Public Safety updates: Arrests, fires, PPE donations, and more

It’s time to check in on what our public safety personnel have been up to this spring. I’m rounding up highlights from what they’ve been sharing on social media.

Community Spirit

From SPD on Facebook - a Drive-by for Cam's BirthdayEarlier this spring, I shared an offer by the Southborough Police & Fire Departments to make stay-at-home birthdays and other special occasions a little more special. They were taking requests for Drive-by’s in police cruisers and fire trucks. From the message below, it sounds like the offer was more than a little popular.

A few weeks ago, both departments announced on Facebook that the offer will expire on May 31st:

Due to the high volume of requests and limited availability of First Responders; we regret to inform you that our Birthday Drive-by’s will be ending on May 31st at 8 pm. We have received a HUGE response for this community service from our Southborough residents. In just under 20 days, the SPD and SFD have attended close to 40 birthday drive-by’s and parades for children stuck at home during quarantine on their birthday. We, the Southborough Police Department and the Southborough Fire Department, have been so happy to be a part of your child’s special day. We truly enjoy seeing family members and birthday kids smiling and waving to us from their front lawns and driveway’s. We were happy to bring some cheer to these families during this very difficult time.

On a side note, we have recently received requests to be involved in drive-by’s for other special occasions like baby showers, adult birthday parties, etc. Due to the availability of our officers & firefighters to respond to emergencies when needed- we have limited these First Responder drive-by’s to children’s birthdays ONLY. We thank you for your understanding, and look forward to our up-coming May birthday drive-by’s!

Stay healthy, everyone!

hanging ARHS congrats banner at Library (SFD Facebook)In early May, some Southborough Firefighters helped congratulate graduating Algonquin seniors: 

Group 3 is on duty today and was happy to lend a helping hand to hang a banner for the Algonquin Class of 2020. They even got a chance to do some ground ladder training as well as a refresher on knot-tying.

Before the pandemic, the SFD was able to help out, as usual, at a Special Olympics event: 

Special Olympics at St Marks (from SFD Facebook)This past Saturday, February 29, members of Group 4 participated in the last class of the St. Mark’s Young Athletes Program. The school partnered with Special Olympics to host the program as part of their student’s Saturday classes. At the end of the program, Captain Sadowski and the crew handed out certificates and medals to all the athletes.

Emergency Responses

The SPD hasn’t been posting police logs this spring. But they have shared occasional updates on crimes and/or arrests, most of which I’ve already shared. Here are two more.
From a May 21 post

On May 8th, 2020, Southborough PD investigated a Vandalism report at a Turnpike Road parking area. The reporting party advised that the front windshields of a dump truck and front loader were smashed, while they were parked in the lot. The responding officer took the report, and a follow-up investigation was conducted by Det. Keith Nichols. The owner of the property was able to provide some surveillance video of the area, and after reviewing the video and conducting a follow-up interview- [a Turnpike Road resident]* is being charged with Destruction of Property less than $1200 (a Misdemeanor), and Destruction of Property more than $1200 (a Felony).

Posted on May 7th:

On 05/01/20 at approx. 1744 hrs, Southborough Police Detective Keith Nichols witnessed a motor vehicle accident while travelling on Turnpike Road (Route 9) in Southborough. Det. Nichols reported the accident in to dispatch; secured the scene; and made contact with both operators. After speaking with the operators and other witnesses at the scene of the accident, it was determined that one vehicle rear-ended the other vehicle at a very high rate of speed. After a full investigation was completed, [a Framingham resident]* is being charged with OUI Liquor (3rd Offense); Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle; and Speeding.

April 2020 SFD Activity and Performance Measure ReportThe SFD has done a lot more than hang banners and drive by houses this spring. The April performance report has been posted. It included 49 Emergency Medical Responses and four fires. You can read the report right, or click here to view the full size reports for January – April.

The department posted to Facebook about a handful of this spring’s fires on Facebook, including one this morning

Stop and Shop at Lyman St fire May 27 2020 (SFD Facebook)SFD Tower 21 responded early this morning to Stop & Shop in Westborough. It is always rewarding working with and helping out our surrounding counterparts.

