Quarterly Report of the C.F.D. August-October 2021
By Captain Brian Owen
December 20, 2021

CFD Quarterly Writeup: August-October 2021
Mark Kasinskas

Over the past three months, the Cheshire Fire Department has continued to successfully provide fire and rescue services to the Cheshire community. In addition to emergency responses, the CFD’s members have continued to attend comprehensive training and administrative meetings, perform equipment upkeep, and provide fire safety outreach throughout town.

Monthly training drills have included forcible entry, search & rescue, and vehicle extrication. These drills are extremely hands-on, and often include simulations of real-world scenarios. For example, during the search & rescue drill, teams of firefighters practiced entering buildings in blackout conditions, with full firefighting gear, air packs, and search equipment such as thermal cameras. Simulated victims (dummies) needed to be located and dragged to safety.

Fire apparatus driver training has been a focus of the department doing 2021. The CFD has driver training classes specific to different kinds of vehicles. Following a fire pumper class in the spring, a class specifically for rescue trucks was held in September. Both a ladder truck and another pump class will likely be started soon.

Between August and October, the CFD answered 244 calls. While the majority of these were thankfully false alarms, the total did include (among several other categories), rescue or hazardous materials cleanup due to vehicle accidents, natural gas and propane leaks, and vehicle fires, and several calls to assist fire departments in neighboring towns, including Southington, Waterbury, and Hamden. The reciprocal “mutual aid” arrangement that Cheshire has with other towns benefits the fire departments and the people we all serve by ensuring additional resources will be available in times of emergency need.

Over this same three-month period, there were five new applications for membership with the CFD, and two members completed all training and their recruit phase to be sworn in as regular firefighters. All new applications for membership are always welcome, and we are happy to have these new members join our ranks.

In September, the Department purchased two TL-9 devices for use at rescue incidents. The TL-9s are used in conjunction with the Jaws of Life to safely lift large objects, such as vehicles, in order to assist with freeing trapped victims. After using one of these devices successfully in both training and actual rescue scenarios, CFD’s firefighters decided that the Department should have a TL-9 at each firehouse to allow for quicker response and move department-wide capability. Generous donations from local businesses and individuals made this purchase possible.

Every October, the CFD participates in a variety of fire prevention activities as part of Fire Safety Month. These events generally include a combination of fire house tours (which have unfortunately been greatly reduced due to Covid-19), visits to local schools, and attendance at community events. On Halloween, Safe Treats events were held at each of our three firehouses for neighborhood trick-or-treaters.

With the holidays and winter approaching, the CFD has been preparing for operations in colder conditions, including a usual increase in carbon monoxide calls. This year, the CFD, through the Cheshire Fire Marshall’s Office and with cooperation of the Cheshire Senior Center, is providing free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to senior citizens. Please see the CFD’s website (www.cheshirefd.org) for details about this program and other fire safety tips and programs.