S. Discovery Wreck Sends One to Harborview
9/8 - A high-speed collision with a telephone pole sent a 44-year old Port Townsend woman to Harborview Medical Center with abdominal and chest injuries Mon. morning. No other people were involved in the accident.
The woman was southbound on S. Discovery Rd. when she reportedly fell asleep at the wheel. Her red Chevrolet S10 pickup drifted across the oncoming lane and struck a telephone pole on the east side of the road, in front of Discovery Bay Camp & Missions Center. A subsequent investigation showed no skid marks.
The force of the impact broke loose one power line which drooped to approximately 9 feet off the ground. After striking the pole, the pickup rebounded backwards 11 feet. The imprint of the pole intruded approximately two feet into the front of the pickup.
Both airbags in the pickup were deployed.
Due of cloudy conditions, East Jefferson Fire Rescue EMS personnel brought in an Airlift Northwest turboprop airplane to Jefferson County International Airport to transport the woman to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries, Check Your 'Go-Kit'
Nov. 2 marks the day to “fall back” by moving your clocks back one hour. This is an excellent time to take care of a couple other important tasks, too.
Make sure to change the batteries in all of your smoke alarms. If batteries were recently changed, it's still very important to conduct your monthly test of your smoke alarms. It could save a life!
It's important to replace smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, unless they're 10-year lithium batteries. Even if your smoke alarms are hardwired, replace the batteries in case of a chirping sound or a power outage.
Also, take time to check your family’s emergency ‘go-kit.’ Have any supplies passed their expiration date? If so, now’s the time to change them out. The Jefferson County Department of Emergency Management recommends that your go-kit have food and supplies to last at least seven to 10 days in the event of a region-wide emergency.
For more information about go-kits and emergency preparedness, log on to www.jeffcoeoc.org .
Kidde Announces Recall of Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors
9/19 - Walter Kidde Portable Equipment Inc. ("Kidde") in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a voluntary recall to replace certain Kidde AC/DC smoke alarms and combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms.
More information about the recall can be found here.
ANYWHERE, JEFFERSON COUNTY—It’s late on a cold winter’s night. Bedtime. You throw one last log on the fire—just to keep the chill off. At about 1:30AM, the smell of smoke awakens you.
You look out the bedroom door. Sparks from the fireplace have ignited the carpet in your living room, which is now fully engulfed in flames. You evacuate the residence and call 9-1-1.
You chose the piece of property you built your dream home on because it was wooded and somewhat secluded. As you travel down the winding, tree-lined driveway nightly, you remain pleased with your choice of locations. And that’s where the problem takes another turn.
Three fire engines are en route to your home together with a medic unit and, because your property backs up to a stand of trees, a brush rig is also responding. But they won't make it to your house.
Your lovely, long, winding driveway is too narrow for the fire apparatus to maneuver through. The engines can’t get to your house.
Radio traffic between firefighters on scene does not reflect a positive outcome. First on scene crews radio a description of the driveway to incoming apparatus, further stating that it is inaccessible and they will need to stage at the top of the driveway--one-quarter mile from the burning structure. Not even the smaller, less-equipped brush rig will be able to make it.
. . . .
The above scenario is far from being fictional. All fire districts in Jefferson County have encountered this situation—too many times. As picturesque and serene as they might be, in reality, skinny roads and narrow, tree-lined driveways can be hazardous to your health.Attempts to use chainsaws to cut back the overhead branches and impeding brush is futile. That process takes an inordinate amount of time--too long to save the house or provide medical help to those in need. Fire District 1--East Jefferson Fire Rescue-- will be launching an effort in the coming months to evaluate and identify residences with long, impeded driveways.
"We follow Section 503 of the International Fire Code ‘Fire Apparatus Access Roads’ which spells out specific, optimal clearances for fire apparatus clearances for driveway access," said Chief Gordon Pomeroy.
"Firefighters will be driving through their response areas to identify access issues and notify residents of potential problems. Homeowners will be given a copy of the recommended guidelines."
"It will be up to the resident to decide for themselves how to respond to the recommendations," Pomeroy said. A follow-up communication will be sent to the resident.
"While citizens are under no obligation to comply with the guidelines, the above scenario demonstrates actual situations we have had to deal with. If we can't gain access to a residence, the potential loss of human life and property is clear," said Pomeroy.
