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Firefighter News - December 2014


Firefighter News - December 2014

Home Heating Safety

Residential fires are more prevalent during the winter months than they are in the spring and summer. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), an estimated 108,000 winter residential building fires occur each year in the United States. Heating and cooking are, by far, the leading causes of these fires. To ensure a fire safe winter season, it is important to be more attentive to the use of cooking and heating equipment.

We encourage you to practice the following fire safety steps to keep those home fires safely burning. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility.

Keep Fireplaces and Woodstoves Clean

• Have your chimney or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney specialist.

• Leave glass doors open while burning a fire. Leaving the doors open ensures that the fire receives enough air to ensure complete combustion and keeps creosote from building up in the chimney.

• Close glass doors when the fire is out to keep air from the chimney opening from getting into the room. 

• Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces that do not have a glass fireplace door.

• Keep air inlets on wood stoves open and never restrict air supply to fireplaces. Otherwise, you may cause creosote build-up that could lead to a chimney fire.

Safely Burn Fuels

• Never use flammable liquids to start a fire. Use only seasoned hardwood; soft, moist wood accelerates creosote build-up.  Also, never burn cardboard boxes, trash or debris in your fireplace or wood stove.

• Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.

Safely Dispose of Ashes

Be extra cautious when discarding ashes! Hot coals, hidden in a pile of ashes and thus well insulated, can stay hot for up to 4 days!

• Never empty ashes into a paper or plastic bag, cardboard box, or other similar container. The only suitable means for ash storage is a metal container with a tight fitting lid as it helps keep air from blowing through and disturbing ashes which can leave hot coals exposed for re-ignition.

• DO NOT store your metal ash container on your deck, in your garage or in any location that may allow heat to transfer from those hot coals to nearby flammable items.

Protect the Outside of your Home

• Stack firewood outdoors at least 30 feet away from your home.

• Keep the roof clear of leaves, pine needles and other debris.

• Cover the chimney with a mesh screen spark arrester and remove any low hanging branches above the chimney, flues or vents.

Have a Plan

• Take a moment to teach your children that fire is a tool, not a toy.

• Have an escape plan and practice it with your family. 

If you suspect a chimney fire, get everyone out of the house immediately and call 9-1-1! If you can do so safely, put out any fire in the stove or fireplace and close the damper.



Toy Drive

The Forestville Firefighter’s Association will be collecting toys for the Holidays starting now through Christmas. Donations will go to the Forestville Giving Tree Program, Methodist Church as well as the Toys for Tots program. Your new and unwrapped gifts may be dropped off at the Forestville Fire Station. Recalled or used toys cannot be accepted.

Bucket Brigade Blood Drive

Please join us in giving blood on December 19th from 3pm to 7pm at the fire station. It’s a perfect time of the year to be giving to those in need. Help us spread the word! This event is also a friendly competition with multiple fire departments throughout the county to see who can get the most donations.


Christmas Tree Farm Opens 11/28

We are celebrating our 9th year of serving the community in a different way… selling Christmas trees. As many of you know, we purchased the Del Davis Tree Farm on Highway 116, just below Green Valley Road, to be the location of our new fire station. For the fourth year, we will feature pre-cut Noble and Nordmann trees from a certified, sustainably-grown tree farm. They are kept in water so they will last significantly longer and be safer in your homes. We will be open Thursday-Sunday from 9am to 5pm after Thanksgiving Day. We invite you to come and enjoy homemade apple cider as you wander through our natural tree farm. Did you sponsor a tree seedling in the past? Come find your tag in the nursery or out in the plantation. Did you know that each acre of Christmas trees generates enough oxygen for 18 people? 

We realize several long-standing tree farms have retired and with them the traditions of family togetherness, holiday smells, and all the “little” things that make a fresh tree and Christmas so special. We look forward to continuing to give our community these special times and our volunteer firefighters enjoy the opportunity of seeing each of you, year after year. Please come and say hello to Heather O’Dell, our tree farm manager, who continues to nurture and maintain the trees on our behalf. With her efforts, our firefighters, and the support of our community, we anticipate another great season! Always remember to breathe deeply... 

