From the Firehouse: January 2021

From the Firehouse
by Jack Halchak, Past Chief HFD
The Hurleyville Fire Department is always looking for help, to fight fire or support those that do. We even supply all of the gear and provide all of the training needed, for free. Stop by any Monday night and find out how you can help.
2020 has been a year like no other. Our firehouse is still closed to the general public. We continue to answer all calls at all hours of the day and night.
County-wide, we are still limited on the number and kinds of classes we can offer. Fire calls are still up county-wide.
In the Hurleyville Fire Department, we lost some of our most senior members: Eddie Orlowsky, Honorary Chief Jim Minarsky, and Fred Turner, and some way to soon: Chet Hobby and Pat Maxwell. Together they represent more than 250 years of experience.
This year we did get three new members: Tom Becerril, Stephen Crown, and Summer Sherwood. Welcome aboard.
Our annual elections were held in December and these are the officers for 2021:
Line Officers:
Chief – Charlie Payne
1st Assistant Chief – Fred Froehlich
2nd Assistant Chief – Tony Harvey
Captain – Alan Price
1st Lieutenant – Josh Colon
2nd Lieutenant – Pete Micheletti III
Captain of the Fire Police- Eddie Ayala
Executive Officers:
President – Jim Kaufman
Vice President- Miranda Behan
Treasurer- John Jaycox
Secretary- Erica Payne
Officer at Large- Roger Dainack
Congratulations to all of the newly elected officers.
At our annual meeting we also had our annual memorial service to honor those members that have answered their last alarm. Each name is read and the bell is tolled for each departed member. Chaplin Jim Kaufman gave a sermon and said that one day all of us will be on the memorial board and to enjoy life now. We need new members to continue on so that we too can be remembered.
Also at the meeting, the SYDA Foundation gave the membership a holiday basket full of goodies for all to enjoy along with a check for $2,500.00. Unfortunately, because of COVID they were not present for the fire department to thank them in person. Formaggio Cheese delivered a box of their cheese products for all to enjoy. (And we did.) Thank you to both Formaggio and the SYDA Foundation for thinking of us. Also, the fire department gave a check to Jim Kaufman for $3,000 to help offset some of his medical expenses. The Patel family also chipped in with $250.00.
It has been a trying year, but fire takes no holiday and doesn’t care about COVID. Each article I try to give some fire safety hints that are relevant to the season and what I have encountered as a Deputy Fire Coordinator.
One topic is the proper disposal of ashes from your stove or fireplace. Put them in a covered metal container and store them outside away from your house. We had an incident where the homeowner put them in a plastic bucket and put them in the basement up against the wall. It stated a fire in the wall and the responding fire department made a good save.
As we know, CO (carbon monoxide) is deadly. You cannot see it, smell it or taste it. It is a byproduct of combustion. As I have stated, in the fall make sure there are no leaves blocking any vents and now make sure there is no snow blocking the vents. This is especially true of gas dryers. While you are at it, clean your lint trap. After the snow storm there were a number of CO calls
We have had a winter storm of snow and now a winter storm of rain and wind. Can you or do you have supplies to survive for two or three days of no power. Unfortunately, on Christmas many homes lost power. In addition there was flooding in a number of areas. The flooding also caused road closures. Do not drive though waters on a flooded road. The road may have been washed away.
I noticed that a number of private plow drivers have buried some fire hydrants while plowing driveways. Needless to say you can affect the water supply for a fire. If you are capable when digging out, how about cleaning out around the hydrant in front of your house?
I hope 2021 is a better year. Be safe and smart out there.