Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department News Archive


November '13

October was a busy month with the annual Pork Barbeque and the 2nd annual Auxiliary Crafts Sale. We appreciate the financial and moral support from the community for these fund-raisers, and the time and effort of our volunteers, staff, and paid professionals.

Once again, our partners at Orange County Emergency Services requested Parkwood EMS assistance for the annual Homegrown Halloween festivities in Chapel Hill. PVFD provided a mobile medical Gator vehicle and a team of volunteer EMS personnel. Working along with Chapel Hill Fire Department, Orange County Emergency Services, South Orange Rescue Squad, Raleigh Fire Department, Orange Rural Fire Department, Chapel Hill Police, Orange County Sheriffs Deputies, NC State Troopers, and others was a great experience. With an estimated 30,000 revelers in attendance, the teams treated over 15 patients and transported several to UNC hospital.

The Honor Guard participated in Jaycee Burn Survivors Reunion at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. It was an emotional and memorable experience where survivors of burn related injuries were able to tell their stories and thank those who supported them in their recovery, including firefighters and medical staff. The annual gathering allows survivors and their families to network and discover resources that are available to them, including programs to help them overcome pain and suffering. We met a burn survivor who was only 2 when he was saved by a Parkwood Firefighter over 40 years ago on Euclid Rd - he wanted to share his story with us and we invited him to come by the station. We also met a 100 year old burn survivor who advised everyone to "just be kind" when supporting each other.

There has been a lot in the news about problems with the launch of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. There is also some good news. According to Consumer Reports, under the new health insurance policies, colorectal screening tests will be available at no cost. Doctors recommend regular screenings for colorectal cancer for healthy adults ages 50 to 75. According to a recent survey, about a third of U.S. adults ages 50 to 75 have never been screened for colon cancer or are not up to date. More than half of those people had no health insurance.

Working for You -- October 2013

Fire related43
Auto collisions73

Be safe and stay healthy - Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

October '13

In early October, several members of the Honor Guard attended the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial Weekend in Emittsburg, Md. They honored 73 firefighters who died in the line of duty during 2012 and 8 who died in previous years. This year NC is in the top 2 or 3 for the most Honor Guard members in attendance and we are proud to be a part of that.

We continue to provide EMS support for Duke football games; we send EMTs, an air conditioned trailer, and a gator (a small vehicle capable of transporting a patient through the crowded main concourse). It's a great way to help out and to get to know fellow EMS personnel from Duke, Life Flight, and Durham County EMS.

The Auxiliary is planning a Holiday Craft and Vendor Sale on Saturday, Nov 2, from 10AM to 1PM. If you're interested in renting a table, contact A Howard for information. Last year's event had a wide variety of crafts and vendors including pottery, jewelry, hand sewn and knitted items, fused glass items, and vendors including Scentsy, Tupperware, Silpada, Celebrating Home and many more. If you're not interested in selling but would like to start your holiday shopping early be sure to save the date! Proceeds from the event benefit PVFD.

We encourage everyone to have health insurance. We can now enroll for coverage on Plans are available in 4 categories: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The category chosen determines monthly premium costs, the portion of the bill you pay for things like hospital visits, prescription medications, and total out-of-pocket costs.

Here are some questions and answers from

Q: What if I have health insurance through my job?

A: If you have job-based insurance that you like, you can keep it. You're considered covered under the Affordable Care Act. If you want to switch to coverage through the exchange, you may, but it may not be in your best interest. Most employers pay a portion of the premiums for their workers, but anyone choosing an exchange plan likely wouldn't get a subsidy for premiums from their employer. Also, if your job-based insurance is considered affordable and meets minimum value, you cannot get any lower premiums or out-of-pocket expenses through an exchange plan, even if your income meets federal guidelines.

Q: What if I have a pre-existing condition?

A: Being sick won't keep you from getting health coverage. An insurance company cannot turn you down or charge you more because of your condition. Once you have insurance, it can't refuse to cover treatment for pre-existing conditions. Coverage for such conditions begins immediately, even if you have been turned down or refused coverage before. The only exception is for grandfathered individual health insurance plans the kind you buy yourself, not through an employer. They do not have to cover pre-existing conditions. If you have one of these plans, you can switch to an exchange plan during open enrollment and immediately get coverage for a pre-existing condition.

Q: What if I have Medicare?

If you have Medicare, you are considered covered under the Affordable Care Act, and you don't need to enroll through the exchanges. Medicare benefits now include the minimum benefits that are required of health plans offered through the exchanges, such as EMS services, maternity care, and prescription drugs.

For more information, go to (search wral health care q&a).

Working for You -- September 2013

Fire related36
Auto collisions66

Be safe and stay healthy - Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

September '13

August was a busy month. The Honor Guard participated in the Fire Academy graduation ceremony at Fayetteville Technical Community College, and attended the 2013 South Atlantic Fire and Rescue Expo, participating in all the major events: opening ceremonies, the memorial service, the candlelight vigils, the Exposition Hall Opening, and the parade. PVFD Fire Special Ops participated in Grandale Place's National Night Out festivities. Along with officers from the Durham Police Department they entertained kids of all ages with fire trucks and rescue equipment.

Saturday, Aug 30, marked the start of Duke football season. Parkwood EMS Special Operations assists Duke and Durham EMS at all the home games, providing EMTs, an air conditioned trailer, and a gator (a small vehicle capable of transporting a patient through the crowded main concourse). It's a rewarding community service and a great way for personnel from the different agencies to get to know one another.

Saturday, Oct 12, is the date of the next Pork Barbecue, so mark your calendars for some good cooking and eating. Chief Andrews is now looking for cooks who would like to compete for the prizes ($1000 winner, $500 second place, $250 third place). The Auxiliary is planning a Holiday Craft and Vendor Sale on Saturday, Nov 2. If you'd like to participate as a vendor, contact A Howard for information.

The NPR Car Talk guys recently called our attention to a report by the American Automobile Association (AAA) that finds Americans growing less concerned about dangerous driving behaviors. We are less likely to perceive a serious threat from dangerous driving behaviors such as drunk, aggressive, or drowsy driving, according to an analysis of four years of public surveys conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The decreased concern is accompanied by an estimated 5.3 percent increase in annual traffic fatalities, totaling more than 34,000 in 2012. This is the first annual increase in seven years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Someone dies on Americas roadways every 15 minutes. Fatalities include drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and every other kind of road user. Car crashes affect young people disproportionately by killing more people aged 5-34 than any other cause of death. More than 2.3 million people annually also suffer serious injuries from crashes.

Working for You -- August 2013

Fire related34
Auto collisions40

Be Safe - Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

August '13

On Saturday August 3rd, PVFD participated in Target Public Safety Day at SouthPoint. The Durham Police Dept and Fire Dept were there, also the Sheriff's department, and State Troopers. This was the place to go for families with kids to see fire engines, police cars, and ambulances. For new parents, there was a child car-seat clinic there as well. Parkwood had Sparky the robot fire dog squirting water at the kids and giving out toy fire helmets.

The Auxiliary is planning the Second Annual Holiday Craft and Vendor Sale on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at Station 1 from 10am -1pm. If you'd like to participate as a vendor, contact A Howard for information. Last year's event had a wide variety of crafts and vendors. Mark your calendars to get a head start on your Holiday shopping! Proceeds from the event benefit the department.

According to the News and Observer, health insurers will begin enrolling customers under the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 1 and will begin providing subsidized coverage Jan. 1. North Carolinians who already get insurance through their employers may see changes in price and coverage options.

The new law includes subsidies, called premium tax credits, averaging $5,000 a year, for those who fall within certain income levels - the actual amount depends on multiple factors. Some people who can't afford subsidized health insurance will qualify for the federal Medicaid program. Subsidies will be available to individuals with annual income up to $45,960 a year, or a family of four with household income up to $94,200.

Insurers here are seeking state and federal approval of several dozen plans that vary in coverage and cost. The least expensive will cover 60 percent of medical costs, leaving 40 percent to the individual. The most expensive will cover 90 percent of medical costs, leaving 10 percent to the individual. All the plans are required to offer essential health benefits, including ambulatory and emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse services, prescription drugs and rehab, laboratory services, preventive and wellness care, and pediatric care.

There also will be low-cost catastrophic coverage plans for people under age 30 and people with very low income who qualify for hardship exemptions. A catastrophic plan carries a large deductible and covers just three primary care visits a year, but it offers a cushion against ruinous medical bills.

Learn how to enroll under the Affordable Care Act at

Working for You -- July 2013

Fire related46
Auto collisions49

Be Safe - Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

July '13

The Auxiliary is holding its Second Annual Holiday Craft and Vendor Sale on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at Station 1 from 10am -1pm. If you are interested in renting a table, contact A Howard for information. Last year's event had a wide variety of crafts and vendors including pottery, jewelry, hand sewn and knitted items, fused glass items, and vendors including Scentsy, Tupperware, Silpada, Celebrating Home and many more. If you not interested in selling but would like to start your Holiday shopping early be sure to save the date! Proceeds from the event benefit the department.

We hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July. We thought this would be a good time to remind everyone about fireworks safety. According to, the best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home period. Attend public fireworks displays, and leave the lighting to the professionals.

Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are just too dangerous. If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C) hot enough to melt gold.

Buy only legal fireworks (legal fireworks have a label with the manufacturer's name and directions; illegal ones are unlabeled), and store them in a cool, dry place. Illegal fireworks usually go by the names M-80, M100, blockbuster, or quarterpounder. These explosives were banned in 1966, but still account for many fireworks injuries.

Never try to make your own fireworks.

Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.

Steer clear of other's fireworks, they have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest. Don't hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket the friction could set them off.

Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to more 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.

Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.

Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.

Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.

Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured.

If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. Also, don't flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and immediately seek medical attention your child's eyesight may depend on it. If it's a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn (do not use ice). Get medical help immediately.

Working for You -- June 2013

Fire related45
Auto collisions49

Be Safe - Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

June '13

Thanks to all who attended the 45th annual Parkwood Chicken Barbecue and Bake Sale on Saturday, June 1, at Station 1 off Revere Road. We had nice weather and a good turnout. If you missed this one, we'll have our annual pork barbecue on Oct 12.

If you're headed to the beach this summer, beware of rip currents, which can pull you away from shore. The key is to not panic, and this is hard because you're being swept out to sea. Never swim directly against the current. We all float better in salt water, so take deep breaths, hold it in, relax, and float along with the current. Wave if there are lifeguards around. After you pass between the bars, the current will weaken and you can swim towards whitewater to find a bar where you can stand up. Even if you are a strong swimmer, don't attempt a rescue without a float - a boogie board or a styrofoam noodle makes a good float, or, as a last resort, an empty cooler can be used. Over 100 drownings due to rip currents occur every year in the United States, and more than 80% of water rescues on surf beaches are due to rip currents. Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves. There are lots of good online videos on this subject, just google youtube rip currents.

Working for You -- May 2013

Fire related32
Auto collisions59

Be Safe - Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

May '13

Don t forget to mark your calendars for the annual Parkwood Chicken Barbecue on Saturday, June 1, at Station 1 off Revere Road. We ll have grilled chicken, savory potato salad, creamy coleslaw, and golden brown hush puppies, dine-in or take-out. The Auxiliary will also have baked goodies. Enjoy a great meal and support your local fire and EMS crews.

In light of recent disasters like the Boston Marathon Massacre and the Sandy Hook shootings, it's important for families to help children cope with these disturbing events.

According to the American Red cross, children depend on daily routines. They wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, play with friends. When emergencies or disasters interrupt this routine, many children may become anxious. In a disaster, they'll look to you and other adults for help. How you react to an emergency gives them clues on how to act. If you react with alarm, your child may become more scared. They see your fear as proof that the danger is real. If you seem overcome with a sense of loss, your child may feel their losses more strongly.

Children's fears may also arise from their imagination, and you should take these feelings seriously. A child who feels afraid is afraid. Your words and actions can provide reassurance. When talking with your child, be sure to present a realistic picture that is both honest and manageable.

Feelings of fear are healthy and natural for both adults and children. But as an adult, you need to keep control of the situation. When you're sure that danger has passed, concentrate on your child's emotional needs by asking the child what's uppermost in his or her mind. Having children participate in the family's recovery activities will help them feel that their life will soon return to "normal." Your response during this time may have a lasting impact.

Working for You -- April 2013

Fire related34
Auto collisions44

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

April '13

Mark your calendars for the annual Parkwood Chicken Barbeque, on Saturday, June 1. Drop by station 1 off Revere Road and treat yourself to a feast of grilled chicken, savory potato salad, creamy coleslaw, and golden brown hushpuppies. We'll have dine-in or take-out options. Come on out and support your local fire and EMS crews.

Have you ever had trouble deciding where to go for a sickness or injury?

The options are:

  • family practitioner or other MD
  • Urgent Care
  • Emergency Room
  • Ambulance (911)

If you must see someone right away, there are several Urgent Care facilities in our area, open at least 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. According to

  • Co-pays for Urgent Care will usually be lower than for an ER visit
  • Most health insurance plans include Urgent Care centers in their networks
  • Most insurers will not pay for ER visits for what they deem to be non-emergency care
  • Many insurers have helplines you can call to ask about coverage options. Check your insurance card or the provider's website for phone numbers.

According to, you should call 911 for the following situations:

  • Head injury, a loss of consciousness, severe bleeding, difficulty breathing, chest pain, high fever, uncontrollable vomiting or disorientation
  • Abdominal pressure or pain that doesn't go away
  • If the victim has seizures or slurred speech or if you suspect that the victim has injured their back or neck
  • A fire or explosion, rising or swiftly moving water such as in a flood, a leak of poisonous gas, downed electrical wires or a vehicle collision
  • Alcohol or illegal drug Overdoses - call EMS if they have cold or pale skin, are vomiting, have irregular or very slow breathing, are slow to wake up or are in a state of mental confusion
  • Suicide attempts

Do call 911 for true emergencies, but otherwise, take a breath and consider other options. Respect your local fire and EMS personnel - they need to be available for true emergencies.

Working for You -- March 2013

Fire related47
Auto collisions41

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

March '13

Parkwood lost a key member last month. Randy McCray served as a volunteer since 1993, and he did it all. He was a nurse, medic, firefighter, Board member, and President of the Board. He was a good man and we will miss him.

Know any new parents? Parkwood has nationally-certified Child Passenger Safety technicians who can provide information and check child restraints and seat belts to be sure they are installed and used correctly. For and appointment, call Parkwood Station 1 (1409 Seaton Rd) at 919-361-0927, or just drop by the station anytime and ask for help. If we re not tied up with a fire or EMS emergency, we ll be happy to help out.

Working for You -- February 2013

Fire related35
Auto collisions41

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

February '13

Parkwood Fire and EMS crews are on the job every day and every night, ready for any emergency. Superbowl Sunday always results in a variety of EMS calls. This year was no exception. HIPAA privacy laws prevent us from describing individual cases, but like any other holiday, people experience all sorts of health problems and motor vehicle accidents.

Have you ever encountered a person having a seizure - their body shakes rapidly and uncontrollably? According to the MedlinePlus website, when a seizure occurs, the main goal is to protect the person from injury. Try to prevent a fall. Lay the person on the ground in a safe area. Clear the area of furniture or other sharp objects. Cushion the person's head. Loosen tight clothing, especially around the person's neck. Turn the person on his or her side. If vomiting occurs, this helps make sure that the vomit is not inhaled into the lungs. Look for a medical I.D. bracelet with seizure instructions. Stay with the person until he or she recovers, or until you have professional medical help.

