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32 entries in the Fire Glossary beginning with "P"
Technique for measuring impact of soil moisture changes on vegetation, for predicting fire danger and fire behavior.
Fire safety appliance permitting locked doors (typically self-closing) to be opened from the inside when pressed with sufficient force, thus permitting a person to open the door without having to turn a knob or lever.
Fire containment method where crews constructs fireline at some distance from the edge of the fire (e.g., 100 yards) and then burn out the fuel in the buffer as the fireline is completed.
An alarm device which signals that a firefighter is in trouble. It can be activated manually by the firefighter, or activates automatically if the firefighter stops moving. May be integral to SCBA or separately activated.
System in which each firefighter has an identification document that is collected by the person in charge of accounting for the current location of the respective individuals, and returned to the firefighter when he or she leaves the dangerous area.
An extremely volatile fuel, after curing, in May, June, July, which can lead to large, fast fires that may reach larger fuels.
See PASS device in Glossary of firefighting equipment.
End-result of personnel accountability system. Best report is all hands, AOK worst is squad missing.
Tag, 'passport', or other system for identification and tracking of personnel at an incident, especially those entering and leaving an IDLH area; intended to permit rapid determination of who may be at risk or lost during sudden changes at the scene.
Standard fire axe having a 6 or 8 pound (2.7 to 3.6 kg) steel head with a cutting blade on one edge and a square, pointed pick on the opposite side. Come in various handle lengths.
A subdivision of a fire company, led a fire officer of either the rank captain or lieutenant, such that one of several platoons is assigned to duty for a specified period. Also called a watch".
Jargon, brand-name of early radio-frequency paging system for summoning firefighters.
An element of fire behavior, indicating where a fire began, supporting further analysis of where the fire went or will go; evidence of specific origin is often obscured or destroyed by suppression tactics.
A style of ladder that is also known as a Scaling Ladder". It is used to climb from one window to another. It differs from other ladders in that it does not rest on the ground it instead uses a large hook at the top to attach to a window sill. The word "Pompier" is French for fireman.
Collapsible reservoir used for storing water transported to fireground by tanker. May be inflatable or supported by a frame.
Pressure at higher than atmospheric; used in SCBA facepieces and in smoke-proof stairwells to reduce entry of smoke or fumes through small openings.
Ventilation of an area by the use of a fan to push clean air into that space and controlled use of openings for the escape of smoke and gasses.
A type of valve used for underground sprinkler shutoff, having a lockable actuator atop a post with a window indicating open" or "shut" status of the valve.
Information collected by fire prevention officers to assist in identifying hazards and the equipment, supplies, personnel, skills, and procedures needed to deal with a potential incident.
Fire protection strategy involving visits to potentially hazardous occupancies for inspection, followup analysis and recommendations for actions to be taken in case of specific incidents.
Firehose on a fire engine which has one end connected to a pump outlet, and usually a nozzle attached to the other end. May also be a preconnected inlet hose (e.g., soft suction). Reduces steps at scene of fire.
Deliberately ignited fire for the purpose of forest or prairie management, often to remove heavy fuel buildup or simulate natural cycles of fire in an ecosystem. Also called controlled burn even if it becomes uncontrollable.
(also rookie) new firefighter on employment probation (a period of time during which his or her skills are improved, honed, tested, and evaluated).
A method of deploying hoses along firelines during suppression and as they are built and reinforced, typically using 1 1/2-inch supply lines, gated wyes and 1-inch lateral lines with nozzles (or at least spigot valves) every 100 feet or so. As the line progesses, more hoses and valves are added.
Any large fire requiring extensive management and the establishment of a temporary infrastructure to support firefighting efforts, such as fire camps.
Means for public to report a fire, includes telephone, street-corner pull-boxes, building pull-stations, and manual bells or sirens in rural areas.
Combination axe and grub hoe tool with a straight handle, used for building handline. Also known as P-tool".
(also a chauffeur) person responsible for operating the pumps on a pumper and typically for driving the pumper to an incident.
Vehicle apparatus for pumping water and other fire suppressants. See fire engine.
32 entries in the Fire Glossary beginning with "P"
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.