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32 entries in the Fire Glossary beginning with "B"
Australian term, for Backfiring, above.
Precautionary fire set downwind of main fire for controlled fuel clearing by backing" it into the main fire
A fire phenomenon caused when heat and heavy smoke (unburned fuel particles) accumulate inside a compartment, depleting the available air, and then oxygen/air is re-introduced, completing the fire triangle and causing rapid combustion.
A fire set along the inner edge of a fireline to consume the fuel in the path of a wildfire and/or change the direction or force of the fire's convection column.
A tactic used in wildland firefighting associated with indirect attack, by intentionally setting fire to fuels inside the control line. Most often used to contain a rapidly spreading fire, placing control lines at places where the fire can be fought on the firefighter's terms.
Automatic valve used in hose accessories to ensure water flows only in one direction. Used in permanent fire department connections (FDC) to sprinklers and dry standpipes, as well as portable devices used in firefighting.
Collapsible bucket for lifting and moving water or other fire retardant with a helicopter. (Note:The name was in use many years before the trademark owner claimed it in 1983.)
What the smoke does as it fills a room, banks down to the floor, creating several layers of heat and smoke at different temperatures -- the coolest at the bottom.
Any obstruction to the spread of fire. Typically an area or strip devoid of combustible fuel.
(1) staging and/or command center location for fire operations; (2) starting location of a fire; (3) base camp location for eating, sleeping, etc., near staging or command center.
The non-extending section of an extension ladder.
Soil heaped on the downhill side of a traversing fireline below a fire, to trap rolling firebrands.
A condition where no combustible fuels remain between the fireline and the main fire.
Sudden increase in fireline intensity or rate of spread of a fire sufficient to preclude direct control or to upset existing suppression plans. Often accompanied by violent convection and may have other characteristics of a firestorm.
Explosion of a pressure tank containing an overheated material when the vapor expansion rate exceeds the pressure relief capacity (e.g., steam boiler or LPG tank). If the contents are flammable, the rapidly released vapor may react in a secondary fuel-air explosion.
The former name of the National Interagency Fire Center (see below); often pronounced as biff-see".
A preconnected attack line, typically 2 1/2 inch in diameter, used in the same manor and purpose as a Trash Line. Bomb Lines are stored either on the front bumper of the apparatus or in an exterior (exposed) side well. Bomb Lines are typically shorter length than Cross Lays, and are intended for use against dumpster fires, etc, where a longer length of hose (and consequent rebedding after the suppression is complete) is not desired.
Small-diameter fire hose (3/4-1 inch), often carried on booster reel, preconnected to pump of an engine (and the booster tank) for putting out small fires near the truck without having to connect to a fire hydrant; easily recovered with a motorized reel. Booster hose is also used for High Pressure Fog (HPF) applications.
Small solid hose on a reel connected to a small pump fitted to a water tank on a vehicle. Booster pump also refers to pump in a relay series for pumping uphill beyond the lift of the previous pump.
Originally, a mailslot containing a notecard with a pre-planned response to an incident type. For example, a reported structure fire on Some Road would be tagged with Box 6; the notecard in Box 6 would contain the list of apparatus from various fire stations that should be dispatched to that incident. Assigning Boxes to areas (or even specific structures) significantly facilitated the process of getting the right tools to the right place on the initial dispatch, and helped eliminate the guesswork of which department has what on the fire scene. Boxes later evolved to contain escallation proceedures - on the "2nd alarm", the Box would contain the next group of apparatus from various fire stations etc. Modern CAD systems now abstract the Box Alarm concept and allow box definitions to be triggered based on arbitrary geographic area, time of day, incident type, weather and any other pre-planned situation. For a given hydranted area the "Summer" box will contain the usual response of Engine Truck and Rescue companies. In the winter, however, the box may be modified (automatically or manually) to include Water Tankers on the initial dispatch to handle the case of frozen hydrants.
Rotating nozzle tip having two or more outlets forming water jets that propel the tip while spraying water in a circular pattern; conveniently attached to several feet (a meter) of rigid pipe with handles or legs for supporting the nozzle while it is suspended through a hole in the floor above.
Rake attachment for cutting or ripping brush and roots out of a fireline.
Cutting tool used to clear brush, longer than a machete, usually with a heavy, solid,curved blade bolted to the end of an arm's-length handle.
Small fire truck outfitted for wildland fire. Also called a Type 6 Engine.
Large tank designed to be transported to an incident and left; larger than a tote tank.
To move to another location. Can refer to anything from moving to another location on a fireline, to an entire crew moving to another fire. Bump back" means to return to your previous location. In the "bump" system of fireline construction each firefighter works on a small piece of fireline with his or her tool perhaps slowly walking as the line progresses until a completed portion of line is encountered. Then the call to "bump up!" is heard and everyone ahead of the caller skips ahead one or more positions leaving the unfinished fireline for those coming up behind.
