Kitchen Fire Prevention

There are many ways to prevent a kitchen fire. For instance, no fabrics or flammable items should remain within three feet of a stove or oven for prolonged periods of time. This includes towels, pot holders, oven mitts, and paper towels. Wearing loose clothing while working at a stove or oven should be avoided, as clothing may touch a gas or electric burner and catch on fire. Wiping burners and other surfaces on stoves or inside ovens is also necessary to clean off oil, food particles and other materials which may catch fire when the coils or burners get hot. If there are things residing in cabinets above the stove, remove them for use before starting to cook food, this will prevent clothes from catching on fire while reaching over a hot burner to retrieve items. Utensils containing metal, aluminum or foil, or other metal-based objects, should be kept away from the microwave oven. Never place paper-based materials inside an oven, unless the product’s instructions say to do so, as they may catch on fire at high temperatures. Exceptions may include items such as pizza trays that are made for use within the oven. Removing items from microwaves should be done with a pot holder, as they can be very hot. When using cooking oil, the safest way to heat it is on medium rather than high, to mitigate the potential for oil catching on fire. Leaving food cooking on stoves is generally unsafe as it is possible for food to catch on fire unexpectedly. Soups cooking in pots, or rice simmering in saucepans, are notable exceptions; however it is never safe to leave food cooking in a skillet, especially in oil. Kitchen appliances with frayed or damaged cords should not be plugged in and get replaced, because this elevates the risk of short circuits and an electrical fire.

Children should never be allowed to cook in the kitchen until they are old enough to stand over the stove and see the entire stove clearly. Furthermore, children must first become familiar with the rules of kitchen safety before attempting to cook, and they should always do so only under adult supervision. Anyone who works in a kitchen should familiarize themselves with the type of fire extinguisher that is necessary to fight kitchen fires. These are known as ABC fire extinguishers, or dry chemical extinguishers. These are suitable for putting out ordinary fires as well as those involving flammable fluids such as cooking oil. The method for using a fire extinguisher is called PASS, which stands for pulling the pin, aiming the extinguisher, squeezing the trigger, and sweeping the area where the fire is located, namely the base of the fire, rather than just the flames. Care should be taken, especially during large cooking projects, which typically occur during the holidays. During these periods, the number of kitchen fires is higher than normal.

In Case of a Kitchen Fire

If a kitchen fire breaks out, it is important to know how to extinguish the blaze, or if necessary, how to evacuate. Because fires can break out anywhere, including the oven, it is necessary to have a working smoke detector and to routinely test it to ensure it is in working condition. If a fire emergency does occur, it is also important to know what kind of fire has broken out. Some fires are caused by burning paper or fabrics, while others are caused by hot grease. Unlike other fires, grease fires cannot be put out with water, and in fact water will only make the fire much worse. The way to put out grease fires is to either cover the skillet or pot with a damp cloth, or to pour baking soda over the fire. If the fire is too big for those options, then it needs to be put out with an ABC fire extinguisher. However, if the fire is too big for a fire extinguisher, the safest option is to evacuate and call the fire department by cell phone or at a neighbor’s house. The residents or family should have an escape plan practiced and ready in case of a fire, so that they can evacuate safely and gather at a predetermined meeting place.

Visit Homeadvisor’s Website for Preventing Kitchen Fires for the full article and for several more links regarding home fire safety.

Want to learn more about your community volunteer fire department and its citizen volunteers? Then check out our ABOUT STAR CITY VFD PAGE. Want to learn more about becoming a citizen volunteer and helping the residents of Monongalia County? Visit our MEMBERSHIP and RECRUITMENT pages.


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DHHR delivers Naloxone to SCVFD

Star City Fire & EMS received its allotment of naloxone purchased through a grant by the DHHR.  Did you know that EVERY Fire Truck and Ambulance at Star City Fire & EMS is certified by the WV State Office of EMS to carry lifesaving medications like naloxone?  Want to learn more about your community volunteer fire department and its citizen volunteers? Then check out our ABOUT STAR CITY VFD PAGE. Want to learn more about becoming a citizen volunteer and helping the residents of Monongalia County? Visit our MEMBERSHIP and RECRUITMENT pages.
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June 5, 2018
For Immediate Release:

