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    Your resource for Asheville Fire Department News & Information

     

    August 28, 2014

     Fire at Biltmore Family Medicine is Suspicious 

    ASHEVILLE – It has been determined by the Asheville-Buncombe Arson Task Force that the fire which occurred at Biltmore Family Medicine, 1 Saint Dunstans Rd, on August 4, 2014 is suspicious in nature. The call came in around 3:15a.m. for this location which had not been occupied all weekend.  The Asheville Fire Department, Arson Task Force and Asheville Police Department are asking for assistance from anyone who may have either seen something the night of the fire that would seem suspicious or from anyone who may have information regarding this incident.  Those with information are encouraged to call CRIME STOPPERS at 828-255-5050.  Calls are anonymous. 

     

     

     

    Date: July 31, 2014

     

    3rd Annual Carolina Brotherhood Cycle Ride from Raleigh, N.C. to Charleston, S.C.

    August 5th through 9th 2014

     

    Asheville, N.C. - Firefighters and police officers from North and South Carolina will cycle approximately 500 miles in five days to pay tribute to fallen brothers and sisters from the Carolinas. Riders will head out on August 5th from Raleigh, N.C. and will end their journey on August 9th in Charleston, S.C.

    Route:

    Aug. 5 - Raleigh to Fayetteville 60 miles

    Aug. 6 - Fayetteville to Wilmington 87 miles

    Aug. 7 - Wilmington to Loris 88 miles

    Aug. 8 - Loris to Lake City 71 miles

    Aug. 9 - Lake City to Charleston 115 miles

     

    Nine Asheville Firefighters and 2 Asheville Police Officers are among this year’s riders. Local riders will head out on Monday, August 4th around 8:30 a.m.  This year’s ride is to honor the 10 first responders from North and South Carolina who laid down their lives in the line of duty last year.  .

     

    Chief Scott Morrison- Knotts Island Volunteer FD, NC

    Firefighter Tony Baker- Mountain View Volunteer FD, NC

    Captain David Heath- New Hanover County Fire Rescue, NC

    Firefighter Jon Schondelmayer- Swift Creek Rural FD. NC

    Chief Jeffery Fields- Youngsville Volunteer FD, NC

    Police Officer Robert Bingaman- Asheville PD, NC

    Firefighter Michael Broz- Dorchester County FD, SC

    Chief Rodney Hardee- Loris, SC

    Deputy Sheriff Joseph Antwine- Florence County SO, SC

    Deputy Sheriff Tim Causey- Horry County SO, SC

     

    In support of loved ones who were left behind, this rolling tribute is relying on donations, support, and sponsorship as the sole means of obtaining their goal. You can help the riders reach their goal by linking up to Carolina Brotherhood Website at http://carolinabrotherhood.com  to make a donation, buy t-shirts, or contact a member about sponsorship. You can also go to this website to track the riders during their journey.

     

    Follow on twitter @ashevillefd or @carolinabhood

     

    Media Note:  Images will be posted and can be used with attribution to Carolina Brotherhood.

     

     

     

    July 17, 2014

    Arson Arrest 

    ASHEVILLE – Eric A. Stecky has been charged with felony burning of personal property for an incident that occurred on July 12, 2014.  AFD units responded to a rubbish fire at 85 Tunnel Rd near the Dollar General Store.  Fire Investigator David Cutshall reviewed surveillance cameras and upon further investigation was able to locate the subject.

     For more information please contact Fire Investigator David Cutshall at 828-552-9296. 

    July 2, 2014

    Fireworks Safety

    ASHEVILLE - Each July 4th, thousands of people, most often kids and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. On a typical Fourth of July, there are more fires nationally than on any other day of the year, with fireworks accounting for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires. Over 11,000 injuries occur annually in the United States from fireworks alone. Many people falsely believe that because sparklers and similar fireworks are legal and readily available, they are safe. Too often, it's small consumer fireworks that start fires or cause serious burn injuries. A simple sparkler can burn at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. To put that into perspective, a cake bakes at 350 degrees. The Asheville Fire Department recommends that people play it safe and attend a local firework display put on by the professionals.

