Archived News 2011 and 2010
RFD Issues New Patch
A new patch for the Rehoboth Fire Department has been created in memory of the late Ken Marshall, Jr, age 33, the first firefighter to die while on duty in Rehoboth history.
Firefighters Attend MedFlight Overview
Four members of the Rehoboth Fire Department attended a Safety and Operations Overview at the Boston MedFlight hanger located at Plymouth airport on Saturday, February 12 to review the six dedicated landing zone locations in Rehoboth and refresh procedures for take off and landings as well as safe operations around aircraft.
When a Medflight is called, the fire department's primary responsibility is for the safety and security of the landing zone for the duration of the incident. Medflight operates three rotor wing aircraft, one fixed wing Citation jet and two ground ambulances that are virtually mobile intensive care units.
Rehoboth is fortunate enough to be close to the trauma center at Rhode Island Hospital by ground ambulance and only needs Medflight's services about once a year.
Boston MedFlight, an accredited critical care transport service, transports emergency patients regardless of their ability to pay and is financially supported in part by a consortium of Boston hospitals .For over 25 years, Boston MedFlight has played an integral role as part of the Massachusetts EMS system and the community hospitals of New England.
Although the fire was quickly knocked down it had extended into the walls, ceiling and stairway. An extensive overhaul was started and all hidden pockets of fire were exposed and extinguished. The fire was brought under control in about 20 minutes and declared out in an hour.
Rehoboth fire investigators determined the cause of the fire to be arcing wires in the dryer.
The fire created a traffic nightmare during early evening rush hour when Rehoboth Police shut down Route 44 from Route 118 to Williams Stret due to fire apparatus placed in the road and for the safety of the firefighters.
Firefighters were also provided with rehab by Rehoboth EMS and Rehoboth Rescue. One firefighter was treated and released at the scene. The last unit cleared the scene at 6:15 pm and police re-opened Route 44.
All RFD Companies Respond to House Fire on Winthrop Street
All of Rehoboth's fire companies were dispatched to a reported structure fire at 225 Winthrop Street when a call came in from the homeowner Robert Boler via 911 around 4 pm.
Boler who was asleep when the fire broke out awoke to heavy smoke and attempted to extinguish the fire himself but was driven out. Mr. Boler runs an antique business on the same property in a separate building. However the home also contained antiques and the dollar loss is expected to be high.
First arriving firefighters reported smoke showing from a 1 1/2 story wood frame structure. Seconds later a working fire was declared bringing automatic station coverage from Norton and Swansea. Firefighters brought a hoseline in through a doorway on the side of the building and entered the kitchen area where they were met with heavy smoke and flames under a stairway.
Rehoboth House Fire on Holly Lane
Rehoboth firefighters battled a structure fire on Holly Lane Saturday after responding to a 911 call from the homeowner reporting a chimney fire.
The first arriving crew discovered the attic charged with heavy smoke and a fire in the basement. It took approximately 10 minutes to get the fire under control but the extensive overhaul due to the location of the fire took over an hour.
The fire was traced to a wood burning fireplace in the living room. The family chose to spend the night with relatives due to the smoke damage. There were no injuries and crews cleared the scene in two and a half hours. Norton and Swansea provided station coverage.
Rehoboth firefighters deal with trash truck fire on 12/13
Plain St. Trash Truck Fire Under Investigation
Rehoboth firefighters were dispatched to a report of a truck fire on Plain Street on Monday, December 13 that remains under investigation.
Battalion Chief Noons arrived on scene and reported a fully involved commercial trash truck parked close to a building. With Station #3 already handling another call, Stations #1 & #2 responded.
The fire presented several challenges including accessing the steel box part of the truck that was loaded with trash. Firefighters placed several ladders on the truck and cut holes in the steel to access the fire. Water was supplied by tanker trucks that were reloaded from the water hole at Station #3.
Firefighters were on scene for close to two hours due to the extensive overhaul that was needed to completely extinguish the fire. Firefighters were assisted on scene by Rehoboth EMS for rehab and Rescue 7 with their light tower.
Firefighters from MA and RI Train in Rehoboth for RIT
(November 18, 2010) Over forty firefighters from Rehoboth were joined by firefghters from Bristol RI, Charlestown RI, N. Attleboro, Seekonk and W. Bridgewater for Rapid Intervention Team training at Rehoboth's Station #3.
