OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Change your clock, change your batteries.
Posted Date: 10/31/2014
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in the United States to date, 1871 individuals have lost their lives in fires this year. Many of those individuals have died in incidents which specifically listed “had no working smoke alarms” in their report.
The weekend of November 1- 2, is the end of Daylight Savings Time. The Westport Fire Department strongly urges everyone to “Change your clock, change your batteries.” The most tragic loss of life is the one that could have easily been prevented with the installation of a new battery.
Batteries (9-volt regular style) will be made available, at no cost, to those Westport residents that bring in their old batteries to Westport Fire Headquarters on Saturday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. If any Westport resident needs assistance changing batteries, they may call 203-341-5010 to arrange for someone to come to their home (no fee). Due to limited quantities, there will be a limit of three batteries per household.
Today, several manufacturers have both Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms with sealed in 10-year Lithium Battery Power. These devices meet the requirements of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) an independent facility that tests products for compliance with widely accepted safety standards. Just think – No device chirping for a low battery for years.
For any other questions, contact the Westport Fire Marshals Office at 203-341-5020.
Dave Matlow for westportnow.com
Westport firefighters had to extricate a motorcyclist from under a box truck today at 355 Riverside Ave. after a crash at about 1:30 p.m. The motorcyclist was initially reported to be unconscious after the accident. He was transported by Westport EMS to Norwalk Hospital. The roadway was reopened at 2:51 p.m.
Westport Engine 2 is in Hartford today, assisting Hartford Fire Department during the funeral for fire fighter Kevin Bell, tragically killed in the line of duty last week while operating at a structure fire. Engine 2 is operating out of Engine 16’s quarters, the fire station that fire fighter Bell was assigned to.
Fire departments from across the state have stepped up to back-fill Hartford fire stations, to allow Hartford fire fighters to attend fire fighter Bell’s funeral. Our neighbors, Norwalk Fire Department have their Truck 2 acting as Ladder Company 4 in the Upper Albany section of the city of Hartford.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bell family and Kevin’s brothers and sisters of the Hartford Fire Department including the three other firefighters who were injured that day.
Please keep Hartford fire fighter Jason Martinez and his family in your thoughts while he battles with injuries sustained during the same fire that claimed Kevin Bell’s life. Brother Martinez remains in critical condition at the Bridgeport Hospital Burn unit.
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and New Canaan First Selectman Rob Mallozzi have announced that the Westport/New Canaan Fire Department Combined Dispatch is now a reality. Westport officially began fire dispatching services for New Canaan at midnight Oct. 1 after spending several weeks testing and training the dispatch staff. The center will be staffed with a second dispatcher, Monday through Friday, during the busier daytime hours when most calls for service are generated for both municipalities. The first dispatch for New Canaan occurred at 9:10 a.m. Wednesday morning for a two-car motor vehicle accident on the Merritt Parkway.
The Westport Fire Department Dispatch Center handles about 3500 calls for service a year, with New Canaan generating an additional 900-1000 calls per year.This project has been in the works for over five years and took a great deal of work to bring it to fruition. Both First Selectmen noted that this center is the first joint municipal dispatch center in Fairfield County. In a joint statement, Mr. Marpe and Mr. Mallozzi said, “Not only are we excited that the combined center will help improve service and public safety, but it will help serve as a template for future regionalization and mutual cost savings.”
On Saturday morning at 10:25 am Westport Fire Department received a call for the reported odor of propane on Surf Road at a home that was under construction. The Westport Fire Department dispatched 1 Engine, 1 Ladder Truck and the Assistant Chief on the initial assignment. The first arriving unit arrived and reported an odor of propane on the site with an unknown source, with units investigating. Upon further investigation, fire department personnel located an underground 500 lb. propane tank actively leaking from the tanks relief valve a few houses away. The incident commander (Assistant Chief John Plofkin) special called 1 additional Westport Engine along with the Fairfield County Hazmat vehicle in case a “burning off” of the propane tank would be required. Protective hose lines were put into place to protect adjacent structures and to protect fire department personnel working around the immediate leak area.
The homeowners’ propane dealer was then contacted to make an emergency response to assist fire department personnel with stopping the leak and removing the propane. The leak was unable to be stopped due to the tanks relief valve being damaged. On duty Westport fire department members who are also with the Fairfield County Hazardous Materials Response Team assisted the propane dealer burning off the propane to empty the tank to mitigate the hazard.
The operation to secure and burn off the propane is still underway.
As of this release, 5:30 pm, firefighters still remain on the scene burning off propane from the tank.
Lynn Kirby for westportfirefighters.com
Lynn Kirby for westportfirefighters.com
Earlier today, Westport Firefighter Dan Mascolo, wife Norell and baby Ben received financial support from the non-profit organization The Umbrella Club. Westport Police Department Corporal Dave LiBrandi, a supporter of the Umbrella club, was made aware of the Mascolo family’s needs through a fund raising flyer that had been distributed at the Westport Police
Department. Corporal LiBrandi contacted Lieutenant Brett Kirby at Westport Fire Department to arrange a meeting between the Mascolo family and representatives of the Umbrella Club, Scott Kelly and John Heide. Shortly thereafter, the Mascolo’s were elated to discover that they would be the recipients of a very generous donation of financial support from the club. The funds will greatly assist the Mascolo family with physical, occupational and speech therapy, including associated travel expenses, not covered by health insurance. The presentation was held this morning at Westport Fire Headquarters.
“My family is incredibly humbled by the generosity of the Umbrella Club and was humbled to have been chosen for their support”, said Firefighter Mascolo.
The Umbrella Club is a non-profit group based in Stamford that provides assistance to special needs children and their families through numerous local fund raising activities.
At approximately 2:00pm this afternoon, not long after clearing a haz-mat situation at Staples High school, firefighters responded to Long Lots Elementary school for a small fire under an elevator.The school was evacuated and the fire was extinguished quickly. The school was re-occupied by 2:35pm.
Around mid-day today Staples High School was forced to evacuate due to a small refrigerant leak in a basement at the Field House. Firefighters and EMS responded to the school and the Fairfield County Haz Mat team was called for advanced metering devices. The school was re-occupied at approximately 1:30pm.
The Westport Fire Department conducted a joint water supply drill with the Norwalk Fire Department’s Fire Boat today as an option for a large fire near the shore. The drill consisted of attaching a large diameter supply hose to the 38 foot “Robert Bedell” Fire Boat and supplying a pumper 850 feet down the street. The Norwalk Fire Boat has a pumping capacity of 2,300 gallons of water per minute and had no problem supplying the Westport Fire Department Pumper which can pump 1,500 gallons per minute.
At approximately 3:40 this afternoon firefighters responded to a reported propane leak on a property on Imperial Avenue. First arriving units at a house under construction, discovered a 1000 pound underground propane tank that had been compromised, with propane leaking from the tank under pressure. Protective hoselines were deployed and surrounding houses evacuated as a precaution. Firefighters metered the area around the house and inside the house itself. Technicians from the Fairfield County HazMat team were requested to respond to assist with the mitigation efforts. Fairfield Fire Department provided station coverage for the town, responding to calls for service while Westport units were tied up. Milford Fire Department Canteen Unit was requested to provide much needed rehab for firefighters operating at the scene and Westport EMS provided medical stand-by, transporting two firefighters to Norwalk hospital. Haz Mat Technicians opted to burn off the remaining propane in the tank. Units remained on the scene and the road remained closed until approximately 9:56pm