For Immediate Release:
Chief of the Department Jenifer Collins-Brown commends the members of the Topsfield Fire Department on their handling of several mutual aid requests over the past 24 hours, two being overnight summoning Topsfield firefighters from their homes to help neighboring communities. Yesterday, August 17th, 2018 a fire alarm was activated on the third floor of Masconomet Regional High School in Boxford. As the three Tri-Town municipalities of Topsfield, Middleton, and Boxford share a vested interest in the High and Middle School that hosts students from all three towns, a fire alarm warrants a collective response of units from all three. Boxford sends their apparatus, Middleton sends and engine company and ladder if staffing allows, and Topsfield ensures that at least one ladder truck is on scene, responding as a “Line Box” or automatic aid with an aerial ladder truck. The activation was caused by dust, and shortly after determining that, Boxford’s Fire Department handled resetting the system, releasing Middleton and Topsfield units. Later on that night, Topsfield Fire responded to another request for aid from Boxford. Atlantic Ambulance (Boxford’s contracted private ambulance company) did not have sufficient crews to send to a report of a car vs. telephone pole in Boxford, so to supplement their response, they contacted the Essex County Regional Communications Center (ECRECC) to dispatch an ambulance from Topsfield, being only three miles away. Chief Collins-Brown and Firefighter Ahern responded and transported the victim from the accident scene to the hospital for further evaluation with non-life threatening injuries. After a few short hours of respite, just before midnight, the Wenham Fire Department was dispatched by the ECRECC to a barn fire on Topsfield Road. At 11:53 PM, the Incident Commander requested an Engine Company from Topsfield to respond as mutual aid to help fight the fire which had fully involved the barn of origin and was now threatening the shed and home on the property. Chief Collins-Brown along with Lieutenant Brown, and Firefighters Winfrey and Dalissandro responded to the request and operated for 2 hours at the scene in Wenham, assisting their firefighters with fire attack, safety measures for imminent building collapse, and overhaul of the fire to completely extinguish it. It is imperative to respond to these requests for our neighbors, because mutual aid is mutual. When Topsfield calls for assistance from other towns, they also respond with the utmost professionalism. Topsfield firefighters did an excellent job responding to and operating at each mutual aid request over the past 24 hours even when it meant leaving the comfort of their home to respond to emergencies in oppressive heat and stormy conditions with heavy rain and lightning. Chief Collins-Brown would like to recognize the efforts of the firefighters and the mutual aid system as a whole. No department is equipped to deal with every incident that may come their way. Knowing that the mutual aid system is strong and kept strong by dedicated firefighters makes all the difference.