Our nation’s heroes answer the call despite the odds and circumstances. Galls employees share instances when their special relationships supported these men and women as they shaped history with valor.
Last Saturday, giant clouds of smoke rose from a 7-alarm fire that destroyed a warehouse and floated across Brooklyn and into Manhattan. Over 50 units, almost 300 firefighters and help from the marine unit were called in to extinguish the flames in Williamsburg.
The single-digit temperatures and strong winds made this fire particularly difficult for fighters to contain. No injuries were reported, and no dangerous toxins appear to have come from the flames.
By Sunday, everything in firehose shot of the warehouse — a motorcycle, cars parked on the street, and even firefighters’ helmets and suits — were crystallized in a frosty coating and adorned with icicles. Here are some chilling photos of the events that took place.
Drones armed with cameras and sensor payloads have been used by military and border control agencies for decades in order to improve situational awareness. They can be used across public-safety services, from transmitting birds-eye video of a forest fire to incident commanders, to mapping out hard-hit areas after a natural disaster. Here is some information from The Fire Chief about drone technologies for fire and emergency response operations.
1. ELIMCO E300
This is a UAV with a large payload capacity and low-noise electrical propulsion being used by INFOCA, the Andalusian authority for the wildfire management in Spain, to track wildfires at night.
The E300 can be launched remotely and operated for 1.5 hours with a radio control from up to 27 miles away. During night flights, the E-300 can loiter over a fire for around 3 hours and get as far as 62 miles from the launching point.
2. Sensefly’s Ebee
Switzerland-based Sensefly’s eBee drones are small in comparison to other drones; they have a 37.8-inch wingspan and weigh 1.5 pounds. The foam airframe eBee drones are equipped with a rear-mounted propeller and feature a 16-megapixel camera to shoot aerial imagery at down to 3cm/pixel resolution.
The drone has a flight time of up to 45 minutes, which is long enough to cover as far as 10 miles in a single flight. In addition, users can pre-program 3D flight plans using Google maps prior to deployment, with up to 10 drones controlled from a single base station. Then, using its Postflight Terra 3D-EB mapping software, it can create maps and elevation models with a precision of 5 centimeters and process aerial imagery into 3D models.
3. Information Processing Systems (IPS)
IPS Mobile Command Vehicles and incident command mobile carts are deployable, customized, public-safety vehicles that integrate aerial, ground and subsurface remotely controlled robotic platforms. MCVs basically are custom mobile ground control station for UAVs and other public-safety robotics.
The truck can house security cameras, sensors, radar and communications infrastructure. It can be outfitted with trailers to carry drones, which then can be commanded form within the center.
Having a mobile command center for drone deployment allows wildland firefighters working in remote areas to take their entire communication system with them to launch a UAV or drones over a wildfire and map out affected areas.
4. L3 Communication’s Viking 400-S
The Viking 400-S Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is integrated with Autonomous Take-Off and Landing technology supplied by L-3 Unmanned Systems’ flightTEK system. It operates for up to 12 hours and can be equipped with up to 100 pounds of payload technologies, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear detectors for hazmat emergencies.
The CBRN payload would let a first responder stay up to 70 miles line-of-sight away from a hazmat incident and, instead, send a drone to collect CBRN information from the scene and transmit it wirelessly back to incident command. UAS units carrying high-resolution cameras can capture bird’s-eye images of a manmade or natural disaster.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate and thank our firefighters who will be on call during the holidays to keep our communities hazard-free. With that said, firefighters need to eat too – and they eat A LOT! Honor these heroes this holiday season by cooking up a blazing storm and bringing it over to the local fire station. Here are a few recipes your firefighters are sure to devour!
Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad With Broccoli (Serves 2 – 4, multiply as needed)
Cook Time: 25 minutes
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup broccoli florets
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles, plus more for garnish
4 green onions chopped, save half for garnish
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup hot sauce (I recommend Franks)
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse quinoa well and drain. In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork.
While the quinoa is cooking, make the buffalo sauce dressing and cook the chicken and broccoli. In a measuring cup or small bowl combine the olive oil, hot sauce, and seasoned salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
Heat a medium size skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and saute the broccoli for about 5 minutes. You want it to just start to soften, but still be crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the chicken to the same pan and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Add 1/4 cup or so of the buffalo sauce and cook until the chicken absorbs the sauce.
When the quinoa is ready add the chicken, broccoli, carrots, shredded cabbage and as much of the dressing as desired. Toss well. Add the blue cheese and half of the green onions. Toss again and serve warm with extra blue cheese crumbles and green onions.
