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!
Photos and Article By Zoe Roos, Staff Writer Zip06.com
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.
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
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.”
North Madison Volunteer Fire Company urges all Madison residents to know how old their smoke alarms are, and to replace them every 10 years
October 13, 2016 – Does your home have a smoke alarm? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the answer is likely yes: NFPA research shows that most American homes have at least one. But do you know how old your smoke alarms are? If you’re like most people, you’re probably not so sure.
A recent survey conducted by NFPA revealed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced. That lack of awareness is a concern for the North Madison Fire Company and NFPA, along with fire departments throughout the country, because smoke alarms don’t last forever.
“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,” says Gabe Balsamo, Lieutenant of the North Madison Fire Company. “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.”
NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code®, requires smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk.
As the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, NFPA is promoting this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,” to better educate the public about the critical importance of knowing how old their smoke alarms are and replacing them once they’re 10 years old. Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15, 2016.
The North Madison Fire Company is hosting an Open House at 864 Opening Hill Road on Sunday October 16, 2013 from 11:00-2:00 in support of Fire Prevention Week and this year’s campaign. Please see attached flyer for list of events.
To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, simply look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase). The North Madison Fire Company also says smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and that batteries should be replaced once a year or when they begin to chirp, signaling that they’re running low.
For more information on smoke alarms and this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years”, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.
EVERYDAY HERO CT VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER DAY
On April 9, 2016, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., North Madison Fire and 60 other fire departments will be holding open houses at more than 80 locations throughout Connecticut. We are celebrating Volunteer Firefighter Day (and the start of National Volunteer Week: April 10-16) and getting out the word about the shortage of volunteer firefighters.
Below is an article from our latest company newsletter “Winter, Christmas, and Safety Volume 1 Issue 2”
If you’re like many Americans, you’re starting off the New Year with a resolution to improve your health. As you work towards your resolution, consider one additional step to maintain your health: fire prevention. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is urging everyone to make 2016 a healthy and fire-safe year.
Most people say they feel safest at home. But data shows 83% of all fire deaths in the U.S. happen in homes. Follow these tips to ring in fire safety this New Year:
1. Make sure your home is protected by working smoke alarms. Half of all home fire deaths happen at night, when people are sleeping.
2.Test your smoke alarms once a month, and replace your smoke alarms when they’re 10 years old. Cooking is the main cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Make safety your first ingredient; stay in the kitchen when you are cooking at high temperatures. Fires start when the heat gets too high. If you see any smoke or grease starts to boil, turn the burner off.
3. If you have children living in your home or visiting look for fire and burn dangers from their point of view. Never leave lighters or matches where children can reach them.
While these safety tips will help you to be safe it is our wish that each and every one of our residents has a safe and healthy New Year. From our family to yours have a Happy New Year from the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company!Read more
Below is an article from our latest company newsletter “Winter, Christmas, and Safety Volume 1 Issue 2”
On Sunday, December 20th, a beautiful sunny day was made even more pleasant when my family was alerted by a siren coming down our driveway on Country Way. Having the North Madison FD arrive with Santa and his Elf, made our holiday so much more fun. As a new grandmother of an 11 month old, my grandson TJ, great nephews Brady and Lincoln were awestruck by the big red fire truck. Brady, being the oldest at age 2 1/2 was so excited when Santa came out of the fire truck and handed him a gift. Brady knew his great grandpa Jack, a former NY City Fireman, who recently passed away in July and loves fire trucks. TJ and Lincoln, although young, loved their gifts. What a great thing to do for the community. I am so looking forward to next year already when TJ will really know what is going on. Thank you for doing something so special.
Submitted by Donna FarrellRead more
Because the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company has been in operation for 90 years it is useful to reflect back on the history of the organization and the innovation and efforts made to keep the community of North Madison safe. In the previous issue of our newsletter, we noted that the Company was founded in 1925. The Company was established under the leadership of Rudy Schraner, who served as Chief from 1928 through 1966, and Eugene Keyarts. These two individuals were responsible for organizing a meeting of North Madison citizens to initiate a volunteer fire company. The meeting was in response to the loss of a barn on Summer Hill Road and the experience of Schraner and Keyarts who witnessed a volunteer fire company in action in the nearby community of Essex. The first meeting of the Company was held in the North Madison Congregational Church.
Although the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company was subsequently incorporated through a registered charter in the State of Connecticut, the company began with no training, equipment, or support. Through the work of its volunteer staff the Company was able to acquire 20 soda acid fire extinguishers which were distributed among firefighters. Soon after, the Company was able to purchase a used Model-T halfton chemical truck. The truck provided firefighters with access to a 100 gallon water tank which was located directly behind the driver’s seat. Although the Model-T made an excellent addition to the Company, it had no starter, making it practically impossible to rapidly access the vehicle in case of an emergency. To overcome this challenge, volunteers developed a unique starting system in which the truck was placed on a ramp. When an emergency call was reported, the truck could be started by rolling the vehicle down the ramp and popping the clutch.
This innovation was not the only pioneering effort made by the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company to support its operations. To raise money, volunteers held regular chicken dinners and ice cream socials, charging residents $0.25 admission. The events were held in the church basement and provided the Company with an opportunity to raise money while connecting with community members to emphasize the importance and role of safety as an integral part of daily life. In addition, barns owned by the church were used by the Company for training. Later, the Company repurposed an abandoned school at the corner of Opening Hill and Durham Road to establish the community’s first firehouse.
Throughout its history the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company has utilized innovative strategies and methods to build safety as a foundational component of community well being. While the Company did experience a humble beginning it has continued to grow and to maintain a commitment to the improvement of the community. As we reflect back on the history of the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company it is evident that we have come a long way. It is exciting to imagine where we will be in another 90 years.
Submitted by Past Chief, Eric AlletzhauserRead more