New Canaan Fire Department Pursues ‘Automatic Mutual Aid’ with Neighboring Towns

New Canaan fire officials are drafting agreements with bordering municipalities in order to ensure that trained firefighters are getting to more potentially serious scenes even faster. As it is, the New Canaan Fire Department has automatic mutual aid with agencies in towns such as Wilton and Vista, N.Y. when it comes to structure fires. Yet in responding to other calls—such as residential fire alarms or reports of a possible carbon monoxide illness, the town’s response time to far-reaching corners of the town often exceeds the National Fire Prevention Association’s requirements, according to New Canaan Fire Chief Albe Bassett. 

“The travel distances are too far,” Bassett told members of the Fire Commission during their regular meeting, held Tuesday night at the firehouse on Main Street. With an automatic mutual aid agreement in place, trained firefighters from neighboring departments such as Stamford and Pound Ridge, N.Y. could get eyes on scene several minutes faster—an often critical window. Bassett said he studied NCFD’s response times and identified four “quadrants” of the town where help is needed, and that he’s “actively looking to get agreements with Pound Ridge, Vista, and Stamford to provide an automatic mutual aid engine for any emergency response.”

He provided the example of West Cross Road in New Canaan, which is located below the Merritt Parkway at the town’s southwestern border with Stamford.

T-Shirts for Sale: New Canaan Firefighters Raise Money for Breast Cancer Foundation

The New Canaan Fire Department and New Canaan Fire Company No. 1 are joining forces to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation ahead of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

The local agencies are selling T-shirts at an online store through midnight Thursday ($25 for youth tees, $28 for adults), according to volunteer firefighter Silvana Cardona. 

Cardona’s great-aunt passed away from breast cancer two years ago “so it definitely hits home for me,” she told “Breast cancer awareness and fundraising is something that I strive to do,” Cardona said. The Fire Department also might purchase additional shirts to sell at the Main Street firehouse throughout October, she added. 

Referring to the online store raising money for the national breast cancer organization—which itself provides resources and support to those facing the disease—Cardona said, “This is our first step in regards to doing something that’s separate from firefighting generally. It’s a great way to get community involvement and also fundraise for a great cause.”

Cardona joined the fire company in January, realizing a lifelong goal.

Podcast: The Gracie Fund for Pediatric Cancer

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in iTunes), we talk to New Canaan’s Chris Falsetta about the Gracie Fund for Pediatric Cancer. Founded by the Falsetta family following a recent diagnosis of leukemia in their 12-year-old daughter, the Gracie Fund is the designated beneficiary for this year’s New Canaan Combine, a fun athletic competition between the New Canaan Police and Fire Departments, as well as community members of all ages. The Combine is scheduled for Oct. 1 (here’s a signup form to volunteer at the event and here’s information on how to sponsor and join a team—click here to contribute directly). Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

New Canaan Fire Marshal: Thanksgiving Safety

The greatest number of home cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Unattended cooking is by far the leading contributor in cooking fires. Keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safe from fire. Top safety tips

Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye
on the food.