Call 911 if:

  • This is the first time the person has had a seizure.
  • A seizure lasts more than 2 to 5 minutes.
  • The person does not awaken or have normal behavior after a seizure.
  • Another seizure starts soon after a seizure ends.
  • The person had a seizure in water.
  • The person is pregnant, injured, or has diabetes.
  • The person does not have a medical ID bracelet (instructions explaining what to do).
  • There is anything different about this seizure compared to the person's usual seizures.

Working for You -- Janary 2013

Fire related35
Auto collisions57

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

January '13

At the end of each year, PVFD officers review the performance of the medics and firefighters, and look for opportunities for improvement. This year we had a significant increase in the number of calls, and this kept our crews busier and resulted in a larger number of more-detailed reports. EMs reporting requirements increase each year; for example, in the past year, in addition to name, address, and medical treatment details, we are required to enter a metric for emergency-severity; this should enable the triage nurse to more efficiently allocate resources, which should reduce the wait-time for patients in our crowded Emergency Rooms.

As winter weather sets in, we should all be mindful of more hazardous driving conditions. AAA recommends the following winter driving tips:

  • Avoid driving while you re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Working for You -- December 2012

Fire related29
Auto collisions68

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.


December '12

Parkwood EMS recently wrapped up another Duke football season, providing EMTs for home games. It was an exciting season this year for fans and players alike, with a winning season at home and a bowl game coming up. Together with Durham County and Duke EMS, we treated 191 patients, while serving 197,000 fans. We look forward to next season and are thankful to our volunteers who make this happen.

Also in November, Parkwood EMS supported a 5K Walk/Run to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis, sponsored by the RTP-based group, Women in Biotechnology. It was a nice day for the event, which started and ended at the NC Biotechnology Center. Parkwood EMS volunteers were happy to support this charitable cause and look forward to future opportunities to serve.

Are you planning to travel over the holidays? The American Automobile Association (AAA)offers these tips:

  • Be sure your vehicle is properly maintained. If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.
  • Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the year. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic. Keep anything of value in the trunk or covered storage area. If you re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers. Go with them on bathroom breaks and give them whistles to be used only if the family gets separated. Have roadside assistance contact information on hand, in case an incident occurs on the road. In case of an emergency, keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times. AAA and many other companies offer smartphone applications that enable motorists to request help without making a phone call.

With a little prep, you can leave the road-trip stress at home and enjoy your holiday with family and friends.

Working for You -- December 2012

Fire related24
Auto collisions54

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

November '12

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, coastal communities have been faced with a variety of health hazards. According to ABC News correspondent Sydney Lupkin, in any large scale disaster, troubles begin even before the storm hits, when people are evacuated from their neighborhoods and no longer have access to their regular doctors, pharmacists, hospitals, and clinics. When they return, they may be confronted with blocked roads, downed power lines, fallen trees, and flood damage that needs to be addressed promptly before it gets worse. Homeowners may be tempted to take on jobs that are beyond their capabilities, like using chain saws on damaged trees. Sheet rock, insulation, mattresses, carpet, stuffed animals, and upholstered furniture may need to be removed and discarded. Mold grows on damp surfaces in places that are difficult to clean this is particularly harmful to folks with respiratory problems, like asthma and COPD. And if all this isnt bad enough, flood waters are often tainted with untreated sewage, and exposure may lead to gastro-intestinal problems such as nausea and vomiting.

Hurricanes take place mostly in warm weather, but Sandy struck late in the season, after cool weather had set in. Folks without electricity or gas had to endure cold nights without heat. In these situations, both the very old and very young are susceptible to hypothermia. Those lucky enough to obtain a generator and gasoline can power essential devices, but need to be careful not to run the generator too close to their homes, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning from the fumes.

Let us be thankful that we were spared this time, and resolve to be fully prepared for future storms.

Working for You -- October 2012

Fire related39
Auto collisions64

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

October '12

Parkwood Special Operations has been busy this fall. In addition to providing Fire and EMS support to south Durham and parts of Chatham and Orange County, we support several community events. Throughout the summer and fall we provide EMS support for races at the Orange County Speedway. During the fall months, we join forces with Durham County EMS and Duke EMS to support football games at Duke's Wallace Wade stadium.

We're currently making plans to team with Orange County and Chapel Hill EMS to provide EMS support for Halloween festivities on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill.

The Parkwood Honor Guard recently returned from Washington, DC, where we participated in the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend. This event honors fallen brothers and sisters from departments across the country. Names of firefighters who died in the line of duty last year were added to a plaque in the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. Our guys stayed at the Arlington County Fire Department; they hosted our visit and allowed us to use their facilities.

Question: when you see flashing lights in your rear view mirror, what should you do? According to the 2012 NC Driver's Handbook, emergency vehicles with flashing lights and sirens always have the right of way.

  • As the emergency vehicle approaches (from ahead or behind), move over to the right and stop;
  • Remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed, or until directed to move by a traffic officer;
  • Do not park within 100 feet of an emergency vehicle that has stopped to investigate an accident or to give assistance;
  • Stay at least one block away from fire trucks responding to a fire alarm;
  • Never run over a fire hose.

When approaching an emergency scene with flashing lights:

  • On a highway with at least two lanes of traffic in the direction you are traveling, move into a lane that is not nearest the parked or standing emergency vehicle and continue traveling in that lane until safely clear of the emergency vehicle.
  • On a highway with only one lane of traffic in your direction, slow down and drive at a safe speed until completely past the emergency vehicle.

Working for You -- September 2012

Fire related41
Auto collisions61

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

September '12

The 33rd annual Pork BBQ, Brunswick Stew, and BBQ Cook-Off will be held at Station 1 (1409 Seaton Road) on Saturday, October 13th. If you're interested in competing, please sign up soon. Otherwise, join us for a savory BBQ lunch or dinner.

The Parkwood Auxiliary will be hosting a holiday fundraising vendor event on October 20th at Station 1. There will be vendors selling items such as jewelry, stained glass, home-made crafts, candles, Tupperware, Thirty-one, and Body by VI. We are lining up our vendors, so if you have something you make or sell and are interested in more information, contact Amelia Howard at ( or 919-802-0720) or Kim Colley at ( or 919-419-1855). Or, if you'd like to get a head start on your holiday shopping, save the date so you can join us.

Hurricane Season is here, and according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) we should stock our homes with supplies that may be needed during an emergency period. At a minimum, these supplies should include:

  • Several clean containers for water, large enough for a 3-5 day supply of water (about five gallons for each person).
  • A 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food.
  • A first aid kit and manual.
  • A battery-powered radio, flashlights, and extra batteries.
  • Sleeping bags or extra blankets.
  • Water-purifying supplies, such as chlorine or iodine tablets or unscented, ordinary household chlorine bleach.
  • Prescription medicines and special medical needs.
  • Baby food and/or prepared formula, diapers, and other baby supplies.
  • Disposable cleaning cloths, such as "baby wipes" for the whole family to use in case bathing facilities are not available.
  • Personal hygiene supplies, such as soap, toothpaste, sanitary napkins, etc.
  • An emergency kit for your car with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, and a fire extinguisher.
For more information on emergency plans and supply kits, see

Working for You -- August 2012

Fire related27
Auto collisions57

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

August '12

The 33rd annual Pork BBQ, Brunswick Stew, and BBQ Cook-Off will be held at Station 1 just off Revere Rd. on October 12th-13th. If you're interested in competing, please sign up soon as we have a limited number of competitor spots available. All contestants will come together to compete in grand BBQ cook-off style, cooking the whole hog. All meat will be provided; all you have to do is cook! Samples will be judged prior to the start of the BBQ fundraiser. The prizes have been increased this year! The entry fee is $50 for each team, however, if you provide your own sponsor, we will waive the entry fee. (919) 361-0927

When to Call 911 and What to Say
Like every other fire and rescue squad, PVFD responds to 911 emergency calls. According to the website, an emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance. For example, a fire, a crime - especially if in progress, a car crash - especially if someone is injured, or a medical emergency, such as someone who is:

  • unconscious,
  • gasping for air or not breathing,
  • experiencing an allergic reaction,
  • having chest pain,
  • having uncontrollable bleeding,
  • or any other symptoms that require immediate medical attention.

If you're not sure whether the situation is a true emergency, call 911 and let them determine whether you need emergency help.

When you call, be prepared to answer questions, like the nature of the emergency, the location - the street address; the phone number you are calling from, details about the emergency, such as a physical description of a person who may have committed a crime, a description of any fire that may be burning, or a description of injuries or symptoms being experienced by a person having a medical emergency. Remember, these questions are important to get the right kind of help to you quickly. You may call from any phone, wired or wireless.

Follow instructions. Many 911 centers can tell you exactly what to do to help in an emergency until help arrives, such as providing step-by-step instructions to aid someone who is choking or needs first aid or CPR.

Finally, do not hang up until the call-taker instructs you to. If you dial 911 by mistake, or if a child in your home dials 911 when no emergency exists, do not hang upthat could make 911 officials think that an emergency exists, and possibly send responders to your location. Instead, simply explain to the call-taker what happened.

Working for You -- July 2012

Fire related53
Auto collisions54

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

July '12

With the extreme heat of late June, our firefighters and EMS personnel have had to take extra precautions. Here's what the Red Cross recommends:
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Eat small meals and eat more often. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the suns rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors, and use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles. Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Excessive heat and humidity is not just uncomfortable it can lead to a life-threatening situation. Know the signs for each of these conditions and what to do if they occur.
  • Heat Cramps
    - These are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen. They are caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early signthat the body is having trouble with the heat.
    Heat Exhaustion
    Heat exhaustion typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity.
    - Signs: Cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.
    - What to do:
    Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
    Heat Stroke
    Also known as sunstroke, this is a life-threatening condition inwhich a persons temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself.
    - Signs: hot, red skin that may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting; and high body temperature.
    - What to do:
    Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the persons body by giving care as you would for heat exhaustion. If needed, continue rapid cooling by applying ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and armpits.

    Working for You -- June 2012

    Fire related35
    Auto collisions53

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

June '12

Thanks to all who came out to the Spring Chicken BBQ. We had a good turnout and served over 1500 plates of slow-roasted chicken with sides ofpotato salad, cole slaw and rolls. Proceeds from the event go to the PVFD Membership fund, which is used to fund worthy causes such as a scholarship fund for children of former (deceased) members, donations to the NC Fallen Firefighter's Foundation; or miscellaneous items for the station. Decisions on expenditures are made by the membership as a whole. Any member can propose an expenditure at a quarterly membership meeting, and if approved by vote at the meeting, a final vote is sent out to the entire membership using a free on-line website.

Working for You -- May 2012

Fire related52
Auto collisions58

Safety Tip
Now is the time of year to enjoy water activities. Here are some interesting facts from the Center for Disease control:
  • Swimming is the fourth most popular recreational activity in the United States. Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of accidental injury deaths in children aged 1-14 and the 7th leading cause for all ages.
  • Sunburn is a risk factor for both basal cell carcinoma and melanoma (types of skin cancer).
  • Over 12 percent of pool inspections conducted in 2008 resulted in an immediate closure, pending the correction of violations. Because of its resistance to chlorine, Cryptosporidium (Crypto) has become the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks associated with swimming pools.
  • The U.S. Coast Guards 2006 statistics stated that approximately 87 percent of boaters who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
Please be safe.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

May '12

This month we honored Chief K. Bobseine, who started 20 years agoas the first female member of the department. She served under 3 chiefs, working her way up to Captain, Assistant Chief, EMS Chief, and finally, Division Chief. She once delivered a baby in the frontseat of a Lexus sedan. Throughout her distinguished career at Parkwood, she worked full-time as a Research Scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency. An articulate public speaker, she was active in Toastmasters and motivated and inspired many others. We wish her well in her retirement.

Spring BBQ
The Spring Chicken BBQ will be Saturday, June 2, noon-7PM. The dinner features slow-roasted chicken with sides of potato salad, coleslaw and rolls. Adult plates are $7 and child's plates are $4. The Auxiliary will have baked goods for sale. So come on out to Station 1 just off Revere Road on Seaton Rd., and bring your family and friends; or drive through and pickup your order to-go; either way you're in for a treat!

Safety Tip
With spring in the air, many homeowners are painting and cleaning gutters using extension ladders. This can be dangerous!
Consumer Reports recommends:
  • Setup straight ladders 75 degrees from theground (1 foot for every 4 feet high).
  • Always face the ladder when going up and down.
  • Don't climb beyond the highest steprecommended.
  • Dont reach more than 1 foot to the side.
  • Extend straight ladders 3 feet beyond the roofor work area.
  • Opt for a type 1A ladder to handle users ofdifferent weights.
Enjoy the pleasant spring weather!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

February '12

In late January PVFD welcomed 10 new volunteer EMTs and Firefighters to its ranks. After they complete a rookie training program, they will join about 130 other members who are ready to respond to any emergency. Our next orientation is in April. Contact us if you want to be part of our team!

In February the PVFD Auxiliary coordinated a service project to benefit the Genesis House in Durham. This facility serves families with children who are homeless. The program works with the families to help them become self sufficient while providing a safe and stable environment for the family to live. PVFD members contributed coloring books and crayons for a Valentine’s Day gift to the children at that home.

Working for You -- January 2012

Fire related27Patients transported to hospitals307
Auto collisions39Total Alarms491

Safety Tip
Spring storms are just around the corner. Prepare now in case of a damaging storm. Have a small “emergency kit” ready to go. The kit should have a flashlight with fresh batteries, ready to eat food, small first aid kit, personal hygiene items, and a battery-operated radio. If you have to evacuate, be sure to take your prescription medicine with you. During and after the storm, downed power lines remain hazardous. Do not approach them or travel under damaged poles. Do not drive through standing water. It only takes a few inches of water to float a car into possibly much deeper water. And lastly, if you have special medical needs to live, such as requiring a power-driven ventilator, contact the fire department in advance of anticipated damaging storms. We will help you plan for your care.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

January '12

Every American who suffers sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) should receive lifesaving, state-of-the-art care at the scene, en route and in the hospital. PVFD emergency responders continuously train to keep their skills proficient. But successful resuscitation depends on community response, too.

Do you know what to do if someone collapses from cardiac arrest? What you do can make the difference between life and death! On Saturday, February 11 celebrate Heart Month at the Duke Heart Center Save-A-Life event.

On this date Duke Heart Center will host a mass community CPR education event at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Cary 9am-3pm. This event will be free and open to the public. Save-A-Life will feature ongoing CPR instruction theaters, heart health risk factor education and screenings, cooking demonstrations, and a health fair for the entire family. Adult bystander CPR classes will be for general awareness but from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm, we will offer a HeartSaver AED class for anyone with limited or no medical training that need a course completion card in CPR and AED.

This is a family event. Don’t miss the chance to learn how to save a life!

Working for You -- January 2012

Fire related35Patients transported to hospitals299
Auto collisions43Total Alarms502

Safety Tip
Winter dangers include more than icy roads and walkways. Other dangers include antifreeze and carbon monoxide poisoning. Antifreeze is a poisonous liquid used in cars. It has a sweet taste that children and animals like. If even a little is swallowed, it can be harmful and can cause kidney damage and death. Keep antifreeze and all household chemicals in the containers they came in with a tight cap and keep away from children and pets. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas and has no color, odor, or taste. Sources of CO include gas appliances; kerosene space heaters, power generators, and car engines. Therefore, never burn charcoal inside a house or garage, use a gas oven for heating, use unvented fuel-burning devices indoors, or run a car in a closed garage. Signs of CO poisoning are similar to signs of the flu: Headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and confusion. If you suspect antifreeze or CO poisoning, call 911 immediately. Enjoy the winter safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.


