Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Check the FireCo calendar. There will be an IFSAC Instructor 1 class in February, and Firefighter 2 starts in March. You can sign up at the FireCo site.

Unchain your engines

The great majority of roads are now clear of excessive ice. Some are bare and dry. After you have taken the chains off, you may want to put them in a compartment so they are on board, just in case.

The House Stays

Unfortunately, the owners of the house being considered for live fire training next month have decided to reschedule the demolition.
On schedule is the building of the Saving Our Own prop (sign up on the calendar at http://www.firecotraining.com/department14SJICalendar )
and an IFSAC Instructor 1 class on Feb 21, 22, 28 & 3/1.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Double Your Safety, Double Your Fun

Remember to double your following distance on slippery roads. Even the Priority 1 roads have patches of ice. There are also areas of black ice in the mornings and at night.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Roads still slickery

As the snow begins to melt the roads are slushy. In many locations the slush hides ice below. Please continue to exercise caution when responding in apparatus or POV.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter in beautiful Ocean Shores!

The Region 2 conference is scheduled for Feb. 7 - 11 in Ocean Shores. If you are interested in attending the Tactics, ITAC, and FOOLS classes contact the TO. you may find further information at http://www.region2fire.org/

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Handy With a Nail Gun?

The lumber package has been ordered for the "Saving Our Own" training prop to be built at Station 31. Incident Commander Owens has scheduled the construction for January 24 & 25. If you are handy with a nail gun, or are available to help out in any capacity, please log in at www.Firecotraining.com and sign up on the calendar.

Register Soon!

The National Fire Academy registration period for second semester classes, (April - September 2009) is only open until December 31.
The eastern and western WA wildland training schedules are posted @ Sta. 31, and avaialble at:
The Mount Vernon Region 3 conference is scheduled for late January their offerings may be found at www.region3fire.org

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Radios De-mystified

FEMA has produced an understandable explanation of basic radio and communications concepts. Voice Radio Communications explains the difference between simplex and duplex systems, how repeaters work, antenna types, etc. This is radio 200, it's for you if you are not a communication geek. You can find the PDF at several locations on the web including: http://www.iaff.org/08News/PDF/RadioCommunications.pdf

Monday, December 8, 2008

Would you know what to do if your right front tire went off the pavement onto the shoulder? Check out a recent flyer from VFIS, our vehicle insurance carrier. http://www.vfis.com/pdf/RiskControlAlertvol03no1.pdf

Friday, December 5, 2008

You Can Get There from Here

The west end of Larson St. (near OPALCO) has been renamed Kelsando Circle. This should make response to the area easier.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

National Fire Academy Applications

The National Fire Academy’s Fiscal Year 2009 second semester application period in open through December 31. The second semester includes classes running from April 1 through September 30, 2009. You will find the current course schedule at: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/applications/nfacsd/
If you are interested in a class please contact the training officer.

Pretty Hot Stuff

To date we've heard from FFs Billstrom, Chesley, Hunter and Sesby; all newly certified at Firefighter 1! When you see them congratulate them on all of their hard work.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A New Playhouse

Send in your ideas to enhance the Saving Our Own prop to be built at Station 31. As designed the prop will support evolutions for moving a firefighter out a narrow window, up or down stairs, out a second story window and down a ladder, hoisting someone up through a hole in a floor, ladder and pocket rope bails, and wall breaches. Any ideas for adding forcible entry?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Breathe Easy

SeaWestern, (our SCBA supplier), was on island yesterday to perform the annual flow testing of our SCBAs. Each year every SBCA is tested to insure that it is operating according to NFPA specifications. All of the equipment passed the inspection process. Thanks to the maintenance crew that shuttled SCBAs to and from each engine, keeping us in service throughout the day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Shmutz Under Pressure