Toy Drive Deadline: 12/19

Our annual toy drive continues through Friday, December 19th.  Each year, Graton volunteer firefighters work with Oak Grove School and local charities to determine needy families in our district.  This holiday season, we are collecting new, unwrapped toys for over 30 children up to age 12.  We will also accept cash donations, wrapping paper, tape... whatever you can spare.  Items can be dropped off at:

Graton Fire Station

Graton Fire Christmas Tree Farm (Thu-Sun, 9-5)

Graton Post Office

Andy’s Produce Market

Bridgeway Gas (Hwy 116 & Green Valley Rd)

Graton Community Club (Sun, 12/14, 1-5pm)

Balletto Vineyards (10am-5pm daily)

Thank you to everyone who donated last year and helped make Christmas a reality other families.  We look forward to your support again this year.  Questions?  Call 823-8400 ext. 120.

Thanks Cream’s Towing!

During the months of October and November, Cream’s Towing in Santa Rosa has been generous enough to allow the fire departments from Forestville, Graton, Occidental, and Sebastopol to practice on their cars. For six weeks, they are creating different vehicle crash scenarios to challenge us. We really appreciate this opportunity to use our extrication tools on actual cars at no charge. Thank you for a great training!


Recent tragedies serve as grim reminders to always remain vigilant while enjoying our beautiful coastline.  Please be careful on the water (wear life jackets), stay on the trails at all times, and never turn your back to the surf.

Our various fund raising activities continue to generate much needed revenue. A special call out to Sonoma Concierge and the Chanslor Ranch for their efforts locally and special thanks to Supervisor Efren Carrillo and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors who recognize our funding shortfalls and are helping in ways that are simply not options for fire districts. Thank you.

As the holidays are fast approaching please be extra careful with your holiday decorations. The use of candles, natural Christmas trees, and festive lighting deserves special care and attention.

We’ve kicked off our annual Toys for Tots toy drive. Please drop off a new, unwrapped toy to the fire house any time after Thanksgiving.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Fire Dept. Fundraisers

Holiday Season has our fire departments focusing on collecting toy for children. Please contact you local fire department to see what they need and what rules they have for donations. THANK YOU

Bodega Bay Fire Protection District
510 Highway One, Bodega bay
INFO: (707) 875-3700 Administration 

Bodega Volunteer Fire Department
17240 Bodega Hwy, Bodega
INFO: 707-876-9438

Camp Meeker Volunteer Fire Department 
INFO: 707-874-3660

Cloverdale Cloverdale Volunteer Firefighters Association
INFO: 707-894-3545.

Forestville Firefighters Association
6554 Mirabel Rd Forestville 
INFO: (707) 887-2212

Geyserville Volunteer Firefighters Association
20975 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville
INFO: 707-857-3535

Glen Ellen Fire Department
13445 Arnold Drive 

Gold Ridge District FPDTwin Hill Fire Station
1690 Watertrough Rd, Sebastopol
INFO: 707- 823-5502

Graton Firefighters Association

Healdsburg Fire Department
601 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg
(707) 431-3360
INFO: 823-7939

Kenwood Firemen’s Association
9045 Sonoma Hwy and Randolph Ave.
INFO: 707-833-2042 

Lakeville Volunteer Fire Department
INFO: 762-2005

Penngrove Rancho Adobe Firefighters Association 
into 795-6011

Rincon Valley Firefighters’ Association Serving Larkfield, Wikiup, Fulton, Bellevue and Rincon Valley
INFO: 707- 838-1170 

Russian River Firefighters Association
INFO:  707-869-0553 

Santa Rosa Fire Fighters Local 1401 
Annual Pancake Breakfast is being scheduled for the beginning of December. This annual event kicks off their nonprofit “Toys for Kids” drive. INFO: 707-543-3500

Sebastopol Volunteer Fire Department
7425 Bodega Ave. Sebastopol|
INFO: 707-823-8061 

Wilmar Volunteer Fire Department 
INFO: 707-765-1995

Windsor Fire Protection Association
8200 Old Redwood Hwy, Windsor
INFO: 707-838-1170