Viewing posts categorised under: General

Driving Tips for a Safe Winter

by DC Gabe Balsamo in General


Written by

Janice Miller


When cold weather hits Connecticut, driving can get a little difficult. Icy and snowy conditions often make it much more difficult to stay safe on the road. Fortunately, there are several things you can make unfavorable conditions manageable.


Prepare for the Season


Ideally, staying safe on the road during winter starts before the cold weather really kicks in. Take your car to a trusted mechanic to get a tune-up and to check for any issues that could become more problematic once the cold sets in. One of the simplest ways to avoid breaking down in the snow is getting ahead of any mechanical problems before they start.


However, even the most well-tuned car can wind up having trouble in bad conditions. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you have an emergency preparedness kit in your car all season long. Make sure you have the basics, such as warm blankets and road flares to keep you and your passengers safe and warm. It’s also a good idea to have plenty of water and simple snacks in case you’re stuck for a while before help arrives. A useful inclusion many don’t consider: a good pair of waterproof, insulated gaiters. This way, should you break down in less-than-ideal footwear, your feet and lower legs will stay protected from the elements.


Consider the Car


Often, our cars have features such as anti-lock brakes that we forget about when conditions are good. At the start of the season, remind yourself of your car’s winter-ready features (or lack thereof) so you know how to handle slick and icy roads. It’s especially important to consider these things in an unfamiliar vehicle, as you may have to overcome instinct and consciously remind yourself to drive differently.


Plan Ahead


One of the most effective ways to ensure you’re driving safely in risky conditions is to plan ahead. Take some time to consider several routes to your regular destinations, and consider which ones feature the fewest hills, sharp turns, or other potential hazards.


Build extra time into your morning routine to check the weather, warm up the car, and scrape off any accumulated snow or ice. This is absolutely vital for driving safely. Not only does cleaning your car give you the visibility you need, but it also keeps other drivers on the road safe, too. Loose snow billowing off of your roof can create dangerous blind spots for the cars behind you. Worse, chunks of ice falling from your car can cause serious, life-threatening accidents.


 Take Your Time


One of the easiest things you can do to keep yourself safe on the road is slowing down. Accelerate slowly, decelerate slowly, increase following distance — developing patience during winter travels will go a long way toward keeping you and your passengers safe. It’s important to remember that winter weather requires you to react sooner since slick roads can compromise your ability to maneuver. If you’re going too fast, your reaction speed may not keep up.


One notable exception to this — if you’re going up a hill, it’s time to go. Traveling up a hill in snowy conditions is notoriously difficult, and the more momentum you have when you hit the bottom, the more likely you are to make it to the top. Don’t drive recklessly, and don’t go over the speed limit, but don’t approach the hill timidly, either. By the same token, do not slow down while ascending if you can avoid it. If you lose momentum, your odds of stopping — or worse, sliding back down — go up significantly.


Stay Home


Finally, the safest way to drive in the winter is not at all. Whenever you can manage it, simply stay home. If you know bad weather is coming, stock up on pantry goods and other staples. Try to work from home if you can, and decline invites to social outings while it’s icy out. Pay attention to snow emergency declarations, and never drive when it’s declared unsafe.


Driving in the winter calls for extra care. Navigating snowy or icy roads can be tricky, but with forethought and caution, you can make your winter driving as safe as possible.


Photo Credit: Pexels

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Thanksgiving 2019

by DC Gabe Balsamo in General

For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations.

So keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.


Top 10 safety tips
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Thanksgiving fire facts
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and the day before Thanksgiving.
  • In 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,600 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.

Source: NFPA’s Fire Applied Research Division


YouTube:  National Fire Protection Association Dangers of Turkey Fires 

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Update: Santa Fundraiser 2019

by DC Gabe Balsamo in General

Santa Update: 🚒🎅

Due to high demand, the workshop is at full capacity and Santa’s  sleigh is full for early delivery to Madison! The online registration is closed for this season❗️ We apologize if we missed you this year and look forward to your participation next year. From all of us at the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company, we wish you a Happy Holiday Season.

