Tag Archives: Westport Fire Department

Fire Department Says: Keep Cool!

With the hottest temperatures of the year predicted for this weekend — and heat indexes well over 100 degrees — the Westport Fire Department sends this alert:

The Town of Westport reminds residents of health and safety measures to protect against heat-related illnesses, and to take special care of young children, seniors and other at-risk populations:

  • Find air conditioning, if possible
  • Check on family members and neighbors
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Avoid strenuous activities
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car
  • Watch for heat illness
  • Wear light clothing.

The following cooling centers are open to the public this weekend:

  • The Senior Center, 21 Imperial Avenue (Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
  • Westport Library, 20 Jesup Road (Friday 9 a.m. to 6 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Westport Weston Family Y, 14 Allen Raymond Lane, lobby open to public (Friday 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

The Fire Department will update their Facebook page with new openings and/or changes.

Click here for a link to the 2-1-1 “Extreme Heat Protocols” website.

One other way to keep cool: Elvira Mae’s ice cream window. (Photo/Robin Tauck)

Unsung Hero #105

Last weekend’s double whammy — a wild, tree-limb-downing, power-outage- causing storm Saturday night; then an even more intense, violent and dangerous one just 18 hours later — stretched our resources to the limit.

On Sunday, the Fire Department responded to 80 calls in an hour. Police were everywhere. Emergency responders raced to deal with downed wires, trees on houses and in roads, even carbon monoxide issues.

For the rest of the day, and throughout Monday, the guys (and gals) whose business it is to handle emergencies like this did just that.

Quickly, efficiently — and often thanklessly — they restored electricity, cut trees, removed limbs, replaced wires, directed traffic, and got Westport back to normal.

A familiar scene. This is Greens Farms Road, at Rustic Lane. (Photo/Seth Schachter)

If you helped, you’re our Unsung Heroes of the Week. Without our firefighters, police, EMTs, traffic agents, Public Works crews, town engineers, utility workers. private contractors — and everyone who supports them — this town would be a mess.

You’re always there when we need you. Hopefully we won’t need you again for quite a while.

But somehow, I doubt it.

Storm Sequel: Police Report Road Closures

As cleanup and repairs continue after yesterday’s storm, the Westport Police Department urges residents to stay home. They say: “If you must be on the road, please drive with caution. Do not attempt to go around police tape and/or barricades.

“Please be considerate of these conditions during your morning commute. Allow for extra time, as damage has been extensive.”

These roads are still closed:

  • Long Lots Lane
  • 1 Long Lots Road
  • 30 Long Lots Road
  • Long Lots Road at Morningside Drive North
  • 30 Morningside Drive South
  • Spicer Court at Spicer Road
  • 6 Clapboard Hill Road
  • 235 Greens Farms Road
  • 245 Greens Farms Road
  • 23 Hillandale Road

The WPD also reminds Westporteres to treat every downed wire as if it were live, even if it does not appear to be energized.

Power outage reports, general outage questions, or non-emergency issues associated with electrical repairs should be directed to Eversource: 800-286-2000.

This Colony Road home sustained a direct hit from a tree during yesterday’s storm. One resident sustained minor injuries. The house was declared uninhabitable. (Photo/Westport Fire Department)

Take Time To Help Turk

Westport’s firefighters are always there for us.

Now it’s time for us to help one of them.

Turk Aksoy

Turk Aksoy has been a Westport firefighter since 2006, when he was the top-ranked candidate for appointment. Before fulfilling his long-time dream job, Turk had been a paramedic.

He raises funds for veterans’ organizations by racing in triathlons, and competing in Tough Mudder events.

In 2014 — just 41 years old — Turk was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic colon cancer. Doctors told him there is a 5-year survival rate of 14%. He was given 3 years to live.

Five years later, Turk is still fighting. He continued to work — scheduling treatment around his department shifts. His fellow firefighters were awed by his strong, resilient and brave attitude.

In December — when the cancer spread to his liver and lungs — Turk’s condition and his aggressive medical treatments made it impossible to continue to work.

