On June 2nd, townspeople filled the volunteer fire station in the sleepy town of Landaff. The Landaff Volunter Fire Association (LVFA), which raises funds for and otherwise supports the Landaff Volunteer Fire Department, sponsored a Fire Safety Picnic for residents of the town. At this event, there were free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors along with a 2 lb home fire extinguisher, a specialized aerosol kitchen fire extinguisher, a hands-on fire extinguisher training session, and excellent burgers and dogs hot off the grill. The event was sponsored by the LVFA, assisted by donations from local businesses as well as the First Alert company. The event was organized by Florence Webb, current president of the LVFA and active community member.
Webb opened by describing where alarms should be installed (one smoke alarm in every bedroom, one in a hallway on every level containing bedrooms, a carbon monoxide detector on every level containing any combustion source such as a fireplace, furnace, wood stove, gas dryer, etc.) and explaining that the detection mechanism in smoke alarms runs down and needs to be replaced after five or ten years (depending on model) even if the batteries are kept fresh and the test button produces a noise.
“The goal of the event was to make people safer and better able to help protect themselves in case of a fire,” Webb explained. The fire extinguisher class was taught by Harry McGovern, an instructor with the New Hampshire Fire Academy, former fire chief in Landaff and Littleton, and member of the LVFA. After emphasizing that the first step should ALWAYS be to call 911 (“we’d rather turn back, if you’re able to douse it yourself, than not get there soon enough”), McGovern described how fires begin, how they spread, and how extinguishers snuff the flames. Then he led the crowd outside to practice extinguishing live fires.
The live extinguisher practice gave many of the attendees a chance to put their new knowledge to the test while many others watched closely. Among those pulling the ring, aiming the extinguisher, and sweeping across the flames was 82 year old Bea McPherson. McPherson donned the firefighters jacket and extinguished the diesel fuel blaze with a precision and deftness that delighted the crowd. She and many others left the event better equipped and more confident in their ability to respond appropriately should a fire emergency occur.
The Landaff Volunteer Fire Department is one of the few remaining pure volunteer departments in the state (if not the country). Members and the chief, who receive no pay of any kind, are community service minded individuals who recognize the importance of helping their neighbors and are willing to train and selflessly serve when called. Training is offered the 1st and 3rd Mondays of every month. If you are interested in becoming a member or learning how you can help, please reach out to Jason Cartwright (current Chief) at Landaff.Fire@gmail.com.
The LVFA is the community service organization supporting the Landaff Volunteer Fire Department. Their community and fundraising efforts include Landaff’s Old Home Day which was created in the sixties to cover costs of the then-new Volunteer Fire Department. Old Home Day activities include the annual auction; art and artifact exhibits by the Mt. Hope Grange #77; Friends of Landaff booth featuring collectibles, tees, and handmade products; ham and bean supper with homemade pies, a free evening band concert, and refreshments throughout the day. This year the Old Home Day auction and activities will start at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 19, 2017.
The LVFA is seeking auction materials or donations for the Old Home Day auction. Funds raised by the LVFA go towards direct support of the Volunteer Fire Department, community safety activities, and a scholarship program for resident graduates pursuing higher education who have demonstrated a commitment to community service. For more information, to join, to donate auction goods, or to contribute to the Association, contact Florence Webb at email@example.com or call 838-6406.