We will be collecting gifts
Saturday, December 7th
Saturday, December 14th
12 pm -3 pm


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Santa Fundraiser 2019

by DC Gabe Balsamo in General

Santa Claus is coming to town! 

Have your presents delivered by Santa this year.

Click the link below to register

We will be collecting gifts
Saturday, December 7th
Saturday, December 14th
12 pm -3 pm


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2019 Salute to Connecticut’s Bravest Firefighter of the Year: LT Justin Cappetta

by DC Gabe Balsamo in General

LT Justin Cappetta

Fire Fighter of the Year

One of the recipients of the 2019 Connecticut District Exchange Club’s Salute

to Connecticut’s Bravest Award at the October 17th ceremony.



Lt Justin Cappetta joined Nomad in May 2016 with a wealth of fire service
knowledge and experience already under his belt. Following in his late
father’s footsteps, he was a very active member of the North Haven Fire
Dept. from 2007 to 2016, serving as lieutenant for part of his tenure. Justin
rapidly gravitated toward apparatus work. Upon his election to the rank of
lieutenant he was tasked with overall management of our fleet. This
includes day-to-day truck maintenance, supervision of monthly apparatus
maintenance details, and arranging annual inspections. He also serves as the
chair of the committee that designed our new tanker, now on order and
expect to be delivered mid-2020. A career fire fighter at the Newport Naval
Station FD, where he is currently assigned to Ladder 72, Justin continuously
works to enhance his knowledge and skills. He recently completed  Incident
Safety Officer and Aerial Operator certification classes this year. Justin is a
constant presence around the firehouse, and always has time to help other
members with an apparatus issue. His smile and always-friendly manner
makes him very approachable. He provides steady leadership both at the
firehouse and the incident. In his relatively short time with Nomad, he has
become one of the hardest-working core members of Nomad, and is well

deserving of the recognition as Connecticut’s Bravest!



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Important Info: 2019 Madison Fireworks

by DC Gabe Balsamo in General, Safety Tips

Madison Fireworks Event Information:
When:  Wednesday, July 3, 2019 – 9:30pm  (Rain date Friday, July 5th)
Where:  Madison, CT – waterfront area off West Wharf Beach
Public viewing locations:
The fireworks are visible from many waterfront areas in Madison.  The main public viewing locations are from Surf Club Park, East Wharf Beach and West Wharf Beach.  Parking will be very limited at parks and beaches, on public streets, and in all waterfront viewing areas.  Please obey all Madison Police Department signs and instructions for parking.  Use of the free shuttle bus service is encouraged.

Important Event Information from the Town of Madison:

Free Shuttle Bus Service:


Durham School Services will provide school buses to and from the intersection of West Wharf Road and Surf Club Road and the following parking lots, beginning at 7:00 p.m.:

  • Samson Rock Drive/Stop & Shop
  • Railroad Station on Bradley Road
  • Rt. 79 Commuter parking lot at I-95

Following the end of the fireworks, all busses will return commuters to these parking lots.  Buses will run until all potential passengers are accommodated



  • No parking will be allowed at posted areas of West Wharf and Surf Club Roads.  Permanent and temporary no parking areas will be enforced and vehicles found in a hazardous location will be subject to towing at the owner’s expense. 
  • West Wharf Beach parking lot will be cleared of vehicles from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon and again at 5:00 p.m.  Vehicles may be towed at the owner’s expense.  
  • Vehicles parked at East Wharf Beach will not be allowed to leave the parking lot until all pedestrian traffic has cleared the area.
  • Parking WILL be allowed on the north sides of Middle Beach Road, Middle Beach Road West and along Island Avenue (due to a large number of planned parties).


Road Closures and Traffic Control:


The following roads will be closed to vehicular traffic in the direction noted below at approximately 8:00 p.m.

  • West Wharf Road (southbound)
  • Surf Club Road (westbound)
  • Middle Beach Road West (westbound)
  • Island Avenue (southbound)

 This closure may occur earlier if vehicle/pedestrian traffic levels are greater than normal.


