Epping Fire Department
Hello to my Speak Up Epping people! I hope everyone is enjoying this mild and interesting winter. I wanted to continue my Safety tips and Department operations as we go through the year. First I will say that during the winter we tend to hibernate, but it’s not a bad idea to check on your neighbors from time to time, especially the elderly or disabled. Having good neighbors always pays off.
I wanted to remind people to keep their heating vents clear of ice and snow since we have had a few interesting carbon monoxide calls in town. Make sure the garage doors are open before you start the car since that can raise the levels quickly in your house. Also keep generators away from the house and garage at least 8 to 10 feet. The exhaust can raise levels very high and very quickly. Everyone should have at least one carbon monoxide detector on each floor as well as a smoke detector in each floor and bedroom. The Fire Department will be more than happy to schedule a walk-through of your home to check or help replace detectors as needed.
Always check the ice and stay away from open water or culverts before ice skating or fishing. Due to the mild weather, the ice has been thin and there have been some incidents in the state of people and animals going through the ice. If you see something go in, stay where you are and call 911. Also try to speak to the person or animal if you can. Never go out and try to rescue by yourself, you can only make things worse.
The Fire Department has had a pretty busy winter. There were a total of 1286 calls last year and we are on a roll for this year. There have been a couple of fires that started from heating lamps for keeping poultry warm. One was a small chicken coop where they somehow all survived and then there was a barn fire on Prescott Road that killed some chickens and turkeys. Always be careful with these lamps and make sure they’re secured so that the birds can’t knock them over. Also secure them so they can’t fall down into the bedding which usually causes the fires. We have been busy with medical calls and motor vehicle accidents as well.
Fire Department Operations
Some of you wonder what the difference is between EMT’s and Paramedics. There are four levels of EMT’S. The lowest level is First Responder/Emergency Medical Responder with minimum training. I think we only have a couple of them left. Most of our members are Emergency Medical Technicians, formerly called Basic EMT’S. This is usually where people start. Then there are Advanced EMT’S, which were once called Intermediates, and then there are Paramedics. It’s all about the training involved with each course. Advanced EMT’s can start IV’S and give certain medications, cardiac monitor and other techniques that basics can’t do. To become a paramedic takes one to two years and costs around $7,000 to $10,000. It focuses more on airway skills and cardiac and pediatric emergencies. It also requires a lot of time in the hospital as well as fine-tuning your skills in a busier place such as Lawrence, Boston, Lowell, Lynn or Manchester. What they don’t tell you is that it is a big commitment and you’re away from your family until you’re finished and pass. So much knowledge, but worth it in the end. There is also Critical Care which is required if you want to be in a helicopter crew and requires additional training. At Epping, we have 8 Paramedics and 10 Advanced EMT’s on our roster. Most of our members are Basics and some are in school for the advanced EMT training which costs about $1000 or more. We have 3 ambulances that are all set up to the Paramedic level. Ambulances 1 and 3 are at Central Station and Ambulance 2 is at the West Epping Station. We call this Station 2 since it has Engine 2, Ambulance 2 and Forestry 2.
Exeter Hospital also has a Paramedic service vehicle that responds to the area departments. They are called automatically for any serious medical or motor vehicle accidents. Our paramedics will also call them if they need a second paramedic for sedation since it’s a very delicate and complicated skill.
Our newest ambulance was purchased last year and has all the latest gadgets and equipment. The Stretcher is called the power loader which self-loads into the ambulance and makes patient loading a lot easier. This reduces injuries to our members and saves the town money in the long run. We have a committee spec out our vehicles to make sure we get what is best for the town and our money. Ambulances are replaced every 6 or so years and Fire Engines and apparatus are replaced every 20 years. The building, apparatus, ambulances, vehicles and medical supplies are paid for by our Ambulance Billing Fund which saves the town and tax payer a lot of money over the years. As the town grows, we will need to look at what is needed for apparatus in the near future.
I will talk about spring safety tips next time and more about our Fire Department operations. Be safe and always know that we are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Lieutenant Paul St Cyr
Fire Prevention Officer and 9-11 Liaison.
Daylight Savings Time
Daylight savings time will start on March 10th. Turn your clocks ahead. Please be sure to change your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries. If you need help, call the Fire Department and they will give you assistance. Smoke Detectors Save Lives! And Carbon Monoxide Detectors do, too!
Burn Permits are required for all outside burning. Permits will be issued at the fire station seven days a week, 6:00 am-6:00 pm. Permits Will Not be issued when fire danger is class 3 or above. If you have any questions contact the Fire Department at 679-5446. For Daily Fire Danger and an explanation of the different danger levels, please follow the link http://www.nhdfl.org/fire-control-and-law-enforcement/daily-fire-danger.aspx.
Epping Fire and Brick Museum
Work has slowed during February as the building is not heated, but it will continue in March. I am hoping that Epping residents will help us by donating to the “Friends of the Epping Fire and Brick Museum.” Donations may be dropped at the Fire Station, 37 Pleasant Street or checks may be sent to The Epping Fire and Brick Museum, 37 Pleasant Street Epping, NH 03042.
Also please check our GoFundMe page www.gofundme.com/friends-of-epping-fire-and-brick-museum. T-shirts will be available on Election Day at the Epping Middle School. $18.00 for sizes small to xlarge, sizes XX or XXX will be $20.00 cash or check.
For more information, contact Cliff Cray at firstname.lastname@example.org or 396 9436.
Submitted by Cliff Cray