[Editor’s Note: In case you were wondering, the store is open to shoppers. I was inside the store earlier this afternoon and there was no sign that there had been a fire. You can read more about the fire in Westborough Wicked Local.]

On May 24th, the SFD posted

roadside brush fire - May 23 2020 (SFD Facebook)Crews made quick work of a brush fire on Rt. 495 yesterday. As society reopens and more people hit the roads, please remember to follow the state’s *Move Over Law* to ensure our safety.

On March 14th

The Southborough Fire Department, along with many towns, are in Northbridge as part of Structural Task Force 14-B in response to a general alarm fire at a saw mill on Purgatory Road. This video shows the arrival of 14-B into the staging area early this morning.

In late February:

Southborough Fire Group Mutual Aid Ashland - Feb 22 2020 (SFD Facebook)Southborough Fire Group 1 responded Mutual Aid to Ashland This morning. Ashland Fire struck a 1st Alarm assignment for a 3 car detached garage fire with heavy smoke and fire on arrival that had also caused damage to the dwelling adjacent to it. Southborough fire responded with E-23 and a crew of 4 to assist. Ashland Fire had a quick knock down and great stop prior to our arrival, E-23 crew provided RIT for a short time and then released back to our town.

Preparing for Future Emergencies

If you see someone taking photos of your house and street, look twice before calling in suspicious behavior. It seems that an SFD member is working on a special safety project: 

hydrant photography project (SFD Facebook)Lt. Chris Dano our Fire Prevention Officer, will be around town snapping a quick image of each residence and its nearest fire hydrant. He’ll be in a marked department vehicle while he performs this survey. This will allow our team to more efficiently respond to emergencies in town. Give him a wave if you happen to see him around!

In February, the SFD geared up by purchasing “Active Shooter Response Gear”. The department posted the brief explanation below on Facebook. (You can also click here to read the full news release.)

tactical personal protective gear and traumatic bleeding control equipment (SFD Facebook)The Southborough Fire department along with our fire department partners in Hopedale, Milford, Northborough, Shrewsbury, and Westborough, are thrilled to announce the receipt of $54,000 in regional homeland security grant funds to purchase tactical personal protective gear and traumatic bleeding control equipment. The awarded funds have been allocated to purchase tactical vests (commonly referred to as bulletproof vests), tactical helmets, eye protection, tourniquets and medical kits containing lifesaving bleeding control equipment. The grant was awarded by the Central Region Homeland Security Council through federal homeland security funds allocated to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Gratitude for Donations

Last week, the SFD was happy to share that they received another helpful PPE donation. 

Donated face shields (SFD Facebook)We would like to send a big Thank You out to Faceshields for First Responders – Metrowest. The Southborough Fire Department received a generous donation of a dozen high quality faceshields from Bob this past Friday, 5/22. Faceshields for First Responders is a campaign started in April to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to fire departments in the Metrowest area. Organizer Robert Vinci, an engineer, used a 3D printer to make the customized shields to donate to the department. His organization has delivered over 180 face shields to 15 fire departments in our area.

The prior week, both the SFD and SPD received another kind of donated face protection: 

donated gaiters (SFD Facebook)Thank you AFTCO for the donation of neck gaiters for all our Fire & Police members!!! Just in time for the summer heat.. and we look pretty stylish too. Southborough Police Department


Previously, I shared the SPD’s congratulations to a former colleague on his retirement in February – Ashland’s K9 Dax. This month, they were sad to share news of his passing: 

Ashland PD paying tribute to Dax (SPD Facebook)We are very sad to hear of the passing of Ashland Police’s K-9 “Dax”. Dax has helped the Southborough Police on many occasions over the years. We are forever grateful for his service to Ashland and the surrounding communities. Rest easy, Dax

*By blog policy, I strip out the names of any individuals listed as arrested

Updated (5/28/20 8:05 am): I added a link to news coverage of the Stop & Shop fire.

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