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December 2009

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 288 emergency incidents during the month of December including 38 box alarms and 250 still alarms.

The Department responded to 4 mutual aid requests during December, three times to Saugus and once to Melrose. The department received mutual aid twice during the month of December, once each from Stoneham and Lynnfield.

Wakefield Engine 2, under the command of Lieutenant Steven Kessel, assisted the Melrose Fire Department at a second alarm house fire at 30 Brazil Street at noon on December 6, 2009. A crew from Engine 2 under the command of Lieutenant Kevin Carney responded to a second alarm house fire at 82 Golden Hills Road in Saugus during the morning of December 18, 2009. Wakefield also assisted Saugus during a stubborn second alarm roof fire at the Resco Incinerator facility at 100 Salem Parkway during the early morning hours of December 21, 2009.

All duty shifts conducted quarterly fire inspections of all nursing homes, hotels, lodging houses, and schools during the month of December. All groups also reviewed and practiced ice rescue procedures.

The four laid off firefighters from Fall River and New Bedford that were hired in September have been recalled by their respective departments as a result of federal stimulus money and a new list of firefighter candidates from the local residential list has been requested from Civil Service. The four vacancies, with supplemental funding from a federal SAFER staffing grant, will be filled as soon as possible.

November 2009

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 261 emergency incidents during the month of November including 40 box alarms and 221 still alarms.

The Department responded to 8 mutual aid requests during November, three times to Melrose, twice to Saugus, twice to Lynnfield and once to Reading. The department received mutual aid four times during the month of November, three times from Lynnfield and once from Melrose. Wakefield engine two, under the command of Lieutenant Randy Hudson, assisted the Saugus Fire Department at a large brush fire in the conservation land between Summer and Central streets during the evening of November 9th. A crew from Engine two under the command of Lieutenant Robert Taggart responded to a garage fire on Central Avenue in Saugus on November 26th. Wakefield also covered vacant fire stations in Lynnfield and Reading during incidents in those communities.

The very popular fire safety house has returned to the schools with the Woodville, Odyssey, St. Joseph’s and Greenwood Schools receiving their programs during the first half of November. All duty shifts received continuing education programs on topics related to emergency medical care, including a 3 hour presentation on patients with Autism. The department received new batteries for its portable radios to replace the worn out ones currently being used.

The department worked closely with the Lynnfield Fire Department during an incident on Route 128 where a number of deer were struck and killed by a tractor trailer truck.

October 2009

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 266 emergency incidents during the month of October including 42 box alarms and 224 still alarms.

The Department responded to 6 mutual aid requests during October, twice to Melrose, twice to Saugus and once each to Lynn and North Reading. The department received mutual aid two times from Lynnfield during the month of October. Wakefield Engine 2, under the command of Lieutenant Randy Hudson, assisted the Saugus Fire Department at a large fire at the former Atlantic Lobster facility on Route 107 during the evening of October 8th. A crew from Engine 2 under the command of Acting Lieutenant Brian Purcell responded to a house fire on Central Street in Saugus on October 26th. Wakefield also covered vacant fire stations in Lynn and North Reading during serious fires in those communities.

All department duty shifts toured the new 28 unit apartment building recently completed at 600 Salem Street. All shifts also completed emergency medical training on various topics during October. The department participated in the town’s hazardous materials waste collection day on October 31st. The department took delivery of 3,000 feet of new four inch supply hose which was promptly loaded onto the three department pumpers to replace the old worn out hose. The entire department also began using their brand new firefighting coats and pants purchased under a federal FEMA grant and an allotment from the Capital Outlay account.

