Community smoke detector outreach


Smoke detectors save lives. A September 2015 report released by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) discovered that from 2009-2013, 38% of fire-related deaths were attributed to the lack of smoke detectors in the home. Additionally, the study also indicated that an additional 21% of fire-related deaths occurred because smoke detectors were present in the home, but were not operating correctly.

On April 23rd, the Star City Volunteer Fire Department, in partnership with the American Red Cross, will be providing free smoke detectors and installation to any residence within our response area.

If you are interested, or have any questions, please contact the station at 304-599-1539.…/fire-sa…/smoke-alarms-in-us-home-fires

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Get out and STAY OUT


Fire experts agree that on average you only have between 2-3 minutes to evacuate your residence during a structure fire before it is too late to escape. According to the American Red Cross seven people are killed and thirty-six people seriously injured per day as a result of a fire in a place of residence. Luckily, there are ‘easy’ steps that can be taken to dramatically increase the likelihood that you and your family can escape/survive should your place of residence be involved in a fire.

Smoke detectors

  1. Install smoke detectors on each level of your residence and outside of all sleeping areas.
  2. Check the batteries of each detector once a month and change the batteries twice a year (when you change your clocks for daylight savings time).
  3. If your smoke detector alarms: Follow your evacuation plan, get out and STAY OUT until investigated by your local fire department.

Exit Drills In The Home

  1. Make a home escape plan and practice it. You can survive if you know what to do when you hear the smoke alarm.

Plan Your Escape

  1. Draw a floor plan of your home.
  2. Show two ways out of each room.
  3. Agree on an outside meeting place in front of your home where everyone will gather after they’ve escaped.
  4. Practice! Hold home fire drills. Make them realistic by pretending some exits are blocked by smoke or fire.
  5. Provide alternatives for anyone with a disability.
  6. A fire is not a race. Leave quickly but DO NOT RUN!

Be Prepared

  1. Can everyone in your home unlock and open windows?
  2. If your windows have security bars, are they equipped with inside quick release devices?
  3. Can children reach and open all door and window locks?

If you live in an apartment building…

  1. Learn and practice your building’s evacuation plan.
  2. If you hear a fire alarm, leave immediately.
  3. Use the stairs – never use elevators during a fire.
  4. Know the location of all building exits and fire alarms.
  5. If exits are locked or blocked, report the problem to your building’s management.

Escape Tips

  1. Close doors behind you as you escape to slow the spread of fire and smoke.
  2. If you have to escape through smoke, crawl, keeping your head no more than one to two feet above the floor, where air will be the cleanest.
  3. Test door knobs and spaces around the door with the back of your hand. If the door is warm, try another escape route. If it is cool, open it slowly. Slam it shut if smoke pours through.

Get Out and Stay Out: Once you escape a fire, DO NOT GO BACK INSIDE FOR ANY REASON!


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2016 1st Quarter Stats


2016’s first quarter stats are in! Top 10 responders for the 1st quarter are:

  1. Firefighter/Duty Crew Officer Jared Lamb: 121
  2. Firefighter Jake Peretin: 113
  3. Firefighter Zach Karn: 85
  4. Lieutenant Justin Knotts: 82
  5. Lieutenant Sam Hannah: 73
  6. Chief Kris Osecky: 73
  7. Firefighter/Duty Crew Officer Brian Sites: 68
  8. Firefighter/EMT Megan Simmons: 61
  9. Captain Ethan Bailey: 51
  10. Firefighter/EMT Dennis Chaney: 50

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3/30/16 – Fuel spill at Monongahela Blvd/Boyers Ave

 haz63/30/16: Company 20 was alerted to respond to the area of Monongahela Boulevard and Boyers Ave for ‘a fuel spill’. Engine 201 responded to the incident and while en route received scene updates that a commercial flatbed’s auxiliary/transfer diesel tank had been compromised during a hard stop at the intersection. Engine 201 arrived on scene, found a 50 gallon auxiliary diesel tank leaking fuel onto the roadway and began preliminary containment with the Engine’s available resources. After beginning preliminary containment of the spill Company 20 command activated responses for WVDOT, WV DEP, and Monongalia Hazardous Incident Response Team (H.I.R.T). Due to the close proximity to station and the need for immediate additional Hazmat containment materials, Engine 201 and DPO returned to station to retrieve Squad 203 while other Company 20 personnel remained on scene. Once Squad 203 arrived on scene additional containment efforts continued until H.I.R.T 241 arrived. Due to the quick response and efficient actions by Star City PD, Company 20, and Monongalia H.I.R.T no amounts of the estimated 30-40 gallons of diesel fuel reached the storm drains or Monongalia River. Monongahela Boulevard was restricted to one lane for approximately four hours during the incident.



