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Swansea Fire Department Swears In Three Firefighters During Pinning Ceremony

Swansea Fire Department Swears In Three Firefighters During Pinning Ceremony

SWANSEA — Chief Eric Hajder is pleased to report that the Swansea Fire Department swore in three firefighters during a pinning ceremony last week.

On Tuesday, June 25, the Swansea Fire Department hosted a ceremony at Swansea Town Hall to swear in the firefighters before the Board of Selectmen.

In attendance were Town Administrator Mallory Aronstein, Board of Selectmen members Steve Kitchin, Robert Medeiros and Mike Beaudette alongside the firefighters’ family and friends and numerous members of the fire department.

“The uniform these firefighters wear carries a great tradition in this community, a tradition of excellence and a tradition of volunteerism that is hardly met in many other of our communities in the Commonwealth,” said Board of Selectmen Chairman Robert Medeiros.

During the ceremony, Chief Hajder presented Richard Albernaz (Station 1) and Bruce Katz (Station 2) to be sworn in. Landon Rowe (Station 4) was recognized but was unable to attend the ceremony.

Firefighter Albernaz was pinned by his daughters, Analia and Olivia, and Firefighter Katz was pinned by his wife, Claudine.

“On behalf of the entire department, I would like to congratulate firefighters Albernaz, Katz and Rowe and welcome them to the Swansea Fire Department,” said Chief Hajder. “We hope they have long and distinguished careers with our department and wish them all the best as they officially join the Swansea Fire family.”

The three were among 32 graduating firefighters of Call/Volunteer Recruit Class #111. Graduates received certificates of completion at a ceremony held at Bridgewater State University in May.

Swansea Department Extinguishes Fire at Swansea High School

Swansea Department Extinguishes Fire at Swansea High School

SWANSEA — Chief Eric Hajder reports that the Swansea Fire Department extinguished a fire at the Joseph Case High School on Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday, June 6, at 2:55 p.m., the Swansea Fire Department received an automated box alarm indicating smoke inside the Joseph Case High School.

The first companies to arrive at the scene found a smoke condition in and around the ceiling of a first floor hallway, and soon discovered a fire burning in a storage room off of that hallway.

Students had already been dismissed for the day so there were no students in the building.

Companies stretched several hoselines into the first floor hallway and were able to contain the fire to the storage room where it started. There were no reported injuries.

The school suffered fire damage in the storeroom and smoke damage throughout the first floor hallway. School will be closed on Friday so damage can be cleaned up.

Firefighters from Warren, R.I., and Rehoboth covered Swansea fire stations while companies battled the fire.

The cause remains under investigation by the Swansea Fire Department and the State Police Fire and Explosion Unit attached to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, but it preliminarily appears to be accidental.

“Companies did a great job stretching multiple handlines into the building, finding the seat of the fire, and containing the fire to a single storeroom,” said Chief Hajder. “This fire could have been much worse without the quick action of the companies that responded.”

Three Swansea Firefighters Graduate From Massachusetts Firefighting Academy

Three Swansea Firefighters Graduate From Massachusetts Firefighting Academy

SWANSEA — Chief Eric Hajder is pleased to report that three Swansea firefighters recently graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA).

 

Richard Albernaz from Station 1, Bruce Katz from Station 2, and Landon Rowe from Station 4 were among 32 graduating firefighters of Call/Volunteer Recruit Class #111. Graduates received certificates of completion at a ceremony held at Bridgewater State University.

 

Students receive classroom training in all basic firefighter skills. They practice first under non-fire conditions and then during controlled fire conditions. To graduate, students must demonstrate proficiency in life safety, search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply, pump operation and fire attack. Fire attack operations range from mailbox fires to multiple-floor or multiple-room structural fires.

 

Graduates have completed 240 hours of training on nights and weekends. Upon successful completion of this program, all students will have met the standards of National Fire Protection Association 1001.

 

“I am incredibly proud to welcome these three firefighters to our department,” Chief Hajder said. “I look forward to seeing them work alongside our team and I commend their devotion to serving our community.”

