serve as the primary piece of apparatus we send to other towns in need of assistance.

Many towns use bonding to purchase apparatus, and although this method is effective the overall cost over the life of the bond issue remains high.
NMVFC purchases a major piece of apparatus every 6-7 years generally costing $400,000 to $1,000,000. An expenditure of this magnitude can have a significant impact on the town budget. To prevent budget fluctuations funds have been put aside every year in a capital account to be available when needed. Since the town put aside the cost of our new truck we were able to save $20,000.

We are often asked about the fate of old apparatus.  In the past we have donated fire trucks to needy rural fire departments.  Our two previous engines found new homes in rural New Hampshire, replacing 40-year-old apparatus.  We are very fortunate to have the resources to provide relatively modern equipment to towns that do not share our fortunes.

The fire department and the town are committed to providing the highest level of fire protection to all residents. Your continued support of the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company is greatly appreciated.


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2017 Annual Souper Bowl

by LT Gabe Balsamo in Company Events

Join us at the Madison Chamber of Commerce’s
2nd ANNUAL Souper Bowl
Saturday, January 28, Noon to 3pm
Part of the proceeds will benefit  Outrun 38,  a  charity that promotes fitness and healthy living in a supportive community to heighten awareness of Cystic Fibrosis while supporting the growing “healthy sick”
CF population.
Be sure to join us downtown this Saturday,
and bring your family, your friends and your hunger!
If you’d like to avoid the lines and pre-purchase a $10 admission sticker,  please click here .

Many thanks to our Sponsors: 

Essex Savings Bank
The Shoreline Vine
North Madison Volunteer Fire Department
Hammonasset Crossfit
See you Saturday!   Click here if you’d like to share the poster.


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Winter Indoor Fire Safety Tips

by LT Gabe Balsamo in Safety Tips



More fires happen in the winter months than any other time of the year. During the cold months, we spend more time indoors and use different methods to heat our homes.

It is important to keep fire safety in mind when you are heating your home.

If you are using a portable heater:

  • Make sure the heater has an automatic shut-off so if it tips over, it shuts off.
  • Keep anything that can burn such bedding, clothing and curtains at least 3 feet from the heater.
  • Plug portable heaters directly into wall outlets. Never use an extension cord or power strip.
  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.

If you are using a fireplace:

  • Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out and starting a fire.
  • Do not burn paper in your fireplace.
  • Before you go to sleep or leave your home put the fire out completely.
  • Put ashes in a metal container with a lid. Store the container outside at least 3 feet from your home.

If you are using a wood stove:

  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year by a professional.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from the stove.
  • Do not burn paper in your wood stove.
  • Before you go to sleep or leave your home, put the fire out completely.


When heating your home, you need to be aware of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is called the “invisible killer” because it’s a colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas. More than 150 people in the U.S. die each year due to accidental CO poisoning from generators or fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fire places. Breathing CO at high levels can kill you.

Put CO alarms inside your home to provide an early warning of increasing CO levels. These alarms should be placed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.

As always, make sure you have a smoke alarm on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test your alarms every month. Have a home fire escape plan and practice your plan at least twice a year. Make sure everyone knows how to escape your home if there is a fire.

For more information on heating fire safety, go to the U.S. Fire Administration.

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2016 Santa Fundraiser Follow up

by LT Gabe Balsamo in General

Many thanks to the participants, friends and volunteers who made our 2016 Santa fundraiser a huge success!  On two Sundays in December, the Nomads were honored to help Santa Claus and his elves deliver gifts to 70 families in North Madison.  Children and adults alike were amazed when Santa hopped off the firetruck at their very own door!   (Santa’s sleigh was still in the shop for routine service before its annual Christmas Eve flight).  Even when foggy weather hit, Santa and the Nomads delivered a surprise gift to every child on their nice-kid early-bird list despite the absence of Rudolph, who’d wanted to come but had his annual buff-and-wax nose-shine appointment.  We look forward to continuing with this popular and joyous event next year, and we’re deeply grateful for the continued, widespread community support of the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company.  Ho-ho-ho and Happy New Year to all!



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2016 Holiday Fire Safety Information

by LT Gabe Balsamo in Safety Tips


It is fun to decorate for the winter holidays, but holiday decorations can increase your risk of a home fire. As you deck the halls this season, be fire smart.

When you’re decorating with live trees, make sure you keep the tree watered. If a dry tree comes in contact with a flame, it can catch on fire in fewer than 10 seconds and spread quickly throughout your home. Take a minute to watch this video which shows the difference between a dry and watered tree,

Here are a few tips to keep your holiday decorations bright and safe:

  • Choose the freshest tree you can find. Check to see if the needles stay when you gently pull on a branch.
  • After making a fresh cut on the trunk and placing the tree in a stand, fill the stand’s water basin. Make sure you water your tree every day. Keep electrical cords and lights away from the water.
  • Choose holiday decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Choose holiday lights with a label from an approved testing laboratory, such as UL, and throw away any frayed or damaged light strands.
  • Place your tree at least three feet from heat registers, space heaters, and fireplaces.
  • If you decorate with candles, make sure they are at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.

Learn more at USFA website.

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Thanksgiving Home Cooking Fire Safety

by LT Gabe Balsamo in Safety Tips

As you plan your Thanksgiving menu don’t forget about fire safety.

Did you know Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires? The number of home fires double on Thanksgiving. So, let’s add a pinch of fire safety to the menu.

Keep these safety tips in mind as you prepare your meal.








If you are roasting your turkey, make sure you set a timer. This way, you won’t forget about the bird as you watch the parade or football.

If you are frying your turkey,

  • Use a fryer with thermostat controls. This will ensure the oil does not become over heated.
  • Thaw your turkey completely. Ice on the bird will cause the oil to splatter.
  • Don’t overfill the pot with oil. If you do, the oil will overflow when you add the turkey causing a fire hazard.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the fryer.
  • Also, always use the fryer outdoors.







