Bethel Fire and EMS Run numbers for April and 1st Quarter totals … Along with another Car 3 Corner:
There was a total of 103 total EMS responses from our department.
Bethel Fire responded to 26 total calls:
Smoke from Cooking – 1
Basement pump out – 1
Motor Vehicle – 3
EMS Assist – 2
Automatic Fire Alarm – 8
CO Issues – 3
Haz Mat – 1
Wires Down – 1
Brush Fire – 1
Illegal Burn -1
Chimney Fire – 1
Natural Gas – 2
Animal Rescue – 1
1 st Quarter Summary
As the first quarter of 2019 ends, below are the totals for Bethel Fire and EMS Year to date
Fire – 103
EMS – 455
Car 3 Corner
This month I would like to speak about some of the trucks you see in our town and what the firefighters that ride in them do. Now as Bethel is not a huge town, (except in heart) all our firefighters must be able to perform any function on the fireground, or whatever emergency call we respond to proficiently. With all that in mind, there are four basic types of firefighters, along with some very highly trained specialist for whom I have a great deal of respect for. However, I am not getting into a lot of detail about those areas. My father was an AR Firefighter which deals specifically with aircraft fires, for example. Don’t even get me started on the dudes with the garden tools and no fire gear tackling huge forest fires. As if that wasn’t enough, they upped the level of difficulty and added parachuting in to fire areas because just walking on in wasn’t scary enough.
The four I would like to discuss this month are the ones you will see in our home town. Specifically, Engine, Truck, Rescue and Hazmat firefighters. They all have their own defined areas, all are important in specific tasks, and most all of them poke fun at the other branches of the department depending on what they do.
Hazmat firefighters are some of the most misunderstood of the group. The number of incidents we respond to are rare, however, we do have a chemical company right in the heart of downtown Bethel. Major incidents can be well beyond normal firefighters’ capabilities and often require assistance from mutual aid companies with higher level responders. They are known around the firehouse as Mop and Glow firefighters.
Rescue firefighters are tasked with mostly non-firefighting tasks such as car accidents, people being stuck under objects, people or animals wedged into spots that they were not intended to be in, Ice rescue, elevator rescue (It happens way more than you think in Bethel), and, at least in our department, refill air bottles that the firefighters use during structure fires. They have all the cool tools and are not afraid to use them. These are the kids that took toys apart to see how they worked and left them that way.
This leaves the two most common and, without a doubt, the largest reservoir of Jokes between the two groups and it seems never ending. These two are – Truck Company and Engine Company Firefighters.
Truck Company operations are almost always around a ladder truck. Their specific primary tasks are forcing entry into buildings, searching for victims often without a hose lines for protection, and venting a fire to help control fire spread, which increases visibility for the engine company firefighters. (Contrary to what you may see on shows like Chicago Fire, or my favorite Emergency.) One really cannot see anything for the most part in a burning building until the fire is out. These are the guys you often see cutting vent holes in roofs while fire shoots up behind them. If this is done correctly, it basically puts a chimney in above a fire and drastically improves the ability to control fire spread by reducing heat and letting the fire burn straight up and out, as opposed to spreading and consuming more of a building. This also gave rise to the joke Q. “why did the firefighter cut a hole in the roof? A. To see the real firefighters work. Which brings us to ….(Cue the trumpet)
Engine Company Firefighters. The bread and butter job in the fire department simply put “they put the wet stuff, on the red stuff”. While there are other considerations, such as securing a water supply and setting up ground ladders, they are the ones that drag hoses all over the place and perform our most basic function, putting the fire out. Always tiring work. As the weight of water in a handline or hose 1 .5 to 2 “is quite heavy and when a hose is charged it’s about as flexible as the IRS this time of year. All that said Truck company firefighters often refer to these gallant hero’s as “little wet speed bumps in the hallway”.
I hope this helps describe some of the things we do on any given day. As I mentioned before, we all must know and be proficient in all areas of the service that we provide our town. We train hard to stay that way. In the end, we are all one family when it comes to taking care of the people we serve and it’s our absolute pleasure and honor to do so.
Bethel Fire would like to remind everyone in Bethel as you may be getting a fund drive request from us in the mail please consider helping us to help you. This is our only authorized fund drive method. In years past there have been reports of people getting requests via email or over the phone these are not authorized by us and should be reported to the authorities ASAP.
Please also stop by and say hi after Our towns Memorial day parade. Were happy to give tours of the department as well as our departments jewel the Bethel Historical firefighters museum !!! and if you want to keep up on what were up to please check out our Facebook and Instagram Pages.
Be Well and Stay Safe
Brendan P Ryan
Assistant Chief (Car 3)