SVFD Ablaze With Good Deeds
By MILES LAYTON
SISTERSVILLE – Veteran firefighter Mike Northcraft knows first hand how important smoke detectors are to keep people safe.
A few months ago in June, the smoke detectors started beeping loudly one morning in Northcraft’s house. No one was injured, but his family’s home was a total loss.
“From first hand experience of having your house burn and losing all, the one thing from that day is the sound of the smoke detectors still going off even after the fire had been contained,” he said. “We were fortunate that we were all out of the house and safe, but sometimes that isn’t the case.”
Sistersville’s Volunteer Fire Department gave 300 smoke detectors to children at Sistersville Elementary School last week.
“We felt it was a better idea to give to each student regardless of how many were in the household,” SVFD Chief Jason Wayne said.
EQT donated the money to fund this project.
” EQT believes in partnering with local organizations to make our communities even better places to live and work,” April Black, EQT local community and government relations specialist. “We are honored to partner with the Sistersville VFD to help the students and their families be better prepared and protected in the event of a fire.”
Northcraft reflected on his personal experience about why it is important that the kids have smoke detectors.
“I still remember that sound that day from the detectors going off. If we can make a child aware of what those detectors are for and how they respond – then we may have saved a life because of such a small gesture,” said Northcraft, a member of four fire departments in Tyler County. “I can’t thank EQT enough for participating and funding this project. The important thing to remember is we have planted that ‘beep, beep’ sound in those minds.”
But that’s not the end of this story about the fire department.
Monday, SVFD was presented the Star of Life award for their quick thinking at the fire hall. When firefighters were dispatched Nov. 25 to a local residence, they found a middle-age man unconscious, not breathing and in cardiac arrest. Firefighters applied CPR to revive the patient. The patient was not awake until arriving at Sistersville General Hospital, but he had a pulse and was breathing somewhat on his own when he awoke at the hospital.
“That almost never happens. I’ve never seen that happen and I’ve been in EMS a long time,” said Deena Glover of Glover Consulting Services, a Middlebourne based company that advises EMS squads and fire departments in the Mountain State.
During Monday’s award presentation, Glover addressed a fire hall filled with battle hardened first responders.
“Without you, that patient wouldn’t be here today,” Glover said moments before she presented an award to each firefighter involved in the rescue.
Glover reported that since the man was resuscitated and treated at both SGH and later at the Ohio Valley Medical Center, he has returned home and is “doing well.”
The fire department is pursuing state licensure as a rapid responder. Glover said licensure means firefighters, who are also EMT’s for the department, will administer medications and be able to do so much more.