Fairfield’s Local Heroes to the Rescue!
Local Heroes to the Rescue!
Safe inside, we wait in the dark.
It feels like forever...
Outside, the fire burns and the sparks fly,
bright against the black street and the white snow.
Within minutes, our local heroes respond to the call,
sirens blaring and lights flashing, the emergency responders arrive...
The police set up emergency barriers to help keep the workers safe!
The fire fighters use their fire extinguishers to help fight the fire!
The Town’s Public Works plows the snow and clears the tree!
The power company works to help restore the power lines!
Thanks to the Town’s teamwork,
and our emergency preparations,
we are warm, fed, and safe despite the storm
In a snowstorm...
Fairfield’s first responders on the Emergency Management Team are instrumental in keeping people safe during snowstorms.
Staying Safe in a Snowstorm
Fairfield’s emergency team and the Red Cross encourage people to stay at home and to stay informed about conditions by listening to a local radio or television station, and NOAA. During a snowstorm, keep safe by staying indoors and wearing warm clothes. It’s important to conserve fuel, as winter storms can last for several days, placing great demand on electric, gas, and other fuel distribution systems. Remember to keep your companion animals and pets inside with you and make sure they have access to fresh water. Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends, particularly if they are elderly or if they live alone.
Did you know that there are 275 miles of streets in the Town of Fairfield? Plowing them is a big job.
Fairfield’s Emergency Management Team asks the public to keep vehicles off the roads to keep you safe, to allow for Public Works crews to clear streets and also to allow emergency vehicles and utility crews to move around more easily. If possible, park in your driveway to allow the plows to better clean the whole width of the street, and to avoid damage to vehicles due to plowing.
The Blizzard of 1888
“The Great White Hurricane”
In March 1888, a warm day gave way to a blizzard that paralyzed the entire northeastern section of the country. 45 inches of snow fell over three days, shutting down transportation and communication networks. Trains couldn’t run, coal wagons could not deliver fuel, and telegraph and telephone lines were downed, stopping the flow of information. Fire stations were immobilized and people were stranded on trains and in stations – one thousand people took refuge in the Bridgeport station. In some places, high winds pushed the snow into drifts two stories high. Cities, which depended on daily deliveries of food and fuel, were hit particularly hard.
Learning lessons from the storm, some cities started to place subway systems and telegraph and telephone infrastructure underground.
In a flood...
Fairfield’s first responders, especially the Department of Public Works, are instrumental in keeping people safe during Fairfield’s frequent flooding events.
Fairfield's frequent flooding issues result from severe weather and coastal storms, as well as from the fluctuation of the tides. The Town's inland and upland areas are impacted by heavy rains while the water drains to areas which are simultaneously experiencing coastal flooding. When this happens, storm drains can be ovewhelmed and local roadways become flooded.
Fairfield’s Emergency Services Team works together to improve the community's response to flooding. Taking advantage of topography, the town places important housing, emergency services, and power and water infrastructure at higher points, where they are protected. The roads, bridges, drains, and other infrastructure are monitored, maintained, and steadily improved as part of a town-wide plan for safe use, emergency access, and evacuation of residents if needed.
During a flooding event, Fairfield’s Emergency Services Team monitors and restricts access to flooded areas, responds to specific issues if needed, and cleans up and reviews impacted Town infrastructure.
In a fire...
For over 100 years, Fairfielders have organized departments to serve as first responders to fight the fires in town.
The fear of and threat of fire and its damaging consequences in Fairfield were widespread from the town’s beginnings in 1639. The building of English-style wooden houses and barns and the need for fire for heat and cooking made fire the leading cause of property destruction for the town’s first 250 years.
From buckets to pumps, towed tanks to vehicles, hoses to extinguishers, the technology and response to fires in Fairfield has changed dramatically over time. With fewer open flames and more in-home protection systems, today’s firefighters and departments respond to a wider variety of emergencies and work to educate and train the public on fire prevention and emergency response.
The Founding of Fairfield’s Fire Departments
In response to two church fires, the town’s first volunteer department (Company No. 1, Fairfield Hook & Ladder) was organized on September 11, 1893. This group also built the first firehouse on Sherman Green (no longer standing). The newly organized fire department used Bridgeport’s firefighting organization as its model. As time went on, Fairfield’s Co. 1 had the town’s first career firefighters, who were hired in 1928, and its first career chief in 1957.
As the town grew, people came together and formed additional fire companies in different sections of town. Some of these continue to serve the community today, staffed with both paid and some volunteer firefighters.
In 1895, after three fires in Southport, two competing fire companies (Southport “Kid Gloves” and Pequot) formed, and built firehouses across the street from each other on Station Street, joining together to fight fires when needed. The Southport departments soon merged to form Co. 4.
The Tunxis Hill department, Co. 2, was founded in 1913. Their first vehicle was a hand-drawn, two-wheeled chemical that had to be dragged up a steep hillside in order to respond to a fire, until a new firehouse was built further up the hill.
The Stratfield department, Co. 3, was organized in 1918 by the Stratfield Improvement Association, whose members were deeply concerned about the community’s distance from other Fairfield fire companies. Church bells and an old tire gong were originally used to summon their volunteer firefighters.
Similarly, the Greenfield Hill department, Co. 5, was formed by 1933 by the neighborhood association, because of the community’s concerns about their geographic distance from the nearest department. A pumper, purchased from the main fire department, was kept in a barn on the corner of Hillside and Old Academy Roads.
After the hurricane of 1942, the Pine Creek department, Co. 6 was organized by those concerned that in a similar storm, fire trucks from elsewhere in town would have trouble getting out to the beach. The firehouse was built with salvaged lumber, and served as a gathering place for the neighborhood. It merged with Co. 1 in 1958.