Firefighters' Service Goes Beyond Responding to Calls

A night and day in the life of East Farms Fire Department.

Volunteer firefighters support the community in so many ways besides fighting fires. This weekend was filled with examples, from assisting with set up at Friday night to participating in Saturday.

“The true spirit of a firefighter is giving above and beyond to the community,” said East Farms Fire Department Chief Russ Nelson. “The 50 volunteers at East Farms Fire Department carry pagers at all times to respond to every medical and fire call — any time, every day. They are also always out in the community, helping at events, educating residents about fire safety and much more.”

East Farms Fire serves an area that has seen tremendous commercial growth in recent years. It covers , Interstate-84 and Route 9, several hotels, medical office buildings and assisted living developments, as well as residential neighborhoods.

Calls for medical assistance or to respond to fires or hazardous materials spills can come in from the 911 dispatch center at any time. Of the 1,200 calls the department gets each year, about 70 percent are medical calls.

So what was this Friday night into Saturday like at the station? The first thing Chief Nelson and Lt. Shawn Curtis did when they arrived at the station after work was to provide gear and instructions to a new firefighter, Jesse Garrard, a 2010 graduate of .

Next it was off to the high school in two trucks full of volunteer firefighters to help set up tents, ropeways and tables for Saturday's Relay For Life.

Back at the firehouse, there is always equipment to maintain and records to manage on the response management software.

Calls for medical assistance came in during the night, yet at 8:30 a.m. the volunteers were back out at setting up for Public Safety Day, while also covering the village for Farmington Fire Department which was out participating in a live burn training event.

The department also had a team walking in Relay for Life.

Sarrena Lombard, a new EFFD volunteer firefighter and EMT recently transferred to the area from Syracuse, is one of six women in the department. Greeting visitors to the fire trailer Saturday morning, she echoed the chief's sentiments.

“People join fire departments because they want to provide service to their community,” she said.

Anyone interested in becoming a Farmington firefighter can get information on the Volunteer Fire Fighter  web page or call or visit a fire station.

Angela Nelson May 24, 2011 at 12:13 PM
Thank you to the East Farms Fire Department for all you do for us in the town!!! I have to say that all the firefighers are very dedicated to the community and helping others. They recently collected money for Easter Seals for the "Walk with Me" event in Mystic a few weeks ago! Thanks to all the firefighters who donated to help children with disabilities!!! Your donation is priceless!! Sincerely, Angela Nelson
Jeff Hogan May 24, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Nice article pointing out the many contributions that the Fire companies make to the community. Just wanted to add that the Tunxis Hose Fire Department annually provides all of the medical and first aid coverage for the entire duration of the Relay for Life and did so again this weekend. They also cooked breakfast for all of the participants on Sunday morning in addition to making a substantial financial contribution to the Relay. The Farmington Volunteer Fire Company provides clean up for the event on Sunday morning. It is important that the community realizes the fact that our volunteer companies contribute their time, efforts and dollars to the community 24/7.
Bill Stanford May 24, 2011 at 10:21 PM
To our volunteer firefighters: Thank You
dianepolletta May 25, 2011 at 03:34 PM
In light of the fact that this article was about the Farmington Firefighters, Mr. Hogan's comments were not only fitting, but appropriate. Great work, all of Farmington's Firefighters! Diane


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