Fire Log: April 28 through May 11, 2018

Between April 28 and May 11, the Harvard Fire Department responded to five car crashes, two brush fires, a report of an unidentified material, one automatic alarm, one after-hours burn, two officer calls, one request for help with smoke/CO detector, a medical emergency, and two requests for assistance with unidentified liquids. The department also helped at Annual Town Meeting and covered the Lancaster fire station for an eight-hour shift. Lt. Andrew Perry inspected two oil burner/oil tanks, two smoke/CO alarms, and two propane tanks. He also conducted one building safety inspection.

Sunday, April 21
Firefighters Bill Berthoud and Paul Morris welcomed nine children and nine parents from the Harvard Family Association to the fire station for “a firefighter is your friend” lesson. Morris put on his gear so the children could see what a firefighter looks and sounds like. The families also toured the station and took pictures.

Saturday, April 28
Three firefighters and Chief Rick Sicard provided station coverage for Lancaster from midnight until 8:30 a.m. A Lancaster firefighter passed away on April 27; departments from surrounding towns took shifts and covered the Lancaster station all weekend. Justin Warren trained another firefighter for two hours on how to drive Engine 2. At 6:07 p.m. nine firefighters responded to a brush fire caused by a downed power line on Under Pin Hill Road. The fire was under control in less than an hour.

Sunday, April 29
An after-hours burn at 8:31 p.m. brought six firefighters to an Ayer Road address. In addition to its being after-hours, the firefighters discovered improper materials being burned. The fire was extinguished.

Monday, April 30: An activated smoke detector called eight firefighters to an Old Littleton Road home at 9:16 p.m. The firefighters located a faulty detector and advised the homeowner to replace it.

Tuesday, May 1
At 2:04 a.m. an Orchard Hill resident reported a problem smoke detector. Lt. Tony Shaw responded, located the problem detector, and recommended that the resident replace the unit. At 8:19 a.m. a Turner Lane resident reported that a barrel with an unidentified liquid had washed ashore from the pond. Lt. Perry responded. Ultimately, the Mass Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was called in to handle the mystery material; it was mixed with absorbent and DEP took it away. Perry was on scene until 11 a.m. An Oak Hill Road resident called at 9:26 p.m. to ask for help with a smoke detector. Perry responded and changed the batteries; no other help was needed.

Wednesday, May 2
Five firefighters responded to a two-car crash on Route 2 eastbound at 7:44 a.m. The firefighters contained and cleaned up spilled fluids and provided scene safety. The Harvard ambulance crew took one person to the hospital, and one person refused treatment. Sixteen firefighters, the chief, and three recruits participated in Wednesday training from 7 to 8:30 p.m. They discussed the initial assessment of an incident, reviewed what information to relay, and did a couple of practice scenarios.

Thursday, May 3
A 6:34 a.m. nine firefighters and one recruit were called to a three-vehicle accident on Route 2 eastbound. The crew provided scene safety, cleaned up fluids with an absorbent, and waited until the Harvard ambulance departed with one passenger to the hospital. Chief Sicard attended the Massachusetts Fire District 8 general membership meeting all morning. Five firefighters were back on Route 2 eastbound at 8:43 p.m. to support the ambulance for a medical emergency.

Friday, May 4
At 2:11 p.m. a car hit a utility pole on Ayer Road. Five firefighters went to the scene. One occupant refused medical transport. The firefighters stayed on site until the car was towed.

Saturday, May 5
Five firefighters and Chief Sicard assisted at Annual Town Meeting from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The fire officials monitored the number of people in the gym to keep the meeting from exceeding the room’s maximum occupancy.

Sunday, May 6
An automatic alarm called seven firefighters to an Ayer Road location at 5:54 a.m. They checked the building and determined that an alarm had been pulled accidentally. They reset the alarm and returned to the station at 7:30 a.m.

Monday, May 7
Lt. Perry was called to a Cleaves Hill Road residence at 7:08 a.m. by AAA to check that a vehicle requiring a tow was not leaking gas. Perry approved the tow. From 5:15 to 9 p.m. Perry, two firefighters, and the Harvard tanker were in Shirley for a training drill. The Shirley firefighters practiced filling the tanker from a remote source, filling a portable tank from the tanker, and drawing water from the portable tank.

Tuesday May 8
Lt. Perry attended a training at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy: “A Fire Officer’s Guide to Today’s Buildings.”

Wednesday, May 9: A four-car crash on Route 2 eastbound between Jackson and Ayer roads was reported at 7:38 a.m. Five firefighters and the ambulance crew responded. The ambulance took one occupant to the hospital, and three others refused medical transport. The Fire Department cleaned up fluids and waited on scene for two vehicles to be towed. Three firefighters responded to a three-car crash on Ayer Road at 2:13 p.m. Three occupants refused medical transport. The firefighters cleaned up fluids; all three vehicles were towed. Seven firefighters attended the monthly engineers meeting from 7 to 9 p.m.

Thursday, May 10
The Fire District 8 dive team returned to Harvard to practice in Bare Hill Pond. Chief Sicard and firefighter Shane Nogler drove the boat and supported the dive team. Sicard and Lt. Perry were on hand to observe a fire drill at Bromfield at 1:15 p.m. All students and teachers exited the building safely and quickly. At 1:30 p.m. the department was called to a brush fire off Stow Road. Six firefighters and the chief responded with the forestry truck and the tanker. They extinguished the fire and returned to the station at 3 p.m.

Fire Department Factoid

The Fire Department responds whenever the ambulance is called to a medical emergency on Route 2. The firefighters position the engine to protect the ambulance crew and the patients from traffic.

The Fire Department Log is written every other week by a Harvard Press reporter based on information gleaned from daily logs and interviews with a department firefighter.

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