    Illegal fireworks in N.C. are those which are propelled, create loud noises or move in any way.  Legal fireworks are not loud and can emit showers or sparks.  Some examples of legal fireworks are snake and glow worms, smoke devices consisting of a tube or sphere that produce white or colored smoke, trick noisemakers-including party poppers, string poppers and snappers and the ever popular sparklers.  AFD enforces the law on fireworks as it is written in the North Carolina Fire Prevention Code and general statute regarding this issue.  No one under the age of sixteen is permitted to purchase fireworks and the fire department highly recommends any child using legal fireworks be supervised by an adult.   Please visit www.ashevillenc.gov/fire for additional information regarding fireworks. If you have questions or concerns regarding fireworks, please contact the Asheville Fire Department at 828-259-5636.

     

    June 12, 2014

     Rapid Intervention Critical Task Analysis

     ASHEVILLE

    – The Asheville Fire Department is excited to be on the cutting edge of becoming a role model for other fire departments based on their Rapid Intervention Critical Task Analysis. Over the next couple weeks the Asheville Fire Department will perform evolutions to conduct a Critical Task Analysis for their Rapid Intervention Teams (RIT).  Data collected will be compared with the national benchmark to assure the average expectation of AFD’s rapid intervention teams are quantified.  This training will be held at the BC Training Center and is in preparation for the upcoming re-accreditation. 

    The live burn training scenario will consist of a building collapse with a firefighter who becomes trapped and signals Mayday.

       Companies will be evaluated on:

    ·         The timing of the evolution begins when Mayday is acknowledged.

    ·         Locate the compromised firefighter.

    ·         Assess and provide supplemental air to the compromised firefighter.

    ·         Extricate the compromised firefighter from any entanglement and/or entrapment.

    ·         Package and remove the compromised firefighter from the building.

    ·         Time is stopped when all firefighters exit the structure.

     

    For additional information and for photo opportunities please contact Kelley Klope, PIO at 828-768-1437.

     

     

     

    Contact:

    Chip Ganassi Racing
    Jeff Dowling
    jdowling@ganassi.com
    704-662-9642

     

    LiftMasterLauren Hoffman
    lhoffman@justmarketing.com

    (317) 435-9239

     

    MCMURRAY TO HONOR ASHEVILLE, N.C. FALLEN FIREFIGHTER JEFFREY BOWEN DURING MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

     LiftMaster Provides Donation to National Firefighters Foundation; Hosts Firefighter Combat Challenge at Track

     

    May 22, 2014 (CHARLOTTE, N.C.) – Jamie McMurray, LiftMaster, and the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) team will honor fallen Asheville, North Carolina firefighter, Captain Jeffrey Bowen, by racing with his name above the passenger side door of McMurray’s car in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS).

     The recognition of Bowen’s service to his community during Memorial Day weekend is the result of the relationship between McMurray’s sponsor, LiftMaster, and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. The NFFF was created in 1992 to remember America’s fallen fire heroes and provide assistance to their families.

     “It is our honor to recognize Captain Jeffrey Bowen, his mother Laurel, and other members of the Bowen family during the Charlotte race weekend as part of LiftMaster’s relationship with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation,” said Neal Villarin, Sponsorship & Event Marketing Manger for LiftMaster. “Memorial Day weekend is a time for all of us to remember those that have given the ultimate sacrifice, and we have a feeling that Jeffrey and his family will provide Jamie and his team with some extra luck in this weekend’s race.”

     Bowen was a 13-year veteran of the Asheville Fire Department and was fatally injured while responding to a four-alarm fire in an office building in 2011. 

     “As a veteran firefighter, Captain Bowen is a hero in his community because of his bravery in service, and I am proud to honor him, with his name on our race car during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” said McMurray. “First responders such as Captain Bowen are members of our community and they go above and beyond to keep us safe. A win in the Coca-Cola 600 would be special, but it would be an honor to drive into Victory Lane with Jeffrey’s name on our race car.”