-By Half Baked Harvest
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (Serves many)
- 1 to 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 – 14 oz can tomato sauce (plain, no spices)
- 1 – 19 oz can diced tomatoes (plain, no spices)
- 1 – 5.5 oz can tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine (or beef broth if you don’t want to use wine)
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
- For extra nutrition, see below in Notes.
In a large frying pan, brown the beef with the onions and garlic. When the beef is cooked through, drain it, then return to the pan.
Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, wine, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, oregano, basil and salt & pepper.
Simmer for about 1 hour, covered.
For extra nutrition you can add any chopped up vegetable to the sauce that you like: bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms. Just fry them up first in a frying pan until they’re cooked yet still crisp. Then add them to the sauce and cook as directed.
Or you can add pureed yam or pumpkin.
If you don’t want to use ground beef, any ground meat works well in this recipe (especially ground chicken or turkey).
-By A Pretty Life
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork (Serves 6)
Cook Time: 30 mins, plus 6 to 10 hrs cooking time
- 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 (4-1/2- to 5-pound) boneless or bone-in pork shoulder (also known as pork butt), twine or netting removed
- 2 cups barbecue sauce (optional)
Place the onions and garlic in an even layer in the slow cooker and pour in the stock or broth. Combine the sugar, chili powder, measured salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork and place the meat on top of the onions and garlic. Cover and cook until the pork is fork tender, about 6 to 8 hours on high or 8 to 10 hours on low.
Turn off the slow cooker and remove the pork to a cutting board. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and return the solids to the slow cooker. Set the strained liquid aside.
If the pork has a bone, remove and discard it. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce, if using, and mix to combine. If you’re not using barbecue sauce, use a spoon to skim and discard the fat from the surface of the strained cooking liquid, and then add 1/4 cup of the liquid at a time to the slow cooker until the pork is just moistened. Taste and season with salt as needed.
FINALLY, the holidays have arrived. It’s time for classic holiday movies, colorful gingerbread houses, and extravagant fire department light shows! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite light shows for your entertainment! We hope you enjoy and stay safe this bright holiday season.
Little Creek Vol. Fire Co, 2013
This video is an excerpt from their annual company video.
Montesano Fire Department, 2011
This department decided to decorate their ladder truck for the local Festival of Lights Parade. This was their first attempt at putting lights to music. There was over 10,000 lights and about 200 hours dedicated to this project.
Fort Lee Fire Department, 2007
This effort was part of the Christmas Lights Lane Goldstein.
Long Hill Fire Department, Station 20, 2010
Long Hill Fire Department’s Satellite 203 ‘Santa’s Sleigh’ decorated and ready to go at the 2010 Wallington NJ Holiday Parade.
St. Marys Fire Department, 2011
The City of St. Marys puts on a light show in preparation for “Letters to Santa 2011.”
The Colony Fire Department, 2011
This is an excerpt from the Christmas Light Show Spectacular.
Firefighters are urging people to be careful in the kitchen this Thanksgiving. The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York has issued a holiday reminder that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, firefighters remind us that short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves are the best bet for cooking uniform, as loose clothing can dangle into open flames.
This year, let’s be thankful for those who have supported and protected our local communities and worked endless hours to keep our homes safe. Many civil servants, like firefighters and police officers patrolling our neighborhoods, must sacrifice Thanksgiving time with their loved ones in order to perform their duties.
In the quaint and tightly knit community of Wakefield Forest, VA, resident Charlotte-ann Rogers decided to raise money to buy a Thanksgiving meal for the firefighting team at Station 2. What started as a small idea between her and a couple of neighbors snowballed into an area-wide effort which encompassed the four stations, as well as the police officers from Chamblee and Doraville. After posting the fundraiser on social media, creating a GoFundMe website, and engaging other Chamblee neighborhoods, over $1,000 was raised, the bulk of it in about three days. “We did it because it was a nice thing to do,” said Charlotte-ann. “During this time of Thanksgiving, we as a community are thankful for you.” And after all, that is what giving thanks is all about.
Galls wishes you a safe and stuffing Thanksgiving filled with great company and great food.
It’s no secret that firefighters love their chili… especially on Halloween. It has become a well known tradition for fire departments around the country to partake in a chili feast or chili cook off during the Halloween holiday. “It’s the right meal for how we work and a firehouse tradition. We can leave it warm on the stove while we respond to a call. We can quickly reheat it for dinner. It feeds a crowd and is cheap to make,” said Phoenix firefighter Robert Kemp.
Keep an eye out and your stomachs hungry for your local fire department’s chili cook off, so you can indulge in some savorous supper too!
The Phoenix Fire Department has offered some tips on how to make the the perfect firefighter chili this Halloween:
- Rushed chili is bad chili. Dried beans cooked halfway are crunchy; undercooked meat is chewy. To avoid, allow chili to simmer until it’s done. For best flavor, make a day in advance. Chili tastes best on Day 2.