December '11

The holidays gave us pause to honor our members for their dedication and service to the community. All the PVFD members have given countless hours to train, respond, and care for our community, regardless of the emergency.

While we believe each one is a hero, every year the members vote to provide special recognition to a few who have made an extra-special effort. This year PVFD honored those members at our annual Awards Dinner on December 10. In the presence of family and friends the following received the highest award from our department: Battalion Chief R. Villines, Firefighter of the Year; Paramedic/Firefighter D. Berndt, EMT of the Year; K. Colley, Auxiliary Member of the Year; and M. West, Cadet of the Year. Congratulations to all!

Working for You -- October 2011

Fire related30Patients transported to hospitals301
Auto collisions72Total Alarms516

Safety Tip
With the new year upon us, consider taking a few moments to clean out the old medications in your residence. It is easy to let out of date or unneeded drugs accumulate. These drugs are more than clutter. They can be dangerous (over the counter drugs, too!). Children and pets are especially vulnerable to poisoning from medication left in unlocked cabinets. Also, the potency of out of date drugs may be different from the original prescription. Don’t take a chance. Clean out what you don’t need and lock up what is left. Start the New Year safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

November '11

Thank you to everyone who supported our Fall BBQ Fundraiser. Several Pit Masters competed for the winning prize. For the second year First Place went to Phillip Latham, “Nutt N Butte Rubb N BBQ”. The second place winner was Sam Wells, “Goodman Experience BBQ” and third place went to Ron Sullivan, “StarBQ”. In addition, this year we held a BBQ Sauce competition. First place bragging rights go to Chief William Colley, Jr. and a close second goes to Steve Russell. A great effort by many people made this event a lot of fun. We look forward to seeing you next year!

October 4 PVFD Chief Holland and Chief Bobseine presented at the Emergency Medicine Today conference in Greensboro. Chief Holland's seminar, The Wildcard of EMS Morale: Playing Your Hand Wisely, described how EMS teams with high morale provide better patient care. He challenged leaders to encourage and reinforce team spirit. Chief Bobseine's talk, Volunteers - Virtual Reality or The Real Deal, identified challenges facing volunteer organizations and offered tips on recruiting, training, and retaining competent volunteers. Leaders should view recruits as customers and understand their motivations.

Working for You -- October 2011

Fire related46Patients transported to hospitals279
Auto collisions49Total Alarms483

Safety Tip
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), deep fryer fires cause an average of 5 deaths, 60 injuries, and more than $15 million in property damage each year. With the approaching holidays more people will be cooking turkeys in fryers. Injuries come from improper use of the propane burners and from hot grease burns. Use simple safety tips to prevent injuries. Place the fryer outside a safe distance from any combustible surface and never put on a wooden surface. Do not use inside garages. Carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas, can build up and cause death. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed or the excess water may cause oil to overflow and cause a fire. Keep a fire extinguisher available at all times and NEVER leave the fryer unattended. Remember the oil stays extremely hot for hours after cooking, so do not let children or pets near the cooker. Follow these simple tips and enjoy a safe, delicious holiday!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

July '11

July 4 was a hot day but lots of fun as PVFD crews provided fire prevention show and tell at the Parkwood Association July 4 Festival. Neighborhood friends came by to see the fire trucks and children were entertained by our water-squirting robotic dog, named Sparky.

August 2 PVFD will participate in National Night Out in the Audobon Park subdivision. National Night Out was launched in 1984 by law enforcement to promote safer neighborhoods. It has since grown to include many public safety organizations. Once again the PVFD fire dog, Sparky, will provide fire prevention training to the children and the firefighters will have fire trucks on display at this neighborhood event. We greatly appreciate these opportunities to come visit in the community and help promote fire safety.

Working for You -- June 2011

Fire related45Patients transported to hospitals286
Auto collisions54Total Alarms476

Safety Tip
New parents and others who care for babies and small children need to pay special attention to fire safety. Children under age 5 are twice as likely to die in a fire than are the rest of us. In fact, toddlers age 3 to 4 actually cause a large number of home fires by playing with lighters and matches. And when fire breaks out, babies and toddlers cant escape without your help. Help keep children in your care safe. Prepare make your home safer by storing matches, lighters, and other firestarters away from children; maintaining working smoke alarms; and developing a home fire escape plan. Practice fire safety especially your home fire escape plan! Prevent The Unthinkable. Have a safe summer. (US Fire Administration)

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

June '11

Thank you! PVFD greatly appreciates all the community support we received during our 43rd annual Chicken BBQ Fund Raiser in June. The funds raised will be used to purchase equipment for the fire stations and for college education funds for the children of our fallen firefighters.

This month the PVFD Special Operations is providing emergency medical support at the Orange County Motor Speedway. These events are great training opportunities for our medical teams in triage management as they handle a wide range of crowd emergencies. All staff for Special Ops are specially designated volunteers.

Working for You -- May 2011

Fire related37Patients transported to hospitals289
Auto collisions53Total Alarms493

Safety Tip
Sun burns are a common medical problem during the summer. Sunburns are rarely life-threatening, but some situations require medical attention. If the skin is merely reddened, no treatment is necessary. This is called a superficial burn. Apply a topical skin analgesia for comfort. If blisters develop, infection risk increases and you should contact a physician or urgent care facility. Do not break the blisters. If the burn area is small, first aid burn gels are effective at reducing pain and are available at your pharmacy. Cover the blisters with a dry, clean dressing. If the person has any trouble breathing, acts abnormally or loses consciousness, call 911 immediately. This person needs emergency care. You can prevent sunburns! Wear sunblock and enjoy the summer safely!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

May '11

The time has come! The famous PVFD Chicken BBQ will be Saturday, June 4, noon-7PM at the station at 1409 Seaton Rd. The dinner features our slow-roasted chicken with sides of potato salad, cole slaw and rolls. Adult plates are $7 and child’s plates are $4. Save room for dessert! The PVFD Auxiliary will have baked goods for sale, too! Bring your family and friends. Come see us!

Last month PVFD hosted the second of three new volunteer orientation programs for 2011. We inducted 11 new members who are now training to become firefighters and EMTs. PVFD depends on volunteers to supplement our response teams. We thank these individuals for donating their service to the community. Together our employees and volunteers are an incredible workforce and stand ready to assist you, regardless of your emergency needs.

Working for You -- April 2011

Fire related43Patients transported to hospitals298
Auto collisions50Total Alarms477

Safety Tip
Pesticides and fertilizers are commonly used by many households. These chemicals are also common poisons. Follow these simple safety precautions when using or storing garden and yard chemicals. Keep the original container, and only buy in small quantities. Try to buy just what will be needed for the summer. If you are currently storing any pesticides be certain they are in a safe, LOCKED area away from children and pets. Mix only what you are going to use and never use an empty food container for mixing. Do not store diluted chemicals. Mix the product properly and apply the correct amount as listed on the product label. Never remove the product label. It contains important instructions about how to deal with accidental exposures. Need to get rid of old chemicals? Contact Durham County Hazardous Waste Program at

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

April '11

Parkwood VFD is staffed by a combination of over 100 full-timeemployees, part-time employees, and volunteers. Not all Volunteer arefirefighters and EMTs. The PVFD Auxiliary is a support group of men andwomen who coordinate family events for our members, host team-buildingsocials for squads, and provide refreshments to firefighters in the eventof a long-lasting emergency, to name a few duties. Their efforts buildmorale, increase family support, and promote safety at major emergencies.If you would like to help the fire department, but dont want to be inoperations, consider donating time on the Auxiliary. To learn more, click here.

Circle the date! The famous PVFD Chicken BBQ will be Saturday, June 4 atthe station at 1409 Seaton Rd. The dinner features our slow-roastedchicken with sides of potato salad, cole slaw and rolls. Adult plateswill be $7 and childs plates are $4. Well be here to serve you fromnoon-7PM!

Working for You -- March 2011

Fire related34Patients transported to hospitals280
Auto collisions54Total Alarms489

Safety Tip
Wildfires occur just about anywhere, even in urban settings. Driedgrasses, brush, and woodlots are common sites for these fires. Wildfiresare particularly dangerous because they often start unnoticed and canincrease in size dramatically with high wind and low humidity. Take somesimple steps to reduce the risk to your home. Clear pine needles or otherwoody debris from rain gutters and off the roof. Clear all vegetation anddebris from under decks and touching the foundation. Keep vegetation nearthe house trimmed low, well-irrigated, and free of dead material.Remember that outdoor burning is not permitted within the city limits.County residents should contact the fire department for burning permits.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

March '11

March was a busy month at PVFD. Crews were busy checking fire hydrants and making sure they were painted for visibility. Have you noticed blue reflectors on the road surface in some areas? Those reflectors are located wherever there is a hydrant and make it easier to locate hydrants at night. In addition the crews were busy training. Practice is important in emergency services. Every emergency is unique and we prepare for every situation. This month firefighters trained on handling large hose lines and EMTs learned about managing trauma. It’s all part of staying ready for any emergency in our community!

Working for You -- February 2011

Fire related33Patients transported to hospitals285
Auto collisions38Total Alarms456

Safety Tip
March madness may be history, but danger from slick roads is not. Rain pooling on the roads can cause serious vehicle crashes. Actually as little as 1mm of water film can result in loss of control as tires lose contact with the road surface. That is called “hydroplaning”. There are several reasons a car hydroplanes: driving too fast, worn tires, improper tire inflation, turning the steering wheel too fast, or having improper tire on the vehicle. If you are driving on wet roads and find your car out of control, ease your foot off the accelerator. This will improve the tire traction. Avoid sudden turns or stops. Increase distance between vehicles to allow for smoother stops. Also, plan ahead. Check your tires for proper inflation. It may save you dollars at the fuel pump as well as save your life!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

February '11

This month PVFD honored Deputy County Manager, Carolyn Titus. Mrs. Titus is retiring from public service as of March 1. She has been a strong supporter of emergency services throughout her career. The importance of her efforts cannot be overstated. Thanks to her leadership Durham county fire departments have received the financial support needed to provide fire protection and EMS to the citizens. She promoted interagency cooperation among the departments and served as a liaison between the fire departments and county government. Parkwood VFD celebrated her years of service to our community with an awards dinner on February 15. President of the Board, James Barringer, presented Mrs. Titus with an honorary Chief's fire helmet. Thank you, Mrs. Titus, for all that you have done for PVFD and our community!

Working for You -- January 2011
Fire related 38 Patients transported to hospitals 284
Auto collisions 35 Total Alarms 485
Medical 412

Safety Tip
This month we raise awareness of heart disease. Heart attacks are one of the most common emergency medical situations. Do you know the warning signs? Chest pain, specifically, a crushing pain is often cited by patients. However, many heart attack victims do not experience chest pain. Difficulty breathing accompanied by profuse sweating; pain on the left chest, arm or jaw; chest discomfort that feels like squeezing or pressure; and, light-headedness are also warning signs of a heart attack. If you feel any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. Heart attacks can be treated and lives saved with prompt care.--

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

January '11

January continued with challenges of winter weather. Employees and volunteers committed extra hours to man the stations to ensure PVFD could meet any community emergency.

We were also proud to host another orientation program for new members. Ten volunteers and two cadets joined the department. The orientation program is the beginning of several months of required additional training. The group brings enthusiasm and a commitment to community safety.

PVFD is always looking for additional volunteers. We offer positions in Emergency Medical Services and Firefighting. For teenagers between 14-18 years of age and who are interested in firefighting, we sponsor a Junior Firefighter or Cadet program. Our Auxiliary plays an important role supporting our mission, planning family events, and hosting special events. If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering to be part of our team, go to for more information.

Working for You -- 2010

Fire related494Patients transported to hospitals3364
Auto crashes468Total Alarms5683

Safety Tip
Loose items are the most commonly overlooked safety hazards in your car. We routinely buckle up ourselves and fasten our children into safety seats. Yet, we carry laptops, purses, groceries, books, and even pets on the empty seats. In a crash these can become lethal weapons. The forces generated inside the car are enormous. For example, in a head-on crash at 35 miles per hour a one pound can of food travels forward until it strikes someone or something with 100 pounds of force. Take a few minutes to inventory the loose items in your car. Secure everything you can. Use cargo straps, tie-down anchors, and put as much as possible in your trunk. If you must carry unsecured cargo, stow them on the floor in the back. Avoid unnecessary injury or possible death. Travel safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.


December '10

Despite the snow on the ground, the Parkwood Association’s Christmas parade was a great success. The crowds were entertained by marching bands, floats, fire trucks, and Santa, himself. Each year we look forward to this community event and we thank all those who spend so much time and effort planning and coordinating the parade.

The other December event of note was our annual awards banquet on December 11. Throughout the year many members give so much to ensure we provide the highest emergency service. This is one time we can recognize those who made outstanding achievements to the department, its members, and to the community. Parkwood VFD’s highest recognition by vote of their peers goes to R. D’Ottavio (Cadet of the Year), R. Brothers (Auxiliary Member of the Year), K. Brothers (EMT of the Year), and C. Wheeler (Firefighter of the Year).

The coming year will bring challenges but with the dedication of our members and the support of their families PVFD will answer the call.

Working for You -- November 2010

Fire related31Patients transported to hospitals263
Auto crashes42Total Alarms440

Safety Tip
High blood pressure or hypertension is a major health problem in America. One in three adults has high blood pressure. It is also known as “the silent killer” because it often has no symptoms. Left untreated, however, hypertension can lead to heart failure, kidney failure, heart attack, or stroke. In addition it can cause retinal bleeding in the eye, leading to blindness. Stress, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and some drugs can raise blood pressure. Dietary changes that limit salt, medication, and exercise can reduce blood pressure. High blood pressure that does not respond to lifestyle changes can be treated and controlled medically. Check with your physician for guidance if you discover you have hypertension. Home units to monitor blood pressure are fairly inexpensive and are a simple way to track this important health risk.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

November '10

Answering emergency calls is our most important activity at Parkwood VFD, but this fall, additionally, we have responded with a medical unit to Special Events. PVFD operates an all- terrain Gator equipped with basic medical gear. The Gator is used for off-road access to patients, as well as for fast medical response at special events. Being small, the unit is able to maneuver among crowds more quickly than ambulances or crews on foot. The Gator is designed to provide first responder care and move patients to event field hospitals or waiting transport units.

This fall the PVFD Gator and volunteer crews were busy providing medical care at numerous Duke and NC Central Football Home Games. Our crews also supported the town of Chapel Hill during their Halloween celebration. These large-scale events provide our staff with invaluable experience in disaster medicine.

Save the date! Parkwood VFD is also preparing for Santa’s arrival on December 5. Following the Parkwood Christmas Parade at 2pm, Santa will greet children at our station at 1409 Seaton Rd. Music and snacks will be provided. Come help us celebrate the season!

Working for You -- October 2010

Fire related37Patients transported to hospitals282
Auto crashes52Total Alarms450

Safety Tip
Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol is an obvious safety risk. However, driving while “tired” can be just as dangerous. Every year tragic vehicle crashes occur when drivers fall asleep at the wheel. Monotony of long distance driving, intake of even moderate amounts of alcohol, eating large meals, and busy schedules increase the chances of “driving while tired”. Tiredness lengthens reaction time in an emergency and can impair judgment, increasing the chance of death or serious injury in the event of a crash. For example, tiredness may cause a driver to forget to fasten a seat belt or to securely buckle a child into a car seat. This holiday take driving seriously. Take breaks on long drives. Drive during the daylight hours, if possible. Don’t drink and drive and ALWAYS make sure everyone in the car is wearing a seat belt. Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

September '10

October 8-9th Parkwood VFD hosted the First Annual BBQ Cook-Off. The evening of October 8th, ten teams took the challenge in our Pork BBQ cook off. PVFD provided the meat and a designated spot to cook next to the station. Each team supplied their own cookers. The Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department would like to congratulate all participants and winners on a job well done!

