This month has been very exciting for the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department! Due to the COVID-19 outbreak we were forced to hold our annual meeting a month late, on June 2nd. This meeting included a lot of discussions, debates, and voting. We have officially voted to keep Chief Keith Van-Iderstine as K-1 for a two-year term after stepping up mid-way through the previous term, congratulations Keith.
As announced during the annual meeting, we have decided to make an effort to increase our learning and training to an almost weekly level. We started training in the month of June with a search-and-rescue focus located at the old Sundara Spa in Berlin. This training was pushed back a week due to a wildland fire on Irish Hill during the planned time. This was a great training for those who were able to make it. The following week was a driver training, allowing all licensed responders to take a turn practicing their skills. Our youngest probationary firefighter, Josh (Fig) Newton got to take a turn driving Engine One. Our third and final training of the month took place on Saturday, June 20th once again at the Sundara Spa. We did a combination of first-due drills and self-extrication/may-day drills. This training was put together by Firefighter Brian Stringer.
After having just 20 calls in April and May -combined- we have matched that with the busy month of June. Now that COVID-19 restrictions are being slowly lifted and people are beginning to leave their homes we have seen many more accidents, medical calls, and commercial alarm activations. We should plan to keep seeing an increase in these types of calls as the weather warms up and COVID-19 cools down. While cases in Vermont seem to be dropping, we need to still keep our guard up.
Unfortunately while this has been a great month in many ways, all great things must come to an end. We have to say goodbye to a few of our responders. It was made official this month that we were saying goodbye to Lieutenant Chris Forsell, Firefighter Chris Ward, Firefighter James Delano, and Firefighter Casey Delano. These responders have made an everlasting impact on this department and each will be dearly missed. Each and every one of them have a permanent home at the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department. Best of luck with your future endeavors. With four highly valued first responders leaving BVFD we would like to encourage you to reach out to your friends and family asking for additional members to join.
As always, stay safe.
- Firefighter Barr