- Use dried spices and chile powders. Fresh spices and chiles vary in flavor and potency, making it riskier to achieve the right balance of flavor and spice.
- Make sure the dried spices are still full of robust flavors. Spices without their punch can ruin a pot of chili. Test for freshness before using. Rule of thumb is to keep spices no longer than one year.
- If using fresh chiles, roast before adding to chili.
- Aim for the right balance by using a range of spicy, smoky and sweet chiles.
- Like most one-pot meals, chili is highly forgiving. Want more spice? Add more chile powder or cumin. Too hot? Add lime juice. Swap kidney for black beans.
- Canned beans work in a pinch, but beans are best and cheapest when prepared from scratch. One cup of dried beans equals 3 cups of cooked beans.
- Whether ground beef, chuck, pork, chicken or turkey, use quality meat. Brown ground meats before adding any liquids. Brown chunks of meat or poultry on the outside before assembling your chili. Cooking meat in advance locks in the flavor of the meat.
- Finely mince all vegetables.
- Serve chili with condiments, such as diced radishes, grated Cheddar cheese, crackers or crushed tortilla chips, sour cream and fresh, diced herbs.
Planning ahead can help make this Halloween a safe one. The National Fire Safety Association reiterates the importance of taking simple fire safety precautions, like making sure fabrics for costumes and decorative materials are flame-resistant.
- When choosing a costume, stay clear of billowing or long trailing fabrics, as they are more likely to catch fire. If your child’s costume includes a mask, be sure that the eye holes are large enough to see out of clearly.
- Encourage your community and your children to use battery operated candles or flashlights as opposed to real, open flame candles to avoid the risk of a fire. Streamlight flashlights are a safe and reliable choice.
- If you choose to use real candles, be sure that children are watched closely around the flames. Practice fire safety with your children, such as “Stop, drop and roll.”
- Check that all exits are clear of decorations in case of a fire emergency where a quick escape is required. Be sure that lit pumpkins are well away from anything that can burn easily, and far enough away from trick-or-treaters, front doors and walkways.
- Provide children in your community with whistles, so they can be found more easily in the case of an emergency.
- Consider investing in a first aid medical kit, so you can be prepared to take action if need be.
Galls wishes you a safe and happy Halloween!
October 11-12 is the 33rd Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend! The mission of this weekend is to remember America’s fallen fire heroes and to provide resources to assist their survivors in rebuilding their lives and work within the fire service community to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries. Thousands will be attending the various events taking place around Emmitsburg, MD, to partake and contribute in the honoring of our heroes. The weekend features special programs for survivors and co-workers, along with public ceremonies. New survivors will have the opportunity to meet fire service survivors from across the country, share experiences, make lasting friendships, and begin to look ahead. Anyone who has been affected by the loss or injury of a firefighter will be eligible to attend the events – from family members, to spouses, to those in the line of duty and anyone else. It is a time for sharing experiences and healing collaboratively.
Galls encourages you to make certain that your fire department has everything it needs to ensure optimal safety. Galls offers a wide selection of high quality fire gear and equipment for fire departments. Here are some of our favorites:
FireDex Leather Structural Fire Boot: With engineered multi-density footbed that absorbs impact and 3D vulcanized rubber heel and toe guard for top-notch comfort and protection.
Leatherman Kick Multi Tool: Thoughtful engineering means blades are longer, sharper, and stronger. The Kick has the same super-strong pliers as larger Leatherman tools, but with a narrow shape and light weight.
Shelby Xtrication Gloves: These gloves provide the functional mobility and protection required by emergency service professionals. Keprotec® and DuPont™ KEVLAR® puncture-resistant palm, fingers and knuckle pad provide added security for your hands.
From October 5th – October 11th, Galls will be recognizing Fire Prevention Week and focusing in on the importance of working smoke detectors in every home and facility. Two thirds of home fire deaths each year result from homes with no smoke alarms or faulty smoke alarms. According to the National Fire Protection Association, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half.
While it is crucial to be cautious of fire hazards year-round, taking the time to walk through these steps once a year could save your life. This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following messages:
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each distinct sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.
- Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.
- Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.
Galls encourages fire departments around the country to educate their local communities and school systems of the importance of fire safety and education. Here are a few ways your department can get involved:
- Volunteer to give presentations at local schools about home fire safety and what to do in the case of an emergency. Let students examine a home smoke detector so they can become familiar with how they work.
- Host a free event at your local fire department with food and music to bring awareness to Fire Prevention Week. Supply smoke detectors at the event for community members.
- Be sure that your department is active on social media, and posting daily throughout Fire Prevention Week with helpful tips and tools for the community. Encourage your audience to share the valuable information with loved ones.