Westfield Firefighters Save Home

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WESTFIELD, Ind.—Westfield firefighters saved a family’s home today after a blaze started in the fireplace.  Shortly after four, a neighbor noticed smoke coming from a home at 14910 Bridlewood Drive and called 9-1-1.

Firefighters arrived within minutes to find smoke billowing out of the home—they went quickly into action.  Crews entered and found fire extending out of the first floor fire place.  As they began to extinguish the fire, other fire stations began to arrive and also went into action.  These additional crews searched the home, attacked the fire on the second floor, and cleared roof all at the same time.

“The quick action and seamless coordination between multiple fire stations saved this family’s home today,” said John Barrett, Westfield Fire Department spokesperson.

The homeowner had started a fire in the fire place earlier and was experiencing problems with the damper.  Fire investigators believe the fire was accidental and estimate  the damage at 25,000 dollars.  Everyone made it out of the home safe and there were no firefighter or civilian injuries.

The City of Westfield Fire Department protects 56 square miles in a suburb just north of Indianapolis. Their 70-member department has proudly served its community since 1904.

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Winter Weather Advisory

With National Weather Service winter weather advisories in various parts of the state beginning later today through Friday morning, state officials are advising Hoosiers to evaluate whether they need to travel, or, if they need to travel, to leave more time.

Leaving extra time and having a mindset of courtesy and defensive driving will help make roadways safer for everyone.

State of Indiana agencies, including the Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security have been monitoring impending weather and are increasing staffing levels as needed.

DO NOT call city, county or state police to check on road conditions – police agencies across the state want to keep phone lines open for emergency phone calls. Dial toll-free 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) for updated Indiana travel information, including road conditions, road closures, crashes and other traffic alerts.

Get a kit for your car with basic items (see the list below). Charge cell phones and other items in case power is interrupted. Evaluate whether driving is necessary, taking your time if you decide to drive, and gather items for home in case they’re needed.

Weather predictions indicate about an inch of snow and sleet accumulation is possible along the Interstate 70 corridor, with 2-inch amounts possible north of that area. Accumulation will be less to the south, where more rain will fall.

Travel Advisories

Go to Getprepared.in.gov and click on “Indiana Travel Advisory Map” at the top of the page. The map is updated with information from counties and describes the conditions for a travel warning, watch, advisory and caution. The page also has links to the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Traffic Wise information (http://www.trafficwise.in.gov).

Winter Driving Safety

ISP and INDOT advise those considering going out onto the roads to check the weather forecast and traffic information before leaving, and allow extra time if you decide driving is necessary. If you must drive during any period of the storm, make sure you have a fully charged and functioning cell phone. IDHS also recommends carrying blankets, extra water, a small shovel and other items which may be helpful if you find yourself in trouble on the road.

If you become stranded:

  • Make sure you have at least a quarter tank of gas in your vehicle before you leave. This will help prevent the fuel line from freezing.
  • Do not leave your vehicle. It will provide you with the best protection, unless there is a building immediately nearby.
  • Keep the overhead light on when the engine is running so you can be seen (remember to keep the windows cracked).
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Run the engine for 10 minutes every hour to stay warm. Remember, an idling car uses only one gallon of gas per hour.
  • Keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • If involved in a crash and no one is injured and the involved vehicles are still drivable, move to a safe area to exchange names, vehicle and license plate information, along with driver license number and insurance agent name and phone number with the other driver
  • During severe weather conditions law enforcement will be busy responding to emergency calls and will not be able to take reports of crashes where there is only damage to property
  • Vehicles left abandoned along interstate and state road right-of-ways are subject to immediate removal during inclement weather events

Power Outages

With weather systems like this it’s not uncommon to see widespread power outages. While utility companies will be working to quickly repair any outages, storms of this size and magnitude often make it very difficult to restore power immediately. If you do lose power, it is recommended that you call utility company’s outage reporting line so that they can track where loss has occurred.

Essential supplies to gather ahead of time in case utilities are disrupted:

  • Food and water for three days (includes three (3) gallons of water per person, per day)
  • Battery operated or hand crank, all hazards radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
  • Extra clothing, warm blankets, sleeping bags for staying warm in your home if you lose power
  • Special items (baby formula, insulin, medications)

If you can’t stay in your home due to cold temperatures, call your local authorities to find the location of a shelter. Charge cell phones, laptops and other devices now so that if power goes out, you will have a maximum charge on electronic devices.

For more information on winter travel safety, visit Getprepared.in.gov

Westfield Names New Fire Chief

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Westfield, IN – Westfield Mayor Andy Cook announced today the appointment of the new Westfield Fire Chief.   Captain Jason Lemons, 43, a 13-year veteran of the Westfield Fire Department, has been appointed Fire Chief effective immediately.  Lemons will be replacing Todd Burtron, who has been serving dual roles as Mayor’s Chief of Staff and Fire Chief for the past 18 months.  Burton will remain Mayor’s Chief of Staff.  The announcement was made by Mayor Cook and Todd Burton at a Westfield Fire Department staff meeting this morning at 10am.

“Jason is a proven leader and will be a tremendous asset to our executive team, says Mayor Andy Cook.  He is well respected in the fire service community and I’m confident he will take the Westfield Fire Department to the next level,” says Cook.

Fire Chief Lemons, a 23 year veteran of the fire service, will lead the 72 member Fire, Rescue and Emergency Medical Service Department.  Within the department, he has held the ranks of Lieutenant, Captain and Deputy Fire Chief.

His educational background includes an Associates Degree in Fire Science, currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Management, and he holds numerous State and Federal certifications.  He has been an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) since 1992 and an Advanced EMT since 1997. He served as the departments Technical Rescue Team Leader from its inception in 2008 and is currently a member of Indiana Task Force One.

He is a member of the National Fire Protection Association, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Fighters, Indiana Fire Instructors Association, Board member for IVY Tech Community College Public Safety Program, and is an elected official and Board President for Harrison Township Advisory Board.

Lemons and his wife Tonya have two children, Brooke and Ben.

Want to Become and EMT?

Want to make a difference?  We’re hosting an EMT class starting in May and would love for you to be there.

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EMT Class Details
When: May 16 – August 10 on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays from 6 to 10 p.m.
Where: Westfield Fire Headquarters at 17535 Dartown Road, Westfield, IN 46074

If you have questions or need details, please contact Pamela Taylor at 317-804-3305 or by email at pamtaylor@westfield.in.gov