Today at noon, Chief Jack Ahern met with more than 30 firefighters, mostly volunteers, to explain how emergency response would be handled during the storm.
Starting at 10 p.m. today Branford volunteer fire departments will be staffed through the storm (see departments to the right). They will be responding as they can to calls but will not be driving apparatus vehicles through high waters. It is encouraged that only those with emergencies should call 911. Staff will remain in place at the departments through the storm and into next week as needed.
According to Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Shaun Heffernan, the Fire Department has also met with high-risk people and groups like Branford Hills healthcare and Hospice to devise a plan for care before the storm has hit.
During Ahern’s address, he said was instructed to expect to be an “island” because of flooding. The re-location for this company will be near the if need be.
Finishing his address to the group, closing with “hopefully everything will stand-up” Ahern handed the meeting over to Training Officer Captain Rick Hart.
Hart addressed the crowd, making sure safety was a top priority. “If you have to do something to save a life that is above and beyond,” he said, "use your best judgment.”
The biggest warning to the community, said Ahern and Hart, is to beware of downed trees and power lines. Even if the power is out and lines are down, the department warns all to avoid going near the lines. For more safety information, see below. Those who see downed trees and powerlines should call the Police Department at 203-481-4241, not 911.
Emergency Notes from Chief Ahern
- If you see a wire on the ground, always assume it’s live. Even if has killed power to a line it can still be live from a generator, which can sometimes feed power back into the line.
- Response time may be delayed due to the storm and weather conditions.
- Branford Fire Department does not pump out basements.
- Branford Fire Department will not board windows or remove boards from windows.
- Branford Fire Department does not have batteries for the public.
- The Department is worried about Indian Neck area, including Pawson Park because access roads, Montowese Street and Indian Neck Avenue, tend to flood. Fire trucks will not travel through flooded waters; Company 9 will be available to residents in this area.
- All apparatus vehicles will not travel through flooded roads if water is at tires.