2012 Annual Drive

The 2012 Annual Drive begins April 9th in the city. FVFD members will be going door to door checking smoke detectors and asking for your financial support. The Annual Drive provides us with a great opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the layout of the town, and meet with you and learn of any special needs your home and its occupants might present, for both fire and medical.

Download the 2012 Annual Drive Brochure

Treat those embers with care

Metal Garbage Can

By Matt Knowles

When I was a teenager, my younger brother’s laziness almost spelled disaster for our family. After being asked to clean out the fireplace, he placed the ashes in a paper bag, and thinking that the fire had long been out, left the bag in the kitchen instead of taking it outside like he was supposed to.

A few hours later my mom smelled smoke and found the source. The bag was slowly burning it’s way through the kitchen floor. It was extinguished quickly, and the insurance paid for a new floor that pleased my mom.

That near tragedy was brought to mind after hearing about the terrible Christmas day fire in Connecticut. The fire that was responsible for killing the grandparents and 3 children and destroying the family’s home was started by improperly discarded ashes from their yule fire.

By the time the fire department arrived, the Victorian was fully engulfed, with the 5 victims trapped behind walls of flame.

After the cause of that fire was announced, news reports detailed the dangers of cleaning embers out of fireplaces and stoves, as well as tips for safely handling them.

Last night, a family in Ferndale had a close call after not taking the proper precautions. Discarded ashes that were still burning were left where they started burning the house. Fortunately, as with my family, they were noticed before too much damage was done, and between the actions of the family and our department it was contained quickly.

I’ve been surprised sometimes when I’m cleaning out our stove a day after we let the fire go out, that there are still warm embers buried in the ash. So after my experience in the 70s, I’ve always been very careful when disposing ashes.

First, when cleaning out our stove, the ashes go into a small metal garbage can with a lid. I bought two of these a while ago. The second one is used for any rags I use with solvents in the garage to prevent against spontaneous combustion.

After the stove is cleaned the garbage can is emptied in the garden in an area where I know it won’t burn anything.

It’s simple and it doesn’t cost much money. But taking care of your ashes properly may save your home and your family’s lives.

And of course it goes with out saying (I hope), your house should have a smoke detector in any room that is heated by wood, as well as detectors near or in all your bedrooms.

John Miller is 2011 Fireman of the Year

John Miller and wife Jennifer

At the FVFD Annual Dinner on Feb. 26, 2011, John Miller was announced as the Fireman of the Year. John joined the department in 2004. Since that time he has gone to the Fire Fighter Academy, attained his EMT license, and is qualified to drive the apparatus.

He also served as a Company 3 officer and as the department’s secretary for several years.

Congratulations John for being a valuable member of the department!

Ferndale Volunteer Fire Dept. Open House

Saturday, May 22nd from 10am to 4pm, the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Dept. will be hosting an open house.

Come and tour the new annex building, check out the fire vehicles and see demonstrations of our equipment like the jaws.

If you’ve thought about becoming a volunteer firefighter, this is a great time to come down and ask us questions.

Bring the whole family, there will be activities for the kids too.

Ferndale Rotary Donates 2 AEDs to FVFD

Ferndale Rotary recently donated $5,000.00 to the Ferndale Fire Dept to purchase new AEDs. (Automated External Defibrillator) We bought two LifePak 1000 units. This allows us to have a primary and backup unit that are exactly the same, so we only have to train on one machine. The new AEDs are lighter, faster to set up and use, and have much longer battery life.

Ferndale Fire returned their original AEDs to Rotary, and Rotary donated them to Petrolia and Honeydew Fire Departments. Honeydew did not have an AED and Petrolia did not have a backup unit.

The Ferndale, Petrolia and Honeydew Fire Departments are very grateful for these donations. Our responses to medical emergencies will be improved in each of our fire districts.

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Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Donates Generator to FVFD

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office recently donated a 25KW 3-phase generator to Ferndale Fire . The generator was confiscated from a grow operation. A new generator would have cost about $25,000, so the FVFD is very grateful to get this donation.

The department will install it in the new annex building. It will ensure that valuable rescue services will be available in times of county emergencies such as floods, earthquakes and any other disasters that cause long term power outages.

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