Due to today’s high winds (Saturday March 23), burning will not be allowed.
GEORGETOWN — Chief Fred Mitchell reports that the Georgetown Fire Department responded to significant crash between a box truck and a car Friday morning.
At 10:01 a.m., the Georgetown Fire Department responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash just off of Route 133 (East Main Street) on the northbound on-ramp to I-95. The drivers of the car and box truck were able to remove themselves from their vehicles without assistance from first responders, but the passenger of the car had to be extricated by Georgetown firefighters using hydraulic rescue tools.
The driver of the box truck was taken to Tufts Medical Center by a medical helicopter, and the passenger and driver of the car were both taken to Anna Jacques Hospital by ambulance.
Both motor vehicles sustained significant damage from the crash and had to be towed away from the scene.
Route 133 was closed in the area of the crash Friday morning as rescuers assisted those involved. The road was re-oped at approximately 12 p.m.
The Georgetown Fire Department received mutual aid assistance from the Newbury Fire Department.
The crash is currently under investigation by the Georgetown Police Department with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section.
GEORGETOWN — Chief Fred Mitchell is pleased to announce that Firefighters Michael McManus and Tricia Morrison graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy this February.
Firefighters McManus and Morrison were among 24 graduates from the MFA’s Call/Volunteer Firefighter Training Class 74 who were recognized on Thursday, Feb. 28, at a ceremony held at Masconomet Regional Middle School in Boxford.
During the training, firefighters learned the basic skills they need to respond to fires, including how to contain and control them, public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management, firefighter self-rescue and vehicle extrication.
To graduate, firefighters were required to complete 240 hours of training, all on nights and weekends, while demonstrating proficiency in life safety, search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply, pump operation and fire attack in situations ranging from mailbox fires to multiple-floor or multi-room structural fires.
Both Firefighters McManus and Morrison are Georgetown residents and are EMT certified. Firefighter McManus joined the Georgetown Fire department in May 2016, and Firefighter Morrison joined the department in August 2018.
At the ceremony, Firefighter Morrison was awarded the Martin H. McNamara award, which is given to one student in each class to recognize his or her outstanding performance, and is based on practical skill applications and academic exams for the program.
“Completing this program is a significant accomplishment, and I’m proud of Firefighters McManus and Morrison for representing our department so well,” Chief Mitchell said. “Firefighter Morrison excelled academically and in performing practical skills, and to be recognized with the Martin H. McNamara award reflects her tenacity and dedication to serving the people of Georgetown.”
The other 23 graduates represent the fire departments of Boxford, Essex, Groveland, Ipswich, Lynnfield, Rockport, Sherborn, Tyngsborough, Wenham, West Newbury and Weston.
GEORGETOWN — Chief Fred Mitchell wishes to remind residents to test their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), having working smoke alarms reduces the risk of dying in a fire by 50 percent and, on average, three out of every five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
“We encourage residents to test their fire and carbon monoxide detectors about once a month,” Chief Mitchell said. “It’s an important routine to get into. Changing the batteries and replacing old devices is crucial to everyone’s safety, and if you have any questions about your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, please give the Georgetown Fire Department a call.”
The Georgetown Fire Department asks that all business owners not only change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, but also replace the batteries on wall mounted emergency lights and exit signs. All businesses should have emergency backup lighting as a safety feature to provide temporary lighting in case of power failure.
In order to continue to keep your home safe and prevent fires, Chief Mitchell recommends that residents follow safety tips outlined by NFPA:
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month using the test button. Replace alarms immediately if they don’t respond properly when tested.
- Replace batteries in smoke and CO alarms when you change your clocks.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they reach 10 years old. Replace CO detectors according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
- If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay in that spot until emergency personnel arrive.
- Develop and practice a home escape plan with all members of the household.
For more information on smoke detector and CO alarm safety, visit the NFPA website or contact the Georgetown Fire Department at 978-352-5757.
