Archive for September, 2010

Water Supply Skill Night…

Members of the current certification class attended a skill night for water supply at the old Cuba School site  Tuesday evening.  It took quite a while to filter everyone through the skill test, but everyone completed the drill.  I know that everyone was thankful for the cooler weather this week due to the turnout gear that was required for drill.  All members of the class are on track to complete block I and take their last skill test on October 5th.  The State test for Block I will be given on October 7th.  Block II will start the following week. 

Siloam Firefighter William Flowers demonstrates the proper release of a hose clamp. 

Preparing for the first drill.

Livingston Firefighter Todd Rutherford was the first to tackle the five inch line. 

Flushing the line…

Livingston Captain Nancy Larkin serves as the Safety Officer for this drill. 

Cuba Chief Vaughan caught doing what he does best. 

York Chief Jessie Cunningham and York Captain Bea Wade await their turn for the drill.

Kinterbish Firefighter Walter Winn getting ready for his run.

Special thanks to Janell Hughes for taking all the pictures.

Wildland Fire on County Road 1…

Units from the Cuba Fire Department and the Siloam Fire Department responded to the scene of a reported wildfire on County Road 1 Saturday afternoon.  Cuba Chief Vaughan arrived on scene to find a fire in the area near the Alabama Power substation.  In addition to the substation, there was also a home near the fire that was exposed.  Asst. Chief Fisher and Firefighter Scrivner arrived with Engine 1 and went to work protecting the substation.  Before the arrival of the fire department the fire had made it into the grounds of the substation and was burning toward the transformer bank.  Units quickly extinguished the fire inside the substation and went to work on the other exposures.  Captain Wright arrived with Engine 2 and made a blitz attack on the fire with the deck gun from the engine.  The 1,000 gallons from engine 2 slowed the fire down and allowed units to gain control of the fire before it could spread any further.  The area the fire burned was relatively small, but the very dry conditions and the heavy fuel load caused the fire to be hot and stubborn.  Operations were slowed due to the power lines that were down in the area, but the fire was held in check until the effect of the water and foam from engine 2, as well as the dozier from AFC put it down.  Cuba and Siloam units were assisted by members from the Bellamy VFD, Cuba PD, and the Sumter County SO.  Kinterbish moved up to cover any assignment that could have come out before the Cuba engines were back in service.  Units from Cuba and Siloam returned to the scene around 2100 hours on Saturday and 0700 on Sunday to put more water on the fire.  A patrol of the fire lines was established and checked at regular intervals to protect the people of the community around the fire.  Below are a few images taken at the scene…

Engine 1 arriving on scene for the second time (2100 Saturday)

Firefighter Bryant and Firefighter Scrivner use the booster real to cool a small spot fire near the road. 

Engine 1’s deck gun taking down the rotten tree that took the power line down a second time.

Vehicle Fire on County 2…

Cuba and York Fire Departments were called to the scene of a vehicle fire in the Morning Star area on September 22nd.  Siloam Sec/Tres. Hughes responded from the York area and arrived on scene first.  She reported that the vehicle was well involved and that the fire was spreading into the woods.  Cuba Engine 1 with Firefighter Scrivner in charge arrived on scene.  Units from the York Police and Fire Deparmtents arrived on scene to assist.  The vehicle was a total loss, but the fire was halted from running into the woods.  In these dry conditions it could have been a very bad situation if the fire had been able to burn unchecked for much longer. 

Engine 1 arriving on scene.

Firefighter Scrivner making the attack and being assisted by York PD Asst. Chief Shaun Roberts.

Cuba Firefighter Scrivner and Kinterbish Firefighter Walter Winn are loading Engine 1’s crosslay before leaving the scene.

More Work at Siloam…

The new station at Siloam should be going up in the next few weeks.  However, before that can happen a lot of trees and other items had to be removed.  On Saturday, September 18th, members from the Siloam and Cuba Department met to work on the trees behind the station to clear as many as possible before the new building goes up.  September 18th was the fourth Saturday in a row that members from South Sumter area worked and eight or ten hour day to complete this much need project. 

Just before the work began.

