Firefighters Laracy (L) and Brewer are sworn in by City Clerk Fran Macdonald
Department Swears in New Firefighters 28 August 2008
Firefighters Ryan Laracy and Mark Brewer were sworn in as Beverly’s newest firefighters in an afternoon ceremony at Beverly Fire Headquarters. Both have been working with the Department Training Officer since Monday the 18th of August. During their two weeks, they learned the basic skills they will need to operate safely at the scene of a fire. From Mayday training and rescuing a victim, to advancing a line while in full protective gear, the two were challenged every day.
Firefighter Laracy worked in the banking industry prior to joining the department and firefighter Brewer was a Beverly Police Officer for 11 years.
Both have been assigned to groups at the headquarters station as of Monday September 1.
FF Kevin Smith during his individual race at the Combat Challenge in Haverhill
Firefighters Compete in Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge
4 Beverly firefighters took part in the regional Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge held in Haverhill on August 23 and 24. The challenge is designed to mimic five fireground tasks that have to be completed in under 6 minutes. The tasks are carrying a 55 pound hoseline up 6 stories, hoisting a 50 pound roll of hose 6 stories, forcing entry, advancing a charged hoseline 75 feet and dragging a 175 pound dummy 100 feet.
All four firefighters completed the individual event with firefighter Kevin Smith bringing home the fastest time for the Beverly team at 2 minutes 43 seconds. Peter O’Connor and Chris Halloran came in at 3 minutes 3 seconds and Matt Kowalski battled through an equipment malfunction finishing the course in 3 minutes 48 seconds with his helmet covering his eyes through much of the course.
On day two, the Beverly Fire Department relay team earned a spot in the National Championships to be held in Las Vegas with their time of 1 minute 59 seconds. Though the team will probably not be making the trip this year, they are looking forward to improving their times and possibly taking part in the event in the future.
Firefighters from as far away as Slovenia took part in the event. For their part, the Beverly Team was awarded pins and a Combat Challenge Flag.
The Combat Challenge flag signifying qualification for the U.S. Nationals.
Fire fully involves the rear of the structure at 890 Hale St
890 Hale St
At 2055, Thursday August 21, the Beverly Fire Department responded to a report of a Fire Alarm activation at 890 Hale St. While companies were responding, Police dispatchers received confirmation that there was a fire at the residence.
Engine 3 was the first to arrive on scene. The crew found heavy fire from 3 floors of the structure and entered the home briefly to attempt an interior attack. When the magnitude of the fire was realized, the crew immediately left the building to fight the fire from the outside. The firefighters were able to ascertain that all occupants were out of the house.
At 2100 while still enroute to the fire, Deputy Chief requested a second alarm to get additional apparatus to the scene. Upon arrival the Deputy requested a third alarm for addition engines and personnel to overcome difficulties with water supply and a raging fire that was quickly consuming most of the structure.
While approximately eight engines operated at the actual fire scene, many more engines were placed strategically along long hose lays to boost water pressure so that the fire fighters on the fireground had sufficient water to knock down the fire. More than 3500 feet of supply hose was laid up the main driveway. (Three separate lays to three different hydrants.) Another 1500 feet was laid up a dirt access road on the back side of the property. A total of 17 trucks from Beverly and surrounding communities were at the incident.
“All of the responders worked extremely hard to get sufficient water to the scene.” Said Deputy Chief Cotter “Some of the heavy lines had to be stretched by hand down dirt roads to locations pointed out Mike Collins with his infrastructure expertise.” Cotter continued.
Much of the firefighting was done from outside of the structure as the heavy fire consumed all of the rear of the structure leaving only a front exterior wall in tact and three chimneys. Crews had to work a safe distance from the building to ensure that when walls did collapse, they were well out of the way.
The fast moving fire remains under investigation by members of the Beverly Police Department, Beverly Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Throughout the fire, crews were assisted by several outside agencies including Northeast Regional Ambulance, Beverly Emergency Management, Public Works and Rehab 5.
No injuries were reported and the house was a total loss. Firefighters worked feverishly successfully protecting a four car garage that was threatened by burning embers that flew high into the night sky before falling back to the surrounding woods and wood roof garage.