But that’s not all he’s facing.On January 30 — his 46th birthday — Turk’s beautiful wife and source of constant support, Denise, died unexpectedly.

The emotional toll on Turk and his children, Tess and Tyson, has been devastating.

Turk Aksoy and his family.

The kids are as remarkable as their parents. Tess, 14, just finished her freshman year at Nonnewaug High School. She is president of Pony Pals 4H Club, and a member of Future Farmers of America. She hopes for a career in equine science.

Tyson, 12, is energetic and athletic. He loves lacrosse, outdoor exploration and photography.

His brothers and sisters in the Westport Fire Department are rallying around Turk, Tess and Tyson.

But they can’t do it alone. They’ve set up a GoFundMe page, to help Turk “as he fights his illness with dignity and confidence.”

Donations will help Tess and Tyson achieve their educational goals and dreams.

Click here — and give as generously as Turk, and his colleagues, have always given to us.

(Hat tips: Dave Wilson and Trissie Rost)

Unsung Heroes #90

We take our firefighters for granted.

No matter what they do — first responders to medical calls, helping out in weather emergencies, or actually putting out fires — we are grateful.

But we also say, “that’s their job.”

The number of folks who take the time to thank the Westport Fire Department after an encounter is waaaay too small.

The other night though, Platoon 3 responded to a call at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. They contained what could have been a major blaze to just a small area near the altar.

Westport Fire Department Platoon 3.

After they left — cleaning up, as usual, in their very professional way — Annie Fasnella wrote the following poem. That’s why Platoon 3 — and the entire Westport Fire Department — are this week’s Unsung Heroes.

Earth angels came
in the middle of the night
Heroes without capes
Oh, what a sight.

The Assistant Chief, Shift Commander
and his team from the WFD
put out the fire
at Christ and Holy Trinity.

How amazing, all of you work
with such wisdom and skill
and below freezing Winter’s chill.

You’re simply the best
Kudos, three cheers and hooray
for containing the blaze so quickly
on Ash Wednesday.

With profound esteem
and your brilliant knowhow
Westport salutes you
The curtain is rising on a new morn
It’s your time to take a bow.

Fire Lights Up Compo Hill

Just a few hours after trick-or-treaters descended on Compo Beach, a fire broke out in a detached garage at 32 Sherwood Drive. The street is up Compo Hill from Elvira’s.

The structure, and 2 cars inside, were destroyed. There were no injuries.

Last night’s fire could be seen throughout Old Mill. (Photo/Robin Tauck)

Fairfield firefighters covered headquarters, as Westport firefighters battled the blaze. Westport Police helped with traffic and crowd control. Westport EMS was on the scene too.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Firefighters on the scene. 

UPDATE AND CORRECTION: Alert: Nixle Replaces Code Red

NOTE: The earlier version of this story said to “dial” 888777 from your mobile phone. You should TEXT that number to sign up. My apologies!

For the past 4 years, the Westport Police Department has used Nixle to provide traffic advisories.

Now, the WPD and Westport Fire Department have partnered with Nixle to offer a Community Notification System. Residents can sign up to receive localized emergency situation and relevant community advisories.

This system replaces the CodeRED emergency notification system in use here since 2009.

All alerts are targeted geographically, allowing residents to receive localized, relevant alerts from the Fire and Police Departments.

Nixle sends out immediate emergency notification — for instance, for flash flooding downtown. (Photo/Jacques Voris)

Nixle sends info via text, email, voice, web, and social media in an instant.

Town officials say residents and business owners should not assume your number is registered.

To sign up, dial 888777 from your mobile phone. Then text the zip code: 06880.

You can customize your alert setting by logging on to www.nixle.com, and creating a User Profile.

Do it today. You don’t know when the next emergency will strike.

(Hopefully not tomorrow. The last 2 Tuesdays have been brutal. Perhaps the 3rd time will be charm.)

Water, Water, Everywhere

Yesterday’s flash floods — the result of 7 inches of rain in some parts of town — caused widespread disruption and damage.

