The Officers and Members of the Sheppton-Oneida Volunteer Fire Company are committed to effective fire prevention to prevent fires before they start.  We conduct tours, demonstrations, and safety inspections for local organizations, businesses, and residents in subjects of fire prevention, fire extinguisher training, and related subjects. Call or e-mail us for more information.
 
This section of our website also contacts a frequently asked questions section to better explain some of the services we provide and answer some of the questions residents and business owners may have.

 

In a fire emergency:
  • Get family members, pets, and yourself out of the house as quickly as possible.
  • Call 911 from your neighbor's house or a cellular phone once you reach safety.
  • Remain calm and tell the 911 dispatcher your address and information.  
  • Stay out of your home. Our firefighters have specialized equipment and training to protect them from this dangerous environment.             
  • All homes should have a designated meeting place away from the house. 
  • Practice fire drills at least twice a year and make sure you have two seperate exit routes.
  • If you encounter smoke, crawl underneath it to your exit or utilize your second exit.
  • If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop, cover your face, and roll until you smother the flames.
     Smoke Detectors Save Lives
  •  Every home should have one smoke detector on each level and outside each bedroom.
  •  You should test smoke detectors monthly and replace batteries twice a year.
  •  Keep the smoke detector clean and free of dust.
  •  Replace the smoke detector per the manufacturer's recommendations.
  •  Most importantly: The smoke detector doesn't help if it doesn't work. 
     Use Electrical Safety
  • Don't overload extension cords or run them under rugs.
  • Replace any cord that is cracked or frayed.
  • If an appliance smokes or has an unusual smell, unplug it and have it repaired by a professional.
  • Use the proper size fuses in your fuse box.
  • Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet.  Never force it to fit.
  • Check your electrical tools regularly for signs of wear.  If the cords are worn or frayed, they need to be replaced.  
      Carbon Monoxide Alarms & Prevention
  • Install at least one UL (Underwriters Laboratories) carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal near each sleeping area and outside individual bedrooms.  Carbon monoxide alarms are measure levels of CO over time and are designed an alarm before and average, healthy adult would experience symptoms. 
  • It is very possible that you may not be experiencing symptoms when the CO alarm sounds. 
  • Even though the alarm may not sound, carbon monoxide may still be present.
  • Have a qualified professional check all fuel-burning appliances, vents, and chimneys annually.
  • Never use a stove to heat your home.
  • Never keep a car running in your garage even with the door open. 
  • When purchasing and existing home have a qualified professional evaluate the integrity of the heating and cooking systems as well as the sealed spaces between the garage and house. The presence of a CO alarm in your house can prevent illness and death in the event of a CO leak.

     Space Heaters & Heating Safety Tips

  • Keep portable and space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that is combustible.
  • Never leave heaters on when you leave home or got to bed.
  • Keep children and pets away from heater.
  • Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your chimney cleaned annually. The  creosote buildup can ignite a chimney fire that could easily spread.
  • Kerosene heaters should be used only where approved by authorities. Never use gasoline or camp-stove fuel. Refuel outside and only after the heater has cooled.
 
    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q:  Why did I receive a bill for fire and/or rescue services?

A:  Over the past years with development of East Union Township, our call volume has increased significantly.  With this change, non-resident traffic has  increased on our roads and through our towns and we have seen a sharp increase in the amount of non-residents who require  our services.  Due to legalities, we must bill residents and non-residents alike.  We ask that you forward the bill to your insurance provider since most include a clause to cover such services. We will accept whatever payment, if any, they provide. Since residents pay township fire tax and contribute to our fundraising efforts, we will NEVER force collection on any East Union Township resident.

Q:  Why did the fire department cut a hole in my roof at my recent fire?

A: This procedure, referred to as ventilation, is performed to allow the superheated gases and   smoke to exit the structure before it becomes a problem or firefighters.  This procedure allows our  personnel to see better inside the structure to find trapped residents and prevents firefighters from getting burned by superheated material.  We attempt to do the least amount of damage possible such as opening a window rather than smashing it.

