On August 4th, 2018 The North Madison Fire Company Chili team traveled to the Farmington Polo Grounds for the Annual Dream Ride experience weekend festivities. Our team competed against 23 other fire departments from Connecticut and New York including our hometown rivals, Madison Hose Company #1 in the 3rd Annual Firemen’s chili cook-off. North Madison’s chili took home 2nd place falling just short to FDNY Engine 262 from 21st street in the city. We like to congratulate all the other winners and also extend a huge thank you to Madison Hose for their great sportsmanship! The best part of the day was getting to work side by side with our brothers from the south. In addition Engine 10-55 took home a second place trophy for best appearing! Thousands of motorcyclists and hundreds of engine enthusiasts venture to Farmington, Connecticut, each year all with the same goal of supporting the Special Olympics and The Hometown Foundation. Participants have journeyed from across the United States and internationally to be a part of the dream. Special Olympics athletes worldwide are given the opportunity to attend The Dream Ride Experience and treasure this lifelong memory. Over the course of this weekend, $2,000,000.00 was raised! We look forward to supporting this great event next year!
For more info visit www.DreamRide.com
Crew Kirst, in green, recently lost his life in a motor vehicle accident
The North Madison Volunteer Fire Company Remembers Crew Kirst
With sorrow and heavy hearts, the North Madison Volunteer Fire Company has hung purple
bunting in honor of one of its youngest department members, Crew Kirst, who lost his life in a
recent motor vehicle accident.
Crew joined the company, known as the “Nomads,” out of desire to give back to the community
and neighbors he loved. A welcomed addition to the Nomad family, Crew brought a relaxed
approach, genuineness, and positive attitude. He was light-hearted and quick on his feet with
comebacks and jokes. His ever-present sense of humor often kept his colleagues laughing,
whether when kicking back after a drill in the firehouse watch room or on dark, rainy nights
during long hours responding to burning transformers, downed wires and fallen trees.
No matter how big or small the job, Crew embraced the work and often stayed until the last
firefighter went home. He responded to structure fires and numerous other North Madison
emergencies on the worst winter days. Members recall him hooking up large diameter hose,
stretching it down the street to hook up to supply trucks, and carrying ladders and equipment
through deep snow at one February structure fire where water froze the driveway and road to ice.
At yet another recent fire, when most of the town still lacked electricity, Crew provided valuable
fire-ground manpower. Always committed to the end, he was one of the last members rolling
and packing heavy hose lines in tough snow and ice conditions, then staying on afterward at the
firehouse to powerwash, re-roll and repack the hose.
Crew’s energy, spirit, and dedication to the company and his teammates inspired everyone
around him. He sought out opportunities to learn from senior members, who in turn relied on
Crew’s knowledge of each fire apparatus and cargo–notably small gas-powered
equipment—which Crew knew well not only from his years as a junior member, but also through
his passion for motocross. In turn, he mentored younger members, who saw him as a role model
for his ability, his sense of fun, his good-natured “busting” on them, for making them feel they
belonged, and especially for his small but meaningful acts of kindness: One night after a drill
during exam week, for example, Crew drove a junior’s forgotten backpack all the way downtown
to school. Last October, another member recalls, he “saved the day” with a last-minute repair to
the burn box during the company’s open house: “His contributions were clutch!” As a former
junior describes Crew, “He was a great soul.”
Crew clearly loved his experience with the Nomads, and envisioned becoming a career
firefighter. He took his training seriously, earning the respect of fellow Nomads who found him
very knowledgeable, dependable and committed to the department and the greater community.
Crew’s unforgettable smile and many contributions to the company will remain forever in his
colleagues’ hearts. His spirit, selflessness, and joy in serving others will continue to inspire all
those who knew him.
Gabe Balsamo joined NMVFC as a junior firefighter in 2006. His initial responses were on his bicycle from his residence on Summer Hill. Over the years, the bicycle was replaced with a Jeep, and he now has a home of his own on Dorset Lane, where he lives with his fiancée, Kelsey. Rumor has it that his response time is still the same! For the past 6 years, Gabe has served NMVFC as a Lieutenant and has been a major contributor to the department.
After graduating from Hand in 2009, Gabe went on to attend the University of New Haven. He expanded his education in the fire service by studying Fire Science and Arson Investigation along with a minor in Criminal Justice. Gabe has continued to further his education by taking fire service courses and is currently certified at the Fire Service Instructor 1 level.