With great sadness the Harrison County Emergency Squad announces that Captain Jim Swenskie passed away on duty, Monday June 4th, 2018 after returning from a call on Crooked Run, Harrison County.  Captain Swenskie was in his 29th year of service to the citizens of Harrison County at his passing.
Jim started his career at Harrison County Emergency Squad on January 14, 1990.  He was a decorated paramedic who was honored as the Harrison County Paramedic of the Year multiple times.  His knowledge, skills and dedication to his craft was responsible for positive outcomes of numerous patients that numbered in the thousands.
Captain Swenskie also faithfully served at the Anmoore Volunteer Fire Department and began his public service career in the 1980’s with the West Milford Volunteer Fire Department.  His work ethic and dedication were unmatched; the loss of Jim Swenskie will be felt for years to come.  However, his legacy will live on as Captain Swenskie was personally responsible for training, supervising and mentoring countless providers who were actively serving as doctors, nurses, paramedics and EMT’s throughout our Nation.  One of Jim’s proudest moments was when his daughter Courtney followed in her father’s footsteps and began her career in EMS.
His greatest passion was his family.  He is survived by his wife Matilda, sons James and Joseph, and daughters Courtney and Savannah.
Due to his faithful service, the Harrison County Emergency Squad’s Company 61 station will be named in his honor at a later date.
At this time arrangements are incomplete.

For Media Inquiries:
Richard B. Rock, Executive Director
Harrison County Emergency Squad, Inc.
660 Oakmound Rd.
Clarksburg, WV 26301

From all of us at Star City VFD and EMS our thoughts and prayers go out to our Harrison County brothers and sisters at this time. We ask that everyone keep our brother’s co-workers and family in your thoughts as well during this difficult time.

EMS week 2018 comes to a close

As we near the end of EMS week for 2018 all of us at Star City Fire and EMS look back on the week we’ve had and are truly grateful. A special thanks to SERIOUS DIESEL PERFORMANCE for the gift of lunch and dinner today for our EMS staff. We also learned today that our EMS Chief and Administrator John Hitchens has been recognized as the “EMS Administrator of the Year” by the WV State Office of EMS.  We are so thankful for our 100% volunteer fire department members and our paid EMS staff.  We are learning, training, and are growing together.  The Star City Volunteer Fire Department and EMS Division are a family and we can’t wait to see what great things the future holds.

Want to be a part of our family and help the citizens of Monongalia County in the process? We’d love to meet you and are always looking for new members of our fire department family. Visit our RECRUITMENT page for more information. From all of us at The Star City Volunteer Fire Department and EMS divisions we hope you have a blessed Memorial Day weekend.

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WVU Kids Safety & Fitness Expo at WVU CPASS

(Pictured LEFT to RIGHT): Ryan Gillespie / Tyler Anderson / Ethan Bailey / Joe McVey / Joe Klass

Earlier this evening, members from Company 20 attended the annual WVU Kids Safety & Fitness Expo. Both kids and adults were shown Engine 209, its equipment, and were given information about the fire service and fire safety. Special thanks to WVU for inviting us to this event!

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EMS Chief Hitchens accepts award

Pictured left to right – Mon County Commissioner Tom Bloom, Tim Manchin, John Hitchens, Taylor Downs, Jared Lamb.

EMS Chief and Administrator John Hitchens accepting the Manchin Law Office First Responder Award. “I’m truly humbled to have received this award” – Chief Hitchens.  Proceeds of the award have been donated to the Pantry Plus Program in Monongalia County. Special thanks to the Manchin Law Office for making this happen!

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EMS Week 2018

Statement from our EMS Chief, John Hitchens:

“Today marks the start of EMS Week and is definitely a special time here at Star City Fire & EMS. The management and field staff of Star City EMS work tirelessly to always put “PATIENT CARE FIRST” in all we do and in every decision we make. We have made great strides over the past year and are looking forward to what this next year brings. As we continue to expand our operation with experienced providers and state of the art equipment we do everything we can for the residents of Monongalia County and the entire North Central Region. None of this would be possible without our EMS staff and it certainly doesn’t take a “special week” to realize how much they are appreciated and valued at our organization. If you happen to see some of our EMS staff out this week, please take the time to thank them for all their hard work and dedication.”

From all of us at Star City Volunteer Fire Department we wish all EMS personnel from our agency and across the nation a safe and happy EMS week! Thank you for all you do for the communities and patients you serve.

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“Career on Wheels” Day at Mylan Park Elementary

SCVFD Engine 209, along with various other agencies from the county, participated in a “Career on Wheels” day at Mylan Park Elementary. Fire trucks from C0.20 and Co.13, police cruisers, maintenance vehicles, military vehicles, and HealthNet’s aircraft were just some of the vehicles present for the children to explore and ask questions about. Unfortunately, C0.20 was able to only participate briefly as E209 was dispatched to a reported structure fire at Trinity High School at the beginning of the event. VIEW WBOY’S COVERAGE OF THE EVENT HERE. SCVFD members were happy to participate in the event even though it was only for a limited time.

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