October is fire prevention month and the Wakefield Fire Department has been busy with many activities in the school community. The department participated in evacuation drills at the Nazareth Academy on Cordis Street on October 1st, the Dolbeare School on October 8th, the Walton and Wakefield high Schools on October 14th, and the Woodville School on October 20th. These drills are key to insuring a smooth evacuation in the event of an emergency preventing the return of the students to their respective schools and the cooperation of the school department in carrying these drills out is greatly appreciated. The very popular fire safety house has returned to the schools with the Walton and Dolbeare Schools receiving their programs during the last week of October. Children from Cantebury Children’s Center visited fire headquarters on October 6th and 7th and Greenwood School Kindergarten classes visited the Greenwood fire station on October 8th and 9th. Children from the North Suburban Family Network visited fire headquarters during the morning of October 17th.

The department responded to a potentially serious incident on October 20th at a new street named Carriage Lane when underground electrical lines were dug up, causing a power surge that heated up the wiring in several homes. Crews under the command of Captain Joseph Riley worked with Wakefield Municipal Light Department personnel to quickly bring the situation under control.

September 2009

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 258 emergency incidents during the month of September including 33 box alarms and 225 still alarms.

The Department responded to 2 mutual aid requests during September, once to Saugus and once to Melrose. The department received mutual aid three times, twice from Stoneham and once from Reading.

All department duty shifts conducted training at Howe’s tow yard on North Avenue on vehicle extrication techniques utilizing the “Jaws of Life” rescue tool, hydraulic cutting tools and rams, and the department’s air bags. All department vehicles successfully passed their annual state safety inspection during the month of September.

The Wakefield fire department increased its staffing level by four firefighters during the month of September, hiring four firefighters from the list of laid-off firefighters provided by Civil Service. Fall River firefighters Jonathan McElroy and Jean Pierre Lefleur and New Bedford firefighters Joseph Allen and Nathan Venancio were hired by the department and one firefighter was assigned to each group, bring the shift level on each group up to 12 firefighters. This staffing increase was made possible by a federal staffing grant obtained by the department earlier in the year. Wakefield has not seen a staffing level of 12 per shift for many years. The department was also able to benefit from the fact that all four firefighters had at least four years of experience and came to the department already academy trained.

The department responded to a potentially serious fire at the senior housing located in the former Lincoln School located at 26 Crescent Street during the early evening hours of September 10th. An accidental fire started in one of the lower level housing units operated by the Wakefield Housing Authority. Firefighters under the command of Captain Joseph Riley worked hard to contain the fire to the room of origin. Quick work by firefighters on scene prevented the fire, which started in a non-sprinklered portion of the building, from extending inside the concealed wall space and attic areas of this building. The room of origin was seriously damaged by fire and heat with considerable smoke damage sustained throughout the other four units of that section of the building. Four residents were displaced for several days during the clean up and the resident occupying the room of origin will be displaced until permanent repairs can be made to that room.

August 2009

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 258 emergency incidents during the month of August including 28 box alarms and 230 still alarms.

The Department responded to 5 mutual aid requests during August, two to Melrose, two to Lynnfield, and one to Reading. The department received mutual aid twice, once from Stoneham and once from Melrose.

The department conducted an annual pump test of all three of its fire department pumpers on August 6th. All three pumps successfully passed this important inspection. The 100 foot aerial ladder section for ladder 1 was extensively tested and passed inspection on August 19th. All fire department ground ladders also passed a rigorous inspection on August 20th.

Wakefield Firefighter Daniel Sullivan received a written department commendation for his actions in saving a chocking man at a Dedham restaurant on August 23rd. Firefighter Sullivan successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver on the man while off duty, clearing his airway prior to the arrival of the Dedham Fire Department.

July 2009

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 241 emergency incidents during the month of July including 35 box alarms and 206 still alarms.

The Department responded to 6 mutual aid requests during July, two to Stoneham, two to Saugus, one to Melrose and one to Lynnfield. The department received mutual aid once from Stoneham.

Quick work from Wakefield firefighters under the command of Captain David Myette prevented a dumpster fire from extending into the building located at 48 Water Street during the morning of July 5th. The dumpster was located immediately adjacent to the building and did considerable damage to the exterior siding of the building.