"We are strongly encouraging area residents to help us so that we can provide the services they need and pay for," Pomeroy added. "It's in everyone's best interest."
Winter and Holiday Fire Safety Tips from EJFR
Our cooling weather brings with it a reminder that winter months are the most dangerous for fires and injuries. Please play it safe by taking time to review the following home safety tips:
Test the smoke alarm by pushing the test button. Newly released guidance states that you should periodically dust or vacuum your smoke detectors. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.
When purchasing a smoke detector, choose one that has the label of a recognized laboratory. Be sure to position smoke alarms away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should not be closer than 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning may include headache, nausea and drowsiness. Extremely high levels of poisoning can be fatal, causing death within minutes.
It’s recommended that you install and maintain CO alarms inside your home.
To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide, have your fuel-burning heating equipment (fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, wood stoves, coal stoves, space heaters and portable heaters, as well as chimneys inspected by a professional every year. Also, be sure to open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace. Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
Fireplaces and Chimneys
Use artificial logs according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Never burn more than one log at a time. Use only newspaper and kindling wood or fire starters to start a fire. Never use flammable liquids, such as lighter fluid, kerosene or gasoline to start a fire.
Chimneys and vents need to be cleaned and inspected at least once a year.
East Jefferson Fire Rescue makes no specific recommendations regarding chimney sweeps or other private organizations. Chimney sweeps who service our area include:
Protec Chimney Service
The Right Choice Chimney Service (services Jefferson County)
Don’t forget that underrated element---common sense. If it seems risky or dangerous, it probably is. Be careful and have a happy and safe winter.
Permanent Burn Ban Now Includes Irondale/Port Hadlock Areas
A recent discovery by Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA), that portions of Irondale and Port Hadlock had been designated Urban Growth Areas (UGA), has prompted the agency to ban all burning in those areas of Jefferson County permanently.
In a letter addressed to Jefferson County Fire District 1 (East Jefferson Fire Rescue) Chief Gordon Pomeroy, ORCAA stated that in 2006, they “notified residents and fire protection agencies” about the law “in the 17 known UGAs” within their jurisdiction. (Washington State Legislature enacted a law [2005 Washington Revised Code RCW 70.94.743 (1) (b)] that prohibits both residential yard waste burning and land clearing burning in all UGAs within the state as of January 1, 2007.
The letter goes on to state that “ORCAA only recently learned that the Irondale/Port Hadlock area is designated as an Urban Growth Area.”
“We are as surprised as anyone at this news,” said Chief Pomeroy.
The Jefferson County Department of Community Development’s website explains that “prior to the completion of the 2002 Comprehensive Plan amendment cycle, the only UGA in Jefferson County was the City of Port Townsend. Planning to accommodate growth in the Tri-Area of Jefferson County, which includes Chimacum, Port Hadlock and Irondale, has long been a topic of discussion.” The ordinance establishing Irondale/Port Hadlock as an Urban Growth Area was adopted in 2009.
For a map of the Irondale / Port Hadlock UGA, click here.
Effective July 1, outdoor yard debris burning has been prohibited in Jefferson County Fire Rescue District 1. No open burning is ever allowed within the city limits of Port Townsend.
The initial burn ban runs from July 1 until Sept. 30. Depending on weather conditions within District 1, the ban may be extended further.
During the period of the burn ban, violators may be assessed fines of up to $14,915 per day for each violation. They may also be held responsible for the cost of putting out the fire which can cost thousands of dollars.
Burn permits are not required within the boundaries of Fire District 1. Knowing and following the guidelines is, however, a requirement. The guidelines for burning in East Jefferson County can be found at every fire station in District 1. Stations are located at Lawrence & Harrison Streets in Port Townsend; Jacob Miller Road; Cape George, Marrowstone Island; Chimacum and Airport Road. Outdoor Burning Guidelines can also be found online at www.ejfr.org. Alternatives to outdoor burning are also listed in the guidelines. Maps of all Jefferson County no-burn areas can be found on ORCAA’s website at www.orcaa.org. Current burn ban status can be found at WaBurnBans.net.
ORCAA is planning to post signs in the county’s UGAs to create greater awareness about the outdoor burn ban. For more information about the permanent burn ban in the Irondale/Port Hadlock areas, contact ORCAA at 1-800-422-5623 or visit their website www.orcaa.org.