Greenwich Fire Dept Offers Spring and Summer Recreation Safety Advice

Now that the spring weather has finally arrived, it’s time to get outside and get active. In Connecticut, that means exploring the state’s various trails and waterways. While it’s easy to think of local firefighters as the men and women who rush to the scene of burning buildings and car accidents, volunteer firefighters train to operate search and rescue incidents as well and are frequently called upon when hikers are stranded and boaters and swimmers are missing.

With the hope of preventing the need for such rescue missions, the Greenwich Fire Department is sharing some basic trail and waterway safety information.

“Getting outside on a beautiful warm, sunny day for a hike or a day on the water is a great way to spend time with friends and family and make wonderful memories,” said Greenwich Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment & Retention Coordinator Brian M. Kelly. “Yet, so often those memories quickly turn sad or even tragic when appropriate planning and proper precautions are ignored.”

When it comes to hiking, the American Hiking Society offers advice that falls into three
categories:

• Packing: The American Hiking Society’s website offers a list of 10 essentials when going on a hike – it includes appropriate footwear, a map and compass or GPS, water, food, extra clothing, safety items (fire, light, whistle), first aid kit, knife, sunscreen, and a backpack.

• Planning: Before leaving for a hike, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Look at a map before starting out.

• Stay “Found”: Know how to use maps, compasses, and GPS and pay attention to trails. Should you become lost, make sure others can find you. Don’t panic – if you have prepared for your trip, you have everything you need and someone will know to look for you. Don’t wander – unless you are in danger, stay put so rescuers can find you.

• Also with COVID-19 make sure your stay at least 6 feet away and follow all the universal precautions to protect yourself (mask, hand sanitizer, etc.). See State of CT Website for
up to date information to stay safe, https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus

On waterways, whether swimming or boating, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers the following advice:
• Know how to swim
• Designate someone to watch swimmers – this should be an adult who can swim, knows CPR, and isn’t going to read, look at devices, or otherwise be distracted
• Avoid strong currents
• Wear life jackets
• Avoid alcohol while swimming, boating, and supervising children
• Take a formal boating safety course
• Know the weather forecast

Volunteers Needed
The Greenwich Fire Department is currently seeking civic minded Greenwich citizens to become volunteer firefighters within all the Volunteer Fire Companies/Fire Patrol throughout town. The Greenwich Fire department are seeking volunteers of all skill levels and abilities, people willing and able to respond to emergencies whenever called upon. The Greenwich Fire Department will provide all the necessary training and certification courses to become a part of the team. The skills and experience gained as a volunteer firefighter are invaluable and have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of others.

The mission of the Greenwich Fire Dept centers on the preservation of life and property in the Town of Greenwich against the ravages of fire.

The Greenwich Fire Dept is a combination fire department consisting of 106 uniformed career and approximately 100 volunteer firefighters who work together to accomplish this mission. Responding to over 4,200 emergency calls annually, the men and women of the Greenwich Fire Dept are trained and equipped to handle a wide range of threats. This all-hazard approach prepares firefighters for many types of calls ranging from minor fire alarms to structure fires, motor vehicle accidents, and hazardous materials incidents. Fire apparatus consists of 14 Engines, three Ladders, Fire Patrol, and a Heavy Rescue. The Fire Dept operates this equipment out of eight fire houses within Greenwich (and Banksville, New York).

Anyone interested in learning more about the GFD should call recruitment coordinator Brian Kelly at 203-618-8877 or email: [email protected]