Chief Pendergrass sharpening the saw before he heads up in the basket.

Asst. Chief Hughes and the “machine”!

Chief Pendergrass and Asst. Chief Hughes up in the basket trimming. 

Lunch Time!

Heroes Turn Up Everyday…

When the tones go off you never know what you might be rolling into.  At times we get lulled to sleep by the monotony of the average medical call or abandoned structure fire.  However, every now and then a call shatters the “sleep” that you were enjoying and brings you right to the front.  Today one such call rang in for the firefighters of South Sumter.  Cuba Chief, Reid Vaughan, arrived on scene and advised that light smoke was showing from the structure.  Before he could take his hand off the mike he noticed a victim lying on the ground and requested an ambulance be dispatched.  Kinterbish Firefighter W. M. Scott arrived on scene to assist just ahead of Cuba Engine 2 with Firefighter Scrivner in the drivers seat.  Arriving firefighters quickly put out what remained of the fire and Firefighter/EMT Chris Cherry went to work on the patient.  Cherry found that the patient had extensive burns to his arms and small burns to his face.  Northstar Ambulance arrived and the patient was transported with Cuba Captain/EMT Levin Culpepper riding in with the crew.  Firefighters from the Cuba, Siloam, Kinterbish, York, and Morningstar Fire Departments reported to the scene of the fire. 

What made this call any different from the countless others we run…  The occupant of the house has a young man named Wykene Bell, Jr. to thank for his saving his life.  This young fellow spotted the fire and alerted his father and mother.  Together they retrieved the victim from the burning residnce and worked to control the fire prior to the arrival of the first engine.  It was the efforts of this young man and his parents that saved a life and the property from fire.  Young Mr. Bell has been entered into the running for the Cuba Fire Department’s Medal of Merit, which is the department’s highest award given to a civilian. 

Our new recruit…  Wykene Bell, Jr.  Thanks for looking out for your neighbor!


Firefighters Scrivner and Scott, as well as Captain Brooks, place scene tape up around the trailer.

Damage to the room where the occupant was sleeping.

Firefighter/EMT Cherry and Firefighter Scott outisde of the structure.  Siloam Captain Brooks is checking out the wall that had been removed earlier and can be seen in the window. 

Northstar Paramedic Ryan as well as Firefighter/EMT Cherry treat the patient prior to transport on the ambulance.

Personal Protective Equipment Drill Night…

Tuesday night was the first skill night of the Sumter County Firefighter certification class.  It was a tremendous night for the fire service and it was great to see candidates from all over the region working hard to achieve the two minute mark.  All of the people involved in this class are dedicating months of their time to achieve this certification.  It is certainly wonderful that Sumter County is served by people that are willing to give so much of themselves.  Enjoy a few pictures below from the class, and tune in to over the next few weeks to see all the photos on a separate page. 

Chris and Rachel Cherry ready their equipment for practice.

Captain Larkin and Chief Pendergrass are working with candidates during the practice session.

One of our new recruits…  ZOEY!  Trains with Asst. Chief Harry Hughes. 

Charles Scrivner nears the end of his test. 

Chief Steele and Mrs. Johnnie are working during the practice session.

Chief Vaughan and Captain Kim Moss talking during the practice session. 

Sumter County Deputy and Bellamy Firefighter, Cedric Bell, gets ready for his test. 

Ashley Harvison completes her test on time.

Kayla Smith completes her time test.

York firefighters completing the last phases of their timed tests.

Another batch of pictures will be posted tomorrow.

Busy Weekend in South Sumter…

Units from Cuba, Siloam and Kinterbish answered seven calls for service over Saturday and Sunday.  Two of those incidents involved MVAs with injuries and the rest were medical calls or other incidents.  The men and women who serve this portion of Sumter County answer many calls for service that go unnoticed.  We are always looking for a few new faces who wish to join our ranks and make out community a better place.

The two MVA incidents resulted in the victims being transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  The medical and rescue side of our response efforts account for a ever growing portion of the call volume for our departments and certainly provide service opportunities for those who don’t wish to engage in traditional firefighter activities, but sill wish to serve their fellow man. 