The Beverly Fire Department remained at the scene of the fire at 890 Hale throughout the day and into the evening hours. While on scene, fire crews worked to extinguish hidden pockets of fire that continued to burn. Due to the structural collapse during the fire, several voids were created that prevented water from reaching some small deep seated fires. Crews doused those spots with large volumes of water and in some cases worked to dismantle structural members that were concealing hidden fire.
While some crews were battling hot spots, Fire Investigators from the Beverly Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office worked to find the cause of the blaze. “Good progress was made today,” said Lt. Robert Bergeron of the Beverly Fire Department “we believe the fire was accidental in nature and are continuing to investigate the cause”.
The cause of the fire will be released once Fire Investigators have finished their investigation.
Firefighters prepare to recover a body in the Shoe Pond
The Beverly Fire Department responded to the Pond at The Cummings Center shortly after 0700 this morning. The request came from the Beverly Police after a suspected body was seen floating in the pond. Upon their initial response, firefighters found a body near a spillway that led to the lower Shoe pond. It was immediately evident that the victim could not be revived. Police personnel requested that the body be left until investigators could be called to the scene and Beverly firefighters cleared the scene.
When fire crews were requested to return to the scene, Firefighter’s Steven Grant and Brian Mahan donned Rescue Suits to recover the victim. While Firefighter Grant entered the water, Firefighter Mahan , and Lieutenant Eric Fowler held a rope attached to Grant. Firefighter Grant moved into the area of the spillway and recovered the victim bringing the body back to the shore.
The crews left the victim on the shore for police officials to conduct their investigation.
Firefighters make up after extinguishing a car fire
On 8/7 Engine 5 was dispatched to Princeton Ave for a report of a car fire. Upon arrival, FF Steve White found burning plastic dripping from the engine compartment of a small pick up truck. Firefighter White and his crew quickly extinguished a fire in the engine compartment of the vehicle using a hose line from Engine 5. The cause of the fire appeared to be accidental due to a malfunction.
The crew of Engine 1 assessed the victim of the fall and prepared him for movement to the ground.
At 1421, Engine 1 was dispatched to the First Baptist Church, 221 Cabot St, for a report of a worker fallen from scaffolding. Upon arrival, Engine 1 determined that the worker was on a level of the staging roughly 80 feet in the air. The man had fallen approximately 15 feet from another level of staging. Lt. Paul LaBelle and his crew, FF’s Sean Murray and Tom Lantych ascended the staging to assess the man’s injuries.
Chief Pierce arrived at the scene with Engine 1 and immediately made a request for Engine 5 to respond by way of headquarters to bring the longer Ladder, Ladder 1, to the scene. Ladder 1 was out of service.
Ladder 1 arrived with the crew of Engine 5 and immediately set up the ladder for access to remove the injured worker from the scaffolding. Due to the nature of the fall and the potential for serious back injury, the fastest and safest way to remove the victim was by lowering him down the Ladder while being guided by crews above and below.
While the Ladder was being prepared, the fire crews and Paramedics from North East Regional Ambulance tended to the victim and prepared him for being lowered. The victim was placed on a board that immobilized him, and then placed in a Stokes Basket, which was secured with a rope so that firefighters at the top could assist firefighters on the Ladder lowering the victim.
With all of the crews in place, the victim was transferred from the scaffolding to the ladder where FF. Tom Lantych, FF Jon Palm and Captain Peter O’Connor slowly guided the basket and its tether to the base of the Ladder where another crew of Paramedics was waiting. The victim was then transported to Beverly Hospital for further treatment and assessment.
Three of the firefighters on scene had recently gone through Technical Rope Rescue training provided by the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. The training provided advanced training in working in situations that require the use of ropes for raising, lowering or rappelling to an injured victim. The training proved extremely useful as the equipment was secured with proper knots.
“The guys performed extremely well under difficult conditions,” said Deputy Chief Paul Cotter “these were conditions that were out of the norm and they worked smartly and safely to make sure the man got down without suffering any further injury.”
All units were clear of the scene at 1516.
Firefighter Kevin Smith Supplies the suds for the Recreation Department