It is important to make sure that the entire family is prepared and informed in the event of a disaster or emergency. You may not always be together when these events take place and should have plans for making sure you are able to contact and find one another.
The American Red Cross suggests some basic steps to make sure you remain safe:
• Meet with your family or household members.
Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play.
• Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.
• If a family member is in the military, plan how you would respond if they were deployed.
Plan what to do in case you are separated during an emergency:
• Choose two places to meet:
Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire.
Outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.
• Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. It may be easier to text or call long distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing or saved on their cell phones. Read More
The 2014-15 school year is underway! With the start of school comes extra foot, car and bus traffic. Be prepared to leave earlier and slow your commute in the morning and afternoon hours. Be aware of children waiting at bus stops, walking along roadways and at crosswalks. Be extra cautious at the crosswalk in front of the fire department, where children are crossing and traffic is turning in/out to access the school. SLOW DOWN when entering this area! If you are approaching or following a school bus, pay attention! School bus drivers will turn on flashing amber lights 100 – 300 feet in advance, to warn traffic that the bus is preparing to stop on the road to load or unload children. Drivers should get ready to stop. Remember that you cannot pass a school bus when the red lights are flashing! Let’s keep our children safe this year! All it takes is awareness and patience!
Emergency Medical Service 25
Hazardous Condition 2
Service Call 6
Good Intent 6
No Emergency Found 0
False Alarm 0
Station and Grounds:
• Several of our volunteers rebuilt and installed the new Fire Danger sign next to the station.
• The district is working on bids to upgrade and install more efficient lighting inside, as well as add some exterior lighting for safety of our responders.
• The red Suburban (previously C450) has been re-numbered U458 and is being used to transport students to class and for response by our duty shift officers.
• The new C450 is a few steps closer to being finished. All the lights have been installed and the wiring is in progress. Construction of a tool mounting system is underway for the rear storage tray.
• Repairs to Water Tender 452 last month included some light bulbs and a transmission filter seal kit. The district is looking to update the filter assembly to ease maintenance and prevent further fluid leak issues.
• 41 total calls for July.
• Volunteer totals are nine active firefighters, three Officers, two Officers in training, two emergency logistics, and one non-emergency logistics.
• Crews attended a day out at Echoing Evergreens Day Camp.
• Crews worked with Metro West personnel through Jamboree.
• The volunteer association held its annual golf benefit at the Vernonia Golf Club.
• The station hosted National Night Out.
• WT452 was one of several Columbia County apparatus’ called in to duty at the Rowena conflagration fire from early August 6th to late August 9th. The task force performed duties from structural triage and burn preparation to front line defense of the advancing flames.
It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally we do have major events such as fire, emergency rescue and EMS calls in our area. The problem that we seem to have when one of these events occur is an adequate number of personnel to respond.
On August 9th there was a significant motor vehicle crash on Stoney Pt. Road. This day happened to be one of those days where the only volunteer immediately available for VRFPD was the duty officer. The training kicked in and the officer radioed in for assistance from both Scappoose Fire and Mist-Birkenfeld Fire. A few of our volunteers were able make it to the call with a delay due to their immediate availability, and we also had an off duty Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue Firefighter assist as well.
The extrication, although lengthy, was a success and the patient was transported by Life Flight in stable condition. Given the circumstances, the outcome was a positive one.
VRFPD pays one person to make sure that the trucks can roll, that at least one rescue personnel will respond to the call and to organize the scene. Unavailability is becoming more common among the few fire volunteers that we do have. They are busy working two jobs, attending their children’s activities, taking care of household chores, and spending what little time that they have left over with family. Their demanding schedules make it difficult, and at times impossible, to stop what they are doing and provide service for another in need. During the week, the majority of the volunteers are out of town. Some have a condensed work week and may have availability to respond some days, if they are not already overwhelmed with the list of things they need to get done when they are home. But like the majority of the working population in Vernonia, our volunteers don’t return back into town until the evening.
The nine active volunteer firefighters that currently provide service to the community within the Vernonia Rural Fire Protection District, work tirelessly to keep up to date on training, respond to calls and community events, all while trying to maintain a personal life. Currently, five volunteer duty officers take turns working shifts each weeknight and weekends. With summer in full swing and school rapidly approaching, time for these volunteers gets stretched pretty thin.
The fact is your fire district needs help filling the gaps in response time. With the volunteer’s overflowing schedules, it is evident that there is a need for more personnel. This will better the odds that more than one responder will be available for your emergencies. The time to discuss the importance of the fire department in the community, and how responders can better serve you is now.
In these days of electronic media, we find ourselves more and more in the spotlight. The public servants are constantly under the scrutiny of the masses. It seems that it is a race to see who can get the best or first picture/video of any event that happens. While everyone has the right to freedom of speech, where is the line drawn?
If the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” was followed, we may not find ourselves in this situation. Patients may not want their picture taken or due to age should not have their picture taken. Would you like anyone to have pictures of you or your loved ones, in what are usually the most challenging of moments in life, or sometimes even death?
The emergency responders have tasks that need to be completed. Among them are scene safety and security, patient care, and documenting the event. One problem lies within scene security and the protection of our patients. We have had an increasing issue lately with people wanting to “help” or just get through. Our fire district struggles to produce the number of personnel to properly mitigate most scenes. It has become logistically harder to control with bystanders trying to drive through or walk into the emergency scene just to see what is going on and who is involved. We understand that you might know who is involved, but the best thing you can do is keep clear so the first responders can do their jobs. Please understand when you do try to “help,” all you are really doing is “helping” to hinder the current level of care to a patient, or worse, create a safety hazard by distracting workers on scene. For every person that tries to insert themselves into a scene, one of the first responders cannot help the people that really need it. Read More
Nov. 22- Donation Barrels Out
Dec. 14- Application Deadline
Dec. 20- Toy Wrapping, 6-9pm
Dec. 21- Toy Wrapping, 9am-finished
Dec. 23- Toy Delivery
Applications are available at Sentry, City Hall and the Library as well as online on the Toy & Joy Facebook page (www.facebook.com/vernonia.toyjoy), or our website (www.vernoniafire.us). Completed applications may be dropped off in the red mailbox in front of the Vernonia Fire Station. Community members are welcome and encouraged to help our elves on wrapping days. Contact Becky Carlton (503-791-3994) to volunteer your time or if you have any other Toy & Joy questions.