Monday, October 30, 2017

Photo of the Day: October 30, 2017

Photo Of The Day & Then Some

By Staff Writer, Brian E. Clark

The photo today shows Middletown's Main Street Firehouse, or "Downtown" as it's known to the Firefighters. Middletown has 4 Fire Houses but under different leadership. Main Street, as shown here, Cross Street, (Also where Central Dispatch is located), South District, and Westfield. Typically, the "Trucks" are referred to as just that, "Fire trucks", but there is a difference. Engines, #1, #3, & #4 as shown here, are referred to as "Engine's". Their purpose is to actually put out the fire. When they roll up to a fire, they'd first stop at the nearest fire hydrant, where a 5" supply hose is wrapped around the hydrant and a Firefighter stays at the hydrant. As the Engine Drives towards the fire, the hose comes off the back. Engine's typically have a 500-750 Gallon Water tank on board, which lets the remaining 2 Firemen grab tools and an "attack line" (Usually 1.5inches) and begin to fight the fire, while the Hydrant Operator connects the 5" line to supply the truck with water. The Driver is typically a pump Operator and would control the water flow, which could very well supply the Firefighters making the initial attack, and other Trucks, and Engines that arrive as well. In a textbook situation, there would be a driver/ pump operator, an Officer, for Command, and 2-3 Firefighters on an Engine. Each Department is different.
Middletown Fire Department's Engine's 1,3, & 4

A Firefighter Tests The Hurst Tool
A "Truck" is typically reserved for a Ladder/ Tower Truck, and Rescue & Other Specialized Units. Firefighters typically are one or the other, either they are what is termed as "Hose Jockeys" for those that work on Engine's, Pumper's & Tankers. And there are what are referred to as "Truckie's" for those that work on Ladder/ Rescue, and other Specialized Units. Ladder/ Tower Trucks typically also have a small water tank on board, but they typically rely on being supplied either by a hydrant, or other Engine. Firefighters that are "Truckie's" have the most dangerous job, in my opinion (Also, because I was one) because when they arrive at a fire, a team goes into the structure (If deemed safe enough; In other words doesn't appear as it would collapse) and conducts search & rescue for victims, typically with no water. Ladder/ Tower & Rescue Trucks also have the thermal imaging cameras, and the "Jaws of Life", otherwise known as the Hurst Tool. (Shown here) Uniquely, Middletown does have a Heavy Rescue Truck, but it also does have the Hurst tool on all of its Engine's. For a Fire Department, not only is that unique, it's amazing.

All Middletown Firefighters are trained at the Connecticut State Fire Academy, in Windsor Locks, and also every Firefighter is a certified Emergency Medical Technicians. The Department responds to all Medical Calls that come into 911. While you'd think Hunter's Ambulance is contracted with the City to cover us, they are not under any contract, and respond only if an Ambulance is available, and being based in Meriden, their response times are questionable. But that is a topic for another article. Being that is the circumstance we find ourselves in, the Middletown Fire Department, as well as South District and Westfield are extremely instrumental in our community's safety.

Though this started as a Photo of The Day, the Fire Service is dear to my heart, as I graduated the Fire Academy in 1999. Unfortunately, the events of September 11th ended my desire to serve in that capacity, but the Fire Service is a brotherhood, and it's a peice of me that will never fade. Thank you to the Middletown Fire Department for their service and dedication to the City of Middletown.
(All Photo's By Brian E. Clark)

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