 

“Massachusetts firefighters are on the frontlines protecting their communities every day, and today’s graduates are needed now more than ever,” added State Fire Marshal Jon M. Davine. “The hundreds of hours of foundational training they’ve received will provide them with the physical, mental, and technical skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely.”

About the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy
At the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, recruits learn a variety of skills on how to respond to all types of hazards and emergencies, including the latest science of fire behavior and suppression tactics from certified fire instructors. Firefighters also receive training in public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management and self-rescue techniques. The intensive program involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firefighter skills training, and live firefighting practice.

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The graduates of Call/Volunteer Class #111 from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (Photo Courtesy Massachusetts Firefighting Academy)

Swansea Fire Department Receives $19,000 Grant for Firefighter Safety Equipment

Swansea Fire Department Receives $19,000 Grant for Firefighter Safety Equipment

SWANSEA— Chief Eric Hajder is pleased to report that the Swansea Fire Department received a $19,000 grant from the Department of Fire Services Fiscal Year 2024 Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Program.

The Swansea Fire Department will use the funding to purchase in-cab communications systems to enhance communications and protect firefighters from the damaging noise encountered while responding to fires.

The wireless headset system will improve the ability of firefighters and officers to communicate critical information during emergency responses. The system will integrate with the apparatus radio system to help ensure no vital information from dispatch is missed. The headsets will also allow drivers and operators to perform their on-scene tasks while maintaining radio contact.

Fire departments across Massachusetts were invited to apply to the Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant program, which provides reimbursement on purchases of 135 different types of eligible equipment. Eligible items include hoses and nozzles, turnout gear, ballistic protective equipment, gear washers and dryers, thermal imaging cameras, hand tools and extrication equipment, communications resources, hazardous gas meters, and more. In many cases, the purchase of this equipment will help departments attain compliance with Occupational Safety & Health Administration or National Fire Protection Association safety standards. This is the fourth year that funding has been awarded through the program.

“The Firefighter Safety Equipment Grants are an investment in the health and safety of Massachusetts firefighters,” said State Fire Marshal Jon Davine. “The flexibility of the program is especially valuable because it allows each department to make purchases based on their specific needs and resources. It has become a vital part of the way the Massachusetts fire service prepares for the constantly evolving threats in the world around us.”

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Swansea Fire, Police Departments Investigate Crash on Swansea Mall Drive

Swansea Fire, Police Departments Investigate Crash on Swansea Mall Drive

SWANSEA — Fire Chief Eric Hajder and Police Chief Marc Haslam report that Swansea police officers and firefighters responded to the scene of a two-vehicle crash Thursday night on Swansea Mall Drive.

On Thursday, Jan. 18, at about 7:54 p.m., crews were dispatched to the scene of a crash near 147 Swansea Mall Drive (Route 118).

According to a preliminary investigation, one vehicle was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of Swansea Mall Drive and then struck another vehicle head-on. The drivers of the vehicles were a 20-year-old male and a 53-year-old male, both from Swansea. There were no passengers.

Upon arriving, first responders discovered both parties still in their vehicles. One vehicle was on fire; police officers extricated that driver. Swansea firefighters extricated the driver of the other vehicle using hydraulic tools.

Both drivers were taken to a local hospital. Their conditions are unknown.

The 53-year-old male was taken into custody for suspected Operating Under the Influence of Liquor. His name is not being released at this time.

The crash remains under investigation.

Swansea Police and Fire Invite Community to Public Safety Day This Weekend

Swansea Police and Fire Invite Community to Public Safety Day This Weekend

SWANSEA — Police Chief Marc Haslam and Fire Chief Eric Hajder would like to invite community members to attend Swansea Police and Fire’s upcoming Public Safety Day this weekend.

WHEN:

Sunday, Oct. 15 from 1-3 p.m.