Competition Winners:

1st Place ~ Smokey Dave's BBQ - Chief Cook Dave Burch
2nd Place ~ FatBack's BBQ - Chief Cook Corey Brinson
3rd Place ~ Nutt N Butt Rubb N - Chief Cook Barney Latham
Sauce Competition Winner: Keith Edmonds

By noon PVFD began its traditional sales of plates of pork, Brunswick stew, cole slaw and hush puppies. With excellent weather and record crowds, regrettably by 6:30pm we had sold over 1460 plates and were out of all food. Our apologies to those hungry folks we had to turn away! We thank everyone who came to support us!

Working for You -- August 2010

Fire related39Patients transported to hospitals281
Auto crashes33Total Alarms472

Safety Tip
Falls from ladders can cause serious, life-changing injuries. Cleaning leaves from gutters is a common autumn yard task, but take time to use your ladder correctly. Make sure the ladder feet are level and set on a solid, dry surface. Set your ladder at the correct angle. The first rung should be ¼ of the ladder’s length from the wall of your house. For example, if you have a 12 foot extension ladder, the base should be about 3 feet away from the vertical support. Do not climb higher than recommended by the ladder manufacturer and do not try to reach beyond your center of balance. Consider installing ladder stabilizers or tying off the top of your ladder to ensure it will not tip over with you. Get your yard chores done safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

August '10

Parkwood started August with a number of events. PVFD shared the evening with the Audubon Park Neighborhood Association for National Night Out on August 3. This annual event raises awareness of the role neighbors play in their own safety. Our firefighters and EMTs showed off some of our specialized equipment and Sparky, the fire dog robot, provided fire safety training for the children. It is a fun event and we appreciate being part of the activities.

PVFD also sponsored its last new member orientation for 2010. This class included a record 17 new volunteers. These individuals will be training hard over the next few weeks to achieve the skills they will need to remain members of the department. We thank all of them for selflessly donating their talents and dedication to community safety.

Coming October 8-9 PVFD will host a Pork BBQ cook-off. Pit masters from all over the area will compete for prizes by cooking pork shoulders using their own special spices and rubs. Grills will be fired up the evening of October 8 in the field near the fire station. On Oct. 9 we will sell the BBQ from noon-7pm with the traditional sides of Brunswick stew, coleslaw, hushpuppies, and sweet iced tea. Adult plates are $7 and child plates are $4. Dont miss this special event!

Working for You -- July 2010

Fire related61Patients transported to hospitals292
Auto crashes28Total Alarms505

Safety Tip
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the overall leading cause of death in the US. In SCA the heart abruptly ceases to function. It is an "electrical problem" resulting in the loss of functional heart rhythm so that blood is not pumped to the body. SCA is NOT a heart attack - a condition technically known as a myocardial infarction. A heart attack is a "plumbing problem" in which a blockage in a blood vessel interrupts the flow of blood to the heart causing damage to the heart muscle. SCA may, however, occur in association with a heart attack. Without emergency help, SCA leads to death within minutes. Many of these deaths can be prevented if the victim receives prompt help if someone trained in CPR provides care until medical responders take over. You can make the difference! Learn CPR! An online Family and Friends CPR Anytimecourse is available through the American Heart Association at Also, classroom instruction is available through the American Red Cross. Call 919-419-1849 ext. 328 for more information.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

July '10

High temperatures in June were not the only records being broken. PVFD responded to a record number of emergency calls last month, 543! To meet the increasing demand we have placed in service an additional paramedic ambulance that operates during the day, 4 days a week. A recent change in how emergency units are dispatched throughout the county contributed to the increase in calls. All county ambulances are outfitted with GPS transmitters so 911 dispatchers can tell which unit is closest to an emergency call. That occasionally results in our units being dispatched to calls that are outside our normal response district. All these changes are an effort to make response to your emergency as fast and efficient as possible.

Working for You -- June 2010

Fire related52Patients transported to hospitals289
Auto crashes42Total Alarms543

Safety Tip
Many common household products are hazardous if used or stored improperly. Some examples are automotive fluids, laundry products, household cleaners, lawn products, barbeque products, and home maintenance products. These products can injure or cause death if ingested. Some are a fire hazard. Reduce the danger. Buy the smallest quantity to do the job. Store any unused product in the original container with a complete label. Be familiar with label warnings. Also, store unused product in a secure place, away from pets and children. Flammable products such as gasoline, propane, and solvents should be stored away from the house and away from flames or ignition sources. Follow these few tips and keep your family safer this summer!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

June '10

Despite the heat in June, our community once again turned out to support our BBQ fundraiser. The event was a great success thanks to all those who came to eat with us. All profits will be donated to the college funds for the families of two members who died last year, Firefighter Louis Adams and Chief Andy Barringer. Thank you for helping us to achieve our goal!

This month we also started a series of classes on rescue operation. PVFD provides heavy rescue services to the community, in addition to Fire Protection and Emergency Medical Services. Heavy rescue tools are most frequently used in vehicle extrications, but may also be required for structure collapse and machinery entanglement. This program emphasizes classroom training and practical drills. It will certify our new firefighters in rescue techniques and specialized tool operation, as well as provide opportunities for the experienced firefighters to practice their skills.

Working for You -- May 2010

Fire related44Patients transported to hospitals258
Auto crashes38Total Alarms455

Safety Tip
Fourth of July and celebrations go hand in hand. Fireworks are often part of those celebrations. For your safety North Carolina law allows only the sale of fireworks to consumers of non-rocket and non-explosive varieties such as sparklers, glow worms, and noisemakers. If you plan to use fireworks of any kind, follow a few safety tips. Never let children light or hold fireworks. Children are 2.5 times more likely to be injured than adults. Never relight fireworks which did not work. Keep all fireworks outside and away from dry mulch or vegetation. Independence Day has the highest incidence of fire of any day of the year and over half of those fires are fireworks-related. Enjoy the summer fun and celebrate the holiday safely!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

May '10

In May PVFD completed renovations at our Station 2 and returned to full operations at that station. The changes improve the living conditions of the crews, providing showers and a full kitchen.

We are continuing the upgrade process, however. We are making preparations to replace our aging rescue vehicle. This truck is the cornerstone of our heavy rescue operations. It provides hydraulic cutting/spreading tools, pneumatic lifts, high intensity scene lighting, and supplies for multiple casualty incidents. We will replace the 1990 Emergency One truck with a 2006 EVI. We hope to have the new truck in service by late summer.

Saturday June 5 PVFD’s hosts our annual Chicken BBQ from 12noon-7pm. Adult plates (slow-grilled ½ chicken with slaw, potato salad, rolls and sweet tea) are only $7. A smaller portion child’s plate is available for $4. The PVFD Auxiliary will sponsor a Bake Sale at the same time. All proceeds will be donated to the scholarship funds set up for Chief Andy Barringer’s son and Louis Adams’ grandchild. Both men were career PVFD firefighters who died last year.

Working for You -- April 2010

Fire related45Patients transported to hospitals249
Auto crashes38Total Alarms440
Safety Tip
According to the National Fire Protection Association, grill fires cause an average of 8000 fires a year nationally with $80 million in property damage and 10 deaths. One-half of those grill fires were started with flammable or combustible gas or liquid. Some simple precautions can prevent your home from becoming a fire statistic. Use propane or charcoal grills only outside. Position the grill well away from the side of the house and deck rails and away from overhanging eaves. Make sure the fittings for your gas grill are tight and not damaged. For charcoal grills, use only a small amount of lighter fluid to start the fire. NEVER use gasoline, which is likely to cause an explosive blast. Enjoy summer cooking safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

April '10

April renovations are in full swing at our Station 2 on Farrington Rd. This station was originally built to house only trucks, not people. As communities developed in southwest Durham County, PVFD recognized the need to staff the station for faster response. This spring we have expanded the facility to improve the living quarters for crews that work there around the clock. Changes include the addition of a full kitchen, showers, and remodeled sleeping quarters. Construction should be complete by June.

Training is essential to our mission. This month firefighters from PVFD and neighboring fire departments burned an abandoned house at the request of the owner. Practicing firefighting techniques in real houses offers many advantages. Real scenarios allow us to practice search and rescue techniques, ventilation strategies, as well as basic firefighting and command operations. Checkout our website at to see photos from previous “live burns”.

Save the date! PVFD’s annual Chicken BBQ is coming Saturday, June 5 12noon-7pm. Slow grilled ½ chicken basted in our secret sauce accompanied by slaw, potato salad, rolls and sweet tea will be served for $7. A smaller portion child’s plate is available for $4. The PVFD Auxiliary will sponsor a Bake Sale at the same time. Come see us!

Working for You -- March 2010

Fire related41Patients transported to hospitals283
Auto crashes37Total Alarms470
Safety Tip
Bee, fire ant, and other insect stings are common summer injuries. How can you know if a sting is just annoying or if it will result in an allergic reaction? For non-allergic reactions stings usually produce temporary sharp pain, itching, local swelling and redness. Allergic reactions start within a few minutes and include difficulty breathing, itching with red blotches over all the body, dizziness, and more generalized swelling. The swelling can progress to block the airway and the person may lose consciousness. In any case remove the stinger by scraping the sting site with a credit card or other dull edge. Do not pull it with tweezers. Non-allergic reactions can be treated with over-the-counter remedies, such as topical Benadryl. The more serious allergic reactions require immediate, advanced emergency treatment. Home remedies will not stop a severe allergy. Call 911.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

March '10

In March PVFD expanded its EMS operations to serve you better. We now operate another paramedic ambulance on weekdays during peak hours of call volume. Every year the number of EMS calls has increased, especially during weekdays. The increasing numbers of medical facilities and senior residential facilities in our service area are one reason for our increased call numbers. Last year our data showed that during weekdays there was a greater chance that we would have to respond to multiple emergencies at the same time, especially from our main Parkwood Station. That meant the "next closest unit" would have to respond, sometimes from other agencies if all PVFD ambulances were already on calls.

Now this added ambulance will mean the paramedic care can be provided faster and will reduce the strain on other county agencies which "back-up" PVFD when all our units are in use. Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department strives to be a good steward of the country tax funding we receive. We believe the increase cost to PVFD to purchase and operate this unit is a wise investment in community safety. We hope you agree.

Working for You -- February 2010

Fire related33Patients transported to hospitals253
Auto crashes44Total Alarms434
Safety Tip
The warmer weather of spring means many of us will be using lawnmowers, string trimmers, and other yard maintenance equipment. Following a few safety tips will reduce the chance of injury. All this equipment comes with safety features that will stop its operation automatically if the operator loses control of it. Do not disable or override those features for any reason. Operators should use eye protection whenever the equipment is engaged. Also since the equipment may explosively throw debris in unintended directions, idle the motor if people or pets are in the vicinity. If the equipment is electrically powered, use caution with the power cord. Plug it into a ground-fault protected electrical outlet only and use a cord rated for outdoor use. If the equipment is gasoline powered, wait until the engine is cool before refueling. Spring is a great time to clean up the yard. Do it safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

February '10

PVFD welcomed a dozen new members to our department in late January. Among them were three youths between the ages of 14-17 years old. These young people enrolled in the Explorer Post operated at PVFD for youths who are interested in possible careers in fire fighting or EMS. The Post meets twice a month and those members, called "Cadets", train under the supervision of dedicated Explorer facilitators. Cadets must maintain good grades in school and have the permission of parents and school principal. If your child is interested in joining the PVFD and getting an inside look at careers in emergency services, call our station at 361-0927 and ask for a recruiter to contact you. You may also find information on our website at

On March 1 last year PVFD lost our Asst. Chief, Andy Barringer, to a sudden cardiac arrest. This year we honor his service to the community, by hosting a golf tournament at Hillandale Golf Course on March 13. Next to the fire service, Chief Barringer's passion was golfing. All proceeds will go to a college scholarship for his teen-age son. If you would like to participate in the event, play on a team, or contribute to the scholarship fund, please contact Chief Colley at 919.971.2141.

Working for You -- January 2010

Fire related45Patients transported to hospitals277
Auto crashes32Total Alarms478

Safety Tip
Older Americans are at higher risk of death from fire than any age group because of physical disability, medical issues, or single life-style. Fire prevention and planning are key to reducing risk of death and injury. In the event of fire every second counts, so take a few minutes now to prepare a plan. Even a small fire will quickly fill a house with deadly thick, black smoke. What can you do? Make sure routes of egress are free of furniture or items that could block exit. If you use a walker, make sure it will go through the door or down the hallway. Most importantly, install a functioning smoke detector on every level of your home and test it every month. If you need assistance in obtaining a smoke detector or need help checking your detector, please contact our fire department at 361-0927. Your safety is important to us!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

January '10

During the recent cold weather and storm warnings PVFD staff stayed busy making sure our equipment was ready for whatever the weather brought our way. We inspected drop-down tire chains on the ambulances for proper functioning, started chain saws to ensure they would be ready to cut fallen trees, and placed extra staff on duty at our stations. We hope the storms don't create emergencies in our service community, but if they do, we are ready.

This year PVFD brings state of the art cardiac monitoring to you. We recently outfitted our ambulances with the newest model of Physio Control LP15 monitor/defibrillators. This equipment allows our medics to detect dangerous carbon monoxide in the blood, analyzes carbon dioxide in the lungs, provides continuous blood pressure and cardiac monitoring, and creates a digital record that can be incorporated into the electronic patient record. This is just one more example of PVFD's commitment to bring you the highest standard of emergency care.

Working for You -- 2009

Fire related358Patients transported to hospitals3177
Auto crashes470Total Alarms5367
Safety Tip
The new year is a good time to check medicines in your medicine cabinet. Are all medicines within the expiration date? Do you still take all those bottles of prescription medicine? If any medicines can be disposed of, now is the time to do it. Old medicines, both over the counter and prescription drugs degrade over time. The side effects of some will become stronger or the positive impact will become less effective. Do not "save" prescription drugs that were meant for one person to give to another person. Only a physician should prescribe drugs. Also, be sure to store all drugs in a place that children cannot access. Many adult medications are dangerous to children. Use and store medicine safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.


December '09

Parkwood VFD celebrated the family and our community in December. On December 6 children of PVFD members gathered with their parents at the station to make ornaments to decorate our Christmas tree. The PVFD Auxiliary provided supplies and lunch. As a result the tree was ready the next day when Santa stopped by to join the Parkwood Christmas Parade and visit with the community children. The Parkwood Association provided refreshments and PVFD provided the Open House. Our thanks to all who participated!

On the following weekend our members gathered with their loved ones at the Radisson Governors Inn as we celebrated the special moments and special people of 2009. Chief Andy Barringer, Firefigher/EMT Louis Adams, and EMT Jonel Hoogterp, who all died over the last 12 months, were remembered for their important contributions to our department and for the work they did to promote community safety. At this dinner, we also honored a special person who was voted the Best of the Best by PVFD members. This year, employees and volunteers together voted Will Fletcher both Firefighter of the Year and also EMT of the Year. Will demonstrates unsurpassed commitment for serving the community, passion for supporting the PVFD team, and dedication for continuous improvement. Join us in saluting this outstanding individual!

