Welcome to Cape Cod Fire!

This is a place for us to share information, have a dialog, learn, or seek answers. Possibly more!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Computer Crashed

Number 1: Hard Drive Crash
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. For those of you are awaiting an update of CapeCodFD.com (since Aug 23)... it may be awhile. The hard drive on my Gateway (XP) laptop wore out and crashed...completely... with total data loss. Fortunately, much of it was backed up on other devices, but I did lose a bunch of stuff. The computer has been sent out to get a new hard drive, but it will take some time to reconstruct all the programs and data. Hopefully I will be able to utilize this computer to get the site updated fairly soon.  Grrrrr....

Number 2: Lost email addresses.
For the time being, I am also without many of your email addresses, so please be patient until I can rebuild that list. I do have email access and can send & receive from Britt@CapeCodFD.com...  I just don't have the address book part of the program setup. If you send me an email, it will help me rebuild my email list. Thanks. 

Number 3: Back to a Mac 
Prior to the crash of my Gateway laptop hard drive, I had been doing some research on its eventual replacement. It was getting pretty maxed out and wasn't worth putting a lot into upgrading it. As I looked at Windows Vista and heard the many frustrated stories from Vista users, I began looking at other options. I did pretty well using XP, but vista seemed to slow work down to a painful pace (its a dog). So, I took a look at the only real alternative... Mac. I used a Mac about 4 generations ago and loved it then, but fell for the Windows thing because of cost, software, etc... Anyway, I took a ride up to the Macintosh Store at the Braintree South Shore Mall. WOW!  I spent about 3 hours there looking at everything, trying things out, and getting all my questions and concerns answered. I walked out with a brand new, power packed MacBook Pro and enough software to do everything I need to do and then some. What a beautiful machine. It boots up almost instantly, functions like a dream, and I don't have to worry about viruses, malware, optimizing, crashes, lockups, etc... I am "Back to a Mac!" and excited about the things it will be able to do. I am learning Dreamweaver and the associated Adobe CS3 products with the hope of doing a real overhaul of CapeCodFD.com in the future. It also has a Mac (2008) version of Microsoft Office, so I can do everything I need to do in Word, Excel, Power Point, etc... and it is as good or better than the Windows version!  
Number 4: The Blog
I will try to make sure important news gets out via this Blog until such time as the site can be accessed and updated. Stay in touch! Thanks for your patience.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Apparatus news

Thanks for the apparatus info guys. I will make appropriate notes on the website. If you have any other details please let us know!

The Brewster news is particularly interesting. The department was looking to replace the 1974 Mack and apparently the town actually made the suggestion they try to try to replace both the 1974 and 1980 engines at the same time or nearly the same time. This is a refreshingly proactive approach and demonstrates the support Brewster has for its fire department. Hopefully the funding will follow.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Poll

Results of the previous Poll....
51% (18) said you check the site "all the time"
40% (14) said you check the site "daily"
8% (3) said you check the site "occassionally"
0% (0) well none of you said "rarely"

Thanks for answering that Poll and please take the time to answer the new poll question regarding your fire service affiliation...

Those who check CapeCodFD.com today will notice (I hope) that some changes have been made to the site. I did an update and added some new pictures, as well as a new feature with some photos of the house fire in Falmouth. I reduced the width of the newest posted photos and those on the Home pages to 650 pix wide instead of the 800 pix that I had been using. Hopefully the photo quality will still be acceptable. I did this to help make the pages and images fit your screens better. Let me know if that helped. If so, I will be adjusting the other pages in the future.

Your comments are appreciated and I look forward to hearing from more of you soon.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

So Far So Good

Hi All,
Well, its been more than a week that the Blog has been up. Its good to see some of you using it to inquire or comment about various subjects. That's what its all about! Glad to welcome you to use this blog in ways that help you get the word out, share information, or have a dialog on a particular topic. The site will only grow as people discover it at participate. Spread the word!

You may be a little reluctant to comment, but please do. Try it out. No one will critique your comments (actually they might) but thats what will make it fun. Again, all I ask is that the participation be respectful and age appropriate so that anyone who checks the site can do so without being 'too' offended by anything posted. Other than that, all comments about CapeCodFD.com or about area departments, apparatus, department news, or other info are welcome and encouraged.

