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Monday, November 17, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Photos: Free coats from firefighters at Jackson School

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire, IAFF Local 896, Jackson School

Fire Chief Jim Maxwell and Principal Diane Bonarigo help a student at Jackson School try on a new winter coat at the school this morning.  

IAFF Local 896 gave out about 90 winter coats to students at the school.

UPDATE: Here's some additional info about the coat distribution:

City of Batavia firefighters, Local 896 distributed 90 brand new 100-percent American Made winter coats to children grades K-1 at Jackson primary. This is the second year firefighters have partnered with the national not-for-profit Operation Warm. More than $3,600 was raised to provide the coats. Local 896 would like to thank all who supported this great program. It truly is more than a coat. The coats give children a sense of pride having something brand new and all their own. New coats also promote a healthy lifestyle for children during the winter months and having a positive impact on school attendance.

Firefighter Adam Palumbo

Firefighter Chuck Hammon stretches out his arms to show a student how to test the fit of his new coat.

Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Poster contest winner get rides to school in fire truck

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire

Press release:

The Group 2 winner of the Fire Prevention Poster Contest received her prize today. Violet March, a third-grader at St. Joseph School, received a ride on a fire truck to school. She boarded the truck at the fire station on Evans Street and from there took a tour of the City on Engine 11. She arrived at school and was greeted by her classmates. The poster contest is in its second year and sponsored by the City of Batavia Fire Department and the City Firefighters Union Local 896.

Top photo: Firefighter Art Smith, Captain Greg Shilvock, Fire Chief Jim Maxwell, Group 2 Winner Violet March and her mother Kelly March.

Bottom photo: Captain Greg Shilvock, Violet March and firefighter Art Smith in driver’s seat. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 9:15 am

Former Le Roy rescue truck fits like a glove at the Batavia Fire Department

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire

Le Roy Fire Department's ability to upgrade its rescue vehicle has given City fire the opportunity upgrade its own capabilities.

The Batavia department purchased Le Roy's retired rescue truck for $55,000, which is $12,000 below what the city had budgeted for a new pickup truck and trailer to handle the same duties.

New, the truck goes for about $200,000.

Now dubbed Truck 14 and assigned to special operations, the new vehicle will be used for hazmat, rope rescue, water rescue, swift water rescue, cold water rescue and confined space rescue.

"They're all operations that we don't do very often, but there is always potential for a large need in the city," said Lt. Bob Fix.

Truck 14 will also respond to fire scenes with crew and equipment and serve as a rehab vehicle. It has an awning to provide shelter in heat and will carry water and fans to assist firefighters who need a break during a fight.

Up until now, the city had no vehicle to meet the needs of these operations. Equipment was stored in the fire hall and pulled out as necessary.

Now, everything is ready to roll with little time wasted.

Besides cost savings -- though some of that $12,000 was used to refit the truck to some of the city's needs -- the advantage over a storage trailer is that the trailer would need to be heated in the winter to help maintain the equipment. The new truck fits inside the fire station behind the current ladder truck.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Time coming to change your clocks and change your batteries

post by Howard B. Owens in City Fire

Press release: 

The City of Batavia Fire Department is joining nearly 6,000 fire departments nationwide in promoting the annual Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries campaign on Sunday, Nov. 2.

Fire Prevention Officer Lt. Jeff Whitcombe encourages all residents to adopt the simple, lifesaving habit of changing smoke alarm batteries along with the batteries in carbon monoxide (CO) detectors when they change their clocks back from daylight savings time to standard time.

“It’s an easy, inexpensive and proven way to protect your family and your home,” Whitcombe said.

Since 1987 the International Association of Fire Chiefs has joined forces with Energizer batteries to spread the message that non-working smoke alarms are responsible for needless death and injuries. Now 27 years later, thanks to the change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries campaign, home fire deaths continue to decline.

