Stand By Your Pan

12-inch_4print01Stand By Your Pan

FPW.org

How often has the doorbell rung or a child interrupted you while you were cooking, causing you to forget about the chicken you left sizzling on the stove – until smoke filled the house?

If this scenario or a similar one sounds familiar to you, you may want to think about it a little more because it’s likely that you, a friend or family member has run the risk of having a dangerous fire. As chief of the (Your Fire Department Here), I often talk to people about the ways they can stay safe in their homes. Too often, we have that talk after they’ve suffered a damaging fire.

It’s my hope that people reading this article won’t have to learn the hard way. If I could give just one fire warning, I’d say, “Keep an eye on what you fry!”

Why? Because cooking is the leading cause of home fires, according to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The latest statistics from NFPA say U.S. Fire Departments responded to an estimated annual average of 156,600 cooking-related fires between 2007-2011.

We’re joining forces with NFPA and thousands of other fire departments across North America to commemorate Fire Prevention Week, October 6-12th, “Prevent Kitchen Fires.” The theme reminds us that leaving cooking unattended and other unsafe kitchen practices are a recipe for disaster.

Often when we’re called to a cooking-related fire, the residents tell us they only left the kitchen for a few minutes. Sadly, that’s all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. The bottom line is that there’s really no safe period of time for the cook to step away from a hot stove. A few key points to remember:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave the room even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • When you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you.
  • Keep cooking areas clean and clear of combustibles (e.g. potholders, towels, rags, drapes and food packaging).
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of three feet around the stove.
  • If you have a fire in your microwave, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. If in doubt, get out of the home and call the fire department
  • Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt). Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, do not remove the lid until it is completely cool. Never pour water on a grease fire. If the fire does not go out, get out of the home and call the fire department.
  • If an oven fire starts, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. If the fire does not go out, get out of the home and call the fire department.

A cooking fire can quickly turn deadly. I have seen too many homes destroyed and people killed or injured by fires that could have been easily avoided. Please heed these simple safety rules. We firefighters would like to be in your kitchen, but only when you invite us for dinner!

“Reproduced from NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week website, www.firepreventionweek.org. ©2013 NFPA.”

Tuition Assistance Program Has Expanded to Include SUNY Empire State College

FASNY TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM HAS EXPANDED TO INCLUDE SUNY EMPIRE STATE COLLEGE

– Higher Education Learning Plan now covers more than 500 online courses at ESC-

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.) Volunteer firefighters now can have up to one-hundred percent of their tuition costs for online courses at SUNY Empire State College’s Center for Distance Learning funded by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) Higher Education Learning Plan (HELP).

“By partnering with Empire State College, we are ensuring that more of our volunteer firefighters have access to higher education while at the same time providing lifesaving services to their communities,” said FASNY President James Burns.  “Our HELP program has been an integral tool in recruiting and retaining new members. This new partnership will make our program even more robust.”

“By including Empire State College in the HELP program, FASNY has dramatically expanded access for volunteer firefighters to earn an associate degree online,” said Meg Benke, acting president of Empire State College. “Special thanks go to Jim Burns and his team at FASNY, college alumnus and former volunteer firefighter Richard Wishnie, Empire State College Professor Jim Savitt and the college’s Office of Academic Affairs for their hard work in making this arrangement possible.”

About FASNY HELP

Launched in 2011, FASNY established the HELP program to assist volunteer fire departments in attracting and retaining more members.  Under FASNY HELP, a student/volunteer firefighter who hasn’t already achieved an associate’s degree or higher will be eligible to have up to 100% of his/her tuition reimbursed in exchange for maintaining good grades and fulfilling service requirements as a member in good standing in one of New York’s volunteer fire companies.

The program is covers courses at all 29 SUNY community colleges throughout the state and has seen hundreds of students receive tuition reimbursement. FASNY HELP is made possible through a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. More information and an online application form are available here.

About FASNY

Founded in 1872, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York represents the interests of the more than 92,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York State.  For more information, visit fasny.com or fireinyou.org.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelors and master’s degrees from the State University of New York.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

The college offers more than 500 courses and complete degree programs online through its Center for Distance Learning. The college also educates students face to face at more than 35 locations in the state of New York. Its 66,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. More information about the college is available here.

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7 Benefits for Volunteer Firefighters

Service has its rewards.

Not only does being a volunteer firefighter give you the opportunity to serve your community in an exciting and fulfilling way, there are also a variety of incentives available from the government, as well as your local fire companies. These may include:

  • Property tax offsets
  • State Income Tax Benefits
  • Free health checkups
  • Free accident insurance
  • Tuition Reimbursement (FASNY HELP)
  • Length of Service Awards Program
  • Free equipment and training

Apply to become an Albany County volunteer firefighter online at http://achvfire.wufoo.com/forms/z7x3p3/

Skills that save lives — Vehicle extrication

Albany County volunteer firefighters learn critical skills that save lives. They perfect these skills by conducting drills and practicing them in real world situations. Gain this valuable knowledge and put it to work for your community. Join one of Albany County’s volunteer fire companies.

8th Annual Medusa Fest Sat May 4th

8th Annual Medusa Fest Sat May 04, 2013 9am-4pm @ the Medusa Fire Company 28 County Route 351 Medusa, NY. Our famous chicken BBQ, games for children & adults, flea market, vendors, water balloon toss, bounce house, Bake sale, all day activities music DJ 12pm to 4pm

Where: Medusa Volunteer Fire Company 29 County route 351 Medusa, NY 12120 questions call Pat at 518-239-8999 or Brenda at 518-239-6006