Viewing posts categorised under: General

20th Annual Salute to Connecticut’s Bravest

by DC Gabe Balsamo in General



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.





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FPW 2017: Fire House Visit

by DC Gabe Balsamo in Company Events, General

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!


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Best Appearing Brush Truck 2017

by DC Gabe Balsamo in General

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.



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Independence Day Events 2017

by DC Gabe Balsamo in Company Events, General

Concert on the Green

July 1, 2017
6:15 PM

35th annual Concert on the Green to celebrate the 4th of July holiday weekend. Caribbean band Moto plays at 6:15 followed by the Wallingford Symphony Orchestra playing “Our Great American Music Classics” at 7:00PM. Music in the concert finale includes patriotic pieces such as the “1812 Overture” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”
Concert is free but there are reserved ticket areas for patrons who donate $70 or more.

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
9:30 PM


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.



Independence Day Parade

July 4, 2017
11:00 AM

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.

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Editorial: Firefighter 1 Training

by DC Gabe Balsamo in General


Editorial: Firefighter 1 Training

Written by: Firefighter Brendan Collins


“Fire School?

~ 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.

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North Madison Fire Food Drive April 2017

by DC 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 DC 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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2016 Santa Fundraiser Follow up

by DC 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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North Madison Fire Company Holds Demonstrations for Fire Prevention Week

by DC 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.

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North Madison Firefighters Trained in Use of Naloxone

by DC 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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