     The Bowen family has a full weekend of activities planned starting with the presentation of Thursday night’s LiftMaster Pole Award, and before the green flag waves on Sunday, they will volunteer their time in support of the Firefighter Combat Challenge. The event is hosted during the Charlotte race weekend at the LiftMaster display and is the fifth stop on the Challenge schedule.

     “I’m incredibly honored that LiftMaster has chosen to recognize my son and am humbled to have Jamie McMurray and his team’s support for Jeffrey,” said Laurel Bowen. “This will be my first visit to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, so I’m looking forward celebrating my son with my family and volunteering for the Challenge with other members of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.”

     In addition to honoring Captain Bowen, LiftMaster also presented a $5,000 donation to the NFFF at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

     

     

    4/28/14

     

    Firefighter Survival Training

     ASHEVILLE – Approximately 50 members from the Asheville Fire Department are involved in a week long intensive Firefighter Survival Training which will finalize their 116 hours of rapid intervention training (RIT) requirements to fully staff AFD’s 3 RIT engine companies. The training is local both Monday and Tuesday at the BC Emergency Training Center from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., then students will finish their course in Dallas NC at Gaston College, where the Office of State Fire Marshal has designated as for the NC Breathing Equipment School.  Students will be training hands on with the use of RIT bags used for quick rescue of a firefighter needing rescued, practicing ladder rescues and escapes and testing their personal air consumption.

     In response to the post incident analysis of the line of duty death from July 28, 2011, AFD has elected to designate three of their current engines as rapid intervention companies and to staff them with highly trained RIT personnel. RIT is designed to teach firefighters the skills and knowledge for firefighter rescue.  All certified firefighters with AFD have attended rapid intervention training, but crews assigned to RIT companies will receive additional training which includes thermal imaging camera training and breathing equipment school.  Crews assigned to the RIT companies will perform their normal duties along with being assigned as a RIT crew. Having assigned RIT companies throughout the city and having all firefighters trained in RIT will increase firefighter safety at all fire scenes.  It holds true that a firefighter needing rescued at a scene could never have enough equipment or people to ensure their safety.

     For more information regarding this training and for media opportunities please contact Kelley Klope, PIO at 828-768-1437.

     


    3/6/14

    The Asheville Fire Department, Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs with anImportant Reminder: On March 9th, Change Your Clock Change Your Battery®

    This weekend use the extra hour of daylight to not only do so yourself, but to remind family and friends to change their smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries which can make a positive change in our community.  Daylight savings times begin March 9th and marks the 27th year of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® program, sponsored by Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. The Change Your Clock Change Your Battery Program reminds us to change and test the batteries in our smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. The message is simple and the habit can be lifesaving. The Asheville Fire Department reminds our residents that one simple step can help save their lives and the lives of those around them. Communities nationwide witness tragic home fire deaths each year, but, everyone can work together to help reduce the number of home fire fatalities. Non‐working smoke alarms rob residents of the protective benefits home fire safety devices were designed to provide. The most commonly cited cause of non‐working smoke alarms: worn or missing batteries.

     

    “Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms. It’s a tragic statistic that could be reduced by adopting the simple habit of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery®

    program,” says Kelley Klope, PIO. Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, testing those alarms and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. Additionally, the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends that smoke alarms in homes be replaced every 10 years and to have both ionization and photo electric smoke alarms to alert people to all types of home fires.

     

    For more information about fire safety, call the Asheville Fire Department at (828)259-5636 or the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® hotline (314) 727‐5700, x108. 

    12/5/13

    Firefighter Gus Werhan Memorial Program

     

    The Asheville Fire Department will hold a memorial this Sunday for fallen Asheville Firefighter Gus Werhan who died in a Line of Duty 50 years ago on December 9, 1963.  The memorial will be held at 6:00pm at the Pack Square Rueter Terrace in front of Fire Station 1, on Sunday, December 8th.  Citizens are encouraged to attend this memorial to share their respect to the family of fallen firefighter Werhan.