WHERE:

Swansea Fire Station No. 2, 50 New Gardners Neck Road

WHAT:

Swansea community members are invited to come down to Fire Station No. 2 to celebrate Public Safety Day. This year is the 30th anniversary of Swansea’s Public Safety Day and the event will feature an abundance of family-friendly activities for all to enjoy.

The festivities kick off with a parade of apparatus at 12:30 p.m. The parade will depart from Fire Station 1 onto Main Street to Gardners Neck Road, then to Route 6, Maple Avenue, Pearse Road, and Route 103, concluding at Fire Station 2.

Following the parade, community members will be invited to tour the station and take part in different activities. Activities include a blood pressure screening, extraction and fire extinguisher demonstrations by members of the department, and target practice during which children will attempt to hit targets with a fire hose stream.

Sparky the Fire Dog will be in attendance in addition to state and local police, National Grid and Liberty Gas.

In addition to trying on firefighter gear and air tanks, attendees will also have the opportunity to check out antique fire apparatus.

There will also be door prizes, raffles, handouts and refreshments for all to enjoy.

Swansea Police and Fire looks forward to meeting members of the community this weekend!

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Swansea Fire Department Reminds Residents of Important Preparedness Activities During Hurricane Preparedness Week

Swansea Fire Department Reminds Residents of Important Preparedness Activities During Hurricane Preparedness Week

SWANSEA — Chief Eric Hajder and the Swansea Fire Department wish to share guidance on hurricane awareness and preparedness this season.

Gov. Maura Healey has proclaimed July 9-15 as Hurricane Preparedness Week in Massachusetts, which recognizes the importance of preparing for the impact of extreme weather.

June 1 marked the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which runs through Nov. 30. Most hurricanes and tropical storms that impact New England occur during late August and September, and residents are encouraged to prepare early.

Hurricanes can bring many types of wind and water hazards, including storm surges, strong winds and flooding. The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offer several tips to help residents better prepare for extreme weather should it occur.

Know Your Evacuation Zone: Learn if you live or work in a hurricane evacuation zone. The best action to protect yourself and your family from the flooding and high winds caused by hurricanes is to evacuate when ordered to do so, before those conditions hit your area. Know and follow the directions from local officials for community evacuation and follow posted evacuation routes.

Visit www.mass.gov/knowyourzone to learn if you live or work in a hurricane evacuation zone. If you live in an area that may flood and may need assistance evacuating, plan with family, neighbors, and friends who may be able to assist, and contact your local public safety officials to make them aware of your needs.

Make an Emergency Plan: Have an emergency plan for how your family would communicate, evacuate and shelter in place should there be an emergency. An emergency plan should address the specific needs of all of your family members and those you are responsible for. Steps to making an emergency plan include the following:

  • Discuss the questions below with your family, friends, or household:
    • How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
    • What is my shelter plan?
    • What is my evacuation route?
    • What is my family/household communication plan?
  • Consider specific needs for everyone in your household, including seniors, children, individuals with access and functional needs, and pets. Dietary needs, medical needs including prescriptions and equipment, disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment, and cultural and religious considerations should all be taken into account when creating an emergency plan.
  • Fill out a Family Emergency Plan. A sample plan can be found here.
  • Practice your plan with your family/household.

Build an Emergency Kit: Build an emergency kit that will sustain your household for 3-5 days without power. A basic emergency supply kit might include the following recommended items:

  • Food and water
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications
  • Eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, and wipes
  • Important family documents, and cash or traveler’s checks
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

Prepare Your Home: You can improve your home’s ability to withstand hurricane conditions. Consider cutting weak branches and trees that could fall on your house. Make sure there’s nothing that could blow around during the storm and damage your home, and move bikes, lawn furniture, grills, propane tanks and building material inside or under shelter. Keep drains, gutters and downspouts clear of debris. Cover up windows and doors by using storm shutters or pieces of plywood. Secure all doors on your property and find a safe location for your vehicle.

Stay Informed: Every family should have multiple methods for receiving emergency alerts. Learn more about different types of alerting and information tools including the Emergency Alert System, Wireless Emergency Alerts, NOAA Weather Radio, social and traditional news media, and local notification systems.