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West Virginia Forest Fire Laws


  • The periods of each year between March 1 and May 31, inclusive, and October 1 and December 31,inclusive, are hereby designated as Forest Fire Seasons.
  • No person shall during ANY such fire season, except between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.prevailing time, set on fire or cause to be set on fire any forest land, or any grass, grain, stubble, slash, debris, or other inflammable materials. Any fire set during this time shall be extinguished prior to 7:00a.m. prevailing time. Such prohibition of fires between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. prevailing time shall not be construed to include (1) small fires set for the purpose of food preparation, or providing light or warmth around which all grass, brush, stubble, or other debris has been removed for a distance of ten feet from the fire, and (2) burning which may be conducted at any time when the ground surrounding the burning site is covered by one inch or more of snow.
  • No burning may be done unless all inflammable material has been removed from around the material to be burned as a safety strip for a distance which insures that the fire will not escape and which is not less than 10 feet. If fire escapes beyond the safety strip, the person responsible shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
  • Before leaving ANY fire for ANY period of time, it must be totally extinguished.
  • Commercial permits to burn during the prohibited periods may be issued by the Division of Forestry.
  • All sawmills, power shovels, or an engine or machine capable of throwing sparks must be provided with an adequate spark arrestor if operating on land subject to fire by any cause. All inflammable waste disposal areas on ANY land must annually have removed all grass, brush, debris and other inflammable material adjacent to such disposal areas to provide adequate protection to prevent the escape of fire to adjacent lands.
  • The State shall recover from the person or persons, firms or corporations whose negligence or whose violations of any provisions of this article cause ANY fire at ANY time on any grass or forest land the amount expended by the State. A landowner must take all practicable means to suppress ANY fire on his property. If he fails to do so, the State shall collect from him the amounts expended by the State for such purposes.

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Richard “Dick” Jarvis


It is with heavy hearts that the members of Star City Volunteer Department announce the passing of Richard “Dick” Jarvis. Mr. Jarvis was a life member of the department with over 30 years of service. While an active member he served as a Captain and Treasurer and was President of the Monongalia County Fire Association. In honor and remembrance of our friend, member and brother the station flag has been placed at half staff and a helmet hung on the face of the station. Our sincere and deepest sympathies go out to the Jarvis family in their time of loss.

Rest easy brother…

1/27/16: Cheat Road MVC

E201 Cheat Road

1/27/16: This morning Company 20 personnel responded to Cheat Road in the area of Old Cheat Road for a two vehicle MVC with injuries. Engine 201’s crew assisted EMS/PD on scene, provided shielding for the incident scene, mitigated fluid leaks, assisted with securing the involved vehicles and stood-by for fire suppression (which thankfully was not needed).

A reminder that roads in and around Morgantown remain icy and hazardous in areas due to the continued snow removal from roadways and thawing of snow and refreezing during the night. Remember to give yourself extra time to travel and increase your following distances to help reduce the chances of being involved in an accident.

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Winter fire safety

Removing snow from around hydrants a crucial part of winter fire safety

In the winter months, it’s especially important to be conscious of how snow-covered fire hydrants can delay fire services, costing crucial seconds or minutes that can mean the difference between saving a structure and its inhabitants and not doing so.

a fire hydrant covered in snow

Photo courtesy of

The Boston Globe reported last winter that the city’s fire department was deploying teams of fire fighters to dig out hydrants covered by the city’s record snow fall. According to the article, a hydrant needs about a foot of space below its valve, and another two feet of space all around it. This space allows fire fighters to attach hoses to the valve and rotate the hydrant wrench.

As Lieutenant Kevin Jordan of the Boston Fire Department explained to the Globe, a fire engine holds about two to five minutes’ worth of water. When that is used up, hydrants become indispensable, as every passing second allows a fire to grow.

In 2013, a fire destroyed a Boston home when firefighters were delayed by a hydrant obstructed by snow. In contrast, this past winter a New Hampshire home was saved because a neighbor cleared the hydrant off before fire services arrived.

In many regions of the country, shoveling out fire hydrants become a necessity during the winter. While property owners are legally obligated to clear their sidewalks, no such regulations govern the clearing of hydrants. It’s important, then, that private citizens do their part by clearing snow away from hydrants in a timely manner. The work of just a few minutes might later prove to be vital to the safety of you or your neighbors

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2015 Stats


End of the year stats for Co. 20 are in! Members from Co. 20 responded to 1158 calls for service, including 28 building fires, 8 cooking fires, 7 vehicles fires, 7 brush fires, 65 vehicle accidents with injuries (13 extrication and 4 vehicle vs pedestrians), and 82 vehicle accidents with no injuries.

Top Responders for the year of 2015 were:

FF Jacob Peretin- 327 calls
Duty Officer Justin Knotts- 313 calls
Captain/EMT Ryan Gillespie- 309 calls
Duty Officer Adam Thompson- 268 calls
Lieutenant/EMT Ethan Bailey- 267 calls
FF Brian Sites- 229 calls
Chief Kris Osecky- 224 calls
FF/EMT Jared Lamb- 221 calls
FF Chris Eisenhut- 214 calls
FF Thomas Sites- 213 calls
Duty Officer/EMT Dennis Chaney- 199 calls
FF/EMT Wendell Hofer- 193 calls
EMS Chief Megan Simmons- 189 calls
Lieutenant Sam Hannah- 184 calls
FF/EMT Mike Singer- 146 calls
FF Zach Karn/ FF/EMT Cory Thomas- 129 calls
FF/EMT Joe McVey- 127 calls
FF/EMT Morgan Langston- 117 calls
FF/EMT Jesse Hedrick- 109 calls
FF/EMT Joe Klass- 103 calls

Company 20 would like to thank Blacksville VFD, Brookhaven VFD, Cassville VFD, Cheat Lake VFD, Clinton District VFD, Cool Springs VFD, Granville VFD, Triune-Halleck VFD, Westover VFD, Mt Morris (PA) VFD, and Monongalia County HIRT for all the help with mutual aid that they have provided in 2015!

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