Colloquial term for protective pants and boots kept near a firefighters bunk (cot) for rapid deployment; more modernly includes firefighting jacket. Basis for command to Bunker up!" in preparation for hazardous duties. May also refer to entire protective clothing ensemble.
Setting fire inside a control line to consume fuel between the edge of the fire and the control line.
Relative measure of fire-control difficulty; doubling the index means twice the effort may be needed to control the fire (e.g., wind shift, heavier fuel load, etc).
The part of each 24-hour period when fires spread most rapidly; typically from 10:00 AM to sundown.
32 entries in the Fire Glossary beginning with "B"
The History of the Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company
The Harris Hill Volunteer Fire company was started on January 7th, 1937, with John H. Farrell acting as President and Chief to fifty brand new firefighters. The bi-monthly meetings were held at various members homes, the school basement, or The Rose Garden on Wehrle Dr. They battled fires with one truck, and didn’t even have an established district until 1939. Some of their first equipment included a dozen rubber coats and boots they purchased for $10.50.
To raise operating funds, the new fire company held "Smoker Parties" every few months. The first Monte Carlo party required an outlay of $209.55 and returned $210.85. The signing of the Fire Protection contract with the Town of Clarence in 1941 eased financial worries. The Town of Clarence paid 1/10th of the assessed valuation of all homes in the district. At the time of signing, it came to about $550.00.
Harris Hill got its first loan from the Bank of Williamsville when they borrowed $200.00 for a Federal Fire Siren that they had installed on top of Metz's Garage at the corner of Main St. and Harris Hill Rd. One blast of the sired indicated a meeting, two blasts indicated a drill, and three blasts meant a fire!
World War II brought many changes to the Fire Company. Blackout drills sometimes consisted of simulated bomb hits to which the firemen responded. In 1942 a government-owned Curtiss P40 airplane valued at $60,000.00 went up in flames on Transit Rd. a half mile North of Sheridan Dr. The gas tank blew up and the airplane was a total loss. The war also necessitated the purchased of war insurance on the fire truck. The truck, which was stored in Metz's Garage, had to be guarded every night by volunteers.
The Harris Hill Firemen's Club was established in 1951. It was a restaurant that served dinners at the fire hall Wednesday through Saturday evenings and featured dancing on Saturday nights. All monies beyond expenses were turned over to the Fire Company. At its peak, the Firemen's Club had 851 members! The Club was discontinued in 1967 because it couldn't compete with commercial restaurants.
Volunteer Firemen's Sunday, was initiated in our area by Firefighter Walter Pfeil in 1959. Mr. Pfeil wrote a column for the Clarence Press entitled, "Safety and Fire Facts." He also encouraged the Fire Company to offer a creative writing award to high school students, which was posthumously named after him and is still awarded today.
In the 1960's Harris Hill Firemen resisted moves toward providing ambulance service. During this time, the Junior Chamber of Commerce tried to donate an ambulance, but it was refused. In 1965, after Clarence Center Volunteer Fire Co. complained that 75% of the ambulance calls they received were in the Harris Hill District, a fee was sent to them to encourage their continued service. In June 1965, Harris Hill adopted a resolution to provide ambulance services.
On February 2nd, 1970, Clayt Ertel Sr. introduced the Exempt Firemen's Club, as a service organization for the firemen to promote the welfare of the Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company.
In 1971, The Eastern Hills mall opened on the western borderline of our district which is Transit Rd. The building boasted a total size of 997,945 square feet and 92 total stores with 7 additional anchor stores.
In 1978, a New York State Human Rights Law against sexual discrimination went into effect. It required a constitutional change which allowed Patricia Grogan to become Harris Hill's first female member.
The fire district saw tremendous growth during the middle to late 1990s. The entire western border line of Transit Road grew uncontrollably to quickly become the second largest commercial fire district in all of Western New York. Additionally, the fire company saw several new subdivisions created, all which doubled the call volume.
In 2001, The Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company Explorer Post 114 was started. It consists of a group of 14-18-year-old high school students who are interested in helping the community. Today the program is still functional and is a key resource to the recruitment of new firefighters.
During the summer of 2005, Harris Hill moved into their new fire hall located in the lot to the east of the old fire hall. The new building is led certified (green energy conservancy). It contains ample office space for each firematic and administrative officer, as well as rooms for physical fitness and a training classroom. The new fire station has a seven-bay apparatus room, allowing each truck to have its own bay.
During the 2018 calendar year, Harris Hill answered 629 calls for help and today the Harris Hill roster consists of 63 active members; that dedicate their time and effort to protecting the residents within the Harris Hill Fire Protection District. HHVFC answered 89 calls for help during the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m; 283 calls for help during the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.; and 257 calls for help during the hours of 3 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company has been through several changes during its history. The diversity of the people and the times have made the fire company a thriving organization with the brightest of all possible futures. Today the fire company is very active in the community, continuing to strive to be the best, and of course always be ready when called upon.