Archive for January, 2010

First of the Month….

Once again it is time for our week full of meetings.  We start off the week with a meeting at Cuba Fire Department at 1900hrs on Monday evening.  On Tuesday night we will be meeting at Ward Fire Department at 1830hrs.  Lastly, the meeting at Siloam will be held on Thursday evening at 1830hrs. 

There are a few changes to the calendar for the month of February that are listed below…

Saturday, February 13th @ 0900 – Training at Cuba School for Engine Operations/SCBA

Saturday, February 20th @ 0900 – CPR class at Siloam Fire Department (cost $25.00 per firefighter)

Hope to see each of you at the planned meetings.  Lots to do and little time to do it in!

Our Newest Member…

It is indeed a pleasure to announce that our newest member has been born this week.  Miss Emilee Madison Fisher was born to Asst. Chief and Mrs. Charles Fisher.  Miss Emilee weighed it at 7lbs and 1 oz.  Mother and daughter are fine!  We don’t know about Fish!

News Updates…


An 82-year-old woman who was struck by a hose line from the back of a Cambridge (MA) fire apparatus has died. She died today after that hose on the side of the Cambridge engine struck her on Tuesday. 
The apparatus was responding to a call at about 1140 hours when one of the lines apparently slipped and then became dislodged – trailing behind the rig. When the engine company turned, the trailing hose struck the woman who was standing on the median island allowing the apparatus to pass.

GEORGIA FIRE REPORT: Fire Officers Failed To Follow Procedures-Civilian Dies In House Fire

We have posted the official findings of the investigation where it identifies that DeKalb County Fire Officers, Acting Officers/Firefighters failed to do a thorough investigation on a reported house fire.
Firefighters and Officers reported they found no signs of a fire when they arrived. Essentially they acknowledged that companies drove by the civilians home, didn’t see smoke and that the Firefighters never got out of their apparatus to investigate further. The report states that “they drove around the cul-de-sac, slowly, command was never established, no one exited the apparatus or walked up the driveway to investigate further and then (they) left”.

5 hours later-the house was a “working fire” and a civilian was killed.

Clearly-the fire and resulting loss of life was THE LAST THING these Firefighters meant to happen-but it did and there is a lot that can be learned from it by all of us.
The REPORT is linked on our home page.


Goggles vs. Face shields – One of the proposals for the next edition of NFPA 1971 is to make goggles mandatory and faceshields optional-and it’s an interesting debate. Some groups advocate that traditional face shields offer the best approach for us while others insist that goggles must be mandated.

HERE is an article:

Special thanks to for the news updates!

Wet and Cold Weather Ahead…

The El Nino storm train continues to push a storm system through our area evey 3 to 4 days.  The next system is setting up to be a soakerfor the I-20 corridor and a major winter storm for the I-40 corridor.  We should escape the winter precipitation, but he ground in Sumter County is saturated from recent rains.  It is likely that any rain that does fall will result in possible flash flooding and simply serve to aggravate the river flooding problem that we already have on the Tombigbee.  The other item of interest is the cold.  Forecasts indicate that the weather will once again trend colder over the weekend (not as cold as the first of January).  Needless to say the weather over our area will be active over the next few days, but thankfully not severe. 

Expected Rain for the next five days…

The long term forecast for the Arctic Oscillation shows it going strongly negative in the middle of the month of February.  This could spell a return to the bitter cold conditions experienced in January for our area.  This isn’t certain, but the AO is a pretty good indicator of these “cold waves” and the like.  More on this as it gets closer.

Meth Lab Training

Any firefighter interested in taking the METH LAB DETECTION class offered through the University of West Alabama needs to contact Firefighter Flowers (UWA PD Officer) in order to register.  Space is LIMITED for this class.

DATE – February 16-17 (o800 to 1700)

Location – ALFA Hall (UWA Campus)

Billy Mitchell…

This morning the public safety community in Sumter County lost one of the great ones.  Billy Mitchell, a founding member of the Ward Fire Department and former Police Chief of York, Alabama, passed away at his home.  Meetings at Ward will not be the same without Mr. Billy.  Certainly, those that drove Sumter County Road 9 for any period of time will be familiar with Mr. Billy and his dear wife Doris walking along the road and waving.   Another one of the few that call the fire service their home here has answered his final call.  God Bless his family both at home and at the firehouse!  You will be missed Mr. Billy!

NFIRS Work Session…

There will be a National Fire Incident Report System work session on Tuesday evening at the Ward Fire Department.  If someone in your department is not trained to use this software please plan to have them there.  Also, make sure that the reports form your department that have not been entered into the software are with the person(s) that attend.

Training Report…

Everyone should be sleeping well after the drill held at the old Cuba school today.  Seventeen firefighters from the Cuba, Kinterbish, Siloam and Ward fire departments were present for the training/drill on SCBA and search techniques.  A few new recruits were in attendance as well to see what this is all about.  Not only was the exercise today a great success, but the question from all present was how soon can we put this together again.  One thing is for sure…  This drill will be back in just a few weeks and let’s hope that we can continue to  improve on our skills when the day arrives. 

Special thanks to Chief Pendergrass and Safety Officer Holder for their donation and preparation of the lunch that was enjoyed by all attendees. 

Making the final checks before starting the second and third rounds of the drill.

Ward, Kinterbish, and Cuba Firefighters commencing a search drill.

Kinterbish Firefighter Myles Scott, Kinterbish Asst. Chief Eddie Brooks, and Ward Firefighter Richard Breland bring out a “injured” member of the team as Captain Wright looks on.

SCBA Drill Scheduled for Saturday Morning…

Don’t forget the SCBA training Saturday morning in Cuba.  The ground is very wet at the school so we may have to change our location to Station #2, but we will make that call in the morning.  Remember to bring your turnout gear and be ready to go.

Severe Weather Threat for Weekend is Marginal

The potential for severe weather this weekend in our area has weakened greatly since the forecasts that were issued the middle of the week.   The Sumter County are is still listed in a 5% risk area, but I don’t expect much in the way of organized severe weather this weekend.  The conditions on the ground could change this outlook, but at the moment this is what the SPC expects to see.

It is also important to note that the total rainfall numbers have backed off some from their rather bullish totals at mid-week.  This is a good this as well considering all the rain that has fallen this week and the saturated condition of the soil.  Stay tuned for any updates to the forecast, but at the moment we look good.