Wakefield Engine 2, stationed at the Greenwood fire station, responded to a 2nd alarm fire in a commercial building at 303 Main Street in Stoneham during the early morning hours of July 17th. A crew under Lt. Kessel assisted the Stoneham Fire Department at the scene. Engine 2 responded to a working fire at 260 Walnut Street in Saugus during the evening of July 22nd, where a crew under the direction of Acting Lt. Brian Purcell assisted the Saugus Fire Department.

The Department received a visit at the Public Safety Building from a group of Wakefield children attending the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office children’s safety academy on July 15th and the Wakefield Academy’s summer children’s program on July 29th.

June 2009

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 221 emergency incidents during the month of June including 26 box alarms and 195 still alarms.

The Department responded to 3 mutual aid requests during June, two to Melrose and one to Saugus. The department received mutual aid once from Lynnfield.

The Department responded to a serious motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Prospect and Brook streets during the afternoon of June 2nd that tragically claimed the life of a Stoneham man.

Wakefield Engine 2, stationed at the Greenwood fire station, responded to a house fire on Water Street in Saugus on June 27, 2009. A crew under Lt. Kevin Carney assisted the Saugus Fire Department at the scene.

All duty shifts received training from the MBTA on safety procedures related to emergencies involving commuter trains. All shifts also conducted quarterly fire prevention inspections of all school buildings, nursing homes, hotels and lodging houses during the month of June.

The Department visited the Dolbeare School on June 16th and the Woodville School June 19th to visit with the kindergarten and preschool children. The children assisted the firefighters in washing the fire trucks and thoroughly enjoyed the visits.

Wakefield Firefighters Jonathan P. Murphy and Christopher S. Sullivan successfully completed the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Recruit program on June 19, 2009. Firefighter Murphy has been assigned to Group 3 under Captain Richard Smith and Firefighter Sullivan has been assigned to Group 2 under Captain Joseph Riley.

May 2009

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 259 emergency incidents during the month of May including 31 box alarms and 228 still alarms.

The Department responded to 8 mutual aid requests during May, including three from Lynnfield, three from Stoneham, one from Reading and one from Saugus. The department received mutual aid six times in May, twice from Stoneham and once each from Reading, Lynnfield, Melrose, and North Reading.

The Department responded to a serious pedestrian accident in the parking lot of the Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational School during the afternoon of May 11th. Despite the efforts of numerous bystanders, the Wakefield Fire and Police Departments and Action Ambulance paramedics, a nineteen year old local woman died of injuries received from this incident.

Wakefield experienced its first multiple alarm fire of 2009 on Sunday May 17th when crews under the command of Captain David Myette and Lieutenant Kevin Carney responded to a report of a house fire at 30 Summer Street. The early morning fire in this two family residence heavily damaged the second floor apartment. Four residents were displaced as a result of this fire, which was accidentally caused by the careless disposal of smoking materials.

Crews under the command of Captain David Myette responded to a trailer fire involving road sealant on the morning of Monday May 18th at 40 Main Street, adjacent to Honey Dew Donuts. This fire was caused by a part failure in the propane powered heating system for the trailer with flames impinging upon a 100 pound propane cylinder for a short period before the fire was extinguished. A second vehicle fire at 28 Richardson Avenue was quickly extinguished during the early morning hours of May 19th by crews under the command of Lieutenant Kevin Carney. The circumstances surrounding this fire are under active investigation at this time.

Wakefield Engine 2, stationed at the greenwood fire station, responded to four serious out of town fires during the month of May. A crew under the command of Lieutenant Hudson responded to a two alarm house fire on Haverhill Street in Reading during the morning of May 11th. Lieutenant Kessel and his crew responded to a Saugus fire on May 20th involving a mobile home on Hawkes Street. The third fire occurred on May 23rd, with a crew under Lieutenant Hudson responding to a serious three alarm fire in an elderly housing facility on Parker Chase Road. The final mutual aid fire occurred on May 30th at a two alarm fire on Pomeworth Street in Stoneham which was handled by a crew under Lieutenant Kessel. The department also sent an engine to cover the vacant Lynnfield Fire Station during a structure fire in that town on May 4th.

