Firefighters urge everyone to help “Keep the Wreath Green”
Sunday, December 1st, marked the beginning of the Cape Coral Fire Department’s annual “Keep the Wreath Green” fire safety campaign.
For the seventh year, Cape Coral firefighters have placed a wreath illuminated with green bulbs at Fire Station 4, located at 2007 Santa Barbara Boulevard. If a preventable fire occurs, such as cooking, smoking, holiday decorations, candles, etc., between December 1 and January 1, one of the green bulbs will change to red.
Though fire safety should be a year-round priority, particular precautions need to be taken during the holiday season, and the “Keep the Wreath Green” campaign serves as a reminder of this. With the hectic holiday season, it is easy for families to become complacent about fire safety.
“As everyone gets busier during the holidays, we often become rushed, distracted or tired,” says Fire Chief Ryan W. Lamb. “That’s when home fires are more likely to occur.”
With the additional use of decorative lighting, live Christmas trees, increased cooking activities, and the burning of candles, the risk of fire in homes increases. Fortunately, with a little added awareness and some minor adjustments to holiday cooking and decorating, the season can remain festive and safe for everybody.
Choose holiday decorations carefully, using only those made of flame-resistant, flame-retardant, or non-combustible materials.
Keep decorations away from heat sources. Of the fires that began with decorations, nearly half occurred due to the decoration’s proximity to a heat source.
Keep decorations away from windows and doors that might be needed as a means of escape.
Keep candles at least 12” away from decorations or other combustible materials. Two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles.
Never leave candles unattended. Extinguish them when you leave the room.
Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over.
Use only lights listed by an independent testing laboratory and pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
Closely inspect all holiday lighting before use to insure all wires, bulbs and connections are in a safe condition. Discard any lights with exposed wires, broken insulation, cracked or missing bulbs, or other defects.
Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not become damaged.
Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
Before purchasing an artificial tree, be sure it is identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
When choosing a live Christmas tree, look for signs of freshness by lightly pulling branches through your closed fist. Fresh trees should retain their needles during this test.
Have the tree lot operator provide a “fresh cut” by removing 1-2” from the base of the trunk.
Immediately place the tree in water and add water daily. Keep a close check on the dryness of the tree and remove the tree when needles easily fall off.
Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit and is at least three feet away from any heat source like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
The Cape Coral Fire Department has provided all Christmas tree vendors in Cape Coral with tree hanger tags that are printed with these important safety tips to remind consumers what precautions to take to prevent Christmas tree fires.
Unattended cooking is the leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire injuries. After Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve are the peak days for home cooking fires.
When frying, grilling, or broiling, stay in the kitchen. Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop and turn off the stove when you leave the kitchen, even if it’s for a short period of time.
When simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, stay in the home and check on it frequently; use a timer as a reminder if necessary.
Create a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are prepared or carried.
Ask smokers to smoke outside.
Use large, deep ashtrays and wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.
Keep matches and lighters up high, away from children.
Ensure there is a working smoke alarm on each level of your home and practice fire escape plans with all family members and holiday guests.
“The holidays can quickly turn from joyful to tragic when a fire occurs,” says Public Affairs Specialist Andrea Schuch. “By taking simple precautions, Cape Coral residents and visitors can stay safe, have holidays that are healthy and happy, and avoid potential fire hazards to ‘Keep the Wreath Green.’”
This Saturday from 9 am – 12 pm, all 11 Cape Coral Fire Stations will be open to the public with activities, games, and displays.
This Saturday, November 2, the public is invited to visit any of Cape Coral’s 11 fire stations from 9 am – 12 pm. Each station provides visitors the opportunity to tour the station, meet firefighters, and learn about the fire apparatus and equipment. There will also be fun, educational, and different public safety displays and activities at each station. Giveaways and games with prizes (while supplies last) will be at each station as well. The locations of the stations and the activities at each are as follows:
Station 1, 4610 Coronado Parkway.
The “Save a Life Station” will have Lee Health accepting blood donations, Friends and Family CPR instruction, adoptable dogs from Paws Lee County, Animal Refuge Center, and information from the Cape Coral Animal Shelter.
Station 2, 701 Nicholas Parkway.
The “Water Safety Station” will showcase the CCFD’s marine and dive equipment, CCPD’s marine unit will have equipment on display, and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary mascot, Coastie, will be in in attendance.
Station 3, 1627 Everest Parkway.
The “CCPD Station” will have SWAT and K-9 demonstrations and an opportunity to meet Police Chief Dave Newlan.
Station 4, 2007 Santa Barbara Boulevard.
