Voting Information / Warming Center

Posted on November 5, 2012

Fairmount Fire Company will be hosting voting as normal November 6.  Please pay attention to signs guiding you to the correct entrance, as the location within the building will likely change.

Also, the firehouse remains open as a Red Cross warming center / charging station from 9am to 6pm until further notice.


 

Hurricane Sandy

Posted on November 12, 2012

It seemed like we brewed more coffee during the week that followed Hurricane Sandy than our average pancake breakfast. Likewise, we handled more incidents in the two weeks after than our average two month period.

Hurricane Sandy started for many of our members Sunday evening when they left their homes and families before the hurricane to handle the emergency incidents that would follow. As the incredible winds and rain came through that night, our members were out answering the alarms. Most of the calls Sunday night were for wires, poles, and trees down. At one point, trees were falling down into the road right in front of crews responding to an incident. It was time to return to the firehouse and spend the night.

At the end of the storm, most of the area was inaccessible due to trees, wires, and poles down. The members standing by at the station couldn't leave to check on their families or homes.

After just a couple hours of sleep, with a concrete floor as a mattress for many, Fairmount's members tackled the trees down to clear a path for emergencies and assess the damage. Parker Road and Fairmount Road were blocked just a couple hundred feet from the firehouse, making any kind of emergency impossible to reach. Lanes wide enough for a fire truck were cut in about a dozen full size trees opening up the area. Our friends from the Washington Township Department of Public Works joined us with a backhoe and manpower to open up emergency lanes, then took on the task of clearing the roads for general traffic.

The firehouse remained staffed 24/7 for several days following the storm. As all of our homes were without power, our members and their families prepared warm meals for each other at the station and were enjoyed as a large extended family. One night dinner was put on hold as we were dispatched to a chimney fire moments before sitting down for our meal.

In the days following the storm. the firehouse seemed like a revolving door of responders, public works employees, and residents stopping in for a hot cup of coffee, a place to warm up, grab a sandwich, or simply say hello. The firehouse would later turn into a red cross warming center and charging station for the residents. A couple hundred residents used the facilities, with the peak being election day when we had to juggle hosting the warming center, elections, and run fire calls.

Over 70 calls were answered during the hurricane and the two weeks to follow. In contrast, the average month yields about 20-30 incidents. Calls included wires, poles, and trees down, pump details, chimney fires, carbon monoxide incidents, alarms, and a rescue.

Fairmount would like to thank all of the people involved in the local recovery of the storm: our members and their families, Washington Township DPW, Washington Township & Tewksbury Police, Washington Township OEM, the American Red Cross, Long Valley First Aid Squad, and the numerous utility companies who worked tirelessly to restore services. We would also like to thank Chester Shop Rite for their generous donation of frozen food.