Firefighter Keith Rivers foreground readies to submerge while Firefighter Steve Grant prepares to get wet. Click on the image for additional photos
Beverly Fire Department Dive Team members conducted their annual Ice training on February 25, 2009 at Wenham Lake. The drill is designed to keep some divers up on their ice diving skills and introduce the skill to some newer divers.
The Department currently has a 12 person Dive Team with its most senior member diving for the Department since the mid 1990s. Lt. Robert Atherton started diving when the Department formed a team. Atherton and Captain Peter O’Connor were two divers on site with ice diving experience since 1999. Firefighters Barry Lefavour and Keith Rivers have also taken part in ice dives in the past.
For four of the divers, this was the first trip into the confines of an ice covered water way. Firefighters Steven Grant, Tom Lantych, Jon Palm and Sean Murray each made their first ice dives this year. Before entering the water, each was briefed on some importance of the basic knowledge they learned becoming Rescue Divers as well as the additional safety measures and additional equipment required for diving in a place where the only place out is where you went in.
“This years dive was a tremendous success” said Dive Team Coordinator Robert Atherton. “It can’t be stressed enough how important it is for our divers to get the experience of diving under a sheet of ice before an emergency occurs.”
The drill lasted approximately 5 hours. Firefighters cut a hole in the 8 inch ice on the lake to get firefighters in and out. Once the drill was complete and the divers out of the water, the blocks of ice removed were put back in place and will refreeze overnight sealing the hole.
See additional photos in the photo gallery under training.
Cement Delivery gone awry
At 1246 Chief Richard Pierce reported a cement truck had taken down a telephone pole on the corner of a private driveway on Ober St just past Neptune St. Chief Pierce requested an Engine Company and National Grid to the scene. The driver was told to remain in the vehicle until it was determined that no live power lines were down on the truck.
Within minutes, National Grid was on scene and able to determine that the wires on the truck were not power lines and that the power lines on the affected pole were in tact on the pole. Because the pole was displaced, the truck was left in place until more National Grid crews could get to the scene and secure the pole.
The accident happened when the truck pulled down the private drive to deliver its load of cement to a job site. The truck did not have sufficient clearance and came into contact with the telephone and cable lines that crossed the drive. The power lines atop the pole did not cross the drive but ran down the drive parallel to Lynch Park.
Engine 4 cleared the scene at 1324 but National Grid remained on the scene to make necessary repairs. One pole was pulled over and two other adjacent poles were also affected. The electric line to one of the area residences was also pulled away from , but not separated from the home.
There were no reported injuries but the accident did close Ober St between Neptune St and Lanthorne Ln.
A tractor trailer being unloaded slid off the roadway causing its fuel tank to rupture spilling diesel fuel
Fuel Spill on Bayview Ave
At 1045 the Beverly Fire Department received a call for a small Diesel fuel leak at 14 Bayview Ave. Upon arrival at the scene, Lt. Arthur Fitzpatrick and his crew on Engine 1 found a very active scene around a tractor trailer off the road with a partially loaded excavator. Seeing the scope of the incident, which included a ruptured fuel tank on the tractor, Lt. Fitzpatrick requested the presence of the Fire Department Officer in Charge, and the Department of Environmental Protection.
Due to a delay in notification to the Fire Department, a privately contracted cleanup crew was already on scene conducting fuel containment and cleanup operations. The contractor involved, G/J Towing was also beginning removal of the equipment. G/J towing was advised of the importance of notification immediately upon occurrence of an incident.
Fire crews stood by for while the excavator was removed and two different tow trucks lifted the tractor off of the wall and back onto the roadway. Engine 1 was clear of the scene at 1251.
Private cleanup crews, Removal Specialists, remain on the scene cleaning fuel estimated over 50 gallons that poured out across the roadway and residential property.
The accident occurred while the backhoe was being unloaded from the trailer. The tractor trailer began to slide down the road surface before turning over the wall and coming to a stop with its fuel tank damaged as it rested on the wall. No one was hurt as a result of the incident.
245 Cabot St 2/4/09
A woman suffered burn injuries to her face and scalp after her hair caught fire in her apartment at 245 Cabot St, the YMCA.
The initial call for a report of a woman whose hair and face caught fire came in at 1450. Upon arrival crews found the fire to be out and a conscious and alert woman in the apartment. Paramedics from Northeast Regional Ambulance were on the scene quickly and transported the woman to the hospital.
The fire, which did not extend to any contents of the apartment was accidental in nature. The woman had reportedly been looking for something using a lighter for light when her hair unintentionally came in contact with the flame. Firefighters opened doors to remove the light haze of smoke from the hallway and remained on the scene for approximately 45 minutes.
Firefighter Brian Miller assess the chimney
Jenness St 2/4/09
At 0957 the Beverly Fire Department responded for a report of a chimney fire at 4 Jenness St. Upon arrival, firefighters found a small fire confined to the flue pipe of an operating wood stove. Engine 5 raised its aerial to the top of the chimney and Firefighter Brian Miller dumped an extinguisher packet into the flue pipe. Other fire crews searched the house for fire extension and ventilated the smoke from the structure/
There was no fire extension and the homeowner was advised to have the chimney checked before operating the stove again. All crews were clear of the scene by 1030.
Quick Thinking Neighbor Knocks Down Fire
Shortly before 0800 on Saturday January 31, a woman at home with her husband and children discovered a fire in her condominium at 27 R West St unit 5. The woman was on the second floor with her family when the fire alarms activated. She went downstairs to investigate where she found smoke and fire coming from behind a television set.
She immediately gathered her family and evacuated the home. When she got outside, a neighbor, Michael Pescratore called 911 and then entered the home with a dry chemical extinguisher to investigate.
Inside the home, Mr. Pescratore assessed conditions and made his way to the seat of the fire. He quickly knocked the fire down by discharging the dry chemical extinguisher then returned outside to meet arriving firefighters.
Lt. Robert Bergeron was the first to arrive on scene with Engine 3. He and his crew discovered light smoke coming from the structure and found the extinguished fire inside. The crew used a fan to remove lingering smoke from the structure and initiated a fire investigation.
It was determined that an electrical problem caused a power strip to overheat to the point that it ignited. The power strip burned and then fire extended to the floor. The quick thinking neighbor kept the fire from becoming worse by properly discharging an extinguisher on the seat of the fire.
No one was injured and the power was shut down for a short while until repairs could be made.
All parties involved in this incident should be credited for their actions. The occupants were alerted by operating smoked alarms and quickly gathered and evacuated the structure when the fire was discovered. Once outside, they had a neighbor call 911 to report the fire and remained where they could all be accounted for. The neighbor called 911 and quickly assessed the conditions before making entry to put the fire out. Seeing that the fire was still in its early stages and that he was capable of putting it out without putting himself at considerable risk, he entered and discharged the extinguisher. The incident shows the importance of both having operational smoke detectors and having the knowledge to act appropriately when they activate.