Westfield Firefighters Recognized for Service

Here Chaplin Dan Klingensmith, right, receives the community service award from Fire Chief Todd Burtron.

WESTFIELD, Ind.—Tonight, firefighters from the Westfield Fire Department were recognized for their dedication and service to their community.  The event—a semiannual recognition banquet—was made possible by generous donations from the community and local businesses.

In addition to these donations, members of community attended the event to thank firefighters.  Mayor Cook and members of the city council were also honored guests for the evening.

“I’m very proud of our firefighters,” said Mayor Cook.  “And, on behalf of the citizens of Westfield, I want to say thank you for the commitment and compassion you have for this community.  The work you do is so important and our citizens are grateful.”

Chaplin Dan Klingensmith was recognized for his tireless dedication to community service.  He is well known as a pillar of strength inside the walls of the Westfield Fire Department.  In addition to helping firefighters deal with the job’s stressors, Chaplin Klingensmith can often be seen consoling citizens after a loss of a loved one.

Firefighters Scott Wolfe and Josh Southerland were also recognized for their community service.  Wolfe just last year orchestrated a city-wide effort to support a child battling cancer.  And, Southerland drove an elderly man all the way to Nebraska so he could be with his wife who was seriously ill.

Other awards included the Distinguished Service Medal given to the maintenance division and Officer of the Year given to Lieutenant Adam Klingensmith.

Westfield Home A Blaze from Space Heater

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WESTFIELD, Ind.—An early morning fire wrecked havoc on a Westfield family as they watched their home go up in flames.  Fortunately for this family, everyone escaped unharmed.  The message is clear: smoke detectors save lives.

The fire began in a bedroom where a space heater was dangerously close to flammable materials.  The heat from the space heater melted a nearby trash can that began a trickle effect causing the fire spread throughout the house.  As the fire began to spread, smoke detectors alerted people in the home.  Immediately, they got out of the home, made it to safety, and called 911.  It were these smoke detectors—piercing loud and startling—that saved these Westfield residents today.

Firefighters arrived shortly after and found part of the home engulfed in flames.  Jumping into action, these crews began battling the blaze that had spread from the bedroom into the main section of the home.  After extinguishing the main fire, firefighters realized fire was also hidden between void spaces in the house.  The void spaces were caused by the multiple additions made to the home throughout the years.  These additions made it difficult for firefighters who worked tirelessly to fully extinguish the fire.

Today’s fire is a reminder of the dangers of space heaters.  “I just can’t stress this enough,” said John Barrett spokesperson for the fire department.  “You need to unplug or turn off portable heaters when you go to sleep—it could save your life.”  With an estimated 25,000 residential fires and 300 deaths every year associated to space heaters, it is extremely important to take proper safety precautions.  Fortunately, today, these Westfield residents didn’t become part of the statistic.

Firefighters from Westfield, Noblesville, and Carmel all battled the blaze this morning that was fully extinguished around 4:30 this morning.  A Carmel firefighter was injured during battle when he fell, but was treated and released on the scene.

Westfield to Host Training at World’s Largest Firefighter Conference

WESTFIELD, Ind.—Firefighters from around the world will flock to Indianapolis next week for the annual Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC).  As Indianapolis prepares to host this event, the City of Westfield is preparing as well—it’s the host of four live training classes.

FDIC’s live training classes match leading fire instructors with the very people who protect our communities’ everyday—our firefighters and first responders.  Westfield is among a few communities in central Indiana hosting some of over 20 FDIC hands-on training classes.

“This is an honor, “ said Division Chief Garry Harling.  “And, we’re really proud to showcase Westfield to firefighters from all over world.”

Firefighters attending FDIC classes in Westfield will use buildings for the US 31 project as their training ground.  The conference, which brings thousands of firefighters into Indianapolis, runs all next week at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium downtown.