     

    Firefighter Gus Werhan was part of the AFD family from March 8, 1960 until his LODD on December 9, 1963. Werham was called back into work to help fight a fire in a downtown antique shop and was killed when a section of the burning building collapsed.  Gus Werhan left behind a wife and two children.

     

     

    9/30/13

    Asheville Fire Department Reminds City of Asheville Residents to 'Prevent Kitchen Fires’

    City of Asheville, NC. September 30, 2013.  It's time for Fire Prevention Week, and from October 6-12 the Asheville Fire Department is joining forces with the nonprofitNational Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to remind local residents to ‘Prevent Kitchen Fires.' During this year's fire safety campaign, fire departments will be spreading the word about the dangers of kitchen fires--most of which result from unattended cooking—and teaching local residents how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place.

     According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen—more than any other place in the home. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.

    "Often when we're called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us that they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," said Kelley Klope, PIO. "Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us reach folks in the community before they've suffered a damaging lesson."

    Among the safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates will be emphasizing: 

    ·                                 Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food.

    ·                                 If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

    ·                                 When you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.

    ·                                 If you have young children, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three away from the stove.

    ·                                 When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves.

    ·                                 Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else that can burn, away from your stovetop.

    ·                                 Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops.

    Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the country. Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

    AFD will be presenting the Fire Safety Trailer to the following schools, dates and times:

     

    Oct. 2    Haw Creek Elementary   8:30am – 10am

    Oct. 3    Vance Elementary          10am-12pm

    Oct. 7    Bell Elementary              8:30am-10am

    Oct. 9    Sandhill Venable            TBA

    Oct. 10  Hall Fletcher                  9:30am-11:30am

    Oct. 14  Oakley Elementary         8:30am-10:30am

    Oct. 21  Francine Delany             8:30am-10am

    Oct. 23  Jones Elementary           8:30am-12:30pm

    Oct. 22  Estees Elementary          8:30am-12pm

    Oct. 29  Claxton Elementary         10am-12pm

    Oct. 30  Isaac Dickson                 TBA

     

    Media is invited to attend. Please contact Kelley Klope, PIO at 828-768-1437 with questions regarding Fire Prevention Week/Month.

     

     

     

     7/5/13

    City of Asheville Fire Department and Public Works crews responded overnight on Thursday to hazards brought about by the extended rain event that included downed trees, flooding and landslides.

    A landslide at Vance Gap Road above Chunns Cove Road at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday night affected several surrounding residences. The Asheville Fire Department contacted at least a dozen homes in the affected area, including along Mountain Chateau, Apache Trail and Marbill Lane. AFD units worked closely with the NCDOT and American Red Cross in assisting and evacuating several of those residents.

    At this time, Vance Gap Road remains closed from both Town Mountain and Chunns Cove.

    City of Asheville Street Services crews worked through Thursday night responding to slides, floods and downed trees and closed several roads to traffic. On Friday, crews continue with cleanup at the following sites:

     ·        Beaucatcher Road (near Helen’s Bridge)
    ·        Sunset at Skyview
    ·        College Street
    ·        Sunset Trail
    ·        Overlook Circle
    ·        Macon Avenue (at the Grove Park Inn)
    ·        Woodland Avenue
    ·        White Pine Drive
    ·        Sunset View Drive

    All areas are expected to be cleared by the end of the day Friday, however, these and other streets affected by the rain event may have traffic control measures or lane reductions. Drivers are urged to use caution and not cross barricades or attempt to drive through high water.

    A National Weather Service flood advisory extends through Saturday morning. Additional Street Services crews are standing by to address any needed road closures or cleanup. Find more information at www.weather.gov.

    To report water across roadways, please call (828) 250-6650.