Roads turned into swirling rivers. Lakes suddenly appeared from nowhere. Some drivers turned around. Some tried carefully to get through. Others plowed right in.

Iris Greenfield was not rash or hasty. Still, her car was completely submerged under the South Compo Road railroad bridge. She and 2 of her children were rescued through the window by Westport firefighters.

The scene on South Compo, even after the worst of the waters receded. (Photo/Iris Greenfield)

It was dramatic and heroic. When they finally reached solid ground, the firefighter who carried Iris out asked, “aren’t you the acupuncturist?”

Yep. He was a former patient. And her son recognized him by name.

Skye Greenfield wrote this letter of thanks to the Westport Fire Department:

As of 7 this morning, Compo Road South at the railroad overpass was still closed due to flooding. Roseville Road at Salem Road was also closed..

Meanwhile, Morley Boyd offers this report from Violet Lane, off Myrtle Avenue directly across from Sconset Square:

“One house lost its furnace, hot water heater, washing machine, dryer and I guess AC. Our driveway is gone — all down on Myrtle now. This was the worst flooding in downtown we’ve seen since 1968.”

Myrtle Avenue was completely submerged at the height of yesterday’s flood. (Photo/Joyce Joiner)

 

Westport Firefighter Battles Western Blaze

California’s wildfires are snagging all the headlines.

But other states face fires too.

They need help. And — just as the rest of the country sends aid when we’re battered by hurricanes or blizzards — Connecticut firefighters have headed west.

Deputy Chief Michael Kronick joined 18 other members of the CT Interstate Fire Crew. They traveled last month to Colorado, where thousands of acres burned in the Buttermilk and Green Mountain Fires.

Kronick returned home last night.

Deputy Fire Chief Michael Kronick, in Colorado.

Connecticut participates in a reciprocal aid program operated by the US Forest Service. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection maintains a roster of staff and personnel from local fire departments who are certified to fight wildfires.

Kronick — a member of the Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew since 2002 — has been deployed on 11 wildfires throughout North America. He’s a great representative of Westport’s superb Fire Department.

Westport — and Colorado — salute Deputy Fire Chief Michael Kronick!

Colorado wildfire

 

Fire Department Tour: A Day To Remember

“06880” reader Sharon Maddern sent this letter to 1st Selectman Jim Marpe, Fire Chief Robert Yost and Deputy Fire Chief Brian Meadows. But it’s worth sharing with a much larger audience:

I’d like to let you know about an outstanding experience my son and I recently had visiting the Westport Fire Department, and what an impressive, dedicated and professional team they are.

My son Derek is 21. Though he has some disabilities, he is a huge firefighter fan. He listens to all the calls over the scanners, and follows them online. For him this was a super-exciting day.

With the help of Sal Liccione, who set up the visit, we arrived on a Saturday morning. I expected a basic 20-minute overview. But our guide, Lt. Jonathan Piper — a veteran fireman of 20-plus years — gave us an incredibly informative tour of the facility. Even I was enthralled by the advanced technology, and his extensive knowledge of all the sophisticated equipment.

He explained the various roles of the department beyond firefighting, including HazMat and emergency responses like pulling cars out of ditches.

We also got a firsthand look at the new fire engines.

Derek gets a close-up look at a Westport fire truck.

I cannot tell you how meaningful this was to my son, and how appreciative I am of the time Jon took with us. Even I could follow his articulate, enthusiastic and patient explanations!

While I have spent the last 17 years working in commercial real estate in Westport, I was never aware of the extent that the fire department and these men are involved in: all the day-to-day aspects of our safety, including road hazards, building inspections, alarm responses, etc.

I hope that the WFD continues to receive Westport’s respect and the funding that it deserves, as they have an enormous burden of responsibility. They are an invaluable part of the community, and should be generously supported in their endeavors to continue to provide such an efficient, effective resource for the town.

This was a day both my son and I will always remember. Our thanks go out to the WFD!