MVA in Cuba on Sunday.  Both occupants were transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Siloam Engine 1, heads out for the MVA with injuries on Alabama 17 Saturday afternoon.

Siloam is On the Air!

The hard work and countless hours of South Sumter firefighters paid off with the completion of the Siloam repeater project.  Sure, there are a few items that need to be worked on to knock everything out, but the repeater is up and on the air and serving the southern end of the county well.  All those involved gave up quite a few 12 hour days and even more nights.  When the grant was applied for this project was little more than a dream.  With the completion of this phase of the project, firefighters can operate safely from handhelds in a major portion of Sumter County.  There is one repeater left to be put into full service, and plans were made to install that station this past weekend.  I hope that I don’t leave anyone out of the thank you section, but here area  few pictures of everyone’s efforts…

None of the construction would have been possible without our PE.  Harry takes care of things that no one ever knows about and this area is very blessed to have him.

Rick Morefield, from LEMA and local Ameteur Radio, graciously volunteered to climb the tower and install the cable.  A top notch job was certainly provided by this friend to South Sumter firefighters.

As usual…  One of the Chiefs would be sitting on his rear while everyone else works.  Never fails for this one!

Firefighter Paul Deloach, hard at work on the haul line going up the tower.  Paul is another one of our unsung heroes… 

Members working to pull the antenna up the tower.

Rick shifting the antenna into place. 

Firefighter Chuck Scrivner is working on the ground rods for the new tower. 

Chief Pendergrass completes work in the stations new office and equipment room.  Lot’s of fun has been had with those water lines!

Anytime you get us together there will be food. 

Invited some friends to lunch and a prayer was held for our 343 brothers and sisters who lost their lives, along with the NYPD and civilians, in the September 11th attack.  We will never forget those who gave all so that others might live.

Special thanks to Janell Hughes for the pictures.

Tower Work and Station Construction…

Siloam Fire Department is undergoing an extensive renovation to expand the services that it offers to the South Sumter area.  The small bays that were attached to the station’s meeting hall have been removed and are being replaced with a double stall engine house that can accommodate the larger engine and the department’s new 2,500 gallon tanker.  The station’s other new bay (constructed in 2005) will hopefully be used to house a rescue vehicle of some sort in the very near future.  In addition to the bay expansion, the county wide communication system is also receiving a boost with the construction of a free standing tower at the department as well.  The 140 foot tower was secured through a negotiation with the Sumter County School District and Asst. Chief Harry Hughes.  Crews from various Sumter County Fire Stations took towers down at various schools in the area and many of them have been placed at fire stations to enhance communications.  The Siloam Tower and the Coatopa Tower are the last two items that needed to be complete in order for the system to have full operating capabilities.  We are very excited about the positive changes that are coming to Siloam Fire Department and other departments in the area.  Stay tuned for further updates on this project.  A similar tower project is about to be underway at the Whitfield Fire Department in the South Sumter area and we hope to have some updates from Chief Steele about the progress of his efforts. 

The first three sections are being moved into position and about to be placed on the tower base.

Harry running the “machine” to move the top section into position.

The top section on the way up.

Securing the last sixty feet.

The completed tower and the location of the new truck bay at Siloam Fire.

Firefighter Certification Orientation…


On August 31st, the South Sumter group hosted the orientation session for the Alabama Volunteer Firefighter Certification class that is being held in the area.  This is not the first training program that the Cuba or Siloam departments have put together, but it is one of the largest.  This class is a special version of the course since it is being offered in the classroom and at the online training site that is supported by the departments in South Sumter (  With the online and traditional students together, the class number is just over 3o students.  The leadership in the South Sumter area is very excited to see what the outcome is from this program.  It is hoped that this will be the first program that can be replicated statewide to bring the active volunteer firefighters the ability to receive their certification without them having to be in class night after night.  While the program cuts down on the number of nights in the class it doesn’t completely replace them all together.  All students are held to the same schedule and all students are required to show up for the skill nights in order to advance.  Further, all students will be required to pass the same state/Pro-Board Certification exam at the end of each block.  Stay tuned for information about this class and we hope to update the site frequently with pictures from the various skill nights.