Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Willimantic firefighters responded for a reported structure fire on May 6, 2010 at 2246 hrs. Platoon 4 was working, with Alberto Torres as the Acting Captain. At the time of the call, the ambulance (Tower crew) was on a medical call, so Engine 301 responded with four firefighters (Torres, Mott, Swiney, & Walker).
On arrival, A/C Torres reported what appeared to a small fire on the porch. While investigating, Engine driver Mott reported heavy smoke pushing from the Charlie side. Upon entering the top floor, members encountered a heavy smoke and heat condition. A/C Torres elevated the call to a 2nd Alarm, which recalled all off-duty Willimantic firefighters, activated UConn FD for Rapid Intervention (firefighter rescue), Columbia for Rehab, Windham Center for station coverage, Rescue 104 for Air Supply, and moved North and South Windham into their quarters for a possible assignment.
The Acting Chief elevated the call to a 3rd alarm on arrival, which brought North and South Windham to the scene and placed Mansfield and Columbia into their stations.
Firefighters were hampered by a fire with a significant head-start, overhead power lines, wind-fanned flames, and low water pressure. Unable to make headway from the interior, firefighters pulled out and transitioned to an exterior attack. After knocking the bulk of the fire down from the exterior with elevated and ground-based master streams, members re-entered the building and made an aggressive final offensive attack.
Thankfully, no injuries were reported. The fire was declared "under control" at 0051 hrs.
For photos, media coverage, and related items, see below:
Fox News 61
Another from WFSB
Also, check out www.ctfire-ems.com
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Yesterday, May 5, Platoon 4 (Captain Card) used a "Line gun" to fire a rope across the Willimantic River behind 560 Main Street. See the aerial view here. (Google Maps has the address as 490 Main Street). Here's the assessor's card.
As you may or may not know, the building is under renovations into one and two bedroom apartments. The construction crews are working on engineered scaffolding on the South side of the building--over the river. With such an operation, there's a slight chance a worker may fall into the river--if redundant layers of safety fail.
With concerns for worker safety, the contractor contacted the Willimantic FD and asked for help creating a safety plan. We toured the site and made recommendations. After receiving OSHA's blessing, it was time time to implement the plan. One of the components is a floating safety line across the river.
As mentioned previously, the department used an actual gun to send a projectile carrying a line across the river! In the pictures above, firefighters have the floating line across, and are getting ready to secure it.
As another safety measure, the department evaluated "put-in" points for the inflatable zodiac rescue boat, and found few suitable spots. Timeliness is the largest factor, so the contractor decided to purchase a sit-on-top kayak for us to use to rapidly access a floating victim. Our members will carry a retrieval line to a floating victim, tether him/her, and the shore based crews will pull the victim to the shore.