Rapid Intervention or RIT teams are deployed most commonly whenever firefighters are operating in burning structures. Their sole resposibility it the rescue of trapped, downed or lost firefighters should this occur during an incident.
During the intensive three day course firefighters refreshed their skills while learning new techniques for saving themselves and other firefighters. After a three hour class room session the firefighters spent the duration of the next day and a half performing practical evolutions Some of the evolutions included rescues from basements, upper floors and confined spaces.
The Rehoboth Fire Department continually provides the most progressive and up to date training for its members and shares that knowledge with brother and sister firefighters whenever possible.
life safety, search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply, pump operation, and fire attack. Fire attack operations range from mailbox fires to multiple-floor or multiple room structural fires.
Upon successful completion of the Call/Volunteer Firefighter Training program, these firefighters are now eligible to take an examination for certification to the level of Firefighter I or II by the Massachusetts Fire Training Council.
Members of the volunteer RFD attend the Academy on their own time while continuing to work their regular full-time jobs. Completing the Academy is a monumental physical and mental achievement. The RFD command staff and members commend the three new firefighters for a job “well done.”
AERIAL LADDERS TRAINING
(October 26, 2010) The Rehoboth fire department hosted a Massachusetts Fire Academy class on aerial ladders the weekend of October 23rd & 24th. Firefighters from Rehoboth, Berkley, Fall River, Wareham and West Barnstable spent two days refreshing and honing there skills on the safe and proficient operation of aerial apparatus. The Academy provides training to fire departments in the Commonwealth at no charge.
NEW GRADUATE FIREFIGHTERS
(July 15, 2010) On Monday, June 28, State Fire Marshall Steven Coan presented certificates of completion to 41 graduates of Academy Class #31 that included Frank Cardoza, Wayne Fuller and Ben Lewin of the RFD.
The Academy started in late January with classes held on Monday and Wednesday nights as well as some Saturdays through the end of June.
Students receive classroom training in basic firefighter skills and practice first under non-fire conditions, and then controlled fire conditions. To graduate, students must demonstrate proficiency in
Left to right: LT. Paul Magan, Asst. Chief Frank Barresi, Firefighter Derick Carey and LT. Chris Botelho
Four Rehoboth Firefighters Train for Dire Crash Events
(November 9, 2010) Four members of the Rehoboth Fire Department attended training in advanced vehicle extrication, stabilization and lifting techniques on Saturday November 6th at Chris' Service Center in Walpole.
The training was sponsored by Firematic Supply Inc. along with fire departments in from four New England states. Firefighters spent the day going through several difficult crash scenarios involving everything from cars to school buses to boats. Emphasis was placed on the proper stabilization of vehicles in precarious positions and the proper way to lift these vehicles to rescue trapped occupants.
Over the two days the program was run more than 80 firefighters from as far away as Waterbury Ct. and Ossipee NH were in attendance.
Recent Gift from Walmart
(November 9, 2010) The Rehoboth Fire Department was the recent recipient of a $500 gift from Walmart that was presented at last week’s Rehoboth Board of Selectman meeting. As part of their corporate giving program, Walmart has awarded this gift to the RFD annually. The funds will be used by the department for public safety efforts.
THE “NEW” LADDER NUMBER 1
(April 2, 2010) The RFD’s search for a replacement for Ladder 1 was recently completed. A 1986 Emergency One aerial was located in the Township of Hamilton, Mays Landing New Jersey. The department there had recently acquired a new truck through a new major development project.
The apparatus came with several options that are a major improvement over the 31 year old ladder truck we were using. Some of the options include a 4 inch pre-piped water way, breathing air supplied to the tip, 110 volt electrical connections to the tip, a 110 foot ladder, a short wheelbase which assists in navigating Rehoboth’s narrow roads and driveways and a jacking system that allows the truck to operate in tight quarters.
Other than the benefits to our firefighters to safely and effectively protect the citizens of Rehoboth, the cost effective benefits to our citizens was phenomenal. This apparatus has a value of approximately $100,000. It was acquired for $10,000 and the trade of the former Engine 3, a 21 year old class “B” truck. When the truck was sent out for a safety check and certification our vendors were awestruck on the excellent condition it presented in.
Kudos to Chief Pray and Deputy Chief Parker for their tireless efforts in bringing this apparatus into our fleet. We would also like to recognize Firefighters Derrick Carey and Chris Darling for volunteering their time to drive the truck up from New Jersey. The “new” Ladder 1 was placed into service on March 7, 2009.