Recent surveys conducted for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Consumer Products Safety Commission found that 96 percent of all homes have at least one smoke alarm, but only 75 percent have at least one working smoke alarm. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing or dead batteries or disconnected wires. The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most families are sleeping. A working smoke alarm can provide the critical extra seconds needed to get people out safely.

According to the NFPA, the maximum life cycle of a smoke alarms and CO detectors is 10 years from the date of manufacture, not the date of installation. Beginning in 2002, all smoke detectors must have a manufacture date marked on the outside of the smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm does not have a manufacture date, then it is older than 10 years and must be replaced. The City of Batavia Fire Department recommends purchasing smoke alarms with 10-year lithium batteries. All smoke and CO alarms should be tested monthly.

Along with working smoke alarms and CO detectors, home escape plans are another way families can avoid injury or death in their homes. By identifying at least two different escape routes, families can practice the plan together – before an emergency strikes. Practicing the plan helps educate younger children to the danger of hazardous situations and the importance of recognizing that the sound of a smoke alarm or CO detector signals a potential hazard in the home.

“Changing the battery in your smoke alarms and CO detectors, along with developing and practicing a home escape plan, are three of the best ways to protect your loved ones and yourself from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning,” Whitcombe said.

The City of Batavia Fire Department has a free smoke alarm and battery installation program.

“We have installed hundreds of smoke alarms and batteries over the past 20 years and will continue to do so until everyone who needs them has them,” Whitcombe said.

For information about the free smoke alarm and battery installation program, City of Batavia residents should contact the City of Batavia Fire Department at (585) 345-6375.

Friday, October 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm

City receives $100K water rescue grant

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire

Press release: 

With a $100,000 grant from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the City of Batavia Fire Department will help expand local emergency response teams and first responders throughout the County with equipment and training to reduce and respond to water emergencies.

The money will equip and train all first responders in Genesee County, to include 17 fire departments, five law enforcement agencies and three EMS agencies with water rescue awareness training and a basic water emergency response bag. Attica Fire and Police departments were also included with this grant.

In addition, this grant will also allow the City Fire Department to provide an annual water safety seminar for Genesee County residents to include topics such as: pool safety, open water safety, flooded road safety and what resources are available in Genesee County if you have an emergency.

“In our rural setting it is most likely that a police officer will arrive on location first,” said Lieutenant Bob Fix of the City Fire Department and Special Operations officer responsible for securing the grant. “With the basic kit and training supplied by this grant, an officer will be equipped with the knowledge and equipment to call for more advanced help and to try and effect a safe shore-based rescue.”

The City has been providing some level of water rescue protection for more than 50 years with minimal training and mostly donated equipment. Recent events in the City and Genesee County over the past several years have prompted more training and better equipment in order to provide adequate and safe response to residents.

City Fire Chief Jim Maxwell said, “We are pleased to have been awarded this grant through the New York State Homeland Security Program. These funds will be utilized by City Fire and Genesee County first responders to enhance water rescue response capabilities across the county. We would like thank the 24 area fire, EMS, and police agencies for their support of this initiative which will provide basic water rescue kits to emergency response vehicles throughout the county.”

All fire departments in Genesee County participate in the Genesee County Mutual Aid Plan. While the City of Batavia Fire Department will be the technician-level responders, it is important that local first responders throughout the county are trained and equipped for the initial response. A tiered-response partnership not only dramatically increases the capabilities countywide, but does it safely and effectively using manpower from throughout the county.

Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Firefighters wear T-shirts with pink bows for Breast Cancer Awareness month

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire, IAFF Local 896

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and as city firefighters do annually, they are donning special T-shirts while on duty to recognize the fight against breast cancer.

Pictured with six firefighters today are Toni Funke and Kristen Gonter, breast cancer survivors.

From left are Capt. Mark Mikolajczyk, Chuck Hammon, Adam Polumbo, Nathan Kinne, Jeff Whitcomb and David Adams.

The IAFF Local 896 will make a donation to a breast cancer organization this month.