Stuffing and Potatoes:

Stand by your stove when you are boiling your potatoes or frying onions for stuffing. It is best to stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling or broiling. If you are in the kitchen, it is easier to catch spills or hazardous conditions before they become a fire.


  • Keep the area around the stove clear of packaging, paper towels, and dish cloths; anything that can burn.
  • Be sure to clean up any spills as they happen.
  • Be prepared. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet handy in case you need to smother a pan fire.
  • Turn pot handles towards the back of the stove so you don’t bump them.


By following these safety tips, you will have a delicious and fire safe Thanksgiving. Let the firefighters have dinner with their families, not yours.

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2016 Santa Fundraiser

by LT Gabe Balsamo in Company Events

Santa Claus is coming to town! 

Have your presents delivered by Santa this year. 

This year, the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company, and Madison Hose Company No. 1 have teamed up again to bring Santa to deliver presents to your door in a fire truck!

Santa will be delivering presents on two days. Sunday December 11, and Sunday December 18

Please note, this year we will be delivering presents during two windows of time: 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm. For scheduling purposes, we ask that you please choose a window of time rather than scheduling an exact time for delivery. If neither of these windows of time work for you, please let us know and we will try to accommodate you as best as possible!

Presents can be dropped off at the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company prior to the delivery dates. Once you have registered, we will be in touch to let you know when you can drop off your gifts.

Payments of 25$ per gift can be made when you drop off your gift(s) at the fire department.

This is sure to make your little firefighter’s holiday! Or for some, your big firefighter’s holiday! Happy Holidays to all, and we hope to see you soon!

Complete the online registration form here, through Madison Hose Company No 1

Truck 10

Supporting the…

North Madison Volunteer Fire Company 

Madison Hose Company No. 1 

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North Madison Fire Company Holds Demonstrations for Fire Prevention Week

by LT Gabe Balsamo in General


Photos and Article By Zoe Roos, Staff Writer

Published October 18, 2016.

The North Madison Volunteer Fire Company invited residents to the firehouse on Oct. 16 to recognize National Fire Prevention Week. Firefighters held several demonstrations including a fire extinguisher demo, a Jaws of Life demo, and a live car fire demo.

October is fire prevention and awareness month. Each year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) chooses one issue to focus on, and this year it is smoke alarms. According to the NFPA, smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years at least.

North Madison Volunteer Fire Company President Paul Harris said the department hopes to raise awareness about proper use and inspection of smoke alarms.

“We have actually had, not in this department, but we have had people buy smoke alarms, put them in their closet, and then they don’t understand why they don’t work,” he said. “They never take them out of the box and they go well I had it in my bedroom—there is a little more to it than that.”

Fire Lieutenant Gabe Balsamo said in a statement that smoke alarms can be the difference between life and death.

“Time and again, I’ve seen the life-saving impact smoke alarms can have in a home fire, but I’ve also seen the tragedy that can result when smoke alarms aren’t working properly,” he said. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate Madison residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have a life limit.”

Overall, Harris said Madison residents do a pretty good job of properly maintaining their smoke alarms.

“I think our community is pretty conscientious compared to some of the other towns and cities,” he said. “When we have responded, I would say in a majority of incidents the smoke alarm was doing its job.”

Lots of young children attended the demos held by the department. Harris said it is a good opportunity to show kids what firefighters really do out in the field.

“We are hoping to get them excited about it and maybe they will want to become future firefighters because we are always looking for the next generation to step in and take over,” he said.

fd-2 fd-3


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North Madison Firefighters Trained in Use of Naloxone

by LT Gabe Balsamo in General


EMS Officer Jonathan Wolff displays an EMS bag and Narcan kit. The Narcan kit, which can be used to reverse an opioid overdose, is stowed in the bag on the truck with other EMS supplies. (Photo by FF Mary Elliot )

Madison Firefighters Trained in Use of Naloxone

Published October 11, 2016

With opioid overdoses on the rise across the shoreline, Madison firefighters have taken steps to ensure they are prepared to address the crisis in town. Throughout the month of September, all firefighters completed training classes in the distribution of naloxone, also known as Narcan, to prepare for overdose cases.

Naloxone is a medication used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The medication will now be carried on response vehicles from both volunteer fire departments in town. North Madison Volunteer Fire Company Deputy Chief David Cone said all emergency medical technicians (EMT) and emergency medical responders (EMR) must be trained in the use of the medication before it can be carried on the response vehicles.

“We ran a total of three sessions to get everybody trained,” he said. “It is a one-hour training. It was developed by the state so essentially every EMT and EMR in the state is getting the same training so everyone is taking the same approach to this.”

The state office of EMS recently granted approval for EMS first-responder agencies to carry naloxone. Cone said distributing the medication is fairly straightforward and all firefighters had a chance to practice.

“The syringe devices that we use to give the medication are actually very simple to use,” he said. “We bought two little trainer devices that are exactly the same as the real device that you just refill with water so that the guys could practice without using up the actual medication. Everybody in the class practiced with the device—how to assemble it, how to actually give it so that they are ready to go in the field.”

EMS Coordinator Jon Wolff said the department had responded to a heroin overdose the first week of September—before the training had been completed.

“Madison EMS arrived only a few minutes after we did, and the patient did fine, but we could have given the Narcan ourselves had it been available,” he said. “We’re now fully prepared for the next overdose call, thanks to this new initiative.”

Cone said this new training allows firefighters across town to respond instantly to an overdose.

“We are ready anytime,” he said. “So if for some reason the ambulance is delayed getting up to us or even if we just happen to get there first, we have the medication.”

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