Q: What is the money that is collected from the fund drive used for?

A: As a 100% volunteer fire company with minimal municipal support, the basis for our daily operation is derived from the money we collect in the fund drive. This money is mainly used to purchase new and inmproved firefighting equipment and vehicles.  We recently placed into service a 1987 Mack 4Guys tanker at a cost of $40,000 and a 1984 3D Duplex Telesquirt at a price of  $55,000.  Money from the fund drive must also be used to pay utility bills and other expenses.  Please continue to support our fund drive as you have in the past.
 

 "I Wish You Could See"

I wish you could see the sadness of a businessman as his livelihood goes up in flames or that of a family returning home, only to find their house and belongings damaged or destroyed.

I wish you could know what it is like to search a burning bedroom for trapped children, flames rolling above your head, your palms and knees burning as you crawl, the floor sagging under your weight as the kitchen beneath you burns.

I wish you could comprehend a wife's horror at 3 A.M. as I check her husband of forty years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping against hope to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late, but wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done to save his life.

I wish you could know the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of soot-filled sweat, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear, the sound of flames crackling, and the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke - sensations I am all too familiar with.

I wish you could understand how it feels to go to work in the morning after having spent most of a cold night soaking wet at a multiple alarm fire.

I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a building fire: Is this a false alarm or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What hazards await us? Is anyone trapped? Or to an EMS call: What is wrong with the patient? Is it minor or life-threatening? Is the person who called for us really in distress or is he waiting for us with a 2X4, or a gun?

I wish you could be in the emergency room with me as a doctor pronounces dead the beautiful little four-year old girl I have tried so hard to save during the past twenty-five minutes, who will never go on her first date or say, "Mommy, I love you" again.

I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of an engine - foot pressing hard on the siren button, arm tugging again and again at the air horn lanyard, as you fail to yield the right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us, however, your first comment upon our arrival will be, "It took you forever to get here!"

I wish you could read my thoughts as I extricate a teenage girl from the mangled remains of her automobile: What if this were my sister? My daughter? What will her parents reaction be as they open their front door to find a police officer standing there, hat in hand?

I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet your family, not having the heart to tell them that you nearly didn't come home from the alarm you were just on.

I wish you could feel my hurt as people verbally (and sometimes physically) abuse me or belittle what I do, or as they express their attitude of "It will never happen to me."

I wish you could realize the physical, emotional, and mental drain of missed meals, lost sleep, missed or foregone social activities and intimate moments, in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have viewed.

I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someone's property, of being there in times of crisis, of creating order from chaos.

Unless you have lived the life of a firefighter, you will never truly understand or appreciate who we are, what we do, or what the job we perform really means to us. I wish you could.

"A Firefighter's Life"

A firefighter's life is one big surprise,
Usually he laughs,sometimes he cries,
There's always stress, toil and strife,
Hoping he's good enough to save just one life.
His wife understands when he misses dinner,
If he runs out of church, don't think he's a sinner.
Answering a call is tops on his list,
Regretting each one he's ever missed.
He tries and tries, but can't make us see,
The happiest men, still work for free.
Jumping from bed, fighting the cold,
Knowing what to do with out being told.
He rushes to the station, jumps on a truck,
Depending on skill never on luck.
Putting his life on the line for an unknown friend,
Hoping and Praying it won't be the end.
"The Bravest men in the world" the title is fitting,
They all do their best never come close to quitting.
Next time you see them, all their lights blinking,
Take just a minute, to think what they're thinking.
It's a hard job, so show them you care,
And help them out with a little prayer.

 

"Firefighter's Prayer"

When I am called to duty, God
Wherever flames may rage
Give me the strength to save some life
Whatever be its age
Help me embrace a little child
Before it is too late
Or save an older person from
The horror of that fate
Enable me to be alert and
Hear the weakest shout
And quickly and efficiently
To put the fire out
I want to fill my calling and
To give the best in me
To guard my every neighbor
And protect their property
And if according to your will
I have to lose my life
Please bless with your protecting hand
My children and my wife.

 

 

© 2013 SOVFC