Friday, September 26, 2014 at 6:11 am

City firefighters announce 2nd annual poster contest

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire, IAFF Local 896

Press release:

The City of Batavia Fire Department together with the Fire Fighters Union – IAFF Local 896 are sponsoring the 2ndAnnual Fire Prevention Week Poster Contest.  This poster contest is open to students from grades 1 – 5. “Our hope is to get the children to discuss fire safety with their teachers and fellow students, as well as parents and guardians.” 

This poster contest can be a take home project, individual class project or an art class project.  Information has been distributed to City schools, but we wanted to include any City area home schooled children as well

“Our first year doing the contest was met with a great response.  We are hoping to grow this great opportunity this year.  The value is that the kids and adults get exposure to fire safety and safe practices, helping to reduce injury and death and change some habits.  We encourage all eligible students to participate.”

The 2014 Fire Prevention Week (October 5-15) theme is “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives, Test Yours Every Month.”  Ideas and more information can be found at the Fire Prevention Week website www.FPW.org

Any posters wishing to be entered need to be at the Fire Station located at 18 Evans Street in Batavia no later thanThursday, October 9, 2014 at 4pm.  Schools/groups/families may contact us via phone or email to arrange in school pick up of posters. 

Posters are to be drawn horizontally on white paper, 8 ½” x 11”.  The back of the poster must contain the students name & phone number, school & grade, and teacher’s name.

Judging of the posters will take place between October 10th – 12th.  The winner of each group will receive a ride to school on a City Fire Engine, and be invited to a special awards luncheon with their family held at the fire station in late October.  2nd and 3rd place finishers in each group will also be invited to the fire station awards luncheon.

The best of luck to the students!  Full rules are available at the City of Batavia Fire Department at 18 Evans Street in Batavia or by contacting us via phone and/or email.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 5:49 pm

City has seven fire hydrants awaiting replacement

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire

If you've noticed some fire hydrants bagged with "not in service" messages in the city, Fire Chief Jim Maxwell said it's not something local residents need to be overly concerned about.

"Hydrants are spaced not to exceed a maximum of 500 feet," Maxwell said. "This allows for a fire hydrant to be readily accessible in either direction in the event of an emergency."

Currently, of the 746 hydrants in the city, seven are currently out of service.

Maxwell explained that hydrants are mechanical devices, which means they are subject to breakdowns.

Firefighters regularly test hydrants to ensure they are working properly. If they're not working, the bags being used help firefighters quickly identify an out-of-service hydrant during an emergency so they can quickly locate another one to use.

Of the seven hydrants out of service, one has been out of service since 2011, one since 2012, three since 2013, and two were taken out of service this year.

Out-of-service hydrants need to be replaced with new equipment. Each hydrant costs $2,200.

City workers, from the Bureau of Water and Wastewater, do the replacement work on a time-available basis.

The hydrants could be replaced more quickly if a contractor was hired, Maxwell said, but that drives the cost up to $7,500 per hydrant.

Waiting for available time for city workers to do the work will save taxpayers about $37,100 to replace the current out-of-service hydrants, Maxwell said.

Friday, August 15, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Photos: City fire training for rope rescues

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, City Fire

City firefighters were on the hill of South Jackson Street, near the railroad tracks, this morning for training with rope rescue techniques.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Free child seat safety check offered Saturday at city fire headquarters

post by Billie Owens in child safety, City Fire

Press release:

On Saturday, Aug. 16, the City of Batavia Fire Department will be hosting a free child safety seat check event. This event will be held in conjunction with Summer in the City. The check site will be at Fire Headquarters on Evans Street from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Nationally certified technicians will ensure child safety seats are installed correctly and also be available to answer any questions parents/caregivers have about child passenger safety restraints.

Did you know three out of four kids are not as secure in the car as they should be because their car seats are not being used correctly? Using the correct restraints reduces infants’ and toddlers’ chances for fatal injury by 71 percent and 54 percent in passenger cars respectively.

Stop down to the free Summer in the City child safety seat check event.

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