Snow Expected to Impact Tuesday Evening Commute
GEORGETOWN — Chief Fred Mitchell wishes to make residents aware of the potential impact of a snowstorm that is expected to affect tomorrow’s evening commute.
Precipitation is expected to begin in Georgetown at around 3 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Georgetown residents can expect to receive 6-8 inches of snow, changing to sleet and then freezing rain. There is a significant chance for slippery road conditions, especially during the early evening. Precipitation is expected to end at approximately 7 a.m. Wednesday.
During periods of snow, residents are required to remove their parked vehicles from the roadway to give plows proper and safe space to operate.
While this storm is not expected to be large, Chief Mitchell urges residents and commuters to drive safely during wintry conditions:
- Avoid driving during the worst part of a storm and use extreme caution during a sudden snow squall.
- Always clear snow and ice from windows, lights, the hood and the roof before driving.
- Leave plenty of room for stopping.
- Don’t try to out drive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
- Know the current road conditions. Call 511 from your cell phone or 617-986-5511 from either your cell phone or landline phone for updates on road conditions.
- Brake early and correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
- Don’t use “cruise control” driving in wintry conditions. Even roads that look clear can have sudden slippery spots. Using your brake on these spots will deactivate cruise control, possibly causing you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Look further ahead in traffic than normal.
- Trucks are heavier than cars, making their brake time slower. Avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
- Don’t crowd the plow. Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows. Stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.
- Remember to slow down and always wear your seat belt.
- Let others know your destination, route and expected travel times.
- Allow for extra travel time.
- Drive with your headlights on at all times to see and be seen.
GEORGETOWN — Chief Fred A. Mitchell Jr. and the Georgetown Fire Department wish to remind residents of the rules and regulations related to open burning in town.
Permits are required in order to conduct open burning. Permits may be obtained online by clicking here. Permits cost $10 (plus a $2.50 fee online).
Residents who have obtained permits need to call the state open burning hotline at 617-556-1021 on the day they wish to burn. Residents must also call the Georgetown Fire Department at 978-352-5757 no earlier than 9:30 a.m. and no later than noon on the day they intend to burn.
Burning is prohibited on Class four and five days.
Fires must be kept 75 feet away from buildings and not cause a smoke nuisance to neighbors. In addition, the fire must be attended and a hose made available.
Outdoor burning is only permitted for brush, cane, driftwood, forestry debris, agricultural debris and — under certain conditions — fungus-infected elm wood. Burning grass, hay, leaves, stumps, and commercial or industrial land clearing for non-agricultural purposes is prohibited.
Violations of the permit requirements, open burning law and/or open burning regulations will be grounds for permit revocation. According to Massachusetts law, anyone found burning without a permit may be subject to criminal charges, the punishment for which is a fine of up to $500, plus the cost of suppression, or by imprisonment for up to one month, or both.
The town of Georgetown is seeking qualified applicants for the position of full-time firefighter. Applications must be received by 5:00PM on January 30, 2019. Please see attached job announcement for more details.
Chief Fred A. Mitchell Jr. and the Georgetown Fire Department would like to remind residents to be cognizant of thin ice as temperatures continue to fluctuate.
Even despite extreme cold in the early part of this week, the Georgetown Fire Department warns may be unsafe to walk, skate or fish on the ice.
“Though it’s been very cold for the last few days, it’s still very likely that any ice over open water is not strong enough to support someone’s weight,” Chief Mitchell said. “It’s best to avoid going on the ice at all, and we encourage residents to avoid doing so.”
The Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs says ice should always be measured in multiple places before testing it with your weight. Ice two inches thick or less should be avoided completely. Ice with a depth of four inches or more is considered safe for ice fishing or other activities on foot. Five inches of ice is recommended for snowmobiles or ATVs. Eight to 12 inches is necessary for a small car, while 12 to 15 inches of ice is necessary for trucks.
General Ice and Cold Water Safety:
- Never go onto the ice alone. A friend may be able to rescue you or go for help if you fall through the ice.