This month's brain teaser was answered by two firefighters, each saying the same thing but in very different ways. Both are worth presenting.
The question was, "Where would you find the overpressure region, the under pressure region and the neutral plane?"
The academic answer, "The neutral plane is the region in a container fire (as in structure or contents fire) between the overpressure where hot gases are flowing out - as in black smoke or even flames and the underpressure - air flowing in. In a doorway, smoke and flames will usually flow thru the upper third or half of the opening while incoming air will be in the lower third - in between the two is the neutral plane.It gets lots more complicated if windows or basement opening are providing the underpressure."
The succinct answer, "a nicely undisturbed compartment (room/building) fire". we usually mess it up so it all becomes shmutz."
Thanks, and well put...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Learning and Profit On Line

VFIS, our insurance carrier, has cooperated in a great online learning opportunity about engineered building components and their performance when exposed to fire. We have seen anecdotal information. This program introduces ASTM and UL testing which graphically demonstrates what we have learned from studying LODDs. Of particular interest is the discussion of TIC in identifying potential collapse.

This is so important that you are encouraged to watch the video and then turn in a unit log for one hour of training in building construction. Follow this link: http://www.ul.com/fire/structural.html

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Firewise Guys

Four San Juan Island community presidents were guests at the recent Firewise Communities convention in Tampa Florida. As you can see, the department was well represented. There are now 15+ Firewise Communities partnering with San Juan Island Fire.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fit to Fight

It is time for department physicals. Your medical history and authorization letters are being sent. Remember, you'll need to schedule a fasting blood draw and nurse's visit, then the visit with the Doc. Please complete your exam before the end of the year.

I've Found the Key

No more searching for the key to S316 or U315. A lock box has been mounted just inside the back door into the bays at Station 31. Just to keep it simple, the combination is the same as the station door.

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Firefighters

Seven of our Firefighter 1 candidates have completed their certification testing. The two day process culminates the introductory class that has run every Saturday and Sunday since Labor Day. This was also the first joint recruit training between San Juan Island Fire and Friday Harbor Fire in several years. Class members included Evan Anderson, Adam Ayers, David Billstrom, Chris Chesley, Kate Hunter, Jane Hutchison, Mike MacLellan, Chris Ross and Brien Sesby.

Thanks are also due to all of the officers and firefighters that helped in course delivery and certification testing.

Our new firefighters are certifying through an internationally recognized testing process that establishes consistent professional capabilities. It is the same level of testing used in urban career fire departments such as Everett, Bellingham, or Tacoma.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What the Flush?

This is a hydrant flushing device used by the Friday Harbor Water Dept. for water line maintenance. If you find it attached to a hydrant that you need to use on a call, simply close the hydrant valve and disconnect the device from the 2 1/2 inch port. Leaving the large red box undisturbed, attach your supply line and re-open the hydrant. Make sure the IC is aware of the situaiton so they may contact the water departement.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Help the Firefighter 1 candidates be successful. We are planning a pratice test on Saturday 11/1 from 10:30 till 14:30 +/-; the actual test is set for Nov. 15. We need evaluators on the 1st and assistants on the 15th.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Can You See Me Now?

New high visibility vests are being distributed to each of the apparatus for use when operating on the roadway. There will be one for each seat on the engines, tenders, and rescue.
These vests are ANSI 207-2006 compliant. This includes a five point break away system, (the Velcro attachment points also make it easy to properly adjust the fit of the vest).
Our traffic control SOG will be updated to include the use of these vests as well as the Emergency Scene Ahead sign noted below.

Thank you to everyone that helped make the 2008 Safety Fair the most successful ever. Nearly ninety children participated in the Passport to Safety program.
Once again, the seamless cooperation between fire, law enforcement, and ems made for an informative and entertaining rescue demonstration.
If you have ideas or suggestions for next year pass them on now; we can make the next fair more exciting and educational for even more of the community.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cool !!!!!!

Thanks to all of the department members that helped at our recent live fire training exercise. It was a great experience for our 2008 Firefighter 1 class. Thanks also to the Packard-Islam family for making the house available to us.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Great Training

Lt.s Henderson, M. and Merlino participated in a team / leadership building class over the last weekend. From the reports it was a very worthwhile class.

FF Clark has completed Certified Fitness Coordinator training and will soon be making a presentation to the deportment on how he may help each of us attain our fitness goals.

Real Live Fire!

There is still space available for you at the live fire training burn scheduled for Sunday 10/04. Email Brad to sign up!

Monday, September 22, 2008

What a DIfference a Day Makes

Given the cool weather over the weekend, and the arrival of fall with its attendant cloud cover, the fire danger has been adjusted to LOW. The Fire Marshal does not anticipate changing the fire danger again until next spring.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Moderately nice weather

The fire danger has been upgraded to Moderate. Our recent good weather has significantly dried the 1000 hour fuels. When the fire danger is Moderate burning is not allowed between noon and 20:00. This means that no large or land clearing permits are valid.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Safety Equip. Comming Down the Road

To better insure your safety, and to be in compliance with
federal standards, several upgrades are being made to
on-road operations. The "Emergency Scene" sign shown here is now on R-314. It is stored in the same compartment as the cones and traffic paddles. We will also be stocking 2009 safety standard compliant vests on all apparatus. These should arrive in the next week or so.

Friday, September 12, 2008

National Park prescribed fire

The NPS is planning prescribed fires at American and English Camps. Potential sites include 10 acres at the south end, and 20 acres at English Camp. These may occur as soon as Sept. 18. If you are interested in participating please let the training officer know. You will be contacted when specific dates and times are announced. This is a great opportunity to work on your task books and to gain more real life fire experience.

Locked Down

Robert Wilkinson is on standby in a hotel by in Baton Rouge, waiting for the arrival of Ike. He has been working in a mobile disaster recovery center (DRC), assisting people with their FEMA assistance claims. Baton Rouge is still suffering power interruptions caused by hurricane Gustav. The size of hurricane Ike is of great concern to disaster response workers far from the anticipated land fall of Galveston TX.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Burn to Learn: Live Fire Training

Neighbors on Golf Course Rd. have donated a structure to the department for live fire training. The burn is scheduled for October 5Th. Please contact the training officer if you are interested in participating.

Burning to Learn

The 2008 Firefighter 1 class is underway! We have five SJI Fire members and five + participants from FHFD. With every level of experience from Cadets to over five years and company officer status it is a dynamic and exciting group.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

FEMA Mobilization

Robert Wilkinson is working in FEMA's Baton Rouge JFO coordinating the sheltering of people evacuated from New Orleans. He was in place when hurricane Gustav blew through and is now watching for Hanna and Ike.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Team Work

Be sure to welcome the members of Friday Harbor Fire Dept. that are joining in our Firefighter 1 Class. Training begins on Wednesday Sept. 3rd at 19:00

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Smoke in the Area

With the recent rain fire danger has plumeted. As a result, burn permits will be available beginning on Tuesday Sept. 2, 2008. They may be purchased on line at http://www.sjcfiremarshal.org/ or in person at Station 31. Seasonal permits are avaialbe for fires up to ten feet in diameter, and cost ten dollars. Land clearing or commercial fire permits are valid for one month and cost one hundred and fifty dollars.

Missed Coffee

Thanks for rolling out this morning. The call turned out to be steam/exhaust from a propane furnace. It is nice to know that people in the community are looking out for one another. I hope you had time to go home and get a cup of coffee before work.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Welcome! - and Welcome Back!

Welcome to the new San Juan Island Fire Department blog. Hopefully, you'll find that this space becomes one of your "go to" places to stay informed. I'll try to be good about posting current "Chief's Messages" here, along with other miscellaneous ramblings.

Welcome back to Lieutenants Monin and Lean, and Firefighter Howitt (Along with C-3 and Brush 312). They've spent more than a week working the Swanson Lake fire in Central Washington. They must have done a good job, because they were among the last to be demobilized. Great work and WELCOME HOME!

We're in Business

We’re changing the way we communicate on the web. The new site, (to be posted in the next couple of days), will have the policies, procedures, etc. It will also, in the future, have a members section.

Updates about what’s going on in the department will be posted here. If you have info to share forward it to the training office to be posted.