Working for You -- November 2009

Fire related23Patients transported to hospitals236
Auto crashes69Total Alarms451
Safety Tip
Electrical sources are a common cause of residential fires. Most electrical fires result from problems with faulty electrical outlets and old wiring. Problems with extension/appliance cords and plugs also cause many home electrical fires. To help prevent an electrical fire in your home, routinely check electrical appliances and wiring. Replace all worn, old, or damaged cords immediately. Do not run cords under rugs or across high traffic areas where cords can be damaged. Warning signs of electrical dangers include re-occurring blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers, discolored or warm wall outlets or sparking wall outlets, or a burning smell coming from an appliance. Flickering lights can also indicate faulty wiring. If you suspect an electrical problem, unplug the device or do not use that socket until an electrician can correct the problem. If you smell smoke or see sparks, call 911 and evacuate your home. Start the new year safely!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

October '09

Parkwood VFD would like to thank all those who supported our annual Pork BBQ fund raiser. The event was an outstanding success as indicated by the fact we sold out of the ever popular Brunswick Stew by late afternoon. The money raised during the BBQ is used by firefighters to help burn victims, purchase equipment for use at the fire station, or other charitable causes. For all those who inquired about our famous slow grilled Chicken BBQ, it will return this spring!

The fall BBQ is always scheduled to commemorate the last weekend of National Fire Prevention Week. This week is very special to PVFD staff who make it their mission to bring fire prevention training to the preschools and elementary schools in our district. Each year we teach almost 3000 children how to be fire smart. Sparky, the robotic fire dog riding in his fire engine, is a big hit with the children and helps made the safety message fun and memorable. If your child's school would like us to bring the training to them just call our station at 919.361.0927 and ask for a fire prevention class. There is no cost.

PVFD is also pleased that in October Chaplain Mark Holland was invited to present a session titled Running on Empty? Refueling the EMS Professionals Self-care Tank at the NC Emergency Medicine Today Conference in Greensboro. Based on his research of the physical and emotional impact of responding to emergencies, Dr. Holland provided indicators of stress and self-care practices to help deal with those impacts.

Working for You -- September 2009

Fire related30Patients transported to hospitals279
Auto crashes45Total Alarms449
Safety Tip
With the arrival of cooler temperatures a few reminders about using alternative heat sources are in order. If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, have you had your chimney cleaned and inspected this year? Soot build-up can ignite within the chimney and cause a fire. Also, cracks can form between the bricks or metal pipes can separate allowing dangerous fumes and sparks to leak into attic spaces. If you use kerosene heaters, be sure to refill them ONLY with kerosene. Never use gasoline! It will ignite into a fireball! And with all heating devices (and candles) be sure that other combustibles, like papers and drapes, are far away. Stay warm and stay safe.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

September '09

This month Parkwood VFD salutes the PVFD Honor Guard. The Honor Guard won first place in a precision competition at the South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo in Raleigh. Two of our veteran firefighters, Ashley Boyer and Stephen Russell, were instrumental in bringing home the trophy.

In August PVFD also celebrated our families, who give so much time and support to our members. Each year Family Day is a special event for us. This is a time we acknowledge how much their support means and thank them for their sacrifices. Almost 60 parents and children enjoyed an afternoon at the Parkwood Community Pool followed by a cookout at the fire station.

We also sponsored an Orientation Program this month to familiarize new members to our department. Three times a year we accept applicants for membership and provide them with an introduction into our rookie program. For the next 3-6 months they continue their training until they can knowledgeably and safely execute their duties as emergency responders.

Save the date! Saturday, October 10 from noon-7PM PVFD will host its annual Pork BBQ dinner. Treat yourself and the family to a plate of slow-cooked pork BBQ, Brunswick Stew, cole slaw, and hushpuppies. It’s worth the wait!

Working for You -- August 2009

Fire related40Patients transported to hospitals300
Auto crashes40Total Alarms503
Safety Tip
Clothes dryers are an almost essential appliance in many homes. Yet each year over 15,000 house fires are due to these devices. Seventy percent of dryer fires are caused by failure to clean the dryer vents. While much of the lint is trapped by the dryer’s filter, lint also is carried through the venting system, together with moist air. The accumulation of lint, both in the dryer and in the dryer vent, reduces the airflow and creates a highly flammable fuel source. Also, flexible, plastic vent hose can sag and kink, causing airflow obstruction and lint accumulation. Overheating results, followed by ignition of the lint and the hose! Take a few minutes to inspect your dryer. Clean the filters and vents. Consider replacing plastic vent hose with smooth, metal vents. Fire safety is up to you!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

August '09

Once again our Department is saddened by the death of a member. On July 25 Jonel Hoogterp, an EMT, was fatally injured when a car drove into a gathering of family members at an annual reunion. Jonel served as a volunteer for over two years and was excited recently to have passed a NC EMT exam that would allow her to provide advanced life support skills to her patients. We share a profound sense of loss with her family and friends. PVFD Chaplain Mark Holland and the PVFD Honor Guard traveled to Michigan to participate in her funeral. A memorial service to honor her life and contributions was held locally August 13 at Berea Church on Fayetteville Rd.

On August 10 the Durham County Commissioners presented a resolution to Amanda Barringer, wife of the late Asst. Chief "Andy" Barringer, who died in March. Chief Barringer had served with Parkwood VFD for over 25 years at the time of his death. The resolution was in honor of his long community service and many life achievements.

August 20 PVFD participated in a ceremony to honor fallen firefighters in Raleigh at the South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo. The service of PVFD Chief Barringer and Firefighter Louis Adams (deceased Dec. 2008) was commemorated at this ceremony.

Working for You -- July 2009

Fire related30Patients transported to hospitals282
Auto crashes30Total Alarms450
Safety Tip
In late August summer vacation ends and school is back in session. With that are the many school busses traveling on our roads, often at the same time as commuters going to or coming from work. Remember that state law requires vehicles to stop when a school bus is stopped with its red lights flashing. Don't try to pass a bus that is "nearly stopped", because children may run across the road unexpectedly. Also, use caution when the sun is at a blinding angle and you are following behind a school bus. The bus may stop when you don't expect it, raising the risk of a rear-end collision. So on school days, give yourself extra time, extra patience, and extra distance to keep you and the children safe.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

July '09

Last month Parkwood VFD began an important change in reorganization of its officer corps. Officers were chosen in a rigorous process before a panel of Fire Chiefs from Durham, Morrisville, Chapel Hill, and Louisiana. The change was made to ensure that with continued increase in emergency call volume, our responders and the community would have the most skilled leadership available.

On June 29 eleven officers were sworn to duty in a ceremony and reception at Berea Baptist Church. Chief Dan Jones (Chapel Hill FD) gave the keynote address, 7 Acts of Courage for Leaders and Managers. He challenged the officers to have the courage to dream, to see reality, to confront, to be confronted, to learn and grow, to be vulnerable, and to make decisions quickly and act on them. Amanda Barringer, wife of the late Chief Andy Barringer, read the Charge to the Officersand James Barringer, President of the Board and father of Chief Barringer, administered the Oath of Office.

PVFD now has two Division Chiefs, Kathy Bobseine for EMS and Dr. Rev. Mark Holland for Chaplaincy Support Services, who will answer directly to Chief Colley, Jr. Three Battalion Chiefs, Randal Lowans, David Andrews, and Reginald Villines will command daily operations and report to the Chief, as well. Each Battalion Chief will be supported by 2 Captains, who will manage operations at a specific fire station. Captains are G. Randy Chappell, Pamela Schuster, Steve Bullock, Dennis English, George Goblet, and Rob Kaufman.

The officers are supported by almost 100 staff including volunteers, full time and part time employees who work as one team to answer our communitys call for help, every day, every time!

Working for You -- June 2009

Fire related37Patients transported to hospitals264
Auto crashes43Total Alarms451
Safety Tip
Hopefully you will never need to know what to do after a fire in your house, but some preplanning in advance can help ease the pain of recovery. A house fire can be physically and mentally devastating for the family. After a residential fire is extinguished, the fire department will help secure the home if it is necessary. We will also contact the local Red Cross to assist you in finding an immediate place to stay and to provide some basic amenities, like clothing. Determining what property was lost or damaged is, probably, the most time consuming and overwhelming task. Consider doing an inventory of your homes contents with a digital camera and storing the memory card in a bank safety deposit box or at a family members home. Similarly, many insurance companies provide inventory documents you can complete and then store away from your home. An inventory takes a few hours to do, but could save you days of work if disaster strikes. For more information about what to do after a fire, go to

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

June '09

This year Parkwood VFD members voted to donate the profits from the annual Chicken BBQ to scholarship funds for the grandson of PVFD Firefighter Louis Adams and son of PVFD Assistant Chief Andy Barringer. Both of these outstanding men died recently. We are pleased to announce that there was an outpouring of community support for our efforts. We not only sold out of BBQ, we raised over $4000 for these children.

May and June have been memorable for PVFD. During this time a leadership vision, first promoted by Chief Barringer, was initiated. Over the course of the last few weeks senior staff applied for new officer positions and then participated in a rigorous selection process. Officers of several local and out of state Fire Departments were invited to form an expert selection panel that convened over 2 long days. As a result we are pleased to finalize Parkwood VFD's new officer core. June 29 we will host an Officer Induction Ceremony. We will announce those officers and bring you details of the ceremony next month.

Working for You -- May 2009

Fire related27Patients transported to hospitals276
Auto crashes31Total Alarms449

Safety Tip
Thunderstorms are a part of summer. Did you know that flash floods cause more deaths from thunderstorms than lightning? Even in this area, hard rain can cause normally small streams to overflow and create dangerous currents and deep water. If you encounter water flowing across a road while driving, STOP. Do not drive through flooded areas, even if it looks shallow enough to cross. Water only a foot deep can move a vehicle. Also, the road or bridge under a flooded area may be damaged or non-existent. Be especially cautious at night, when it is harder to recognize dangers. Children face special dangers, when they play around water-swollen ditches, streams, or storm drains. Keep your family safe by taking flood warnings seriously. Enjoy a safe, fun summer.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

May '09

Parkwood VFD would like to thank everyone who supported us during our Chicken BBQ last month. This annual fundraiser was a great success and had special meaning for all PVFD members. Recently, two of our full time employees, Louis Adams and Chief Andy Barringer, died of cardiac arrest. In support of their families the members voted to donate all BBQ profits to the college funds established for the Louis' grandson and Andy's son.

In May we added 10 new volunteer firefighters and EMTs. For the next 3-6 months they will train to learn the basics of being emergency responders at PVFD. We congratulate them for making the commitment to community safety and welcome them to PVFD.

Working for You -- April 2009
Fire related29Patients transported to hospitals251
Auto crashes39Total Alarms446

Safety Tip
PVFD has made a large commitment to providing the highest level of cardiac care. The first step, however, begins with you! The first step is recognizing the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and making the call to 911. A heart attack often feels like 'bad indigestion" accompanied by cold sweats. The classic signs/symptoms include that "elephant sitting on my chest", respiratory difficulty, and fainting. Chest pain may not be present. If you or someone you know experiences these, call 911 immediately. Our medical staff is equipped with cardiac monitors and drugs that can reduce the damage to heart tissue. In addition, we participate in a fast track program with Duke Hospital and UNC Hospital to ensure that you receive the fastest hospital treatment, as well.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

April '09

Parkwood VFD is already making preparations for our annual Chicken BBQ coming Saturday May 30. The chickens will begin a slow roast in the early hours of the morning, carefully basted in our decades-old BBQ sauce. The dinner includes ½ a chicken, homemade coleslaw, potato salad, rolls, and sweet iced tea. In addition the Parkwood Auxiliary is hosting a bake sale where you are sure to find just the right treat.

We serve noon til 7PM, drive thru or eat in. Adult dinners are $7, child plates are $4. Come join us. Bring a friend. It's a Parkwood tradition!

Working for You -- March 2009
Fire related__Patients transported to hospitals231
Auto crashes24Total Alarms390

Safety Tip
The summer heat isn't far away. Early season heat waves are most dangerous because our bodies have not adapted to the heat. The most important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. Plain water is better for hydrating than sports drinks or alcohol. If you take medications or have medical problems, talk to you pharmacist or physician about special precautions you should take. If you or someone you are with experience severe respiratory distress, faint, or feel hot but are not sweating, call 911, as these are all signs of a serious heat injury.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

March '09

This month Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department grieves the death of another member. On March 1 Asst. Chief James A. Barringer (Andy), age 46, died while skiing with his son in West Virginia. He experienced a cardiac arrest event as the result of a heart attack.

Chief Barringer started service as a volunteer rookie firefighter and EMT in 1980 at the age of 18. After progressing to Captain as a volunteer, he transitioned to a full-time employee 1988 and in 1997 became full-time Captain.

In 2000 he was promoted to Asst. Chief in charge of Fire Operations and Personnel. When he joined the department, the department answered fewer than 300 calls a year in a mainly quiet residential community. It now responds to nearly 5000 calls each year in a district that includes high technology businesses, a major shopping mall, and high-density residential areas.

Chief Barringer played a key role in ensuring the department developed the skills and training to meet the new and ever-changing challenges of emergency response. We are grateful for his leadership and his dedication to Parkwood Fire Department and to the community he served.

Chief Barringer also served as the President of the Durham County Fire Chief's Association.

He is survived by his wife, Amanda and son, Colton; father and mother, Jim and Peggy Barringer; brother, George T. Barringer. PVFD would also like to thank the many agencies who supported us so our members could participate in the funeral. We especially thank Durham County Fire Marshall, Jeff Batten; Bahama VFD, Chief Len Needham; Durham County EMS Director, Mike Smith, and the host of agencies who staffed our stations and answered emergency calls for us during this very difficult period. Special thanks go to Bahama VFD, Bethesda Fire Company, Lebanon VFD, Redwood VFD, Person County EMS, and the Durham City Fire Department. his wife, Amanda and son, Colton; father and mother, Jim and Peggy Barringer; brother, George T. Barringer.

PVFD would also like to thank the many agencies who supported us so our members could participate in the funeral. We especially thank Durham County Fire Marshall, Jeff Batten; Bahama VFD, Chief Len Needham; Durham County EMS Director, Mike Smith, and the host of agencies who staffed our stations and answered emergency calls for us during this very difficult period. Special thanks go to Bahama VFD, Bethesda Fire Company, Lebanon VFD, Redwood VFD, Person County EMS, and the Durham City Fire Department.

February '09

During February PVFD finished preparations on an ambulance that had been remounted by Excellance, Inc. in Alabama. Remounting involves removing the patient compartment from the old ambulance and placing it on a new truck chassis. Remounting an ambulance is less costly than buying a new one, yet provides all the mechanical reliability of a new vehicle. Remounting, rather than buying a new truck, is one way we have will reduce operating expenses, yet improve our response to medical emergencies.

Training continues to be an important component of our work day. Firefighter safety was this month's emphasis. Crews practiced techniques to rescue fellow firefighters in case they get into trouble in a structure fire. At every structure fire a crew is assigned as a Rapid Intervention Team. That crew is responsible for rescuing any firefighter who cannot evacuate the structure. These techniques are rarely needed, but essential to protect the lives of firefighters.

Working for You -- January 2009
Fire related24Patients transported to hospitals274
Auto crashes38Total Alarms455

Safety Tip
Spring is a good time to clean out outdoor storage areas. Check pesticide and lawn chemical containers. Any leaking containers, containers with no labels, or just old containers should be taken to the Durham household hazardous waste facility for disposal. Call (919) 560-4186 for times or directions. Make sure all chemicals, including fertilizers, are stored in a locked area so children and pets cannot gain access accidentally. When using lawn and garden chemicals, wear gloves and take care not to inhale any airborne powder. If your skin or your clothes do become contaminated, brush off the powder and flush thoroughly with water. Check the container label for additional safety information. Call 911 if you are unsure of the health risks and save the labeled container for emergency workers to see. Enjoy spring safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

January '09

January brought renewal to our department, as it did for many families. A memorial fund was established for A. Louis Adams, our firefighter-EMT who died in December. The fund will be used to renovate a conference room at our station. The room will be named in his honor.