The “Junior Firefighter Station” allows kids to don gear and navigate firefighter obstacles such as crawling through a smoky tunnel, using a hose, and climbing a ladder. Visitors can also meet Fire Chief Ryan Lamb.
Station 5, 1029 Diplomat Parkway.
The “Wildland Safety Station” is where guests can see a Florida Forest Service bulldozer and transport truck and a Lee County Mosquito Control District (LCMCD) helicopter. Visitors can also meet Smokey Bear and learn about insects with LCMCD.
Station 6, 4540 Chiquita Parkway.
The “Vehicle Safety Station” will have a Florida Highway Patrol car, vehicle extrication demonstrations, and car seat checks with Safe Kids.
Station 7, 3942 Burnt Store Road N.
CCFD Open House activities.
Station 8, 707 SW 1st St.
CCFD Open House activities.
Station 9, 4107 Pelican Boulevard.
The “Child Safety Station” will have an inflatable fire safety smokehouse for guests to explore, face painting, and fingerprinting and 911 for kids with CCPD.
Station 10, 3623 Gator Circle W.
CCFD Open House activities.
Station 11, 1038 Burnt Store Road.
The “Lee County EMS Station” will have an ambulance and the LeeFlight helicopter for guests to tour.
Station 7, 3942 Burnt Store Road N, Station 8, 707 SW 1st St., and Station 10, 3623 Gator Circle West
Each will have CCFD Open House activities.
“The annual Open House is a fun and exciting way for us to engage the community,” says Fire Chief Ryan W. Lamb.
“Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the different aspects of the CCFD, our all-hazards response capabilities, and our commitment to the well-being of people in our community. We look forward to welcoming everyone at all of our fire stations on November 2.”
Effective October 1st, the Cape Coral Fire Department upgraded Ladder 1 located at Fire Station 1, 4610 Coronado Pkwy., from Basic Life Support to Advanced Life Support services.
Basic Life Support (BLS) is provided by EMTs (the minimum level of medical training required for Cape Coral firefighters). Advanced Life Support (ALS) is provided by certified paramedics. This advanced care includes administering intravenous (IV) medications and fluids, cardiac monitoring, and advanced airway techniques. ALS service is the highest level of pre-hospital care and provides the same care as an ambulance.
“We are excited to be able to expand ALS services throughout more of the City, allowing us to provide the highest level of life-saving care to more members of the community,” said Fire Chief Ryan W. Lamb.
With the addition of Station 1, nine of Cape Coral’s 11 fire stations have ALS capabilities. This puts the Department on track to accomplish its strategic goal of having all ALS stations by the end of October 2020.
No one was home when firefighters respond to fire in Northwest Cape Coral
This morning, at approximately 9:00 am, the Cape Coral Fire Department responded to a call for a residential structure fire in the 1400 block of NW 2nd St.
When firefighters arrived on scene, two cars were in the driveway and heavy smoke and flames could be seen coming from the roof. A primary search was conducted, and no one was found in the residence. A neighbor was able to reach the homeowners by phone and confirm that they were not home. Three dogs were found inside, and, though Cape Coral firefighters and Lee County EMS personnel conducted CPR and used pet oxygen masks, they were unable to be saved.
Fire hydrants were not available in the area so crews secured two water supplies for fire suppression. A tender shuttle operation was conducted with Cape Coral’s Tender 5 and Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District’s Tender (tanker trucks holding 3000 gallons of water) continually shuttled water from the closest hydrant to the portable drafting tank that would supply fire engines with water. Turbo drafting operations were performed to obtained water from the canal behind the home.
Due to the heat of the day, a second alarm was called to ensure a constant fire attack. Fire crews’ vitals (core temperature, heart rate, etc.) must normalize before they can redress in their gear and resume their fire suppression role. Crews will rotate in and out of rehab to safeguard the well-being of the firefighters and to provide continuous fire operations.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
We are excited to share that Cape Coral Fire Chief Ryan W. Lamb has been selected as the 2019 Florida Fire Chief of the Year. This distinguished honor is presented by the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association to recognize a truly outstanding Fire Chief whose acts and deeds in their profession, home, community, and country serve as an example and challenge for all other Chief Fire Executives throughout Florida.
Chief Lamb was selected for this award for his leadership in the face of adverse situations, for his accomplishments in just one year in the position, for his commitment to his own growth through education, and for his progressive approach to advancing the fire service.
Chief Lamb began his employment with the Cape Coral Fire Department in 2005 and was promoted to Fire Chief by the Cape Coral City Manager in May of 2018. The Florida Fire Chief’s Association (FFCA) represents over 2,200 members and is Florida’s professional association that specializes in promoting and supporting excellence in fire & emergency services management.