In addition to being an active Line Officer, Gabe oversees the company’s fire gear and personal protective equipment, always making sure every firefighter has the proper PPE needed for the job. He also manages the pager program and social media for the department. Gabe brings energy and enthusiasm to everything he does. You know that Gabe is around by his loud voice and laughter that can be heard from any part of the firehouse.
Gabe is an outstanding leader and has a strong passion for the fire service. It shows both on and off the fire grounds. He has taken new firefighters under his wing by showing them the ropes and is always available to answer a question no matter what time, day or night. He is regarded by the junior firefighters as a mentor in fire department related activities and has provided guidance in preparing them for college and life in general. Gabe defines the word dedicated.
This past year, Gabe has responded to over 50% total calls for service that included manning the fire station during the March Nor’easters! For his outstanding dedication and service to NMVFC and the North Madison community, we name Gabe Balsamo as our Spirit of the Company recipient.Read more
Extremely cold temperatures across most of the country means plenty of space heaters are working overtime. Please pay close attention to your space heater’s surroundings. Check out these few tips below for more info.
Facts about home heating fires
- From 2013-2015, an average of 45,900 home heating fires occurred in the United States each year. These fires caused an annual average of approximately 205 deaths, 725 injuries and $506 million in property loss.
- Heating was the second leading cause of home fires after cooking.
- Home heating fires peaked in the early evening hours between 5 and 9 p.m. with the highest peak between 6 and 8 p.m. This four-hour period accounted for 29 percent of all home heating fires.
- Home heating fires peaked in January (21 percent) and declined to the lowest point from June to August.
- Confined fires — fires confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners — accounted for 75 percent of home heating fires.
- Twenty-nine percent of the nonconfined home heating fires — fires that spread past the object of origin — happened because the heat source (like a space heater or fire place) was too close to things that can burn
These past two Sundays, Santa hopped aboard Engine 10-55 and surprised children throughout North Madison! (He would have flown, but Rudolph and the other reindeer were in for their pre-flight annual vet check-ups and sky shots, and the flying sleigh needed a fresh coat of thermosphere-proof star glitter).
So many wonder-struck neighbors this year—our best year ever! Santa stopped by 102 houses with sirens, flashing lights and loud air horns to spread joy and smiles to 180 children and to thank their parents for their generous support of our volunteer fire company. Participation in our Santa drive was up 40% this year! We drove Santa, his elves and helpers everywhere!
Many thanks to those of you whose generosity and belief in magic keeps Santa—the REAL Santa!—coming to town year after year. He told us to tell you HO HO HO and MERRY CHRISTMAS, and to remind you to clean your chimneys for fire safety and easy self-and-elf access. And make sure all those children to go to bed early Christmas Eve!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS and PEACE, JOY and GOOD WILL TO ALL.
–The North Madison Volunteer Fire Company.
For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations.
So keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.
Thanksgiving by the numbers
- Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. and Christmas Eve.
- In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
- Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
- Cooking equipment was involved in almost half of all reported home fires and home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
Santa Claus is coming to town!
Have your presents delivered by Santa this year.
LT Mark DeCillis One of the recipients of the 2017 Connecticut District Exchange Club’s Salute
to Connecticut’s Bravest Award at the Oct. 20th ceremony
Mark DeCillis joined the fire company as a probationary member on May 29, 2010 and became a regular member in November of the same year. Mark quickly earned his Firefighter 1 and 2 as well as an EMT certification. Since completing his initial training, Mark has demonstrated a deep commitment to the department. Initially, he became an EMS crew leader taking EMS duty once a week. Mark was elected Lieutenant in 2013 and immediately took charge of our SCBA program. Under his supervison, the program has flourished and has ensured that each firefighter has a functioning air pack everytime it is donned. Mark has also taken an active role in the company as one of the leaders of the junior firefighting program. He has served as a mentor to many junior firefighters and as a result, this program serves a deep pool of qualified members. Mark immediately steps in to fill whatever role is required whether it be basic firefighter or incident command. Marks steps up to any challenge and completes the job. He remains one of our top responders, responding to most fire and EMS calls.
The officers and members of the North Madison Fire Company would like to extend a BIG thank you to EVERYONE that attended the 2017 open house! It was a great success thanks to the dedication of our members and the fantastic showing from the community!!
Today as part of the 2017 Fire Prevention Week children from a local nursery school stopped by the firehouse to thank us for visiting their school to talk about fire safety. They surprised us with fresh flowers, a beautiful handmade card and a huge, delicious plate of homemade brownies! (We will be appreciating those brownies during our monthly clean-up and business meeting tonight). Many thanks to all of them for their thoughtful gifts. What a generous community we live in. Truly neighbors helping neighbors!