All duty shifts received training on the compressed natural gas powered busses operated by the MBTA. All shifts also conducted fire boat drills at Lake Quannapowitt during the month of May. All four groups conducted a familiarization tour of the newly renovated restaurant Artichokes and the attached residential units in the building formerly occupied by the Wakefield YMCA.

The department finished its annual pressure testing of all fire department hose the first two Saturdays in May. This testing is important in that it picks up defects in hose and potential failures before they can cause a problem during a fire incident. The department participated in the annual Police memorial service for deceased officers on May 10th and the annual Memorial Day parade held on May 25th.

April 2009

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 237 emergency incidents during the month of April including 34 box alarms and 203 still alarms.

The Department responded to 4 mutual aid requests during April, including two to Melrose, one to Stoneham and one to Lexington. The department received mutual aid four times in April, three times from Stoneham and once from Melrose.

The Department responded to a serious car accident on the lower common near the intersection of Main and Salem Streets during the evening of April 14th. Firefighters under the command of Captain David Myette used the Jaws of Life to extricate the two vehicle occupants who sadly died of injuries sustained during the crash.

Wakefield Engine 2, stationed at the greenwood fire station, responded to two serious out of town fires during the month of April. The first was a two alarm house fire on Waterhouse Road in Stoneham during the morning of April 8th while the second occurred during the afternoon of April 18th at a two alarm house fire in Melrose. Wakefield Engine 2 was requested to respond to the community of Lexington as part of a mutual aid response to a large brush fire in that community on April 15th.

All duty shifts received training in the prevention of blood borne diseases during the month of April courtesy of the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Hygiene. All shifts also toured the water treatment facility on Broadway operated by the Wakefield Department of Public Works during the month of April. The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy conducted a training class on counter-terrorism on April 22nd at the Wakefield Public Safety Building. The crew of ladder one visited the Tall Spire nursery school on the mornings of April 15th and 16th to the delight of the children enrolled there.

The department started its annual pressure testing of all fire department hose the last two Saturdays in April with the remainder of the testing to be completed in May. This testing is important in that it picks up defects in hose and potential failures before they can cause a problem during a fire incident.

March 2009

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 223 emergency incidents during the month of March 2009 including 33 Box Alarms and 190 Still Alarms.

The Department responded to 7 mutual aid requests during March, including three to Melrose, two to Saugus, one to Lynnfield and one to Stoneham. The department received mutual aid one time in March from Stoneham.

The Department conducted ice rescue drills on Lake Quannapowitt as the winter ice pack broke up. Additional training included procedures for rescuing downed firefighters trapped in buildings. All nursing homes, schools, hotels, and boarding homes received a quarterly fire inspection during the month of March.

The Department responded to a serious car accident on Route 95 south at the 129 rotary during the early morning hours of March 1st. Sadly, one of the vehicle occupants was ejected from the car and lost his life. Firefighters under the command of Captain David Myette extinguished a garage fire on Millbrook Lane on March 7th. The fire was contained to the immediate area of origin in the garage but caused considerable smoke damage throughout the home. The cause of the fire was determined to be hot ashes improperly stored in plastic containers. A dryer fire on March 9th at 98 Woodland Avenue was extinguished quickly by firefighters under the command of Lieutenant Steven Kessel. This fire appears to have been caused by an accumulation of lint inside the dryer housing. This fire was contained to the dryer with significant smoke damage throughout the home. A second serious car accident occurred on Route 95 southbound at the Liberty Chevrolet dealership when a vehicle left the highway, rolling several times before striking a light pole and damaging several cars parked in the lot of the dealership. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in this accident.

Wakefield Engine 2, stationed at the greenwood fire station, responded to two serious out of town fires during the month of March. On March 25th, Firefighter Joseph Albert, assisted by Firefighter Joseph Nee and Lieutenant Steven Kessel, successfully rescued a dog from the second floor of a burning Melrose home in zero visibility conditions with the help of a thermal imaging camera. The dog was removed from the building and successfully resuscitated. Engine 2 and its crew of Lieutenant Steven Kessel, Firefighter Phil Rogers, and Firefighter Richard Cardavelli Jr. was again called into action at a house fire in Saugus on March 26th.

