NWS Training Class…

Monday, October 18th found members of South Sumter Fire Departments and other agencies in the county area attending a Severe Storm Spotter class.  Senior Meteorologist Kevin Laws, of the National Weather Service Office in Birmingham was on hand to provide instruction and very interesting information to all in attendance.  Members in the South Sumter area take severe weather responses very serious and always endeavor to provide as much information to the NWS as possible.  We hope to make this class part of our annual severe weather training program and we certainly hope that others will see the value in the program. 

Again, we would like to say a special thanks to Mr. Laws for sharing his time and expertise with us this evening.

A nice crowd of 25 attended the class from all sorts of agencies.

Chief Vaughan speaking with Mr. Kevin Laws from the NWS after the class.

Mr. Laws instructing the class.

Wildfire! (Part II Continued)

A few more images from Monday afternoons fire in the South Sumter area.  These pictures do a good job bringing some attention to those who do jobs behind the scenes.  Not every person gets to be on the business end of the hose or in the thick of the smoke.   There are some among us who must man the fill site and cover traffic or just bring water to the scene.  I can’t say enough about those people because our efforts would be in vain without them.  A special thanks to Paul Deloach with Siloam Fire for controlling the traffic coming in and out of the scene.  Another special thanks Kinterbish Firefighter Tony Drake for manning the fill site.  Top notch people all around! 

Siloam Tanker 1 pulling up to the fill site to take on another load. 

Ward Firefighter Ashley Harvison and Veteran Firefighter Reeves fill Ward Engine 1 before returning to the scene.

Ward Tanker 1 is full and ready to return.  Belmont-McDowell Chief Smith and Kinterbish Firefighter Drake prepare to break it lose.

Kinterbish Firefighter Drake opens the hydrant for the next truck in line.

Wildfire! (Part II)

Units from the Siloam, Ward, Cuba, Belmont-McDowell and the Whitfield Fire Departments answered a call this afternoon around 1500 for a possible wildfire in the South Sumter area.  The first arriving units located a fire to the west side of County Road 9 just to the south of the Townsend Mission community.  Siloam Chief Pendergrass was the first officer to arrive at the scene and advised that he had a large fire it was about to get into a pasture unless an engine could arrive to make a stop.  Siloam Engine 1 with Captain Brooks in command made it in time to put some water on the area.  Siloam Engine 1 was joined by the Siloam Tanker as well as the Ward engine and tanker.  Cuba Engine 1 and Whitfield tanker 1 staged at the Siloam Fire Department to handle any additional calls that might have come out.  Units from the Coatopa Fire Department was leaving the station when Chief Vaughan advised that the fire was under control.  Alabama Forestry Commission Firefighters (Smith and Beville) operated two doziers at the scene to bring the large fure under control. Special Thanks to Firefighter Deloach for manning the staging area and traffic and Firefighter J. Hughes foir manning the fill site.   If conditions don’t change soon we are in for much more of this type of work. 

Siloam Engine 1 arriving on scene.

Filling the Ward Engine from the old Siloam Tanker.  This tanker is about to be retired for a new unit that is going to be put into service. 

The smoke “socked” us into the road.  The wind kept the smoke low and the fire moving fast.


The National Weather Service has placed the South Sumter area under a Fire Weather Warning and at the same time the Alabama Forestry Commission has all 67 Alabama Counties under a Fire Alert.  Conditions are bone dry in the area and they don’t look to improve for the next 10 to 12 days.  Conditions are perfect for explosive wildfire growth in the area and this afternoons fire was no exception.  The tones were dropped in the mid afternoon for a fire on Ben Kidd Road near the railroad tracks.  Siloam Captain Brooks was in the area and arrived on scene to report that there was working fire.  Cuba Engine 1 with Firefighter Scrivner at the wheel was next to arrive on the scene of the fire.  The first two units made a quick attack on the fire as it got close to the road.  With the wind driving the fire it was very possible that the fire could have jumped the road and continued to run.  Chief Vaughan arrived on scene and requested the AFC be notified as well as Siloam Engine 1 respond to the scene.  Before the fire was controlled, eight fire units and two Alabama Forestry Commission firefighters were operating on scene.  We can’t urge our readers enough to be careful and postpone all burning until we receive enough rain to make it safe. 

Cuba Firefighter/EMT Cherry wets fry fuel near the road.  Most of this area is underwater in normal conditions due to the fact that it is a swamp.

Cuba Engine 1 with Firefighter Scrivner at the controls.

Siloam Engine 1 putting the deck gun on a fire that couldn’t be reached with a hose. 

Chief Vaughan watching the fire from the tracks.

AFC Firefighter Beville arrives on scene to assist with the dozier.

AFC Firefighter Smith puts in a lane with the dozier.

Siloam Captain Wright wets the ties on the railroad to protect it from fires that were along the right of way.

Photos by J. Hughes

Single Vehicle MVA…

A single vehicle accident occured this morning at the intersection of US Highway 11 and US Highway 80.  Cuba Assistant Chief Fisher arrived on scene to find the vehicle on its side and no injuires.  Fisher reported that the vehicle was leaking diesel and Simmons Brothers’ Wrecker Service was requested to assist with the leak.  Firefighter/EMT Chris Cherry and Firefighter/EMR Rachel Cherry arrived on scene to assist with the incident.  The scene was released to Cuba Police Department upon their arrival and Simmons Wrecker cleaned up the spilled diesel and gravel. 


Images by Chris Cherry