LOOKING BACK ON THE GREAT FLOOD of 2010
During a continuous 36-hour period, the department responded to 338 requests for assistance to residents with water emergencies. At one point during the period the department had nine crews out handling these emergencies for 36 hours straight. Additionally, responses to water emergencies continued for a week after the rain had stopped.
The Department would like to thank the several businesses in town who offered food and refreshments during the period. Here are only some of the many stories involved in responding to 338 requests for assistance over a 36-hour period:
Two people and their dog were rescued from the raging waters of the Palmer River. The couples’ dog had been swept away by the river and they went after it in a small boat.
A police officer controlling traffic at Route 44 and the Palmer River witnessed the couple go into the water and immediately radioed for help. Using the department’s new ladder truck and personnel in survival suits, the couple and dog were successfully rescued from the river.
There were two responses to possible fires within structures.
Firefighters along with Attleboro Rescue #1 responded to an EMS call while Rehoboth EMS crews were handling other calls for assistance.
Crews responded to a Hazardous Material spill.
Crews responded to an electrical emergency at a commercial business on Route 44. The electrical service for the business was about to become submerged. National Grid crews also responded to the scene.
Firefighters along with Police officers conducted a voluntary evacuation of homes along the Palmer River. Rehoboth Emergency Management opened a shelter at the Beckwith School.
RFD HOSTS FIRE ACADEMY
(May 26, 2010) Over twenty firefighters from Rehoboth, Dighton, Fall River, Newton, Wareham, and Westport participated in a May 22 and 23 weekend Massachusetts Fire Academy course of vehicle extrication.
Firefighters honed their extrication skills while learning new techniques for assisting victims of auto crashes. They also received updates on new vehicle construction and technology including how to overcome the new composites used in these vehicles. The Department thanks American Auto Auction and Manny’s Auto for donating vehicles for the practical portion of the course.
ICE RESCUE DRILL PREPARES FIREFIGHTERS
(February 8, 2010) On a cold, sunny winter day, members of the Rehoboth Fire Department participated in an ice rescue drill on Sunday, February 7 to practice the variety of skills needed to rescue people who have fallen through ice.
From throwing rescue devices to people in distress to drafting water through ice, officers working on all aspects of ice rescue including the proper use of cold water suits, incident command and coordination.
Homeowner Trying to Thaw Frozen Pipe Ignites Fire
On Sunday January 23rd, the Rehoboth Fire Department responded to a 911 report of a basement fire at 6 Broad Street. First arriving units reported smoke coming from the sill board in the basement.
Firefighters had to remove siding and a couple of rows of singles from the exterior of the home to expose and extinguish the fire. It appeared the homeowner was attempting to thaw a frozen pipe and accidentally ignited the fire.
One resident was treated and released on the scene by Rehoboth EMS. Rehoboth police closed Broad Street from Route 44 to River Street until fire apparatus cleared the scene.
L to R: Lt. Jeff Rutko, Asst. Chief Frank Barresi, Firefighter Jay Hilsman, and Lt. Dan Noons
RFD Assists in Brimfield
(June 3, 2011) Members of the Rehoboth Fire Department were activated on Thursday to assist in the town of Brimfield after a powerful tornado touched down there on Wednesday afternoon.
Chief Pray and five firefighters were dispatched as part of the State Fire Mobilization Plan through a Bristol County Structural Task Force, responding along with crews from Attleboro, Berkley, Norton, Raynham, Seekonk, and Taunton.
The town of Brimfield suffered the effects of a powerful tornado that touched down through an approximately 5-10 square mile area. Shortly after arriving at the staging area, the task force was assigned to a search and rescue mission in the hardest hit areas of the town.
With roads impassable, firefighters navigated on foot carrying tools through downed trees and power lines to search homes and neighborhoods for any missing or trapped occupants and check on the well being of those who rode out the storm.
According to Chief Pray, the some areas of hilly Brimfield were devastated with roadways being completely filled with fallen trees and debris.
The destruction they witnessed was unprecedented. The task force was on the scene for twelve hours before being released. Chief Pray commanded one half of the task force that was split up to quickly cover more area. No firefighters were injured and crews returned to Bristol County at 6 PM.
RFD helped search homes in Brimfield following devastating tornados on Wednesday, June 1.