     

    July 2, 2013

     

    Fireworks Safety

    Each July 4th, thousands of people, most often kids and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. On a typical Fourth of July, there are more fires nationally than on any other day of the year, with fireworks accounting for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires. Over 11,000 injuries occur annually in the United States from fireworks alone.  Even though seemingly harmless fireworks are sold in local stores, the Asheville Fire Department recommends that people leave the firework displays to the professionals.

    Illegal fireworks are those which are propelled, create loud noises or move in any way.  Legal fireworks are not loud and can emit showers or sparks.  AFD enforces the law on fireworks as it is written in the North Carolina Fire Prevention Code and general statute regarding this issue.  No one under the age of sixteen is permitted to purchase fireworks and the fire department highly recommends any child using legal fireworks be supervised by an adult.  Visit www.nfpa.org/fireworks for a fireworks report, videos and safety tips. If you have questions or concerns regarding fireworks, please contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 259-5640.

     

    05/14/13

    Accepting Applications for Summer Camp

    The Asheville Fire Department is now accepting applications for their annual FREE summer camp, Fire Escape.  Fire Escape is a 3 day camp from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. that gives middle school aged children the opportunity to gain an appreciation of fire and life safety skills.  The hands on camp will give children the opportunity to work directly with local Asheville firefighters and practice firefighting skills such as donning turn out gear, deploying and rolling hoses, flowing water, how to use fire extinguishers and many other activities.  The camp’s objective is to introduce the career of firefighting to the youth’s of Asheville and teach them teambuilding skills. The Asheville Fire Department also offers continued programs for young adults who hold an interest in firefighting such as the Explorer program for youths 14-21 years of age.

     

    To access an application, please go to www.ashevillenc.gov/fire and download an application under Fire Escape

    5/2/13

    AFD Conducts USAR Training

     

    The Asheville Fire Department spent most of today conducting urban search and rescue exercises in conjunction with the Buncombe County Urban Search and Rescue team, Task Force 2, at the Givens Estate. AFD is a member of Task Force 2, which is a N.C. Emergency Management funded team that provides coverage to the western part of North Carolina for emergency situations dealing with search and rescue as a result of landslides, hurricanes, tornados and other similar type disasters. The training scenarios performed are held in buildings on the Givens Estate which are scheduled for demolition allowing AFD and other local departments to practice their skills in locating and rescuing persons trapped from collapsed buildings. Attached are pictures from today’s training and short videos can be obtained by following this link:  http://bambuser.com/channel/Ashevillefd#broadcasts .

    3/7/13

    March 10th, Change Your Clock Change Your Battery

     

    This weekend remind your family and friends to change their smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries and make a positive change in our community!

     

    Daylight saving time starts Sunday, March 10th, and the Asheville Fire Department fully supports the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery program, sponsored by Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, which reminds us to change and test the batteries in our smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. This message is simple and the habit can be lifesaving.

     

    The Asheville Fire Department would like to remind residents that one easy step can help save their lives and the lives of those around them.  Please take time this weekend to change the batteries in your own smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, test the alarms and remind friends, family and neighbors to do the same.  “Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms.  It’s a tragic statistic that could be reduced by adopting the simple habit of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery program,” says Public Information Officer Kelley Klope.

     

    Changing smoke alarm batteries twice a year, testing those alarms and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries.  Additionally, the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends that smoke alarms in homes be replaced every 10 years and to have both ionization and photo electric smoke alarms to alert people to all types of home fires.

     

     

    12/11/12

    CODE PURPLE 

    Purpose of CODE PURPLE

    The purpose of the CODE PURPLE procedure is to provide a coordinated effort among Asheville and Buncombe County, North Carolina shelters and other organizations to provide emergency overflow shelter to people experiencing homelessness in the event of severe weather conditions. 

    In extremely cold conditions, the CODE PURPLE sites will provide shelter beyond their normal program capacity.  CODE PURPLE does not include natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, or tornadoes; in these events, all citizens will be able to access services at the community disaster shelters. 

