Less than 12 hours after a 2nd alarm fire in our own district, the CHFD was requested on a 2nd alarm to the City of Rensselaer for Box 29-02 at 708 East St. CHFD responded with Cars 1, 2 and 3, 8-5, T-8 and R-8. Car 2 (Asst. Chief O'Connor) was the first CHFD officer on scene. He quickly met up with the IC, Asst. Chief Corcoran and received orders for the CHFD units. Engine Co. 8-5 and Truck 8 arrived moments later. 8-5 secured its own water supply and the crew stretched a line to the second floor while the Truck went to work opening up on the second floor as well. The aggressive interior attack by the Rensselaer and Clinton Heights units made quick work of the fire. Exposures were a mere 3 feet away on either side. Neither suffered any damage due to the rapid fire suppression.
Members of the Clinton Heights Fire Department have been completing bailout training as required by NYS law. Six members were recently certified as trainers by Capital Technical Rescue and Safety Consultants on the Sterling F4 bailout system. These six instructors, led by Assistant Chief Chris Racine have been training our department's interior firefighters in this valuable aspect of firefighting. A small crew led by Lieutenant Marcus Kravitz renovated a training prop in one of our stations to be used for the bailout training. We now have the ability to train at any time the need arises.
Friday the 13th [of March 2015] turned out to be a bad omen for a family on the 100 block of Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush. About 5:45pm, a passerby noticing smoke pouring from an attic window at the residence, stopped and alerted the unsuspecting residents. After the 911 call, the Clinton Heights Fire Department was dispatched. Car 3 arrived first and reported a working fire. Car 1 arrived seconds later and requested a second alarm. Heavy smoke had turned to flame and with the arrival of Engine 8-5 and Truck 8, an attack line was brought into the structure. After a challenge to find the staircase to the attic where the fire was centered, the firefighters on the line were able to make a quick knock-down of the fire. Extinguishing hot spots pursued. Called to the scene were the Defreestville Fire Department who provided a FAST team; the East Greenbush and Best Luther Fire Departments also added extra manpower at the scene while the Castleton Fire Department provided a cover assignment back at Station II. Especially challenging was the traffic on Routes 9 & 20 (Columbia Turnpike) during the after-work rush hour. The cause of the fire was determined to be careless smoking. All units were back in service by 9:00pm.
As an exercise for the winter months in the Northeast, the Clinton Heights Fire Department retained Lifeguard Systems, Inc. to provide certified training in surface ice water rescue. The two day program took place in East Greenbush on January 24th and 25th, 2015. Seventeen firefighters participated including personnel from the Melrose Fire Department of Rensselaer County and the Fort Edward Fire Department located in Washington County, New York. The program presented to the participants the disciplines and skill-sets needed to successfully bring to safety a victim(s) who would have fallen through the ice. Among the considerable material the student had to comprehend included the physical/bodily costs to the victim who has fallen through the ice: heat loss, cold stress, hypothermia, blood pressure and other immersion complications. Also considered was the command structure involving the staging of personnel, equipment and apparatus, and of course, the actual rescue techniques. Line tending, proper patient handling, ice transport and the personal protective equipment of the rescuers. The on-ice exercises took place on Hampton Manor Lake, East Greenbush (see photos).
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