It’s almost that time of year … the air is getting chilly and brisk, decorations are starting to pop up around town and soon Holiday music will be playing on everywhere! What comes next … Santa Claus comes to town, at Middlebush Volunteer Fire Department’s 5th Annual Santa in the Park Event! Come on down to Thomson Park at the corner of Amwell Rd and South Middlebush Rd on Saturday December 17th, from 1-3pm or 5-7pm to get into the Holiday spirit with members from our department. There will be Hot Cocoa & Cookies, plenty of decorations, music will be playing and of course Santa will be waiting for all the boys and girls to see what they would like for Christmas. This year, the 5-7pm session will have a new and special ‘visual’ surprise for anyone who comes down to visit!
Over the past year, Middlebush Volunteer Fire Department has made some sweeping changes on the technology front. First we enhanced our Social Media presence from just Facebook, and now have a Twitter handle, Instagram handle and a YouTube channel. The next step was to upgrade our website infrastructure, going to a Google based platform for organizational collaboration and bringing the Departments Website in house and using newer and therefore easier technology to publish and update our site. The last piece of our technology upgrades was to put the most important information for our members at their fingertips, while also creating a forward facing information hub for the public to utilize in App form … and now it’s here!
Last week, Middlebush Volunteer Fire Department had an extremely busy week, as our Annual District Inspection by the Commissioners of Franklin Township Fire District 1 was to take place at 10am on Saturday morning 10/8/16. Inspection preparation work nights took place every night of the week with multiple members coming down to the station to perform tasks such as: cleaning of the apparatus, organization and cleaning of all cabinets on the apparatus, the review and painting/sharpening of any tools, engine bay clean up and organization and much more. Many members were able to contribute over those nights of work, but a big thanks goes out to those who showed up every night and Saturday morning. We were able to knockout all of the tasks that were pre-identified, as well as get some other things done that we had not anticipated or planned on. By the end of the final work night, the station looked squeaky clean, the apparatus looked fantastic and while everyone was exhausted, we were happy with the results of all the hard work.
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This past Sunday, members of the Middlebush Volunteer Fire Department took part in the Tunnel to Towers Race in New York City honoring former FDNY Stephen Siller who on 9/11, while on his way to play golf on his day off, took his gear from his car on the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and ran through the tunnel with the extra 75 pounds of gear to the Manhattan side to help others trapped in the World Trade Center. This race not only honors Siller, but also the 342 other FDNY Firefighters (343 in total) 37 Port Authority Police, 23 NYPD Officers and 8 EMT’s … 411 Emergency Responders in total that were killed in action during the attacks on 9/11. This was the second time in two years that Middlebush has attended and participated in the event, with multiple Officers and Firefighters in attendance to run or walk the course. This year we had a number of members run in full gear (some had done it last year as well) which meant that they trekked the 3.5 miles with full turnout gear on (minus the boots) … pants, jacket and helmet … even gloves! The remainder of the post below will detail our day and the general feeling of the event …
This past Saturday, on 9/24/16, Middlebush Volunteer Fire Department held their Annual FREE safety fair and open house to the public. The event featured activities to learn, such as learning about fire and smoke inside of a smoke house run by our members, learning what a firefighter looks like when dressed in full gear and on air as well as other ways to prevent fire or know what to do in case it affects them personally. In addition to learning experiences, there was tons of fun activities to do as well, such as the huge Fire Station Bounce House, Face Painting, T-Shirt making, Sand Art, Spin Art and other games! When a child completed their ‘passport’ of all their activities, they were able to take a prize as well as enter in the running to win a day trip to Diggerland, which is a hands on construction themed adventure park suited for and enjoyed by children and adults!
While the kids were having fun, parents could talk with Active Firefighter and Ladies Auxiliary Members as well as take a look around the station and look at the apparatus and of course indulge on some of the delicious food that was offered, such as Cheeseburgers, Hot Dogs, French Fries, Chicken Fingers, Cotton Candy, Popcorn and ICEE’s!! New this year was the ‘Little Fire Truck’ that kids and their families could board for a stroll around the parking lot … but watch out for the water flow station … they may get you with some water 🙂
On Tuesday 9/6/16, Middlebush Volunteer Fire members actively took part in a drill on the power tools that we have on all of our apparatus and the uses for each of these tools. The range of tools varies from the more common sawsall, to multiple types of chainsaws (for roof cutting and timber cutting), our K12 Rescue Saw to our Paratech Air Chisel tool.
We started out the evening going over all of the tools to ensure everyone knew what each tool was and what it’s primary use was. From there, we had participants examine the tools, taking the blades off to see how it was all put together and then putting them back in working condition. We also examined the accessories to the tools … K12 blades for different purposes (rescue, metal, wood and masonry) as well as sawsall blades (primarily metal and wood) and then of course all of the different attachments for the Paratech tool.
As we move through our 2016, we have had the pleasure of celebrating our 100th Anniversary with the public on the 4th of July, with our after parade barbecue. We followed that event up with a ‘Current Member’ picnic at the end of July where members and their families went to a picnic ground that had a number of fun activities for everyone to partake in . Now, to cap off our Anniversary year, we are looking to have an event for all of our past and current members in the fall, held at the station celebrating our 100 years of service to Franklin Township … but we need your help!
The date has been set … mark your calendars for September 24th, from 2pm to 6pm. On that date, Middlebush Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting our Annual Free Safety Fair! Bring your friends and family to this fantastic event, where we open the doors to the public and have meet and greets with the Middlebush Volunteer Fire Department Firefighters, The East Millstone Rescue Squad and the Franklin Township Police Department.
There will be many stations with activities such as learning how to use fire extinguishers, a smoke house where you will learn about fire and how to escape safely, not to mention our FireFighter in gear station, where you can see all the equipment we put on before going into a fire, and of course our popular hose deployment and water flowing station where the kids and whole family can handle a hose line being pumped from one of our Fire Engines!
Over the past month, Middlebush Volunteer Fire Department has been fortunate to welcome four new members into our Station. Each new recruit was sworn in at our business meetings held in June & July and they are now officially probationary members. Congratulations and welcome to Nick, Cecilio, Ian & Scott! The new recruits will start Firefighter I this fall at the Somerset County Emergency Services Training Academy in Hillsborough, NJ. Best of luck to all of them and looking forward to seeing them on the rigs soon!
This morning, 7/15/2016, Middlebush Volunteer Fire in conjunction with the Franklin Township Police Department, assisted in clearing the landing zone and monitoring the landing of a NJ Medevac Helicopter at the corner of Amwell Road and Demott Lane. We had a crew of 8 in attendance with multiple pieces of apparatus as well as a crew from the Middlebush Fire Police take part in this event.
Every year, the Franklin Township Police Department hosts the Police Youth Academy Class. This program brings approximatley 30 young people, aged between 7th and 10th grade, to the police station to learn the different aspects of law enforcement … you can learn more here.