Fire Log: July 1 through August 3, 2018

Between July 1 and Aug. 3 the Harvard Fire Department responded to seven car accidents, one gas leak, two possible brushfires, six automatic alarms, six ringing smoke/carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, two medical emergencies, a request to check an oil burner, and one vehicle fire. Lt. Andrew Perry inspected 22 smoke/CO detectors, two oil burner/oil tanks, 10 propane tanks, and one residential sprinkler. He also conducted 24 blasting inspections and six safety inspections, and he issued three dumpster permits. Chief Rick Sicard attended several meetings and participated in a safety drill at the beach on July 24 with fire, ambulance, and beach staff.

Monday July 23
Chief Sicard responded to an automatic alarm at a Depot Road residence at 11:17 a.m. He checked the house but found so sign of smoke, fire, or CO. He advised the homeowner to call the alarm company.

Tuesday, July 24
Lt. Justin Warren conducted training for four new recruits from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on personal protective equipment and the self-contained breathing apparatus.

Wednesday, July 25
Chief Sicard and Lt. Perry responded to an automatic alarm at an Ayer Road business. The alarm was triggered by a power outage.

Thursday, July 26
At 6:22 a.m. seven firefighters responded to a multivehicle crash on Route 2 eastbound, at the end of the entrance ramp. The Harvard ambulance crew took one occupant to the hospital. The fire crew provided scene safety. At 11:19 a.m. the Littleton Fire Department requested the Harvard ambulance to transport a patient from a crash on Route 2 westbound east of Route 495. Three Harvard firefighters responded to support the ambulance crew but were cancelled because Littleton Fire was on scene. At 2:53 p.m. the department was called to a third accident on Route 2. The chief, six firefighters, and a recruit responded to the station; four firefighters went to the scene. The Harvard ambulance took one passenger to the hospital. The car was towed. And at 2:57 p.m. the department received a box alarm from one of the buildings wired into the Harvard alarm system. The three firefighters waiting at the station responded to the Ayer Road building. There was no sign of fire or smoke, and there was also no sign that the box had sent the signal.

Friday, July 27
The Police Department called the Fire Department at 8:16 a.m. to assist with a medical emergency in the Delaney Wildlife Management Area on Finn Road. Harvard police—on foot—located the patient. Harvard and Stow firefighters secured the patient in a Stokes basket, and the Stow responders drove the patient to the conservation land parking area in their pickup truck. The patient was transferred to the Harvard ambulance and taken to the hospital. The four Harvard firefighters were back at the station two hours later. At 3 p.m. Lt. Perry and Lt. Warren tested and qualified a firefighter to drive Engine 4. At 3:40 p.m. Engine 4, with three firefighters aboard, diverted to a Depot Road residence when the owner called to report a problem with smoke detectors. The detectors had already been reset when the firefighters arrived; they advised the owner to clean the detectors. Two firefighters and the forestry truck were at the town beach from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. during the beach bonfire. And at 10:13 p.m. eight firefighters and two recruits responded for a car crash on Route 2 eastbound between Jackson and Ayer roads. Two passengers refused to be taken to the hospital. The firefighters waited until the car was towed.

Sunday, July 29
Between 8 and 11 a.m. two firefighters tested and qualified two other firefighters to drive Engine 2 and the tanker.

Monday, July 30
Four firefighters responded to a report of a possible brush fire on Route 2 westbound between Ayer and Jackson roads at 9:49 a.m. Lt. Perry was close to Route 2 at the time and went directly to the scene while the other firefighters waited at the station. He saw the smoke, which was at the train tracks under the highway, and there was a train parked on the tracks. Perry called the railroad company, which confirmed the train was stationary and “smoking.” Perry cancelled the other firefighters. At 4:11 p.m. three firefighters went to assist a Shaker Road resident who came home to find smoke detectors sounding. There was no sign of smoke or fire, but the firefighters did find and remove two faulty detectors. They advised the homeowner to replace the units. And at 6:35 p.m. a CO detector activated at a Finn Road home; four firefighters and one recruit responded. The detector stopped sounding before the department arrived. The firefighters checked the house with the handheld gas meter; all readings were normal.

Tuesday, July 31
At 3:22 p.m. the department was dispatched to a vehicle fire on Route 2 eastbound. Five firefighters and the chief responded. They found a small passenger bus on the side of the highway; the passengers had put out a small fire using the fire extinguisher on board. The firefighters stayed on scene to ensure everyone’s safety until a new bus arrived. They were back at the station at 4:45 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 1
At 8:15 a.m. the department received a report of a gas leak in a house on Still River Depot Road. Six firefighters responded. The contractor working at the vacant house reported the leak, shut off the gas, and ventilated the building before the firefighters arrived. They checked the house with the handheld gas meter; all readings were clear. Ultimately they found a gas line that had been damaged during renovations. At the Wednesday evening training, two members of the District 8 Technical Rescue Team spoke about what the technical rescue team does (structural collapse, trench rescues, large animal rescue, and swift water rescue, among others). The chief, 16 firefighters, and four recruits attended the meeting.

Fire Department Factoid

The department has just added silver bars to the sleeves of the firefighters’ Class A dress uniforms. Each silver bar represents five years of service. These bars are not to be confused with the bands that go around the sleeves of the officers’ uniforms. The chief’s uniform has five gold bands on each sleeve; the deputy chief’s has four gold band;, and the lieutenant’s has one silver band.

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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