    CODE PURPLE Network Sites:

    • ABCCM Veteran’s Quarters (overnight emergency shelter)
    • Homeward Bound A-Hope (day center)
    • Salvation Army (indoor space during the day & overnight emergency shelter)
    • Western Carolina Rescue Ministries (indoor space during the day & overnight emergency shelter)

    CODE PURPLE Network Partners:  

    o       2-1-1 Information Line (information and referral)

    o       ABCCM Steadfast House (transitional housing)

    o       American Red Cross (crisis services)

    o       BEACON members (crisis services)

    o       Helpmate (overnight shelter)

    o       Trinity Place (overnight shelter)

     

    AGENCY

    CONTACT

    POPULATION

    CODE PURPLE Services

    Western Carolina Rescue Mission

    Micheal Woods

    mike@westerncarolinarescue.org

    254-1529

    Men, women, children

    Overflow night beds; daytime chapel space

    Veterans’ Restoration Quarters

    Ron Kennedy and Michael Reich

    Michael.reich@abccm.org

    299-8701

    Men

    Overflow night beds

    Salvation Army

    Sue Hollifield

    Sue.Hollifield@uss.salvationarmy.org

    253-4723

    Men, women, children

    Overflow night beds

    Homeward Bound

    Asia James

    asia@hbofa.org

    252-8883

    Men, women, children if necessary

    A HOPE Day Center open 7 a.m.-Noon every day

     

     

     

    11/1/12

    November 4th, Change Your Clock Change Your Battery

    Use this extra hour this weekend to remind family and friends to change their smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries and make a positive change in our community!

     

    Daylight saving time ends Sunday, November 4th, and marks the 25th anniversary of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery program, sponsored by Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, which reminds us to change and test the batteries in our smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. This message is simple and the habit can be lifesaving.

     

    The Asheville Fire Department would like to remind residents that one easy step can help save their lives and the lives of those around them.  Take the extra hour gained to change the batteries in your own smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, test the alarms and remind friends, family and neighbors to do the same.  “Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms.  It’s a tragic statistic that could be reduced by adopting the simple habit of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery program,” says Chief Burnette.

     

    Changing smoke alarm batteries twice a year, testing those alarms and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries.  Additionally, the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends that smoke alarms in homes be replaced every 10 years and to have both ionization and photo electric smoke alarms to alert people to all types of home fires.

     

    10/9/12

    Asheville Fire Department Urges Residents to “Have Two Ways Out!”

    If you woke up to a fire in your home, how much time do you think you would have to get to safety?  According to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), one-third of Americans households who made an estimate they thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life threatening. Unfortunately, the time available is often less. 

    That’s why the Asheville Fire Department is teaming up with NFPA during Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13, 2012, to urge residents to “Have Two Ways Out!” This year’s theme focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice.

    In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.

    The Asheville Fire Department recommends the following tips for planning your family’s escape:

    • Make a map of your home. Mark a door and a window that can be used to get out of every room.
    • Choose a meeting place outside in front of your home. This is where everyone can meet once they’ve escaped. Draw a picture of your outside meeting place on your escape plan.
    • Write the emergency telephone number for the fire department on your escape plan.
    • Have a grown-up sound the smoke alarm and practice your escape plan with everyone living in your home.
    • Keep your escape plan on the refrigerator and remind grown-ups to have your family practice the plan twice a year or whenever anyone in your home celebrates a birthday.

    The Asheville Fire Department will be hosting activities during Fire Prevention Week, and the whole month of October, to promote “Have Two Ways Out!” Through these educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the importance of fire escape planning and practice, as well as the power of prevention.

    The Asheville Fire Department will also be holding their annual Fire Prevention Event on Sunday, October 14 at Sam’s Club from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event will include fire trucks, Sparky the fire dog, inflatables, games, face painting and more.  Other organizations will be present such as SafeKids, Asheville Police Department and the American Red Cross.  This is an event for the whole family to enjoy.

    To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in Asheville, please contact Kelley Klope at 828-251-4011. To learn more about “Have Two Ways Out!” visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org.

