Archive for November, 2011

Christmas Safety…

Each year the period around Christmas and New Years causes firefighters to cringe and worry with each set of tones.  Anyone who has been in this business for long as seen all to often the tragedy of loss.  However, around Christmas the loss seems much more poignant that normal.  Help us protect your family this year by observing a few safety tips with decorations and candles.

The video provided by NIST is a clear reminder of how dangerous this time of the year can be if we don’t take precautions.

  • Don’t place your live Christmas tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent.
  • Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
  • Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • Inspect holiday lights for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up.
  • Use only nonflammable decorations.



Severe Weather Possible Today…

The secondary tornado season has been rather busy for the Sumter County area this year.  There is an additional threat of severe weather in the area today.  The Severe Storms Prediction Center has outlooked our area with a slight risk of severe weather today (standard risk).  In the past hour the NWS BMX has narrowed the threat area to the west central portion of the state.  They have also lowered the risk of tornadoes, but state that a few isolated tornadoes are still possible over the area. 

Tornado Watch #895 has been issued…

Tornado Hits Whitfield…

The 2011 year has certainly been one of those years that will be remembered for years into the future.  Sumter County was struck by multiple tornadoes and saw injuries and the loss of homes and other property.  Wednesday, November 16th, was no exception.  A line of storms moved into the area and a EF2 tornado descended upon the Whitfield Community just after 0700. 

Fire units in the South Sumter area had a great advance warning on this storm thanks to the staff at the National Weather Service Birmingham.  The NWS staff alerted units in the area that a potentially tornadic storm would be in the area with the next two hours.  Deputy Chief Holder went into action and alerted units to the potential storm and spotters were posted.  Chiefs Holder and Pendergrass spotted the funnel cloud and were on location in the Whitfield area minutes after the passing of the storm.  Units from all South Sumter stations and many other agencies in Sumter County were on scene in short order.  South Sumter units removed the one injury from her damaged home and turned her over to the Ambulance on scene.  Thankfully, there was no loss of life in the Whitfield area. 

Home where injury was sustained.

Excellent warning provided by the NWS in BMX with a great lead time.  Thanks John and the Crew!

Lots of tree damage in the area.

Photos by: J. Hughes and D. Holder

Multiple MVAs…

South Sumter fire stations have responded to three motor vehicle accidents in the past two days.  This is on top of other emergency calls and fires. 

MVA on Saturday on I20/59 at the 3 mile marker.

Another MVA on Sunday at the 3 mile marker south bound.