The Commonwealth’s 2-1-1 hotline is available 24×7 for non-emergency assistance. It is available with translation in more than 150 languages and can be accessed via video relay services.

For more information on hurricane planning, click here.

 

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Swansea Fire Department Awarded $19,000 in Grant Funding for Safety Equipment

Swansea Fire Department Awarded $19,000 in Grant Funding for Safety Equipment

SWANSEA –Chief Eric Hajder is pleased to announce that the Swansea Fire Department is one of over 300 fire departments across the state to have been awarded a grant as part of the Department of Fire Services Fiscal Year 2023 Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Program.

Funds from the $19,000 grant awarded to the Swansea Fire Department will be used to equip the department’s apparatus with hoses and kits for standpipe operations and also to purchase Incident Command/Accountability Boards to aid in fire scene management.

The program provides local fire departments with a variety of equipment that makes the dangerous job of firefighting safer. This is the third year that funding has been awarded for this purpose as part of a five-year, $25 million bond bill filed by the Administration to support firefighter safety and health in the coming years.

Fire departments in Massachusetts were able to apply to this program for 121 different types of eligible equipment, including ballistic protective clothing, thermal protective clothing, gear washers and dryers, thermal imaging cameras, assorted hand tools and extrication equipment, communications resources, hazardous gas meters, fitness equipment and more.

“Every time a firefighter goes to work, they could be asked to rescue a child from a burning building, clean up a spill of hazardous materials, treat a patient with a contagious medical condition, or rush into a hostile event to rescue and treat victims,” said State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey. “This program is absolutely vital to helping fire departments prepare for the vast array of hazards they face today and making sure that firefighters go home safe after every call.”

A complete list of the awards by department can be found here.

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Swansea Police and Fire Departments Respond to Pedestrian Struck by Car

Swansea Police and Fire Departments Respond to Pedestrian Struck by Car

SWANSEA — Police Chief Marc Haslam and Chief Eric Hajder report that the Swansea Police and Fire Departments responded to a report of a pedestrian stuck by a car.

On Sunday, Sept. 4, at about 7:50 p.m., Swansea Police and Fire received a report that a pedestrian was hit by a motor vehicle on Route 6 at Route 195.

Responding officers and firefighters discovered a 33-year-old man who was suffering from serious injuries, and provided immediate medical aid. The man was transported by Swansea EMS ambulance to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

The incident is being investigated by Swansea Police Accident Reconstruction Team.

No additional information is available at this time.

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Swansea Fire Department Offers Cooking Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Swansea Fire Department Offers Cooking Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

SWANSEA — Chief Eric Hajder and the Swansea Fire Department would like to provide safety tips to ensure residents stay safe while baking and preparing their holiday meals over the coming days and weeks.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day, the day before Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas Eve.

This year, as many families gather after a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Swansea Fire Department urges residents to consider taking precautions to limit the spread of the virus, including getting vaccinated or getting tested prior to gathering.

To prevent seasonal cooking fires, the Swansea Fire Department wishes to share the following tips from the NFPA so families can prepare holiday meals without the risk of danger:

  • Never leave anything cooking unattended.
  • The NFPA discourages the use of deep fryers for cooking turkeys, but those who do use one should do so on a flat surface outdoors and at least 10 feet away from structures, including porches. Turkeys should be completely thawed and dried before being placed in the deep fryer to avoid flare-ups.
  • Stand by your pan! If a grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by sliding the lid – while wearing an oven mitt – over the pan. If safe to do so, turn off the heat source. Do not move the pan, and keep the lid on until the fire is out and the pan is completely cool.
  • Stay home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children and pets away from the stove. Kids and pets should be kept 3 feet away from the stove.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee can cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Keep the kitchen and dining room floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags while cooking or handling food.
  • Test your smoke alarms and make sure their batteries are replaced if needed.

If you have any questions about cooking safety, please contact the Swansea Fire Department at 508-672-4305.

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