Following the fireworks, Police Officers will direct traffic out of the Surf Club and other venues.

  • Traffic leaving the Surf Club will be directed to form two outbound lanes.
  • Vehicles in the northbound right lane of West Wharf Road will exit onto Route 1 eastbound (right); vehicles in the northbound left lane of West Wharf Road will exit onto Route 1 westbound (left)
  • There will be no inbound traffic into the Surf Club until authorized by the senior Police officer on-scene
  • No southbound traffic will be allowed on West Wharf Road.

Madison, CT Fireworks Location

Shuttle Bus & Parking:  Madison Park-and-Ride Commuter Lot, off I-95 Exit 61 at CT Route 79/Durham Road in Madison, CT.

  • From the North (Hartford): Take the I-91 south toward New Haven. In New Haven take ramp onto I-95 north toward Providence and take Exit 61/CT-79. At the end of the ramp take a left on to CT-79 and go .01 of mile and the Park-and-Ride commuter lot will be on the right hand side right before the I-95 southbound on-ramp.
  • From the East (New London & Rhode Island): Take I-95 south going toward New Haven. Take Exit 61/CT-79 toward N. Madison/Madison. Take a left at the end of ramp and another immediate left into the Park-and-Ride commuter lot.
  • From the West (New Haven & New York): Take I-95 north toward Providence and take Exit 61/CT-79. At the end of the ramp take a left on to CT-79 and go .01 of mile and the Park-and-Ride commuter lot will be on the right hand side right before the I-95 southbound on-ramp.

Surf Club Park: 87 Surf Club Road, Madison, CT 

  • From I-95, follow CT Route 79/Durham Road south for 0.8 miles and take a right onto US-1/Boston Post Rd west. 
  • Go 0.5 miles and take the 3rd left onto West Wharf Road.
  • Go 0.3 miles and take a right onto Surf Club Road. 
  • Follow 0.5 miles to the Surf Club entrance.
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2019 Firework Safety

by DC Gabe Balsamo in General, Safety Tips

Every year, about 13,000 people are treated for injuries in hospital emergency departments due to the mishandling of live, misfired and waste consumer fireworks (CPSC Fireworks Information Center). In addition, fires resulting from fireworks cause over $20 million in direct property damage (NFPA).

The fire service must take a proactive stand to educate the public about the safe transportation, storage, use and proper disposal of these explosive devices.

“Consumer fireworks are defined as any small firework device designed to produce visible effects by combustion and which must comply with the construction, chemical composition, and labeling regulations of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

16 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Ch. II (1–1–02 Edition): PART 1507—FIREWORKS DEVICES


SAVE THE DATE:  The 2019 Madison, CT Fireworks will take place 
~ Wednesday, July 3, 2019 @ 9:30pm ~
Rain date:  Friday, July 5, 2019 @ 9:30pm

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Protecting Your Health After A House Fire

by DC Gabe Balsamo in General

Protecting Your Health After A House Fire

Written by Jennifer Amstell, a local contributor to NMVFC

house fire is clearly an extremely hazardous situation, but there are long lasting effects that may not be as obvious. In the short-term, the hard work of the community and firefighters often makes injury unlikely, as last year’s Warpas Road blaze showed. However, smoke inhalation can lead to respiratory ailments and in the long-term will increase the risk of heart disease and COPD, according to UW Medicine. Furthermore, mold, smoke particulates and structural damage can also set in to fire damaged homes, leading to damaged health. Smart fire prevention is the first step to maintaining your safety, but in the worst case situation, there are further steps to take.

Fire damage and mold

Mold can be one of the most harmful issues in any home, let alone a smoke affected one. Mold can create and exacerbate allergies, making it advantageous to have a house as free from spores as possible. Fire damage creates the perfect conditions in which mold can flourish. For example, one notable public building fire in OR resulted in rapid onset of mold in building cavities. This creates costly and complicated cleanup costs, but most importantly, poses a risk to your family’s health. Ensure you proof your home from mold in the case of house fire and make use of professionals – Madison tech gurus CL&P are one example of companies focusing in on the effects of accidental damage.