We celebrate, as well, two individuals who represent the best of our department. Last month PVFD members voted Reginald Villines, Firefighter of the Year, and Dawn White, EMT of the Year. Mr. Villines is a full time employee who, in addition to firefighting duties, also is an EMT, a Rescue Technician, a NC Child Car Seat Technician, and mentor to younger members. Ms. White is a part time employee who excels as a Paramedic, firefighter, and EMS instructor. This is the third year in a row that Ms. White has received this award. These awards are the highest recognition from our department.

This month we, also, brought 5 new volunteer members on board. The two-day orientation is just the beginning of several months of training that all new members must complete. The training is necessary to make sure members have the knowledge to be safe in what they do and to be competent in the emergency service they provide. That is our commitment to you.

Working for You -- 2008
Fire related394Patients transported to hospitals2904
Auto crashes515Total Alarms5366

Safety Tip
Medical care "upon demand", that is, without an appointment, is available from several sources, so deciding which source to use is not easy. "Retail Clinics" commonly are found in drug stores. They are usually staffed by a nurse practitioner. Use them for receiving vaccinations and care for minimal illnesses, such as flu, pink eye, or sore throat. "Urgent Care" facilities are usually staffed by physicians and offer some lab testing. These facilities can provide more intensive care for such problems as sprains, burns, cuts, asthma, and infections. Urgent care physicians cannot provide definitive care for chest pain, severe respiratory difficulty, major injuries or illnesses. For these situations, call 911 for ambulance transport to a hospital emergency room.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.


December '08

In this season of hope and renewal PVFD mourns the death of one of our own, Albert Louis Adams, III. Known to us as "Louis", he suffered a heart attack and subsequent cardiac arrest on Monday December 8 while exercising near his home. Although resuscitated and transported to Duke Medical Center, our friend and co-worker died December 15.

Louis joined PVFD in 2001 as a Firefighter/EMT. His career in Emergency Services began much earlier, however. In 1999 he graduated from Greensboro Technical Community College with an Applied Science degree in Fire Protection Technology. He continued his education with business courses at Elon College, Paramedic classes at Alamance Community College, and a long list of fire classes at various colleges.

He began work in the fire service at Elon College Fire Department and retired with 27 years service. He volunteered with Gibsonville Fire Department and worked part time for Elon College Security for 10 years, in addition to his full time employment at PVFD. He taught fire classes at both Piedmont Community College and Alamance Community College.

Louis dedicated his life to the fire service. He became certified by North Carolina as a Fire Drive/Operator, Aerial Driver/Operator, Firefighter Level II, Emergency Vehicle Driver, Hazardous Materials I, and Fire Service Instructor Level II with specialty in Live Structure Burns and Arson Investigation for First Responders among many other credentials.

But beyond the certifications and passion for community service, Louis brought a gentle sense of humor and sincere regard for his crew members at the fire station. He was a mentor, a friend, and a comrade.

He is survived by his father and mother, Al and Nancy Adams of Greensboro; two daughters, Torrey Adams and Haley Adams; and a grandson, Oscar Adams.

With great sadness we give a final salute to Albert Louis Adams, III (1962-2008).

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

November '08

This month Parkwood VFD celebrated our 40th anniversary of providing emergency services. In 1968, a small group of residents; Richard C. Beach, Leroy A. Castle, Donald A. Davis, Ronald J. Frey, Edward C. Grace, Frank Grice, James L. Pollard, John H. Rudisell III, Rev. Floyd Sides, under the leadership of Thomas M. Davis and Albert Morganelli, banded together and organized the Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department.

Starting only with ideas at a kitchen table, they found funding, built a station, bought a pumper and began a tradition of protecting the community. When a call was dispatched, a siren would sound and wives operated a phone tree, notifying the members of the location of the call. The first year of operation the department answered about 50 calls.

Tragically, the need to provide emergency medical service was made clear in 1969 when a firefighter's son was run over by a truck. The members got their basic life support certification within the next year.

Parkwood VFD now staffs three stations 24 hours a day, every day, with a fleet of fire engines, rescue trucks, ladder trucks, and ambulances. We have over 100 members with a wide variety of cross training. Our emergency medical service provides paramedic level transport. In 2007 we answered over 4500 calls.

Parkwood VFD is proud of its history of community service and is ready for the future. We ask that you join us in saluting the men and women of this fire department who over the last 40 years have given their courage, commitment, and time to help their neighbors in time of need. To read more of our history, complete with pictures, check out the "History" bar at

Working for You -- October 2008
Fire related41Patients transported to hospitals228
Auto crashes51Total Alarms438

Safety Tip
Holiday celebrations often bring alcohol, smoking, candles, and visitors together in one place. The consequences can be disastrous. Even moderate drinking promotes carelessness and doubles the chances of becoming a victim in a fire. If you allow smoking in your home, provide convenient, deep ashtrays so that cigarette butts will not fall onto the floor or furniture where they can smolder undetected for long periods. Place lit candles well-away from combustible materials, like pine boughs and ribbons or float candles in a bowl of water to further reduce the chances of them starting a fire. If pre-planning doesn't prevent a fire, then early detection is the next best protection. Make sure your smoke detector works. Keep your family and friends safe. Enjoy a wonderful holiday season!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

October '08

Thanks to all who supported our BBQ fundraiser on Saturday, October 11 2008. Business was steady all day. Many friends met at the station and enjoyed conversation and good food. Others took advantage of the drive-thru to pick up a quick meal. By the end of the day we sold almost 1300 plates and enjoyed the fellowship with our community.

Staff stayed busy all during the first week of October teaching fire safety to over 2000 pre-school and elementary school children. Sparky, the robotic firedog, driving his very own mini-fire truck, accompanied the firefighters to entertain and educate the children. This is an annual event during National Fire Prevention Week to practice fire safety techniques with our youngest community members.

The PVFD Board of Directors has also been busy this month planning the November 8 Open House to celebrate our 40th anniversary of providing emergency services to our community. We invite you to celebrate with us on that day and to acknowledge the enormous contributions made by decades of PVFD firefighters and EMTs. The Honor Guard ceremony starts at 2pm at our main station at 1409 Seaton Rd., followed by refreshments. Come join us! Visit for more information.

Working for You -- September 2008
Fire related31Patients transported to hospitals222
Auto crashes39Total Alarms457

Safety Tip
Safety Tip Holidays are coming soon and families will be attending or hosting parties. Holiday festivities can be dangerous for children. Adults become distracted and may not supervise children as closely as normal. Toddlers can tumble from the top of stairs not protected by child gates. Medicines and household cleaners can poison children who think they are eating candy. Pets, which are not accustomed to so many new people, can become frightened and aggressive. If you will be inviting families with children to your home or traveling with your children to someone elses, make sure your party plans include a safety check. Block access to stairs for young children. Anxious pets should be kept in a locked, quiet room. Lock up medications and cleaning solutions. And finally, when the party is over, clean up the leftover drink cups to prevent pets and children from accidentally ingesting alcoholic beverages. Enjoy the holidays and stay safe!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

September '08

Three years ago PVFD ambulances stood by at the RDU airport ready to receive Hurricane Katrina victims. This year in September we once again found ourselves preparing for natural disaster. Staff fuel and test small power tools, like chainsaws. Extra manpower is assigned to stations, and officers watch computers for the latest storm track. PVFD’s commitment to community safety goes beyond the immediate preparations. Also, we have established agreements with our neighboring city and county fire department to assist each other in the event of a large-scale disaster. Even more importantly, the various departments arranged to use mutually acceptable radio procedures and equipment so that all can communicate with each other. In cooperation with Durham County Emergency Management we are prepared for all natural emergencies.

In addition to storm preparations, PVFD is planning our annual fund-raiser, the Pork BBQ dinner. Coming Saturday, October 11 from 12 noon-7PM it features delicious slow-cooked pork BBQ, Brunswick stew, coleslaw and hushpuppies. Adult plates are $7 and child plates are $4. Don’t miss this popular event at our Parkwood station at 1409 Seaton Rd. Mark your calendars and let us do the cooking that day!

Also, help us celebrate our 40th Anniversary of community service on November 8. We invite you and your family to an open house at our station at 1409 Seaton Road from 1pm-4pm with an Honor Guard ceremony at 2pm, followed by refreshments. Call us at 919.361.0927 or visit for more information.

Working for You -- August 2008
Fire related29Patients transported to hospitals237
Auto crashes40Total Alarms424

Safety Tip
Our BBQ fundraiser marks the end of Fire Prevention Week, October 5-11. The 2008 theme is “Prevent Home Fires”. The kitchen is the most common area for fires to start. Don’t leave the kitchen when cooking. It’s easy to forget the pot on the stove. Keep a pot lid handy when cooking with grease. Turn off the burner and put the lid on the pot if the grease ignites. Don’t remove it until the pan has completely cooled. If the fire starts in the oven, turn off the oven and keep the oven door closed. Other activities that commonly cause fires are use of candles. Don’t leave burning candles unattended and make sure they are far away from combustible materials like curtains and decorations and out of reach of children. Most importantly, if a fire does start, call 911 and evacuate your family immediately. Access for more safety ideas.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

August '08

There was no summer vacation for PVFD firefighters and EMT’s this August. Training was intensive with a number of classes taught at the station. Firefighters took a certification class to become fire scene safety officers. Additional evening classes included forcible entry, use of portable extinguishers, and basic firefighting strategies. And not to be left out, EMS personnel took a national certification class in pediatric care and did their annual recertification in CPR. Training is very important in emergency services so that no matter what the situation demands, crews have had experience in managing the problem safely.

August 9 our members did take an afternoon to celebrate their families who support them throughout the year. On that day the PVFD Auxiliary organized a cookout and free swim at the Parkwood pool. Families pay a price as members leave for extended periods of time, sometimes missing important family functions. They pay the price supporting those loved ones who sometimes return home stressed and tired. And so on that day we came together as one family to share good food and good times and to thank all of them for being there for us.

Working for You -- July 2008
Fire related40Patients transported to hospitals223
Auto crashes40Total Alarms431

Safety Tip
Each year school children are injured or killed by motorists who do not obey the school bus “Stop Arm Law”. That North Carolina law states that motorists traveling in both directions of an undivided highway must stop for a school bus displaying its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights while in the process of taking on or discharging passengers and must remain stopped until the signal has been withdrawn and the stoplights turned off. On divided highways with medians it is not necessary for traffic coming in the opposite direction to stop. This information should not be news to any licensed driver. So the results of an annual survey conducted by NC school buses that measures the number of such violations is surprising. Last year, for example over 2300 drivers disregarded the Stop Arm Law on just ONE day in North Carolina! Help our children travel to and from school safely. Be alert and stop for school buses.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

July '08

Training goes on year round at the fire station, so it wasn't heat that canceled a live-burn exercise late last month. In a word it was "turkeys". A rural home, scheduled for demolition, was donated to PVFD for training but during the preparations a turkey hen was discovered on her nest just a few feet from the old house. All work yielded to the turkey, who was left to complete her family business in peace. Training has been rescheduled for a time when the turkey is finished with the property.

Working for You -- June 2008
Fire related46Patients transported to hospitals238
Auto crashes41Total Alarms477

Safety Tip
Thunderstorms are part of summer excitement. The lightening associated with these storms can cause both immediate and delayed danger, however. Lightening can strike without warning under clear skies, but most of the time thunder warns of electrical activity in the atmosphere. Whenever thunder is present, seek shelter indoors. Do not wait for lightening and thunder to "get closer" before going inside. Lightning can strike in advance of the actual rainclouds by miles. Do not seek shelter under trees. Go into a structure and stay away from the windows. Then after the storm, take a few minutes to inspect your home, especially if lightening was close or intense, or if you electrical power went out. That can be a sign of a lightening strike to your home. Often lightening fire will smolder for awhile before flames actually break out. Damage can be extensive because these fires often start in the attic, out of sight. Only when the fire starts to spread is there enough smoke and flames to alert the homeowner of the danger. Be alert and enjoy the summer showers safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

June '08

Our annual fund-raiser Chicken BBQ last month was a great success thanks to all who came to enjoy the slow roasted chicken dinners.

Even the 100-degree temperatures didn’t keep the crowds away. We sold over 1300 plates of some of the best chicken anywhere! We thank all of you for your support and a special applause for those spouses and neighbors of members who helped cook and serve!

The heat did not stop crews from training this month. Hazardous materials operations and heavy rescue courses consist of 40 or more hours of classroom and practical training. These classes help make sure our crews are ready to assist the community with a wide variety of highly technical skills. We also presented classes in firefighter survival, designed to make sure that our firefighters have the training to perform their dangerous jobs and come home safely.

Working for You -- May 2008
Fire related26Patients transported to hospitals248
Auto crashes57Total Alarms476

Safety Tip
Medications designed for adults can poison children if they ingest them by mistake. Several types of adult prescription medications cause cardiac problems that range from arrhythmias to death in children. Calcium channel blockers (for example, Procardia, verapamil and Cardizem) rank in the top 10 causes of poison-related child deaths. Accidental ingestion of as little as one tablet can be fatal. Cyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, are also responsible for pediatric poisonings. They affect the central nervous system and, secondarily, cause wide ranging cardiac problems. Take a few minutes to make sure all your medications are out of reach of small children. If you suspect a child has ingested any of these medications accidentally, call 911 immediately. Don’t wait for the first symptoms to develop. The sooner the child is treated, the more likely serious problems can be prevented. Store medications safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

May '08

In May PVFD hosted an orientation for new volunteer members. We host 3 orientation programs a year with classes designed to familiarize candidates with PVFD operations and services. Our next program will be September 10 and 13. If you are interested in becoming part of a progressive, exciting, and community-service based organization, go to for application forms and more information.

PVFD is also proud of one long-time volunteer, Captain Robert Kaufman. This spring the Durham Jaycees awarded Capt. Kaufman the Young Public Servant award for his commitment and outstanding contributions to community safety. He donates his time and efforts as a firefighter, emergency medical technician, hazardous material technician, and even a child car seat inspector. We salute his accomplishments and we congratulate him on the Jaycees’ award.

Saturday, June 7, join PVFD for our 40th annual Chicken BBQ from noon-7pm. Slow-roasted chicken and cole slaw, potato salad, rolls, and ice tea make for a great meal. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children. The PVFD Auxiliary will also have a wide selection of desserts for sale. Come eat and leave the cooking and cleaning to us!

Working for You -- April 2008
Fire related26Patients transported to hospitals248
Auto crashes26Total Alarms413

Safety Tip
Portable ladders are one of the handiest, simplest tools we use. Although ladders are uncomplicated, planning and care are still required to use them safely. Each year in the U.S., accidents involving ladders cause an estimated 300 deaths and 130,000 injuries requiring emergency medical attention. (National Ag Safety Database, CDC). Use these tips to prevent ladder injuries: • Never carry tools or materials in your hand when going up or down a ladder. • Only one person should be on a ladder at a time. • Do not try reaching so far that you lose your balance; move the ladder. • Do not stand on the ladder's top three rungs. • The base should be spaced 1 foot away for every 4 feet it reaches up. • Ladders used to reach a walking surface or roof must extend at least 3 feet beyond. • Make sure the feet of the ladder rest on a hard, level surface. • Electrical shock can occur with metal or wet wooden ladders. Not only is the shock itself dangerous, but it can cause falls resulting in injury.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

April '08

Coming soon! Saturday, June 7, PVFD will host our 40th annual Chicken BBQ from noon-7pm. The chicken is slow roasted overnight in a BBQ sauce whose recipe has been handed down over the years. The meal is accompanied by cole slaw, potato salad, rolls, and ice tea. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children. The PVFD Auxiliary will also have a wide selection of desserts for sale. Come join us!