February 2009

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 195 emergency incidents during the month of February 2009 including 30 Box Alarms and 165 Still Alarms.

The department responded to 2 mutual aid requests during February, including one to Melrose and one to Reading. The department received mutual aid a total of five times in February, twice from Stoneham, once from Melrose and twice from Reading.

The department finished its bi-annual Emergency Medical Technician and First Responder re-certification training, including re-certification in CPR and the use of the cardiac defibrillators carried on all department apparatus.

Wakefield experienced several significant snow storms during the month of February. The department continues to be very busy handling the usual calls related to our cold weather, including heating system problems, carbon monoxide detector activations, and water problems related to frozen and burst water pipes.

The Department responded to a dryer fire at 2 Elm Street, the Crystal Coin-Op Laundry, during the early evening of February 10, 2009. The fire was contained to the dryer and contents but caused a considerable amount of smoke damage. The importance of mutual aid agreements with surrounding communities became evident once again as engines from Reading, Stoneham, and Melrose responded to numerous simultaneous calls during this incident including two calls for smoke in the house and one call for an automobile accident. Fortunately, none of these incidents turned out to be serious.

The Department of Emergency Management sponsored a training class for emergency shelter volunteers at the Wakefield High School on February 19, 2009. This program was taught by an instructor from the American Red Cross. A second component to this training will be offered during the evening of April 8th at the Wakefield High School. The training is free of charge to anyone interested in assisting in the operation of an emergency shelter.

January 2009

The Wakefield Fire Department responded to 263 emergency incidents during the month of January 2009 including 45 Box Alarms and 218 Still Alarms.

The department responded to 12 mutual aid requests during January, including four to Lynnfield, three to Melrose, two to Stoneham, two to Lynn, and one to North Reading. The department received mutual aid a total of four times in January, twice from Lynnfield, once from Melrose and once from Reading.

The department started its bi-annual Emergency Medical Technician and First Responder re-certification training, including re-certification in CPR and the use of the cardiac defibrillators carried on all department apparatus.

The department has been very busy during January handing the usual calls related to our cold weather including numerous calls for heating system problems, carbon monoxide detector activations, and water problems related to frozen and burst water pipes.

Wakefield Firefighter Richard R. Cardavelli retired from the Wakefield Fire Department on January 2, 2009 after serving the department for 26 years. A Wakefield native, Cardavelli was appointed a fulltime Permanent Firefighter on March 18, 1982. Firefighter Cardavelli was the senior firefighter assigned to Group 1 under Captain David E. Myette at the time of his retirement. We thank Rick for his service and wish him a happy and healthy retirement.

A heating problem in the early morning hours of January 1st almost forced the evacuation of the Harborside Healthcare Nursing Home. Fortunately, The Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department was able to get the heat back on quickly enough to head off the evacuation. The Wakefield Fire, Police and School departments, along with Action Ambulance and the MBTA worked well together in preparing a contingency plan to evacuate the more than 100 residents to the Wakefield High School and surrounding hospitals.

Wakefield experienced several significant snow and ice storms during the month of January. One particularly dangerous storm on the night of January 7th resulted in the department responding to 7 motor vehicle accidents in 45 minutes. Icy conditions from another storm on January 28th resulted in significant damage to Engine 4 when it skidded off New Salem Street into a concrete abutment during another busy night.

Wakefield Engine 2 responded out of town 12 times In January as surrounding communities experienced a number of serious fires. January 14th saw Engine two responded to two serious fires within hours of each other, the first at a commercial building at 221 Louis Street in Lynn and the second at a residence on Indian Lane in Melrose. Engine two supplied water at the Lynn fire scene for a number of hours and was the first out of town apparatus to arrive at the Melrose fire.

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