     

     

    9-25-12

     

    Fire Sprinkler Suppresses Fire

    On September 24, 2012 the Asheville Fire Department was dispatched to 9091 Verde Vista Cr. in response to a reported structure fire. Crews arrived on scene to find heavy smoke coming from unit 5117 and also reported that the sprinkler system had been activated. Evacuation of nearby units was conducted but due to the activated sprinkler system the fire was confined to unit 5117 only and to the washing machine itself.  AFD crews did not have to extinguish the fire because the quick activation of the sprinkler system was able to suppress the fire completely. Statistics show that the installation of both smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system reduces the risk of death in a home fire by 82%.

     

    8-20-12

    Release of NIOSH Report

     

    On July 28, 2011 Capt. Jeff Bowen with the Asheville Fire Department went into cardiac arrest after succumbing to intense smoke and heat while fighting a high rise medical facility located at 445 Biltmore Avenue. Today, the NIOSH report pertaining to this fire is complete and has been released. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program conducts investigations of fire fighter line-of-duty deaths to formulate recommendations for preventing future deaths and injuries. This report is the final of 3 reports to conclude the investigation of the line-of-duty death from 445 Biltmore Avenue.  The 3 reports include an internal report, which will be presented to the Public Safety Committee on August 27, the OSHA report and the NIOSH report.

    The NIOSH report details the circumstances of the deadly blaze and provides recommendations for improvement within the Asheville Fire Department. The final NIOSH report for the 445 Biltmore Avenue fire lays out 3 focus areas for the Asheville Fire Department to improve on in order to help prevent such a tragedy from happening again. The 3 main areas are: training, span of control and deployment strategy.  In order to access the report, follow the link to http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/.

    Immediately following the tragedy last July, AFD began post analyzing the incident and has already taken steps to improve the areas addressed in today’s posted NIOSH report.  AFD also has additional plans in place to fully meet and exceed all recommendations. For additional information please contact Chief Scott Burnette 828-232-4592

     

    8-14-12

    NCSFA Awards Asheville Firefighter as Firefighter of the Year

    Each year an award is given to an outstanding individual who has distinguished himself or herself in the fire service. The North Carolina State Firemen’s Association accepts nominations from all across the state in search of just such an individual and, after receiving the applications a committee of previous winners evaluates the submissions and chooses a winner. This year, Senior Firefighter Jay Bettencourt with the Asheville Fire Department was selected.  “The NCSFA represents over 50,000 firefighters in North Carolina and recognized one of our own as the best of the best,” states Chief Scott Burnette.

    Jay Bettencourt has been a member of the Asheville Fire Department since July 27, 2009.  He was selected for this award based on his extreme courage and determination at the fire that took place on July 28, 2011 at 445 Biltmore Ave.  Jay desperately searched for an exit, not only for himself, but for his captain as well.  FF Bettencourt did locate an exit which meant life for him, but without hesitation he returned to rescue his captain. Unfortunately, in spite of Jay’s courageous efforts, Captain Jeff Bowen lost his life that day.

    “Jay’s recognition is well deserved and reflects well not only on him, but as a tribute to his mentor Capt. Jeff Bowen, who always worked toward continuous improvement for himself and for the department,” states Chief Scott Burnette.

    1-19-12

    WNCAFF Awards Asheville Firefighter as Firefighter of the Year

    Each year the WNC Association of Firefighters gives an award to an outstanding individual who has distinguished himself or herself in the fire service. The association accepts nominations from across the western part of state from 395 departments and over 13,000 firefighters in search of just such an individual.  This year, Asheville firefighter Jay Bettencourt was chosen as WNC Firefighter of the Year. Jay was recognized and presented this award on January 18, 2012 in Lincolnton, NC at the WNCAFF quarterly meeting.

