Your Fire Department responded to 3,811 alarms in 2001. The alarms were received as:
|Alarms, No Fire||879||872|
To report a FIRE residents are urged to use the Township fire a1ann boxes, and/or the fire emergency number (201-837-7783) for the quickest, most reliable fire response service. State mandated 9-1-1 service is also available. On average, fire personnel respond two minutes quicker to signals from fire alarm boxes which makes a significant difference during the early stages of a fire. We encourage you to program our seven digit number (201-837-7783) into your telephone speed dialer should there be a problem with the 9-1-1 system. If the entire phone system should fail, the Township fire a1ann boxes will be available to report any emergency. Please make a note of the location of the one closest to your home today.
An analysis of the seventy-one structure fires in Teaneck in 2001 reveals that there was a rise in the amount of kitchen fires, a dangerous trend that homeowners should be aware of since inattention often is the cause.
There were 118 other fires attended by the Fire Department in 2001. Thirty-seven involved outdoor utility lines, thirty-five involved vehicles, twenty were brush fires, sixteen were leaf pile fires, eleven were outside utility line fires and thirty-six were miscellaneous outdoor fires.
There were 496 smoke emergencies. Many of these had the potential to become full-scale fires if the Fire Department did not provide rapid intervention. There were also 654 hazardous conditions, an alarming increase of 28 percent. Some, such as gas leaks, overheated equipment, or loose electrical lines, could have caused fires or injuries. Others, such as loose building components during high winds, or spilled slippery substances on roadways, could have caused various other injuries and property damage. It is evident that The Fire Department's proactive approach to community safety is of great value in that 1,119 potentially disastrous situations were quickly resolved without any great loss. All Fire Department members are certified as Emergency Medical Technicians or medical First Responders. We have six semi-automatic defibrillators located on all first line fire equipment for a quick response when the Fire Department is requested. On 258 occasions, the Fire Department provided first responder services to people who were hurt or sick during periods when Teaneck Volunteer Ambulance units were busy with other calls. In 128 other incidents, the Department provided forcible entry or other back-ups to TVAC. On 28 runs, the TEANECK FIRE DEPARTMENT extricated trapped patients from wrecked vehicles or trapped elevators.
Forty-five times, Teaneck fire units responded to water or steam leaks, which were causing or threatening damage to life and property. Thirty-one times, the Fire Department responded to Carbon Monoxide activations; on thirteen occasions, this deadly gas was actually present and immediate intervention was needed to preserve human health and life.
Uniformed members of the Department attend continuing education courses covering a wide variety of subjects including firefighting, health and safety, arson detection, Firefighter 2, Firefighter 3, Heavy Rescue, CPR, and fire incident command. Department members continued to expand their knowledge by also taking additional optional fire schooling. In addition, members participate in a variety of in-service company training to increase their level of expertise. Haz-mat team members comply with OSHA mandated training requirements. Haz-mat training is conducted at State academies and in-house by team member certified State instructors.
The Department had an extensive fire prevention and fire protection program in place for 2001. The principal goal for the fire prevention program involves performing inspections of existing buildings, which includes schools, local businesses, factories, hospitals and nursing homes in the Township. There were over 6,000 fire prevention activities performed during the year. In addition, over 900 required inspections and reinspections of residential smoke detectors were made in the sale and resale of private dwellings or rental proper- ties. Neighborhood fire companies conducted approximately 1,800 fire pre-plan and maintenance inspections of the local buildings in their districts. This insures proper storage conditions and adequate maintenance is being performed in the buildings for items such as exit signs, emergency lighting, and blocked exits. These inspections also familiarize the fire companies with the buildings layout. The Bureau is also responsible for the investigations of all fires that occur in the Township. The investigations are conducted with the cooperation from local, County, State and Federal agencies. These include Police, County Prosecutors Arson Task Force, State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The fire prevention staff also responded to over 200 fire responses throughout the year to assist the line fire personnel.
Teaneck's municipal fire alarm system continues to be the best way to report fires, smoke and other emergencies to the Fire Department. When you activate a fire alarm box, your signal for help goes instantly and directly to Fire Headquarters, without being processed by other agencies.
The fire alarm boxes are completely separate from the telephone company, and have days of back-up power. They will work even though the phones or power is out. Besides being used to report fires, boxes were also activated to report 78 smoke emergencies, many of which could have become fires if not instantly attended, 14 leaks of steam or water doing damage in buildings, 12 hazardous conditions needing immediate Fire Department response and two car fires. The Fire Department encourages everyone to use the fire alarm boxes to report any serious emergency, regardless of the type. Firefighters will respond instantly, do whatever they can to stabilize the situation and radio for additional agencies as needed.
Box 54 Fire Service Support Unit, a pioneer in Fireground Rehabilitation, is the only service of its kind in Bergen County. Established in 1952 and working out of Teaneck Fire Headquarters, this all-volunteer unit responds to fires and emergencies throughout the County around the clock. This unit provides fluids and nourishment to firefighters and other emergency personnel and also provides emergency communication whenever necessary as the trucks are equipped with tri-state communication capability.
The safety-rated fire gear worn by firefighters, hazardous materials crews, etc. creates greater demand on the body for rehydration as per the research and recommendations by the U.S. Fire Administration on nutritional needs of firefighters/emergency workers. Members of Box 54 are trained to recognize and attend to those needs and many are further trained in CPR, Haz-Mat Awareness, Incident Command, and other fire related fields. Box 54 members continued to refresh their training and provide training in Fireground rehabilitation to firefighters, EMT's and auxiliary personnel throughout Bergen County and have also provided the training to other rehabilitation units in Jersey City and Newark.
The unit has four vehicles, two of which are equipped for canteen services. A 1994 Recreational Vehicle was modified to accommodate the needs of emergency personnel at major incidents, thus it is known as a Major Incident Rehabilitation Vehicle (MIRV). A 1985 Dodge Ram was also acquired that has proven a tremendous help in ferrying additional personnel, supplies, etc., to fire scenes. As it is not unusual for Box 54 to be called to more than one fire or emergency at the same time, these units allow the Box 54 Unit multi-response capability. Funding of supplies for Box 54 is from donations made by Teaneck and other fire departments. Call 201-837-2085 for further information about joining or contributing funds or supplies.