Residual smoke particles

Many houses work with sophisticated HVAC and airflow systems that, by design, ensure pollutants in the home leave and don’t linger in rooms. To enhance this, many families now deploy air filters to improve quality further. A house fire can put paid to all of this. Extensive cleanup needs to be taken, either professionally or between the community. In the event it does not, there are risks; smoke particles will stay in the atmosphere for a long term, and as the EPA notes, this will lead to lung damage if unfiltered.

Tackling structural damage

House fires will have many obvious impacts with clean-up tackling the symptoms. However, what is less obvious is structural damage. After a house fire many home owners will ensure a full survey is carried out, and this will often be necessary in order to obtain new insurance after a payout has been completed. Despite this, problems can arise further down the line. Take a vigilant eye so you don’t lose your family home, and make sure you actively maintain your property against any potential future problems.

A house fire is a devastating incident for any family, but with the help of the fire service and community, many will move back and enjoy their home once more. As a result, it’s incredibly important to be vigilant of the potential long-term problems a post-fire home will present. Do this, and you can safeguard your happiness and your family’s health.

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Winners: 2019 Madison Souper Bowl

by DC Gabe Balsamo in Company Events, General

On Saturday, January 26th North Madison Fire took center stage, winning first place in the Madison Chamber of Commerce 4th Annual Souper Bowl Competition!!!

Chili Category…
3rd Place: St. Margaret’s Knights
2nd Place: Madison Hose Company No. 1
1st Place: North Madison Vol Fire Co

3rd Place: Cafe Allegre
2nd Place: Madison Beach Hotel
1st Place: Donahues Madison Beach Grill

Congratulations to all participants and to the chamber for putting on another successful event, We are looking forward to next year!




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How to Safely React to Vehicle Fires

by DC Gabe Balsamo in General

How to Safely React to Vehicle Fires

Written by Jennifer Amstell, a local contributor to NMVFC

You might think that vehicle fires only occur in action movies, but the truth is 33 car fires are reported every hour in the United States. November of last year saw exposed power lines fallen in Madison, illustrating that you never know when or how a fire may start. Luckily, this incident did not result in any roadside or vehicle fires, thanks to community respondents. Still, for the sake of personal safety, it’s best to be prepared by knowing what to do when faced with a vehicle fire.


Good news; many vehicle fires can be prevented by properly maintaining the vehicle you’re driving. Most in-car fires are caused by fuel leaks or split fuel lines. Take your ride in for a tune-up once every year to make sure it’s in good working order. If your car begins to blow fuses frequently or you smell burning, get professional help asap. If you smell burning while driving and/or see smoke, pull over immediately, shut off the engine, and exit the vehicle. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher in your vehicle. You never know when you might need one.


Car fires can happen in different areas of the vehicle; they’re not limited to under the hood. Be alert for signs of fire near areas like near the wheels/brakes, on the dash, and beneath the vehicle. If a fire does erupt but is contained, get everyone out and attempt to use a fire extinguisher if it’s easily accessible. If the fire is large, beneath the hood, or quickly spreading, don’t try to put it out yourself at this point. Get at least 200 feet away, and call for emergency assistance. If you don’t have your phone on you, do not go back in to get it. Instead, flag someone down (safely), or go to a public nearby place to ask for help.


Once everything is said and done, you may eventually wonder if your car is covered by your insurance in the case of fire. Contact your insurance company, take photos of the damage if possible, and get contact information for any witnesses that can testify to your claim. Before attempting to obtain any person items left in the vehicle, get a firefighter’s approval first so you know it’s safe. If the vehicle was towed before you returned to it, ask the authorities where it was taken. Finally, have the vehicle taken to a mechanic in order to determine whether or not it can be repaired to a drivable state. If it can’t, be sure to indicate this to your insurance company.

Fires are intimidating and dangerous beasts, but with fast and appropriate reactions, you can quickly tame it. Knowing what to do in an emergency and staying calm through the process can save lives.

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