3 Days plus a Heat Index above 100 = 6 Fires

Memorial Day weekend was forecast to be hot and humid, so Box 15 scheduled crews to remain in service from 11:00 until 19:00 hours for all 3 days.  And it turned out to be the right move.  On Saturday, Rehab 2 responded with Columbus and Franklin Township firefighters to a fully-involved modular classroom at a school in the southwest area of the city. This was followed a couple hours later by a well-involved condominium in the far north area of the city.  An additional Box 15 member who lived in the area provided initial rehab support until the truck arrived on-scene.  Between the 2 fires, we used 4 cases of bottled water.

On Sunday, with the temperature sitting at 93 degrees and humidity at 50%, Rehab 1 took their first of two runs at 17:20 hours.  Jackson Township had a basement fire in a single family dwelling.  We provided 15# of ice for chilling rehab towels and a case of chilled water.  We then proceeded to far east Columbus on another condominium fire.  Arriving just before 18:30 hours, we immediately setup with chilled towels and water.  When this fire was dispatched, most of the firefighters were just sitting down for dinner.  We supplied Granola bars to help until they could return to quarters. Totals for the day were 50# of ice, 16 rehab towels, 20 granola bars and 5 cases of water.

Monday – Memorial Day saw 93 degrees again.  The humidity brought the heat index to 107.  Rehab 2 was again in service and responded to a 3-bay detached garage fire with auto inside, followed shortly by a single family dwelling that suffered major damage from a propane grill fire in an enclosed carport.  We used an additional 4 cases of water serving firefighters with Columbus and Franklin Township.

3rd Alarm fire at Cleveland Avenue and Oakland Park Ave

Box 15 responded on an automatic response with Columbus Fire to a 3rd Alarm at the Cambridge Apartments in the 3000 block of Cleveland Avenue.  Box 15 distributed nearly 300 bottles of water, two gallons of Squincher, and a handful of granola bars to approximately 110 public safety personnel, including department members from Columbus, Mifflin Township, and Clinton Township as well as Columbus, Clinton, and Mifflin Police Departments and the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.

One civilian fatality was reported.

Area Firefighters Honored

Box 15 held our annual awards dinner on Sunday, May 6, honoring two outstanding individuals, in front of a sellout crowd.  The awards dinner, an annual event since 1985, was held at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus in German Village.  

Columbus Division of Fire’s Firefighter Michael Powell has been named as the Columbus Firefighter of the Year  Firefighter Powell is an In-charge rescue tech for Rescue 16 in northeast Columbus.  Firefighter Powell received the Max Haverman award, named for the founder of Box 15.

Bloom Township Fire Department’s Lieutenant Jeff Cotner was chosen as the County Firefighter of the Year. Lieutenant Cotner was presented with the Larry Parlett award, named for the man who served 16 years as President of the group.

Battalion Chief Sean Moore, along with Captains David Trainor and James Lewis submitted firefighter Powell’s nomination.  Lieutenant Cotner’s nomination came from his Chief, Terry Gill.

Both individuals are very committed to training other firefighters and excel in their dedication to their profession. We congratulate them both.

Saving Our Own

The Columbus Division of Fire's Training Academy inaugurated their new "Saving Our Own" rescue simulator during a two day class on March 27 & 28.  The simulator, the brainchild of Lt. Steve Robertson and others on the Academy staff consists of an overseas shipping container with an external fire/smoke box, reconfigurable interior partitions and a variety of access points can be used for many rescue scenarios.  The initial class of 20 fire personnel in Officer Training became the first to use the simulator, running multiple search & rescue evolutions including a verticle rescue from a confined space.

Box 15 was on scene with the class for both days to provide rehab services, during which time we served 7 cases of bottled water and a case of granola bars, along with several rehab towels. 

Happy Retirement, Chief Pettus

Friday, March 23 marked the last day on the job for Columbus Fire Chief Ned Pettus Jr.  Retiring after 10 years as Chief of the Department, he leaves behind an enviable legacy including Accreditation by the Commision on Fire Accreditation International (Columbus is one of only 3 major cities to achieve this status).  At the time when most US cities faced personnel cutbacks and station closures, the Columbus Division of Fire managed to maintain staffing levels - primarily due to a cooperative attitude between the Administration and the Firefighters Local.  Thanks to this effort, an income tax increase was approved by the voters.  Due to a stronger financial position, the City was also able to replace many older pieces of apparatus.   

The Division also went through a period of massive retirements, including 78 members in a three month period.  Chief Pettus implemented a mentoring program to help acclimate promoted officers to their new roles.

Best of Luck, Chief Pettus and enjoy your retitrement.


3 - 2 – 1 – Go!

The annual Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Battle of the Badges stair climb challenge was held on Saturday, March 3, in the Rhodes State Office Tower. Box 15 and the Columbus Fire Auxiliary were there to provide rehab and support services to nearly 400 competitors. This is the fourth year that we have combined our efforts to support this worthwhile event.

Between our organizations, we had a total of 13 participants. During the 6+ hours of service, we dispensed 22 cases of bottled water, 2 gallons of Sqwincher, used 30 rehab towels and worked with the special duty medics to address eight climbers who experienced stress issues. Fortunately, none of these conditions turned out to be serious health issues.

Sixty One More!

The Columbus Fire Training Academy was the venue on Friday, January 27 for the graduation ceremony of 61 recruit firefighters. Having completed 32 weeks of intensive training, passing 29 exams and gaining several certifications, this group is ready to begin their duties “on company”.  The ceremony was extremely well attended with more than 400 family and friends in the audience. Following the service, Box 15 hosted the reception in the main training facility, where family members could tour the facility. 

Thank You Washington Township!

Box 15 was honored with a Citizen’s Distinguished Service Award by Washington Township, at their annual employee dinner, Friday, January 20.  During 2011, Box 15 responded to 5 incidents with Washington, including working fires and training exercises.  Station 91 is also “home” to Rehab 2, which was donated to the club by the Township a few years ago.  We have a long working relationship and 3 box 15 members have completed their Citizen’s fire Academy.  Box 15 values our relationship with Washington Township and we sincerely appreciate this honor.

New Products, New Prices

Have you visited the Box 15 online store lately?  We have several new items for sale, including hats, sweat pants and athletic shorts.  We’ve also dropped the prices on the “911” commemorative shirts and the Challenge Coins.  Check it out at store.box15.org!

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