    Jay Bettencourt has been a member of the Asheville Fire Department since July 27, 2009.  He was selected for this award based on his extreme courage and determination at the fire that took place on July 28, 2011 at 445 Biltmore Ave.  Jay desperately searched for an exit, not only for himself, but for his captain as well.  FF Bettencourt did locate an exit which meant life for him, but without hesitation he returned to rescue his captain. Unfortunately, in spite of Jay’s courageous efforts, Captain Jeff Bowen lost his life that day.

    “Jay’s recognition is well deserved and reflects well not only on him, but as a tribute to his mentor Capt. Jeff Bowen, who always worked toward continuous improvement for himself and for the department,” states Chief Scott Burnette.

    Jay recently ran the Charleston Marathon on January 14th in memory of Captain Bowen, a race they were training for together before Captain Bowen’s death.  For more information please contact Public Information Officer Kelley Webb at 828-251-4011.

     

    12-13-11

    Asheville Fire Department Urges Fire Safety for the Holidays

     

    Each year fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of over 400 people, injure 1,650 more, and cause over $990 million in damage nationally. The Asheville Fire Department would like to share some simple life-saving steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday. By following these tips, individuals can greatly reduce their chances of becoming a holiday fire casualty.

    • Selecting a Tree for the Holiday
      Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should bend and not snap. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. If it is not, cut the tree trunk before placing it in the stand in order to allow water to better penetrate.
    • Caring for Your Tree
      Do not place your tree too close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
    • Maintain Your Holiday Lights
      Inspect holiday lights for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.
    • Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets
      Do not link too many strands together, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure the cords are never warm to the touch.
    • Use Only Nonflammable Decorations
      All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat sources.
    • Never Put Wrapping Paper in a Fireplace
      It can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers and may result in a chimney fire.
    • Keep an Eye on Candles
      Try to only use candles within a confined glass instead of open flames. Candles should be used on a sturdy surface and keep out of reach of children and animals.  Be sure to always blow out candles before leaving the house or going to bed and make sure they do not touch decorations.

     For more information on how to keep you and your family safe from fire this holiday season, please contact the Asheville Fire Department at (828)259-5636.

     

     

    07-25-11

    Mass Evacuation Bus

    The Asheville Fire Department recently received delivery of a mass evacuation bus which was purchased by a grant funded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The bus is capable of transporting 19 patients on stretchers or 28 sitting.  In a major disaster, without this resource, 12 ambulances would be tied up to transport this number of patients. Regional responses will be dispatched under the direction of North Carolina Emergency Management. This resource will be utilized for mass causality incidents, rehabilitation, as a command unit, and for evacuation purposes.  The bus, which is now in service, is available for emergency response to all counties in the western part of North Carolina and will be operated through a joint partnership with Buncombe county EMS. Please contact Chief Joe Meadows at (828)-232-4511 for questions regarding this resource.

    01-06-2011

    Asheville Fire Department Urges Fire Safety

    2011 has already hit the Asheville area hard with structure fires and deaths due to fires.  As of today, the Asheville Fire Department has responded to 5 confirmed structures fires which have contributed to property loss, the loss of several pets and regrettably the loss of a local resident. The heartbreaking thing about fires is that they often can be prevented.  Two of these fires were a result of cooking, which is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries.  Another one of these fires was a result of a chimney fire, which generally is a result of failure to clean or maintain properly.  Another fire was determined to be electrical in nature and the last of the fires was caused by smoking materials, which is the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States. 

    The Asheville Fire Department urges citizens to educate themselves in fire prevention.  There are several simple tips that could help save your life such as; never leave cooking unattended, have your heating equipment serviced annually, never smoke while drowsy or lying down. To learn more helpful tips, please visit our website at  www.ashevillnc.gov/Departments/Fire.aspx  and click on Fire Education & Prevention.  The Asheville Fire Department also encourages that every home have at least one working smoke alarm.  It is estimated that you have less than 3 minutes to get out of a structure alive once an alarm is activated.  Please take time to install these life saving devices.

    For more information on how to keep you and your family safe from fire, please contact the Asheville Fire Department at (828)259-5636 or visit our website at  www.ashevillnc.gov/Departments/Fire.aspx.

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