In 2016, the Swan’s Island Fire Department responded to three fires as well as numerous medical calls. The department is made up of 13 volunteers who respond to a range of situations, including fires, vehicle accidents, medical issues, weather related or hazardous material emergencies.
The number of volunteers in 2016 increased by one as we welcomed Gideon Davidson into the department. If you would like to be a part of the department in any capacity – not necessarily fighting fires – please let us know. We would love to have you.
Training has improved both in quality and attendance over the past year. Held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, they consist of a mixture of classroom and hands-on training. In the past, we’ve lost members because they didn’t want to attend trainings. But in today’s world of composite materials, the dangers faced fighting fires has dramatically increased, and proper training is important. The time of showing up at an emergency and learning tasks on the fly is long gone.
As mentioned above, in 2016 we responded to and extinguished 3 fires. Two were unattended/rekindled burn piles, and the third was a wildland fire that was stopped 15 feet from an occupied residential structure. The cause of the third fire is unknown.
Forty-six burn permits were written. I would like to encourage everyone to continue to obtain burn permits, and would remind people that engaging in an out-of-door burning without a permit is violating the law.
Our website (www.swansislandfiredepartment.com) is active with a variety of information regarding the department as well as an event calendar with all trainings. Additionally, the Fire Department Facebook page had 784 followers as of the time of this report. Posts on the page include safety tips, messages to the public, photos of events and trivia. Feel free to check it out at your leisure.
Once again, we visited the school in October during Fire Safety Week. This year marked the first of a three year rotating curriculum developed by Firefighter Gideon Davidson. The goal of the program is to ensure that students are taught new, age appropriate material every year.
If you have not yet met Gideon Davidson, I encourage you to do so. He comes to us from the Island Institute Fellowship Program and we are accomplishing a lot with his help and talents.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to call 911 in any emergency – it is not only for life or death situations. The dispatchers do a lot of work for us behind that scenes, and it is much harder for us to do our job if you call one of us personally. It is important to not only call 911 but to do so at the first sign of an emergency. Today’s fires are fueled with recycled petroleum products and modern building materials, which burn at a much faster and hotter rate than anything before. We need every second we can get to arrive on the scene with the equipment needed to protect lives and property. Please help us help you.
Kenny LeMoine III, Deputy Chief