Annual Report (2014) of the Lenox Fire Department
To the Honorable Board of Selectmen and Citizens of Lenox:
It is with great pride in this Department that I submit my 2014 Annual Report. The mission of the Lenox Fire Department is to protect the lives and property of those within the town by providing public safety education, performing fire safety inspections and providing emergency response services.
Requests for service
The Lenox Fire Department responded to 1610 requests for assistance during 2014.
279 fire alarms, 36 fires, 100 service calls, 109 rescues, 50 hazardous conditions, 1015 medical calls and 21 good intent calls (odor of smoke, steam believed to be smoke, etc.).
Stations and Equipment
The Lenox Fire Department currently operates out of three fire stations that are strategically located throughout the town. This is done to reduce response times and allows us to better serve the citizens of the Town of Lenox. Our average response time (time of dispatch to time on scene of the incident) during 2014 was 4 minutes.
The Central Fire Station, built in 1910, is located at 14 Walker Street and serves as the department’s headquarters and administrative offices. Equipment housed in the Central Station is Engine 1, a 2011 Seagrave Marauder II Rescue Pumper and Truck 5, a 1998 Darley – Quint (75 foot aerial ladder truck & pumper).
The Lenox Dale Fire Station, built in 1936, is located at 26 Elm Street and houses Engine 6 a 2008 Seagrave Marauder II pumper. Engine 62 a 1985 Pierce Arrow, reserve pumper and ISU-1 a 2007 Incident Support Trailer
The New Lenox Fire Station, built in 1962, is located at 399 Pittsfield Road and houses Engine 3 a 1989 Pierce Arrow pumper, Truck 7 a 1999 Ford Brush Truck, Marine 1 a 19 foot, 5 hp rescue boat and Brush 1 a 2003 Honda, All Terrain Vehicle.
Throughout the year the Fire Department conducted weekly training to stay proficient in all aspects of fire suppression, rescue techniques and property preservation as well as State mandated training in Hazardous Materials, First Aid, Fire Investigation and Incident Management. This training was conducted both in house and with the Massachusetts Fire Academy. The Lenox Fire Department now has five members assigned to the Western Mass Technical Rescue Team which trains and responds to incident requiring training in high angle rope rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue and building collapse.
The Lenox Fire Department received a grant award of $4,435 from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency during 2014 and used it to enhance our ability to respond and manage our incident. With this grant we purchase 2 new computers for the New Lenox and Lenox Dale Fire Stations and linked them to the main Fire Department server at the Central Station. This allows us to share important data between the three stations. We also enhanced our ability to respond to incident using the “I am responding” software program. This internet based program allows fire department personnel to immediately acknowledge their availability to respond to a call, allowing command staff to plan appropriately and assess the need for immediate mutual aid.
Fire Department Personnel
During 2014, our Department suffered the loss of retired Firefighter John William Cole of the Lenox Dale Fire Company. John also served his country during the Korean War in the US Army and later worked at Kimberly Clark paper mills in Lee.
The Lenox Fire Department is currently made up of 6 Career Firefighter/EMT’s, 15 Part-time Relief Firefighter/EMT’s, 48 Volunteer Firefighters and 2 Junior Firefighter. Our paid staff works out of the Central Fire Station and provides for two on duty FF/EMT’s 24 hours a day seven days a week coverage.
Prevention and Education
This department was busy in many other facets of Public Safety including the training and credentialing of three of our personnel in the new Department of Fire Services – Fire Prevention Officer 1 program. This program was developed by the Department of Fire Services to mimic the National Fire Inspectors program, but was designed around the Massachusetts Building and Fire Prevention Codes. Our personnel also received training and certification in administering the new Fire Prevention Code adopted in Massachusetts for January 1, 2015. This new Fire Prevention Code replaces the old Massachusetts Fire Prevention Code and is a nationally recognized Fire Prevention Code “NFPA 1 (2012 edition) with MA Amendments”.
During 2014 our department conducted 553 Fire Prevention inspections on oil burners, LP gas storage tanks, tank removals, fire alarms, blasting and fireworks requests, as well as required building inspections and issued 856 permits. As a way to become more user friendly the Fire Department now allows residents to obtain their burning permits on line using www.townoflenox.com or lenoxfire.com web sites and selecting the Burning Permit link. For those who do not have internet access burning permits may also be obtained by calling 637-2345.
The Fire Department would like to thank the Board of Selectmen and the citizens of the town for their continued support of our operations. As part of this support we are always looking for new members to fill our ranks. Please contact us if you are willing to volunteer and become a firefighter.
In closing, I want to sincerely thank all the officers and members of the Lenox Fire Department for their time and dedication. Also, without the support of the families of these brave men and women who respond at moments notice to assist others in need, the ranks of our volunteers would be greatly diminished.
Daniel W. Clifford, Chief