Stay safe!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Your Average Visit?

Good Morning!
Thanks again to those who have made comments and joined in on this new Blog. Hopefully the word will spread and more will take advantage of this space to share information, ask questions, and conduct a dialog on various topics that we all might find interesting and informative.

My question for you today is how you use the CapeCodFD.com site. I know there are certain sections / pages that I refer to often myself and others I almost never do. I am curious how some of you, particularly those who are 'frequent fliers' use the site. If there is a way of describing your average visit... the pages you check first... where you like to go and what you look for during a typical visit... I would be interested in knowing. About 500 visitors check the site daily and I am curious how many get 'deep' into the site and how many just check the 'what's new' stuff.

- How many go through each of the 9 'news / home pages' ?
- How many use the reference, ie: Apparatus, Stations, Departments, Rosters, Run Cards, Special Features sections?
- How many look at the lower section including Animations, Links, Listening Live, News, Patches, etc... ?

How about: What are your favorites? Favorite pages, favorite features, favorite links....

Another aspect of the site that concerns me is how it fits on your computer screen and functions when you use it. I would like to make the width narrower so that it fits nicely on everyone's screen. I used to make all my pictures 600 dpi wide so they would fit (that is the size all of the smaller photos are), but found after using my digital photos that they looked 'digitized' and fuzzy at the dpi, so I started doing the larger 800 dpi format for photos that definitely improves photo quality, but widens the site.... grrrr.... What are your thought on this? Any suggestions on how to overcome?

I appreciate hearing from you and look forward to your comments. Have a great day and stay safe!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

CapeCodFD.com Updated

The sun was out Wednesday (April 2) so I took a little ride.

I got a few photos of the new Bourne Car 143, a nice Chevy Silverado pickup that will serve as their Lieutenant vehicle in place of the Car 144 which will serve another roll. Of note is that Dave Pelonzi will soon become the Bourne fire inspector, a new position for that department. Another interesting observation at Bourne is a 1990s (I think 1991) military 6x6 2.5 ton vehicle parked behind HQ. It was acquired via surplus and is intended to be turned into a brush breaker to replace the old B128 that died a few years ago. It will be interesting to see how Bourne gets that done with their tight budget, but hopefully they will be able to turn this vehicle into a useful breaker.

From there, I stopped by Onset...(an excuse to have lunch at Wendys) ... not much going on there today. Then on to Middleborough. That is a big town, about 72 square miles with 3 stations, the newest in the north was built in 2002. Some interesting stuff going on there. The chief and deputy apparently both retired last year and the town has not appointed a replacement fire chief or deputy yet. The police chief is serving a dual role as administrator of both departments. The department operates with just 7 personnel on a shift, one of whom is the dispatcher. At one time they were running 1 man in the north and south stations. Since they only have up to 7 on duty, they closed the north station and run 5 & 2 when fully staffed and are closing the south station as well when staffing does not allow 2 for the south. It's kinda hard to believe that a town as large as Middleborough doing something like 2100 runs a year (no ambulance) and is getting by with such under staffing. Even with a small call force they are really under staffed. Hopefully no one will get hurt. To add to the department's woes, the 1989 Maxim ladder truck sounds like it is permanently out of service due to chassis problems. They parked it in the close station 3 and are hoping to get approval for a new aerial (Tower?) to replace it if voters approve funding in the spring. The old Maxim ladder was refurbed a couple years ago, but is just not mechanically fit. Another Maxim bites the dust... and from the town it was built in.

Anyway, from there on to Carver. Carver is a very nice department with some great equipment and personnel. I got a good look at their new boat, a 19 foot rigid hull inflatable built by Ribcraft in Marblehead. Its a nice boat and well designed for their needs. Carver had hopes of doing something with a new central fire station, but that seems to be a little on hold for now. They also hope to do something with a new engine in the near future.

By the way, Carver is hosting a brush breaker training program this month with a classroom session I believe on the 9th and a practical session in Myles Standish on the 13th (unfortunately I am working). The brush breaker drill I went to up there two years ago was awesome and they do something a little different each year with several communities getting involved. Last year was a night drill. Plymouth county seems to be doing some good things as far as training and mutual aid go. Good thing, because it has been a while since either Barnstable or Plymouth counties have really had a big / bad forest fire so the experience levels are down some. The potential is scarey, especially with all the houses now built in the woodlands... the whole 'urban interface' thing is going to happen here someday and houses are going to be lost because of inadequate apparatus and staffing.... So the training is a great idea.

