At approximately 9:40 am, the CHFD Foam Task Force was requested to the scene of an overturned tanker truck with a leaking tank on the Berkshire Spur of the NYS Thruway. First arriving units from South Schodack FD determined the product was denatured ethanol and requested HAZMAT resources. CHFD's Foam Task Force which was comprised of the county's foam trailer and Engine Company 8-5 responded under the command of Chief Tracy. After an initial assessment, members began applying a protective blanket of foam in the area surrounding the leak. Under the guidance of NYS HAZMAT resources, the remaining product was transferred to a waiting tanker truck. The truck had been carrying approximately 10,600 gallons of denatured ethanol. Members continued to apply foam to maintain a sufficient blanket of protection. The CHFD responded in conjunction with other Rensselaer County HAZMAT resources from the City of Troy FD and the Battalion 1 Decon. Team. The foam trailer housed by CHFD carries 550 gallons of Universal Gold alcohol resistant firefighting foam which is designed specifically for ethanol type incidents. Engine Company 8-5 carries approximately 90 gallons as well. Units : Car 1, 8-5, U-8, RC Foam Trailer
Firefighters from the Clinton Heights Fire Department along with several neighboring departments recently participated in a "Man vs. Machine" exercise. The two day program was provided by PL Vulcan Fire Training Concepts, led by Captain Mark Gregory, FDNY. Along with Captain Gregory, two additional instructors took the 36 participants through six evolutions touching upon the necessary skill sets and practical solutions needed to address not-everyday-calls but critical ones from machinery entrapment (e.g. meat grinder) to bodily impalement. The exercise also allowed a review of the tools necessary for such unusual calls. A three hour classroom course was followed with four hours of hands-on training. CHFD Chief Seth Tracy welcomed the presenters noting a special relationship between Captain Gregory and his department. Stephen Gregory Sr., Mark's grandfather, a retired New York City firefighter, was a member of the Clinton Heights Fire Department; he volunteered countless hours training local firefighters over the course of his retirement years. He passed away this past late-winter with full honors from Clinton Heights. Present for the course were three generations of the Gregory family: Stephen Jr., Mark Sr., and Mark Jr. This course continued the tradition of the Gregory family sharing their expertise with the members of CHFD. Other fire service agencies joined in the exercise: East Greenbush FD, Rensselaer FD, Defreestville FD, Albany FD, Nassau FD, Averill Park-Sand Lake FD, Schuyler Heights FD, Centervile FD (Greene County) and the NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control.
At the invitation of the Melvin Roads Post 1231 American Legion, East Greenbush, NY, members of the Clinton Heights Fire Department participated in Patriot Day Ceremonies. Annually, CHFD formally remembers those fire personnel and all emergency responders as well as the 3,000 lives lost on September 11, 2001. Past Assistant Chief Robert Phelan read the tribute in memory of those lost, while Firefighter Corey Morales tolled the bell during a moment of silence. Twelve members of the Department took time from their day to attend the 12Noon ceremonies. In addition, Truck 8 was brought on site displaying the stars and stripes on the fully extended aerial ladder. Squad 8 also was brought on the grounds as further tribute to the lives lost. May we never forget.
Members of the Clinton Heights Fire Department accepted a challenge by the Oriskany Fire Department to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS. Tuesday evening, September 9, 2014, 22 members from both companies--W. F. Bruen Hose and Community Hose--met the challenge and soaked themselves with ice and water! This event had special meaning to the fire fighters as two friends close to the department are ailing from ALS. Struggling with this disease is the department's former mail carrier, Mike Britt, as well as Lou Polsinello, a life member of CHFD's firematics partner, the Rensselaer Fire Department; Lou is the former President of Polsinello Fuels of Rensselaer. The two companies have donated $250 each to the ALS Association of Upstate New York Chapter. Having participated in this event, the Clinton Heights Fire Department put forth a challenge to the Rensselaer Fire Department, the Defreestville Fire Department and Polsinello Fuels to follow their example! CHFD is grateful to Country True Value Hardware for providing the ample number of buckets, and to Price Chopper--East Greenbush for providing a gift card to purchase the ice and refreshments following.