Child car seat installation is an important community service that PVFD offers free. Recent studies show that up to 60% of child car seats are NOT properly installed in cars. These seats greatly reduce the chance children will be injured in a crash, but only if they are put in correctly. PVFD has state certified technicians who will inspect or install your child car seat by appointment. Appointments are necessary due to the volume of requests. Call 361-0927 and ask to reserve a time. That 15 minutes could save your child’s life.

Working for You -- March 2008
Fire related28Patients transported to hospitals263
Auto crashes35Total Alarms442

Safety Tip
The first hot weather of the season is always the most dangerous. Our bodies adapt to the hot weather by summer. In spring, however, temperatures over 85 degrees are more apt to cause health emergencies. If you exercise or work in the outdoors, be sure to stay hydrated. Water is best. Avoid sweet drinks or alcohol. Eat light meals. Leg or abdominal cramps are an early sign of heat exhaustion. Immediately go somewhere to rest and cool off. Slowly drink cool fluids. If someone you know is acting abnormally after exercising in the heat and their skin is hot and dry, they may be experiencing heat stroke. Heat stroke is a real emergency and can result in death. Get the person into a cool place and call 911. Enjoy the warm weather, safely!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

March '08

In March PVFD EMS began a trial of a new medical product that promotes blood clotting in open wounds. Developed for military applications, the product is incorporated into a dressing that is applied directly to a hemorrhage, along with direct pressure. The dressing has the potential to save lives, which would have been lost due to excessive blood loss. PVFD is one of the first fire departments in North Carolina to use these new dressings.

PVFD is not immune to the impact from the drought. We have worked hard to reduce water consumption at our stations. Trucks are cleaned by hand using waterless chemicals whenever possible. Training operations that utilize water have been postponed, as well. PVFD is fortunate to have a water-filled training pit at station 1 that allows us to re-circulate water for testing the fire engine water pumps. Pump certification is essential for ensuring our readiness to fight fires. Because of the pit we have been able to both comply with water restrictions and make sure our equipment is ready to serve your emergency needs.

Working for You -- February 2008
Fire related20Patients transported to hospitals247
Auto crashes43Total Alarms443

Safety Tip
Two types of home smoke alarms are available, the ion type and the photoelectric type. The ion detector reacts faster to open flaming fires and is usually the least expensive. The photoelectric type reacts faster to smoldering fires and is less likely to react to cooking. Both types provide good protection. If you need more than one alarm, you might get one of each. There are also multiple ways to power smoke alarms. Most operate on a battery (usually 9 volt), which should be replaced at least once a year. When the battery needs changing, the smoke alarm will "chirp" every 20 seconds or so. Smoke alarms installed in a house may be operated from the household electrical power and not need battery replacement. This type of alarm has a "power on" light to tell you that the alarm has power. Smoke alarms are available which run on house power but also have a battery in case the main power fails. The most important thing to understand about all types of smoke detectors is that they need to be tested monthly and any batteries should be replaced yearly.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

February '08

Parkwood VFD is sprucing up for spring. In February a crew of painters worked over our Seaton Road fire station giving us a fresh, brighter look. Crews also changed light fixtures in the kitchen area to give it a more down-home look. With staff spending 24 hours at a time on duty, the station is not just a place to work. It is a place where we live. By giving the living quarters a more comfortable appearance, the crews have a place that allows them to de-stress from the job.

One significant stressor for fire/EMS providers involves exposure to personally disturbing incidents (PDI). Fire/EMS professionals use a variety of methods to manage the untoward effects of exposure to PDIs. PVFD Chaplain Mark Holland, PhD, MDiv, recently completed a research study with Parkwood Fire/EMS, Durham County EMS, & City of Durham Fire Department regarding optimal and detrimental coping methods of fire/EMS professionals after exposure to PDIs. Dr. Holland discovered three optimal coping methods & two detrimental coping methods used by fire/EMS providers. The results of the study will be presented to the all agencies involved in the study, the state conference of the NC Association of Fire Chiefs, a national fire/EMS conference in Baltimore, MD, & an international emergency medicine conference in San Francisco, CA. If you would like more information about the study, email Chaplain Holland at

Working for You -- January 2008
Fire related43Patients transported to hospitals238
Auto crashes52Total Alarms466

Safety Tip
One of the most important fire safety devices in the home is the smoke alarm. Studies have shown that working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a fire by half. Smoke alarms sound an alert while the fire is still small, making escape more likely. So where should you place the alarms? Smoke alarms should be located outside all bedroom and sleeping areas. In addition put an alarm on every floor of your home, whether it contains a sleeping area or not. There are a few places you should NOT place smoke alarms. Kitchens, garages and unheated attic or crawl spaces are not good locations. Cooking fumes, car exhaust or extreme temperatures will prevent the devices from working properly. Next month I’ll tell you when to replace those smoke detectors and what types are available. Be safe.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

January '08

The statistics for 2007 are in. Last year Parkwood responded to over 4900 fire, rescue and EMS calls. In addition to answering the community’s emergency needs, our staff taught fire safety to several thousand school and preschool children, installed hundreds of child car seats, and still spent thousands of hours training to do the job better. We’re there when you need us!

In anticipation of another busy year we are pleased to welcome 14 new volunteers to the department. Some have years of previous experience in fire and hazardous material response and others are just starting to gain experience. All of them have the enthusiasm and a commitment to bring the care and skills necessary to whatever the community requires. Information about our orientation program and membership application are on our website at Our next orientation will be May We are look forward to sharing the pride in our organization.

Working for You -- December 2007
Fire related28Patients transported to hospitals242
Auto crashes49Total Alarms414

Safety Tip
Every household probably has a supply of common pain remedies such as aspirin, acetamenophin (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). Even though these drugs are readily available over the counter, each is a powerful chemical in a family of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Used appropriately, NSAIDs treat pain, reduce fever, and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. However, if used in large doses, mixed with other drugs, or used by children, they can cause dangerous reactions. Some of the complications include ulcers, bleeding, kidney failure and liver failure. Some people may develop allergic reactions that are life-threatening. Be sure to let your doctor or pharmacist know if you take NSAIDs to avoid drug interactions or accidental overdoses. And keep all your medications out of reach of children.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.


December '07

Typical of many families during the holidays our Parkwood family had a busy December “to do” list. We began the month at our station. On Saturday December 2 the PVFD Auxiliary hosted a “trim the tree” party for children of PVFD members. With the help of a few firefighters, they had the tree decorated in short order.

The next day PVFD marched with the Parkwood Community in the annual Christmas parade. Even Santa and Mrs. Claus took time off from their North Pole duties to join us. After the parade the children met with Santa and Mrs. Claus at our Fire Station. The Parkwood Association provided cookies and punch while 3 Dads and a Mom sang holiday songs.

We followed up with a family finale, our annual members’ Christmas Party. This is a very special occasion when we gather to honor members who have attained special achievements over the year. The highest honors were awarded to Rudy M., HazMat Technician of the Year; Dawn W., EMT of the Year; and George G., Firefighter of the Year. All of these individuals demonstrate the greatest professional skill and the deepest concern for the well-being of the community and their peers. PVFD salutes them!

Working for You -- November 2007
Fire related__Patients transported to hospitals227
Auto crashes53Total Alarms___

Safety Tip
Power outages cause more than inconvenience. Outages also cause serious safety hazards. A few simple safety tips can prevent catastrophe. Avoid using open flames, like candles, for light. Keep battery-powered flashlights (and batteries!) on hand for every member of the family. Outdoor propane and charcoal grills can be used for cooking…but use them outdoors! Kerosene heaters can heat a room but make sure a window stays open. The number one hazard in using grills or heaters is that they produce carbon monoxide. This is an odorless, colorless poisonous gas that can kill. Always use these devices where there is plenty of ventilation. And finally, use only the fuel approved for your heater. Use of gasoline in a kerosene heater can lead to an explosive fire. Stay warm. Stay safe.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

November '07

On November 12, 2007 PVFD met with Durham City officials to begin negotiations promised last spring that would provide for a long-term settlement of the Parkwood Fire contract. This contract would designate PVFD as the primary fire protection provider in the Parkwood community and ensure adequate compensation to PVFD for that service. Last spring Durham city had agreed to a one year extension of the current contract with a promise of a long term agreement. The meeting with the city officials was productive and gave PVFD a 5 year extension with compensation.

Recently our Chaplain, Mark Holland, began a unique training series for our members called "Pride and Ownership". It is based on a book by that name written by Rick Lasky, Chief of the Lewisville, Texas Fire Department. The interactive program explores the meaning of the core values of the fire service and its place in the community in an open forum. The goal is to promote leadership, career development, and build morale at all levels of our organization. The training sessions will continue over the next few months.

Working for You -- October 2007
Fire related34Patients transported to hospitals227
Auto crashes53Total Alarms427

Safety Tip
Holiday decorations combined with holiday candles make dangerous fire hazards. Magazine photos show beautiful candle displays surrounded by evergreens, ribbons, and pinecones. Don't be misled. These are very combustible and during holiday entertaining can easily ignite when attention is elsewhere. If candles are part of your decorations, consider floating them in a bowl of water or place them in dishes away from combustible material. Keep candles out of reach of children, as well. Not only can melted wax burn their skin, but candle flames can ignite their clothing. If toddlers are in the house, avoid placing burning candles on tables that could tip over or on top of tablecloths that would be pulled off. And finally, before going to bed, make sure all candles are extinguished. PVFD wishes you safe and happy holidays!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

October '07

We thank everyone who attended our Pork BBQ fundraiser on October 13. The weather cooperated and the crowds kept us busy all day. Like the spring BBQ, we sold out before the deadline. If you missed this event, mark your 2008 calendar for June 7 when our famous slow-roast chicken BBQ returns!

Our fall BBQ always marks the end of Fire Prevention Week. This year our staff took the safety training to over 3500 school and pre-school children. Our robotic Sparky in his fire truck entertained the children while he told them (with the assistance of a remote firefighter) about the importance of practicing an escape route from their homes. Also, firefighters dressed up as they would for fighting a fire so children could see what that would look like. These demonstrations help increase the chances that small children, who are trapped by fire, will not be afraid of the firefighters and will come to them to be rescued.

This month our Chaplain, Mark Holland, began a unique training series for our members that we call "Pride and Ownership". It is based on a book by Rick Lasky, Chief of the Lewisville, Texas Fire Department. The interactive program explores the meaning of the core values of Pride, Integrity, and Honesty in an open forum. The goal is to promote leadership, career development, and build morale at all levels of our organization. The training sessions will continue over the next few months.

Working for You -- September 2007
Fire related32Patients transported to hospitals221
Auto crashes38Total Alarms418

Safety Tip
Hectic holidays combined with seasonal food and decorations can be deadly for children. The most common poison accidentally available to children is alcohol. Because of their small size, children are particularly susceptible to alcohol poisoning. Be sure to pick up unfinished drinks after a party. Also, perfumes, colognes and buffet warmers (such as Sterno) contain forms of alcohol which are equally or more toxic. Some varieties of Holly berries are reported to be poisonous. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and a slowing down of breathing and heart rate can occur after eating holly berries. Death has occurred after eating as few as 12 berries. Some flavorings such as oil of wintergreen contain salicylate, which can be toxic. Problems with blood clotting and confusion or coma can result from ingestion. If you suspect your child has eaten any of these items, the Poison Information Center is available any time day or night by calling 1-800-222-1222. Be alert, as well, for allergic reactions to new foods or allergens unknowing eaten in food prepared by others. If your child has any symptoms described above, hives, difficulty breathing, or confusion, simply call 911. Enjoy the holidays safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

September '07

In late August PVFD responded to a fire alarm in the Parkwood subdivision along with units from the city fire department. Arriving first on the scene, the PVFD engine crew saw heavy smoke coming from the house. A mother and daughter had evacuated but her two sons were still trapped inside. The engine crew made a “fast attack” on the fire so that the next arriving city crew could affect a rescue. The story ended well. Both children were rescued unharmed. The fire was started by a candle left unattended, a common cause of household fires.

October is the month fire crews across the nation commemorate the great Chicago fire of October 9, 1871. This fire killed over 300 people and destroyed over 100,000 structures. Each year PVFD firefighters teach fire safety classes to elementary and pre-schools. Over 3000 children are taught fire prevention in these annual programs.

Come Hungry! Saturday October 13 from noon-7PM PVFD will host our Annual Pork BBQ at our Parkwood Fire Station. Dinner plates include pork BBQ, Brunswick stew, cole slaw and rolls. Adult plates are $7 and child plates are $4. The Auxiliary Bake Sale promises a variety of delicious desserts. Drive through or eat in, we make it easy for you!

Working for You -- August 2007
Fire related29Patients transported to hospitals231
Auto crashes45Total Alarms414

Safety Tip
“Practice your Escape Plan” is the theme for Fire Prevention Week, October 7-13. The story of the rescue of 2 children in a recent Parkwood house fire shows importance of planning an escape route for every member of your family. Make sure everyone can hear the smoke alarms in your house and change the battery so it functions properly. If windows or doors have security bars, make sure they have quick release devices from inside. Make your house number visible from the street. Clear debris from stairways, hallways and exits. Then, finally, PRACTICE an evacuation. Have everyone meet at a predetermined spot outside the house. A little bit of preparation in the light of day will make an evacuation even in the dark of night efficient, fast, and safe.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

August '07

Members of Parkwood VFD are a combination of volunteers and employees. Behind the scenes of these emergency workers are their families and significant loved ones. Families are important to our department. They support our mission. They worry and wait for loved ones to return home safely. Without their encouragement and understanding, the jobs we do would be much more difficult. So in August we celebrated the PVFD families who mean so much to us with a picnic at the Parkwood Community pool. Water games and all the picnic “fixins” made for a great time. Members of the PVFD Auxiliary provided desserts to top off a wonderful day.

Recruiting is part of our ongoing efforts to maintain a workforce capable of responding to any community emergency need. On August 23 and 25 we completed an orientation program for new firefighters and EMTs. Almost a dozen new volunteers joined.

We are proud that in this session 2 volunteers came from the PVFD Cadet Program. The Cadet program is offered to any child from 14-17 years old who wants to explore what firefighting and EMS is all about. Cadets must have parental permission and maintain good grades.

To learn more about the Auxiliary, the cadet program, or becoming a firefighter or EMT with PVFD, take a look at our website. Applicants for the Auxiliary and cadet program are accepted year round. The next orientation for new emergency responders is January 2008.

Working for You -- July 2007
Fire related30Patients transported to hospitals220
Auto crashes33Total Alarms416

Safety Tip
While cool weather is a few weeks away, now is a good time to make sure your heating units are serviced and in good operating condition. Chimneys, in particular, should be inspected whether they are part of a furnace or fireplace. Cracks can cause two problems. Sparks can escape through cracks and ignite combustible surfaces like in your attic. Also, carbon monoxide can seep through cracks to poison your family. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is a by-product of combustion. Exposure to low concentration causes illness. High concentrations cause death. Don’t assume just because you can see or smell a problem that one does not exist. Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms are easy to install and provide early warning. The best solution, however, is to prevent the problem. Don’t take chances with your family’s safety. Get an inspection now.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

July '07

The recent tragic line of duty deaths in the Charleston Fire Department reminds us how difficult and dangerous firefighting is. It also showed the nation the depth of the bonds that tie firefighters together. Firefighters work, train, and live together much like any family unit. And so the death of those nine Charleston firefighters struck hard especially at those who worked with them.