Next I stopped in to visit Plymouth and ran into Batt Chief Dan Braley and had a good conversation with him about PFD. They have two new E-One Typhoons (1250/750) coming this summer for E2 and E5. Those engines will replace the current apparatus that will become spares. The new engines are due in July 2008. They are also planning a new rescue truck, but are a little short on bucks at the moment. The old rescue is a 1981 and is pretty tired. The guys at HQ were great and I finally got some photos of the new Tower 1 and a new Special Operations vehicle built from an old AMR ambulance. Had a little visit with the chief there as well. Plymouth is such a huge town... takes forever to drive from one end to the other.

So tonight I finally got some of the pictures posted on the site and uploaded everything. If you havent seem them yet, check out the pictures of the TFFT apparatus at Otis. The Army side of the fire station has these two Oshkosh vehicles that are really something. Check it out.

Hope you all are enjoying the website and now the blog. Believe it or not I am still trying to learn new things and improve the site and what it can do. It just takes time and as you can imagine, there are plenty of things tugging me in different directions on a regular basis. Most of you know the deal cause you are there also. I hope to get some good feedback from you guys via the blog on how to make the site better. I won't be able to do everything, and why I can do may take a little time, but ultimately I want to continue to improve it all the time.

Spread the word on this blog. It is a new adventure, but if we use it to its advantage I think we can all have some fun with it and communicate a little better.

Anyway, as always, stay safe out there.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fools for Fred

Many of you know Fred Lewis.

For those who don't, Fred is a good friend and firefighter with COMM FD. He is currently going through some medical challenges. Some of his friends are having a little fund raising event in April. Here is the deal:

A Motorcycle Event

Come join COMM and Hyannis firefighters in a motorcycle ride to benefit Fred Lewis.

Saturday April 19, 2008 / Rain date Sunday April 20, 2008

Registration at 0900 hrs / Ride begins @ 1000 hrs
Start: At the Burger King, Route 132, West Barnstable

Destination: The Deer Club, Old Stage Road, West Barnstable

Cost: Pre-registration $20 per rider / $15 per guest

Cost: Day of event $25 per rider / $20 per guest

The ride will take us from the BK down Rte 6A into Bourne and over the Sagamore bridge, through Plymouth then back onto the cape via the Bourne bridge. The ride will then continue on through Bourne and down to Falmouth then on into Woods Hole, the scenery will be great! We will then travel to Falmouth Heights with a view of Martha’s Vineyard and make our way back to West Barnstable. We will then gather at the West Barnstable Deer Club for food and refreshments. The ride will include a scavenger hunt where riders will be asked to find landmarks and information for a chance to win a prize. A raffle will be held for a chance to win additional prizes.

Contact Lt. Roger Cadrin HYFD 508-737-3270

Blog Thoughts

If you have comments, or ideas for this blog, post them here.

Department News

If there is something of interest going on at your department, including personnel, events, incidents, or other items of interest, add them here.

Apparatus Information

If you have information about any apparatus, including specifications, equipment carried, history, or other interesting stuff, post it here.

Scanner Monitoring

If you have information about radio communications, scanner monitoring, or related comments, please post them here.

Brush Breaker Drill

This photo shows brush breakers lined up at the drill at Otis last week. There have been a number of brush fires across the Cape already this year. We will be seeing a rise in the fire danger as the next few weeks go by, especially if it remains dry and windy. Be safe out there. More brush breaker photos at Brush Breaker Drill.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Using the Cape Cod Fire Blog

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Cape Cod Fire, The Hot Spot!

This is my first venture into the world of blogging. The idea behind starting a blog is to have a forum for each of us to communicate, share information, learn, and have some fun. I hope it can grow into a resource for all of us to utilize in our daily quest to know what is going on.

Please contribute and make comments. All I ask is that the postings are appropriate for all ages and readers since this site is accessible to everyone.

On that note, let's roll!