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                            ANNUAL REPORT 2014



2000-2014 Response Comparison



Investigations by Type


Mutual Aid To Whom

Mutual Aid Type


Rescue Types

Response by Month


Response by Station


Types of Fires


Response by City Wards


Fire Response Only by Ward





     In 2014 the fire department accumulated 4874 man-hours of training.

Summary of topics that were covered by in-house training.

January - After Action Reviews, Haz-Mat, Basement Fires, Fire-ground Ops

February - Roadway Safety, RIT, Haz-Mat, Incident Command, Fire-ground Ops

March - Basement Fires, Water Systems, Vehicle Stabilization, Medical, ICS

April - Chainsaw Operation Safety, Ropes and Knots, Pump Operations, Water Rescue

May - Practical Evolutions, Business Inspections/Pre-Planning, Medical

June - Practical Evolutions, Water Rescue Boat Operations, Medical

July – Medical, Water Rescue, Practical Evolutions, Auto Extrication, Vehicle Stabilization

August – Water Rescue, Medical, MDT Intro, Fire Detection, Scenarios

September – Active Shooter, Water Rescue, Ventilation, Pump Operations, Scenarios, Medical

October – Building Construction, Haz-Mat, Fire Prevention

November – Disentanglement/Search Scenarios, Medical, Ladders

December – Health and Safety, Medical, Response Size-up, Utility Response


     Specialty Training received at Regional, State or local schools.

January – One firefighter attended Ice Rescue Class in Charleston.

April – Two firefighters attended Fire Code Enforcement, Clarksburg.  Two firefighters attended Fire Investigation, Clarksburg.  One attended Fire Investigation, Sissonville Fire School.

May – Five firefighters attended classes at the WV Fire Safety Expo, Charleston.  Six firefighters attended Interior Firefighting, EPTC, Institute.

July – Two firefighters attended various training classes in Baltimore, MD.

September – One firefighter attended Fire Officer Boot Camp, Clarksburg.

November – Three firefighters attended a 40 hour class on Pumper Driver Operations, Teays Valley, WV

     Responding to medical emergencies is such a huge part of what we do and we train with Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority monthly.  All of our employees are trained to a minimum level of Emergency Medical Technician.  In 2014 thirteen employees recertified their Emergency Medical Technician license issued by the Department of Health.  This requires forty-eight (48) hours of continuing medical education training annually and eight (8) hours of hazardous materials training annually.


     Training is imperative to maintain the departments ISO Class 3 fire insurance rating, but more importantly to maintain employee safety.  This ISO rating is used to determine homeowner’s and businesses insurance premiumsThere are only eleven  “Class 3” rated fire departments of the 436 in West Virginia.  This is exceptional and should be something that our firefighters and elected officials can be proud of









Firefighters practice ice rescue.




Lt. Dan Taaffe provides training on self-rescue scenarios on an abandoned house before it was demolished. 

Vehicle Rescue Training

  Firefighter Pump Training


                                                    Water Rescue Training










Message from the Chief

In 1997 after being appointed Chief I would have never imagined that some seventeen years plus later that I would still be doing the job.  I have been blessed beyond measure to have the opportunities that have been placed before me.  As my career is winding down and I plan on leaving sometime this spring I cannot begin to express the gratitude for all of the personal support as well as support for the department which I love.  Since June 1978 I have been a firefighter and worked in all branches of emergency services throughout two counties.  It’s all I ever wanted to do and other than serving the Lord there is no greater satisfaction than helping people in a time of need.

      Unfortunately during 2014 four St. St. Albans citizens lost their lives due to residential house fires.  The residences had no working smoke alarms which maybe could have given them the early detection needed to safely escape.  Daily you see people on the news terrified of a crime being perpetrated against them so they invest in self-defense training and weapons, burglar alarms, form neighborhood watches in the hope of keeping them safe by reporting potential crimes but yet a large portion is complacent about preparing for and being scared of dying in a fire.  Why?  Lots of research has been conducted by numerous organizations, especially the National Fire Protection Association as to why the apathy towards fire prevention and protection.  In the book, American Burning by the U.S. Fire Administration research indicates it is just not apathy but ignorance in the failure to recognize basic fire hazards.  In 2013 N.F.P.A. data shows nationally fire departments responded to 1,240,000 fires which resulted in fire loss damage of $11,525,000,000.00, that’s over 11 billion.  In 2013 3,240 deaths were recorded and approximately 16,000 injuries due to fires.  I have learned many things during my fire service career and the one I would like to emphasize most is that the fire service collectively is lacking in aggressive education to all ages of the public on the dangers of fire.  We are not getting the word out enough and driving it home.

     The fire department has continued to dedicate many of its resources to providing the best equipment to our staff that money can buy.  We owe a due diligence to equip and support our hero’s with the tools and the necessary resources to increase the probability of a successful outcome at each emergency.  At the time of preparing this document the department is poised to receive a substantial purchase of equipment by a private company.  This is due to a settlement between the grantor and the federal government.  Due to the previous close working relationships built over many years they notified me that they wanted St. Albans to be a benefactor.  I have always attempted to provide as many necessary pieces of equipment to our staff and it excites me that we are about to receive this substantial one.  It is my personal goal to have this particular grant complete before my departure.

     As I prepare to depart it is my hope and prayer that Council and the Mayor continue the great working relationship that we have enjoyed for many years.  Public Safety we can all agree is the minimum basic service that the local government should be providing to the citizens.  I was always taught growing up that if you’re going to do something give it your all and be the best that you can be.  I truly believe that the citizens of St. Albans are receiving quality service from the department through our highly trained staff that truly cares about the citizens and do everything within their power to be the best of the best.  Though through the years there have been some rough times they never let it get in the way of delivering a great service to the taxpayer.   May God bless you and thanks you for allowing me to serve.