Rehoboth Fire Chief Pray and members of the Task Force searching an area of Brimfield, MA.
Rehoboth Firefights Recognized by Selectmen
(June 30, 2011) On Monday, June 27, the Rehoboth Board of Selectmen recognized the Rehoboth Fire Department for their continual aggressive pursuit to offer their volunteer firefighters the best and most comprehensive training available.
Rehoboth’s department has a wide reputation as second to none within the realm of fire service training in Massachusetts. That is one of the reasons, the RFD is called by other Massachusetts communities to provide assistance during fire and other emergencies. Just a month ago, the department was called in to help following the tornados in the western part and drove immediately to Brimfield to help with search and rescue as part of the Bristol County Structural Task Force.
Over the last six months, several members of the RFD completed training courses and were presented with certificates at the board of selectmen’s meeting by Chief Robert Pray and Assistant Chief Frank Barresi. The courses were hosted in Rehoboth for the Massachusetts Fire Academy and provided free of charge through the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.
Four members of the department completed the course to become fire training instructors (fire instructor I) including Asst. Chief Barresi and firefighters Mike Bourdeau, Frank Cardoza and Steven Chobanian.
The FII course requires firefighters to spend 35 hours in classroom time culminating in a practical examination. Major subjects covered include the preparation, delivery, application and evaluation of training material. Also covered is the study of the learning process, methods of instruction, legal issues, the learning environment and safety in training. At the end of the program students must give an 8-12 minute presentation in front of a member of the certification group to pass the practical exam using Powerpoint, chart pads and their personal knowledge of the assigned subject. Those who pass the practical exam are elegible to sit for the Pro-board written exam.
For the second time, the RFD hosted the Massachusetts Fire Academy’s Tactics and Strategy course. An eight-hour classroom portion covers subjects including fire control, building construction, water supply, resource management, incident command and life safety hazards.
The course concluded with a day spent in the MFA’s $500,000 state-of-the-art simulator acquired with a grant through the Department of Homeland Security.
Students were assigned to laptops throughout the 53’ converted moving van and are put through various simulated fire and incidents. Instructors can change the scenarios as the students deal with the incident.
The Rehoboth firefighters completing the second hosting of this course were: Capt. Jeff Rassol, Lt. Chris Botelho, Lt. Dan Noons, Lt. Jeff Rutko, Lt. Paul Magan, Lt. Scott Wentwort and firefighters frank Cardoza, Jay Hilsman, Ben Lewin, John Paille, Josh Pyron, Dave Vickey and Taylor Withers.
Following the presentation of certificates, another member of the RFD, Lt. Randy Larrabee spoke before the selectmen with news about the department’s ongoing SAFE fire safety awareness program at Palmer River School. Larrabee announced winners of the annual SAFE poster contest for each grade. Sudents create artwork based on the fire safety curriculum for their grade. Larrabee thanked two Palmer River teachers, art teacher for the assistance they provided to the children in preparing their posters, art teacher Acacia Pappas and computer teacher Laura Schwall.
Six Rehoboth Firefighters Graduate from Academy
(July 11, 2011) Six Rehoboth firefighters graduated from recruit Class #036 of the Massachusetts Fire Academy on Tuesday, June 28 at Durfee High School in Fall River with guest speaker State Fire Marshall Steven Coan. Rehoboth Fire Chief Bob Pray represented the Fire Chiefs of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Fire Training Council. Rehoboth & Seekonk Fire Chaplain John Amaral delivered the opening and closing blessings.
The six graduates began their training, all on their own time, in January at the Fall River Fire Academy. Over the weeks and months that followed they attended over 200 hours of classroom and practical training at night and on Saturdays while working their regular full-time jobs. Their level of commitment to the department and the community is astounding.
The firefighters completed the program with certifications as Firefighter I & II. Areas of study included fire ground operations, search and rescue, pumping, ladders, ropes and knots, interior fire attack, hose and nozzle operations, hazardous materials response along with a number of other subjects.
The training is provided to cities and towns free of charge through the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services and the RFD provides turnout gear and texts. The new graduates will continue their training in their assigned stations.
The graduates are, David Auguiar, Justin Garnett, Richard Gozalez, Shane Joachim, Sean Lambert and John Sulyma. Congratulations to all.
