When Storm Clouds Gather, The Orange Volunteer Fire Department Takes Action
When the recent storm hit Orange knocking out power for so many residents, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department (OVFD) was ready. That preparedness was no accident. In the first 14 hours of the storm, 67 calls were made to assist Orange residents who were in need of help. In the next 10 days OVFD made over 127 calls.
Prior to the day of the storm, members were notified via email and messaging to prepare their homes and ensure that their families would be safe while they focused on protecting Orange. Just before the storm hit, 30 OVFD members of the department mustered at two fire houses ready to operate 5 fire apparatus.
At the fire station food and water were made available including coolers on fire apparatus to support OVFD personnel in their non-stop effort to protect the community.
“We did everything we could to ensure that our members’ families were safe so that our firefighters could focus on our goal of safeguarding the residents of Orange.” said Chief Vaughn Dumas.
During the storm, calls ranged from downed power lines, trees blocking streets, downed trees on homes, and active fires on poles and downed lines. In the storm’s aftermath, the OVFD not only answered calls, but also performed a roaming inspection of our streets to address dangerous situations before people were put at risk. In addition, members of the highway department were also on call working with the OVFD using bucket loaders to clear downed trees.
After power was lost, calls started coming in for CO2 alarms. Many of these were caused by power generators being placed too close to homes and not properly vented. In order to avoid this dangerous situation from getting worse, Chief Dumas proactively put firefighters on the road to check on generators being used to ensure that they were properly vented. They also checked to insure that marked downed power lines were safe.
Town inspectors were notified concerning two homes with structural damage to determine if the homes were stable and not dangerous.
“The result was a successful team effort to protect our community during this dangerous storm and living up to our motto, ‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors’” said Chief Dumas.