Fire Dept Update: Fires, car crashes, and a completed Community Risk Assessment

Above: The SFD posted more news through social media and an issued announcement.

It’s time to check in again with the Southborough Fire Department. Below is a roundup of SFD news for September through November. News includes emergency responses, staff accomplishments, and preparedness efforts.

Emergency Responses

This fall, the SFD responded to several fires and other incidents. Below are highlights they shared on Facebook. You can find more photos by following the links:

Monday’s high winds led to two fires in town:

November 30th electrical fireLast night, power lines were significantly damaged when a tree came down on Cordaville Road. This lead to electrical fires in both the original address and the home next door. Firefighters from Southborough, Westborough, and Ashland managed to limit the extent of these stubborn fires until National Grid was able to cut electrical service to both homes. Unfortunately smoke damage and the lack of power displaced the residents for the remainder of the night.

A brush fire extinguished in a Southborough neighborhood on November 22nd was purportedly caused by improperly disposed fire pit ashes:

Yesterday, fire crews responded to a report of a brush fire on Sears Road approximately 20’ from a residence on Presidential Drive. On arrival, crew found approximately 100′ x 200′ brush fire which was started by improper disposal of ashes from a fire pit in the area. Fire was extinguished quickly without damage to any structure. Thank you to our mutual aid partners at the Ashland Fire Department for covering the station.

On Friday the 13th of November, emergency personnel responded to a car crash:

November 13th car crashCrews responded to a single vehicle crash vs tree on Fisher Rd late Friday night. The three occupants amazingly only suffered minor injuries. All were transported to local hospitals by Southborough Ambulance and Patriot Ambulance, Inc. from Marlborough

The Oct 30th snowstorm was pretty to look at but caused a mess:

Oct 30 snowstormFirst Snow Fall Contributes to Accidents. Fire and Ambulance Crews responded throughout the day to a number of accidents including a single vehicle rollover on Main Street and a tree that fell onto a car on Boston Road. Fortunately there were no injuries at either accident.

In early October, the SFD put out a dryer fire:

Dryer fireThis morning, our crew responded to a one-alarm dryer fire in an occupied house on Austin Kelly Lane. The fire was extinguished quickly and without injury. Thank you to our mutual aid partners at Westborough Fire Department who assisted with ventilation.

The SFD came to Hopkinton’s aid in late September for a 3-alarm fire: 

Hopkinton 3 alarm fireSunday morning Tower 21 responded mutual aid to Hopkinton for a 3-alarm fire at 17 Main St. Tower 21’s crew were engaged in significant roof operations to access and vent heavy fire in the attic of the circa 1900’s house which had been converted into office space.

In mid-September, Lt. Aspesi was dispatched all the way to the west coast to help FEMA during wildfires:

west coast wildfiresLt. Neal Aspesi was deployed with the FEMA Urban Search & Rescue System, this time with the Incident Support Team as the Public Information Officer. Lt. Aspesi and his team are in service to the State of Oregon and are assisting with search efforts following devastating wildfires. Our thoughts remain with Lt. Aspesi, members of FEMA, and all the firefighters who have been deployed from all over the country. Be safe!

Staff accomplishments and accreditations

A ceremony in early November honored Southborough’s emergency responders for their actions immediately following the attack on a Southborough police sergeant this summer:

Members of the Southborough Fire Department and Southborough Police Department, along with members of the Westborough Police Department, gathered this afternoon in recognition of their efforts on June 22, 2020 in the aftermath of the felony assault on Sergeant James Deluca. Lt. Aspesi, FF Navaroli, FF Rice and FF Cole were presented with Police Merit Awards by Chief Kenneth Paulhus of the Southborough Police Department.

A newly trained SFD Firefighter/EMT was recognized as an outstanding student:

FF Tabitha ConwayPlease join us in congratulating FF Tabitha Conway on receiving the Martin H. McNamara Award for Outstanding Student of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Call/Volunteer Firefighter Training Class # 086. This recommendation was made by the instructors based upon her successful achievement in both academic exams and practical skill applications. Congratulations and well done Tabitha!

Two members of the SFD completed their probationary period:

End of probationFF Zach Clements and FF DJ Gaudette completed their one year probation this week, and were presented with their official helmet shields. Congratulations to both!

SFD’s Chief also maintained his personal accreditation this fall:

On September 1, 2020, Chief Steven Achilles was re-designated as a “Chief Fire Officer” (CFO) by the Commission on Professional Credentialing. CPC Credentialing is a professional designation model that recognizes career excellence and offers strategies for continuous personal improvement. Chief Achilles received and has maintained Chief Fire Officer designation since 2008.

Emergency Planning & Performance Reporting

In October, the SFD completed its Community Risk Assessment and Standard of Cover process. The department created a document that acts as their risk management plan. Chief Steven Achilles explained that a comprehensive report that provides an assessment of risk, plus sets baseline and benchmark performance goals.

The document is also designed to provide residents, business owners, and elected officials with information on fire service operations and integrated risk management planning in Southborough. This document is fully compliant with industry best practices in the field of deployment analysis and is based on nationally recognized guidelines and criteria.

You can read the report here.

Below are the SFD’s Monthly Activity and Performance Measure Reports for August – October. Among the calls answered were 16 fires and 205 medical emergencies. (For pdf reports, click here.)

SFD August Report September SFD report October SFD report

In late September, staff shared pictures from one of their ongoing training sessions:

ground ladder trainingThis month, the department is training on ground ladders. Members are practicing placing ladders at different windows for rescue, firefighting and ventilation. In addition, they will also train on various types of carries and different ways to “throw” (place against building) the ladders.

Misc. Communications

Last week, the SFD promoted the arrival of Christmas trees for their annual sale.SFA Christmas trees

Last month, the department picked up its antique equipment from storage:

antique firefighting equipmentSouthborough’s hand fire engine “Falcon” was moved from the FD Newton Veteran Fireman’s Association building on Southville Road, to the Public Safety Building today. The department wishes to acknowledge David Falconi for his dedication in preserving the history and traditions of the Falcon as well as his support in relocating the engine back to a Southborough Fire House.

9-11 memorial serviceOn September 11th, the department held a memorial ceremony.

Honoring those who laid down their lives nineteen years ago, and grateful that even during these challenging times, we could be together.

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things that make you go, 'Huh?'
3 years ago

How does one roll their car over on Main St. in Southborough when the posted speed limits are 25 and 30 MPH?

Traveling at those speeds would require some degree of effort – a fishtail over corrected for repeatedly until oscillations become completely sideways one way followed by completely sideways the other way and eventually a tip over.

Of course if one were driving faster on summer tires and provided sudden input…

3 years ago

I think the problem is that nobody seems to drive the speed limit on any roads. Have you been on Route 9 lately? I have been going 70 and people pass me like I am standing still. It is ridiculous!

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