Pictured L to R: Chaplain John Amaral, Chief Bob Pray, David Auguiar, Rich Gonzalez, John Sulyma, Justin Garnett and Asst. Chief Frank Barresi
Rehoboth Firefighters and Family Members Attend 9/11 Memorial Ceremony in Boston
(September 18, 2011) Rehoboth firefighter Ken Marshall, Jr. was remembered on September 11, 2011 when over 40 firefighters along with family members and friends attended the Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony held at Ashburton Park behind the Massachusetts State House.
Firefighters marched in procession from the Boston common to the State House. Leading the procession were 343 firefighters carrying helmets in honor of the firefighters who died in New York City ten years ago. Approximately another 300 firefighters followed them into the park.
A brick with the name of fallen Rehoboth firefighter Ken Marshall Jr. was dedicated in the "Ring of Honor" at the memorial. Several speakers, including Governor Deval Patrick and State Fire Marshal Steven Coan, honored the state's firefighters including Marshall who died in the line of duty last Thanksgiving night.
Following the ceremony, Rehoboth firefighters and several members of Marshall family gathered around the brick in the memorial to reflect and remember. It proved to be an emotionally-charged day for all who attended. Those who attended would like to thank RFD Chief Pray and the Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters Memorial Board of Directors for doing such a fine job.
Rehoboth firefighters assembled on the Boston Common before marching in procession to the State House for the Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony held on September 11.
Firefighters and family members at the site of the brick placed in the “Ring of Honor” in memory of Rehoboth’s Ken Marshall, Jr. at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial.
Rehoboth Firefighter Larrivee Honored
(October 1, 2011) Lt. Randy Larrivee of the Rehoboth Fire Department was honored at the 17th annual state Fire and Safety Public Education Conference held in Westford recently.
Larrivee was one of six firefighters from across Massachusetts to be honored as a fire safety educator at the two-day conference that included training and skills development in 30 workshops and four general sessions presented by 41 speakers.
His dedication and commitment to the children and community of Rehoboth has been outstanding. He has initiated a number of safety programs, including using the fire safety house, fire prevention, and ice safety. Most notable is his ability to spark students’ interest and creative spirit. The success of his programming and dedication is evident in the interest and desire of his students to share their ideas and experiences regarding fire safety.
Rehoboth school children look forward to his visits and programs with a renewed sense of helping each other and the community. He willingly gives countless hours of his own time to spread fire safety to children whether it is having lunch with them, reading, or presenting in the classroom. With limited resources, he has maximized his time and availability to ensure that students are provided with the best fire and life safety program possible. Both adults and students appreciate his spirit of generosity.
Firefighter Ken Marshall Remembered
November 23, 2011 - At Monday night’s selectmen’s meeting, a special presentation was made by members of the Rehoboth Fire Department.
In a brief but moving ceremony, Rehoboth Fire Chief Robert Pray and Chaplain John Amaral presented portraits to all three station captains. in honor of thirty-three-year old firefighter Ken Marshall Jr. who suffered cardiac arrest and died while on duty last Thanksgiving. Marshall’s parents and several firefighters were also present to mark the first anniversary of the young firefighter’s sudden death. The portraits are copies of the ones that were presented to the Marshall family at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland in October when Marshall's name was added to the rolls of the Nation's fallen firefighters.
The portraits will be hung in the town's three fire stations as a permanent reminder of Marshall, a third-generation firefighter who will also be honored posthumously on November 30 at the upcoming 22nd Annual “Firefighter of the Year” awards held in Worcester.
Marshall’s grandfather George “Rab” Wetherall was a 30-year veteran of the fire department, his father Ken Sr. served for 20 years and his brother Jon, a 10-year veteran, is currently a firefighter in the Rehoboth department.
Car Crash on Mason Street
December 8, 2011 - On Tuesday, December 6, Rehoboth public safety personnel responded to a motor vehicle crash on Mason Street in Rehoboth. A vehicle had struck and snapped a pole and the two occupants were transported to Rhode Island hospital by Rehoboth EMS with non-life threatening injuries. Firefighters remained on scene until the vehicle was towed and National Grid arrived to replace the pole. Mason Street was closed for approximately an hour while the victims and the vehicle were removed. The accident remains under investigation by Rehoboth Police.
RFD Recieves SAFE Grants
December 8, 2011 - Fire Chief Robert Pray annnounced to selectman on December 6 that his department has received a $4,655 grant for the Student Awareness of Fire Education (SAFE) program that is provided at Rehoboth schools and coordinated by Lt. Randy Larrivee.