- Always keep your pets on a leash. If a pet falls through the ice do not attempt a rescue. Call 911 instead.
- New ice is usually stronger than old ice. As the ice ages, the bond between the crystals decay, making it weaker, even if melting has not occurred.
- Beware of ice covered with snow. Snow can insulate ice and keep it strong, but can also insulate it to keep it from freezing.
- Slush is a danger sign, indicating that ice is no longer freezing from the bottom and can be weak or deteriorating.
- Ice formed over flowing water (rivers or lakes containing a large number of springs) is generally 15 percent weaker.
- Ice seldom freezes or thaws at a uniform rate. It can be one foot thick in one spot and be only one inch thick 10 feet away.
What To Do If Someone Falls Through Ice
- Reach-Throw-Go: If someone falls through the ice and you are unable to reach that person from shore, throw them something (rope, jumper cables, tree branch, etc.) If this does not work, go for help before you also become a victim. Get medical assistance for the victim immediately.
- If you fall in, try not to panic. Turn toward the direction you came from. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface, working forward by kicking your feet. Once out, remain lying on the ice (do not stand) and roll away from the hole. Crawl back to your tracks, keeping your weight distributed until you return to solid ice.
If you have any questions, call the Georgetown Fire Department at 978-352-5757. If you feel that someone may be in danger, dial 911.
GEORGETOWN — Following the first significant storm of the season, Chief Fred A. Mitchell Jr. would like to remind residents to clear snow away from hydrants to ensure an efficient response to potential fires.
To best ensure that firefighters can respond to emergencies in a timely manner, the Georgetown Fire Department asks residents to help clear snow from within 3 feet of hydrants.
When fire hydrants are buried in the snow, firefighters lose valuable time trying to locate them when they arrive at the scene of a fire. Having a visible and accessible fire hydrant could be the difference in saving a home or a life in the event of a fire.
“Maintaining access to hydrants at all times helps guarantee that our firefighters can do their jobs efficiently,” Chief Mitchell said. “Residents can do their part by remaining aware of where hydrants are located in their neighborhoods, and taking time to shovel them out so they’re reachable in an emergency.”
With the extreme cold becoming more likely, Chief Fred A. Mitchell Jr. and the Georgetown Fire Department would like to provide the community with several important safety tips in the event of inclement weather.
“As we get deeper into winter, frigid temperatures are going to be more common, so residents should take steps to protect themselves,” Chief Mitchell said.
To stay safe, the Georgetown Fire Department recommends that residents follow tips from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
- If outside, dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing instead of a single heavy layer. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens (not gloves) and sturdy waterproof boots to protect your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
- Check on your elderly neighbors or any neighbors that may live alone.
- For your car, check your antifreeze, battery, defroster, windshield wipers, wiper fluid and other vehicle equipment to make sure they are ready for winter driving.
- Ensure you have sufficient heating fuel, as well as alternate emergency heating equipment in case you lose electricity. There are many resources available for low-income residents who meet certain requirements. National Grid offers discounted rates on services to those who are eligible. The state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program can help certain households pay for a portion of their heating bills.
- When utilizing alternate heating sources, such as an emergency generator, your fireplace, wood stove, or space heater, take necessary safety precautions:
— Keep a fire extinguisher handy and ensure everyone knows how to use it properly.
— Never heat your home with a gas stove or oven or charcoal barbecue grill.
— Make sure all heating devices are properly ventilated and always operate a generator outdoors and away from your home. Improper heating devices can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide buildup in the home.
— Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause flu-like illness or death. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911 immediately and evacuate the area.
For pet owners unsure of what protections their pets need during cold weather, the Humane Society provides the following tips for keeping animals safe:
- Keep pets sheltered and inside. Cats should never be left outdoors in cold weather, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Dogs should be taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time.
- Bundle up dogs, especially short-haired dogs, with protective gear, such as sweaters and boots. No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet’s life. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps.