Carteret, NJ – Mayor Reiman has joined with the Carteret Fire Department to announce the expansion of the Carteret Fire Department’s community-oriented programs and services. According to Mayor Reiman, these programs were established to allow firefighters to “go the extra mile” in serving area residents, and to ultimately redefine the fire department’s role in the Borough.
“We are constantly trying to expand and improve the ways we offer our public services to residents,” Mayor Reiman said. “If we have a department that’s capable of performing an additional service that won’t conflict with their primary functions, and doesn’t cost additional dollars, it’s well worth it.”
Fire Chief Mark Hruska emphasized that while firefighting, rescues, and emergency medical service remain the Carteret Fire Department’s top priorities, along with proactive education and training, these additional services can provide needed conveniences and additional safety to residents “and help them to get the most bang out of their tax dollars.”
“This administration doesn’t believe in ‘downtime,’” Mayor Reiman added. “We’re always looking to get the most out of our resources and personnel, and to maximize the range of services available to residents for that same tax dollar.”
Public services include:
- File of Life
- Child Car Safety
- Senior Morning Check-Up
- Operation Fire Safe
- Lockout Program
File of Life:
The File of Life program was started to assist citizens who have medical issues and to ensure that accurate medical information is available to emergency responders. The File of Life is a collection of important information kept on a card, which is placed in a magnetic red packet and put on the resident’s refrigerator. Some of the information on this card includes: name, address, emergency contact, medical condition, medical history, doctor, medications taken, allergies and more.
In the event of an emergency, responding units look for the information packets and will have all pertinent information even if the patient is unable to speak. This program is available to all residents.
Child Car Safety
The Carteret Fire Department offers families assistance with proper installation and use of child car seats. It currently has two Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians who attended the CPS Technician training course which provides instruction in crash dynamics, injury prevention strategies, and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The course, 32-hours minimum and generally held over a four or five-day period, is taught through a combination of lectures, discussions of new issues, role playing and hands-on practice with a wide variety of child restraint and vehicle belt systems.
The C.F.D. helps anyone in need and has done hundreds of installations and training sessions for parents and caregivers. Installations are done by appointment only.
Senior Morning Check-Up
Every day, members of F.M.B.A. Local #67 call a list of senior residents to check on their welfare, and if necessary, will respond to their residence. Whether they need help with a task they cannot physically handle, or need a certified expert to keep their smoke and CO detectors in working condition at all times, a member of the Career Division is always on hand to help.
Operation Fire Safe
The Carteret Fire Department “Career Division” F.M.B.A. Local # 67 has introduced “Operation Fire Safe,” which allows residents to improve the level of fire safety and prevention in their homes.
Resident homeowners may participate in the program by registering for an in-house fire safety inspection at the Fire Department’s Open House. Qualifying residents will receive free smoke detectors, Carbon Monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and fire safety ladders as needed. Fire Department personnel will install the items, inspect existing fire safety accessories, and guide residents through EDITH (Exit Drills In The Home).
“In New Jersey the only structures that do not receive annual fire inspections are owner occupied one and two family homes. The “Operation Fire Safe” program will address this and greatly improve the probability our residents will survive a fire in their home. Once again, our excellent working relationship with Mayor Reiman has afforded the residents of Carteret an innovative public safety initiative,” Chief Mark Hruska stated.
According to national statistics, there was an average of 380,000 home structure fires per year between 2003 and 2007, resulting in $6.4 billion in damage, 12,160 civilian fire injuries, and 2,840 civilian fire deaths, or an average of 8 per day. Of those fatalities, the majority occurred in one and two family homes. (For more information, visit www.nfpa.org).
“You can’t put a price on fire safety,” Councilman and Fire Commissioner Randy Krum added. “This is an invaluable service for any homeowner. We encourage all Carteret homeowners to participate in ‘Operation Fire Safe’ and better protect their families against fire related emergencies.”
The Lockout Program was first implemented as a pilot program in 2008, prompted by the concern of local firefighters who had witnessed several instances of lockouts;
“Car owners may try to gain access on their own, which may or may not be successful and may damage the vehicle,” Chief Hruska stated, “or the owner might have a locksmith access the vehicle at a considerable cost.”
There were often cases reported in which young children or pets were locked inside a running vehicle, or a window had to be broken to gain entry.
Through a grant from the Carteret Business Partnership, Inc., the Fire Department acquired industry-standard tools that allow personnel to gain access to most motor vehicles, in most cases in a matter of minutes and without causing damage. All participating firefighters have been trained in the use of these tools.
“The inspiration for starting this program came about because of the interest and concern of one of our firefighters,” Fire Commissioner Randy Krum stated, “who had witnessed several incidents involving people being locked out of their personal vehicles and his observations of what limited options they had to gain access to them.”
“Our firefighters have received training and will now be able to provide fast and convenient service for this common occurrence, and at no cost to our residents” Mayor Reiman added.