Parkwood VFD was part of the national firefighters’ network that supported the recovery effort. Members of the PVFD Honor Guard represented our fire department at the memorial service. Our Chaplain, Mark H., responded immediately to the scene and spent several days assisting the Charleston Fire Chaplain with psychological support of the fire crews. At the request of that Chaplain he again returned a week later to continue providing guidance and assistance to the firefighters involved in that tragedy.

Chaplaincy support is not new to the fire service. However, the scope and use of such programs have greatly expanded in recent years. Providing emotional support and coping skills to emergency workers who have endured a catastrophe is a critical step in their psychological recovery.

Parkwood VFD thanks members of the Honor Guard and Chaplain Mark H. for answering the call to service to assist the families and coworkers of the fallen Charleston firefighters.

Working for You -- June 2007
Fire related29Patients transported to hospitals215
Auto crashes38Total Alarms382

Safety Tip
August means “back to school” for most Durham County students. For the rest of us that means school buses will be on the road mixing in traffic carrying people to work and school. Frustration, impatience, and anger are not qualities of good drivers. Good drivers anticipate the extra time required to get to their destination because of school busses and heavy traffic volume. When schools open this month, be prepared. Drive slowly near school zones. Watch for children walking and bicycling to school. And if the morning sun shines in your eyes, be careful that a school bus isn’t stopped in front of you!

Remember, all of us on the road have somewhere to be, something that has to be done, and a time in which we need to do it. Take the time to be a good driver. Slow down. Be patient. Arrive safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

June '07

Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department thanks all the citizens of Durham who supported our efforts to convince the City of Durham officials to renew the emergency service contract. This contract designated PVFD as the primary emergency responder for the Parkwood subdivision. The $140,000 contract was set to expire June 30. In mid June the city offered to renew the contract for one year and agreed to continue negotiations to establish a long-term contract beyond that.

The contract renewal importantly recognizes that PVFD is strategically located to provide the fastest response to fire and rescue emergencies in Parkwood and provides funding for that. Future negotiations will focus on continuing that financial support for a long period of time. A long-term contract would allow both Durham City Fire Department and PVFD to efficiently plan their budgets and define operations.

We also thank all of you who supported us at our BBQ on June 2. The slow roasted chicken with all the fixin’s proved to be a big hit. Due to the great attendance, we sold out of food 30 minutes before the official closing time. The pork BBQ will be Saturday October 13. Mark your calendars!

Working for You -- May 2007
Fire related45Patients transported to hospitals237
Auto crashes35Total Alarms432

Safety Tip
July 4 is a day we celebrate America. When celebrations include alcoholic beverages, food at unsafe temperatures, or fireworks, however, the fun can be dangerous. Heat and sun can enhance the effects of alcohol, impairing muscle coordination and decision making. You’ve heard it many times…Don’t drive or swim after drinking alcohol. Car crashes and drowning have no place at a celebration! Keep picnic food refrigerated--especially foods with meat, mayonnaise, milk, or eggs. Bacteria can quickly grow in these ingredients and could cause food poisoning within hours of eating. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Fireworks, even “sparklers”, inflict serious injury every year. Not surprisingly hands and fingers account for 32% and eyes 21% of all injuries. Check out the website ( to view the consequences of a July 4 celebration gone tragically wrong. Leave the fireworks to the professionals. Enjoy July 4 safely!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

May '07

The City of Durham officials have heard your voices! Last month we reported that Durham City refused to renew the contract with Parkwood Fire Department to provide emergency response in the Parkwood community. The $140,000 annual contract expires June 30. That would have placed primary responsibility for emergency response in Parkwood with the city fire department. The closest city response unit is over 2 miles further from Parkwood than PVFD and would have resulted in increased response times to fire and rescue emergencies.

Due to your comments and input on May 14 Durham city officials met with the PVFD Board of Directors and the Durham County Fire Marshall to discuss contract options. The dialogue was very helpful in relaying important information between all parties. The next day the PVFD Board met to define a counter-offer to the city. A key point of concern was that the designation of a primary responder for contract renewals in annexed areas should be based on what is the closest unit. Since PVFD is located within the community, it is strategically situated to respond minutes faster than the closest city unit. We are hopeful that the city will heed your concerns and accept the contract offer as put forward by our Board. The offer reflects the former renewal contract.

As of press time PVFD still does not have a renewal offer from the city which we can accept. We have made a counter offer and await the city’s decision. Therefore, PVFD is still collecting signatures on the petition for the City to renew the contract. Please stop by our station at 1409 Seaton Rd or the Parkwood Homeowner’s Association office to add your name to the list! We will make a presentation of the petition to Mayor Bill Bell after getting final signatures at our BBQ Fund raiser on June 2. Let your voice count!

If you feel Parkwood homeowners are being treated unfairly and want the contract with Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department to be renewed in full, contact

Mayor Bill Bell at 560-4333 []
City Councilman Howard Clement III at 688-7628 []
City Manager Patrick W. Baker at 560-4222 x234 []
Deputy City Manager Ted Voorhees at 560-4222 x231 []

June 30, 2007 the contract ends. Act NOW!

Working for You -- April 2007
Fire related44Patients transported to hospitals214
Auto crashes36Total Alarms437

Safety Tip
Be the first to know! Durham County has a new emergency communication tool available to its citizens. The program, called “CodeRed”, allows Durham Emergency Management to issue Amber Alerts, evacuation information, and other emergency alerts to your cell or home phone. To receive the warnings, a person must subscribe to the free service. You can see more information here:

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

April '07

PVFD needs your help!

In April the Durham City Fire Chief informed Parkwood VFD that the contract with PVFD to provide fire protection and rescue services in the Parkwood community would NOT be renewed in the interest of cost-savings. That means that beginning July 1, 2007 Parkwood residents who call 911 for fire or rescue will have to wait for a city fire truck to respond. PVFD will not have the option to respond because 911 will NOT notify us of your call for help. The closest city fire units are Station 12 on Carpenter Fletcher Rd. or Station 6 on Swarthmore Rd. (off Garrett Rd.).

For 40 years PVFD has provided essential life- and property protection service to our citizens. Because we are based in the community, we are situated to respond minutes faster than the closest city unit. To express your concern, contact

Mayor Bill Bell at 560-4333 or email
City Councilman Howard Clement III at 688-7628 or email

In addition, PVFD will have a petition to renew the contract available at the station at 1409 Seaton Rd. during our annual fund raising BBQ, June 2. Help us continue to help you!

Saturday June 2 from noon-7PM PVFD will host its annual Chicken BBQ at Station 1 at 1409 Seaton Rd. Plates include a 1/2 slow-grilled chicken, potato salad, slaw, and rolls. Adult plates are $7, child plates are $5. As always, a drive-thru and eat-in will be available. Come join us!

Working for You -- March 2007
Fire related34Patients transported to hospitals250
Auto crashes24Total Alarms414

Safety Tip
The first hot days of the year are the most challenging and the most dangerous. People are not adapted to the heat and can easily get overheated when exercising or working outdoors. Drinking ample water is the best way to prevent dangerous heat stroke. People with heat stroke do not act normally. They may lose consciousness. Their skin is hot and dry. This is life-threatening! Get them into the shade, if possible, and call 911. Remember, alcoholic beverages can make heat-related emergencies more dangerous. Also, some medications and medical problems can increase the risk of heat injury. When the heat hits, take it slow, drink water, and call 911 if you or someone you know experiences difficulties.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

March '07

In March our fire crews practiced safety and rescue techniques for helping fallen comrades. Even the best safety policies cannot protect the crews from the hazards they encounter while fighting fires or performing rescues. This training allowed them to practice self-rescue as well as rescuing each other from a variety of situations.

Also this month EMS crews began their yearly skills testing. Each year every EMT must be tested on their knowledge of medical protocols and procedures. We do this to ensure that everyone is properly trained to provide you the best medical care.

If anyone is interested in becoming a firefighter or EMT with PVFD, please go to our website at Our next orientation will be April 26 & 28. The deadline for submission of the application is April 14. Don’t miss it!

Working for You -- February 2007
Fire related20Patients transported to hospitals242
Auto crashes35Total Alarms376

Safety Tip
Some heart attacks are sudden but most start slowly with mild pain or discomfort. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening: Chest discomfort such as an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain; Discomfort in other areas of the upper body such as pain in both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach; Shortness of breath; Other sign such as cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness. As you can see, chest pain is not the only indicator. Heart attacks in women, people with diabetes, and adults over 65 years old are most likely to present as a feeling other than chest pain. While heart attacks can occur at ANY age, the greatest at risk group are adults 35 years and older. If you or someone you are with has chest discomfort, especially with any of the other signs, call 911. All ambulances in Durham County are equipped with special equipment to monitor the heart and special medications to treat heart attacks. The faster a heart attack is treated, the less heart damage will occur. To learn more about heart attacks log on to or call 1-888-AHA-CARES and take the “Learn and Live” quiz to receive information customized to your specific needs. It’s fun and the knowledge you gain, may save your life.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

Febuary '07

February found Parkwood VFD providing several training classes for our staff. EMS personnel attended cardiology and CPR classes. Training in Hazardous Materials awareness, incident rehabilitation, and arson investigation were other courses offered to our staff this month.

February also saw the launch of the PVFD Cadet program. On February 15 the inaugural dinner was held for the first recruits and their parents at our station. This program allows teens a chance to learn what firefighting and EMS is all about and to possibly prepare for a career in emergency services. Cadets will be PVFD members and will attend classes at PVFD in safety, firefighting, and basic first aid. Applications are being accepted at any time so if you know of a young person who might be interested, check our website ( for more information.

This month we will complete the renovation of one of our ambulances. To save money, when ambulance engines wear out, the ambulance box is remounted on a new chassis. This saves tens of thousands of dollars. When ready for service, this additional truck will be based at our main station on Seaton Rd.

Working for You -- January 2007
Fire related38Patients transported to hospitals219
Auto crashes32Total Alarms400

Safety Tip
This year Congress designated March 11 as the beginning of daylight savings time. While resetting your clocks, this is also a good time to check your smoke detectors. While over 95% of homes in the US have smoke detectors, the National Fire Administration estimates that 20% of those do not work. The most common cause of detector failure is expired batteries. Some detectors require annual battery change (usually 9V size). Others have long-life batteries or are hard-wired into your home circuits. All detectors have a test button. Simply press the button and make sure you can hear a loud alarm. If you only hear a chirp, it is time to replace the battery or replace the detector. If you have any questions about your detector, call our fire prevention specialists at 361-0927. We will be glad to assist you. No other consumer protection device has done more to save lives than smoke detectors. Make sure your detector is doing its job for you!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

January '07

In January the Department hosted a number of events. Several personnel attended a special class for instructors offered by Durham Technical Community College on educational methods. Continuing education is increasingly an important mission of our agency and the techniques learned in this course will only improve the quality of the training we provide.

At the end of the month we taught an orientation program for new members, both volunteer and employee. This program introduces the policies and benefits of membership, as well as provides federally mandated training. PVFD is always accepting applications from persons interested in emergency medicine or firefighting. If you are interested in becoming part of a team with over 35 years of serving our community, check out our website. The next orientation class will be April 26 & 28.

Special recognition goes to two members, T. Jarrett and C. VanVleet, who completed an EMS research project using Parkwood’s data and presented their results at the annual conference of National Association of EMS Physicians. The research was titled “Initial Characterization of Predictors of Extended Ambulance Incident Scene Times.” The research indicated that the nature of the call was not a predictor of whether crews would spend extended time on the scene. This is the first time original research from PVFD has been presented at a national conference. Research is an important tool to improve the quality of medical care and PVFD is proud to support this work.

Working for You -- December 2006
Fire related32Patients transported to hospitals215
Auto crashes27Total Alarms402

Safety Tip
Everyone has fallen at one time or another. The older we get, however, the greater the chance of serious or fatal injury. In fact, falls are the number one cause of injury in persons over the age of 65. In addition people over age 75, who are injured by falling, are 5 times more likely to be admitted to a long term care facility for a year or longer. Most falls are preventable. About one-third of falls are caused by people tripping over something. Poor lighting, slippery bathtubs, loose rugs, and uneven floors contribute to the problem. Medications also may affect the sense of balance and medical problems may reduce strength and mobility. To reduce risk of falling make sure stairways and hallways have adequate lighting. Place a non-skid bathmat in the bathtub and remove scatter rugs. Place sturdy handrails where floors are uneven and in stairways. When rising from a seated or prone position, move slowly to allow blood pressure to adjust and reduce dizziness. And finally, ask your doctor to suggest range of motion exercises that might be appropriate for improving strength or flexibility. Keep moving and stay healthy!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.


December '06

In 2003 PVFD established an Explorer Post for youth ages 14-18. This year the Explorer-Junior Firefighter Program will be a combined into a Cadet Program. The goal is to promote teamwork, lifetime learning skills, and critical thinking for boys and girls interested in emergency services. In addition to experiencing similar training and duties as PVFD firefighters and EMTs, other benefits include college scholarship opportunities and national and state certifications. Even though cadets cannot actually fight fires or respond to medical emergencies until they are 18 years old, cadets in similar programs have used their training to save themselves and family members after car crashes, so their experiences can have immediate positive impact.

Applications for the Cadet program are accepted year around. Applications and additional information can be downloaded at the PVFD website, or picked up at the station at 1409 Seaton Rd. M-F 8am-6pm. In addition, if you and your teen would like to see what is involved, feel free to come the Cadet Program meetings on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at the Seaton Rd Station.

Cadets must be 14-18 years old, have completed 8th grade, have permission from their parent or guardian, maintain a 2.0 grade point average in school, be in good physical health and good moral character, submit to a background check, and attend meetings twice a month at the station.

Working for You -- November 2006
Fire related49Patients transported to hospitals218
Auto crashes48Total Alarms386

Safety Tip
Now is a good time to make some new year’s safety resolutions. Consider these top 10 resolutions to help your 2007 be a safe year! 1. Replace all extension cords with electric outlet strips. 2. Always buckle your seat belt regardless of whether you sit in the front or back seat. 3. Buy a fire extinguisher. 4. Lock medicines, pesticides, and cleaners out of reach of children. 5. Clean debris from around your water heater. 6. Never leave the stove unattended when cooking. 7. Make sure all exits from your home are clear. 8. Change the battery in your smoke detector twice each year when the time changes. 9. Make sure your house number is clearly visible from the street. 10. Take a CPR class.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

November '06

Holiday preparations are a big part of the fire department activities. In mid November PVFD provided emergency standby crews and trucks for the Streets of Southpoint Christmas Tree lighting. Because the large crowds create traffic gridlock, which make responding to emergencies difficult, we stationed fire and EMS crews on site to handle any problems.

On December 3 we will co-host the annual Parkwood Christmas parade, featuring floats, music and Santa. After the parade we open the fire station to the community. The Parkwood Association provides light refreshments and children have the opportunity to meet Santa and tell him their Christmas wishes. Come join us and share the fun!

December 9 the members of the department gather to share the good times and honor those who have made significant achievements to the community and the department. We spend the year working hard to provide emergency services, training, and performing community service. This is one evening when we can recognize the sacrifices and special efforts of those who make Parkwood VFD such a high-performing organization.

We also have one new addition to report. We recently put Tanker 616 into service. This tanker carries 3000 gallons of water and can dump the total load in 90 seconds by gravity alone. The capacity of this tanker and ability to dump so much water so quickly improves our ability to provide water for fire fighting in non-hydrant areas.

Working for You -- October 2006
Fire related27Patients transported to hospitals219
Auto crashes45Total Alarms387

Safety Tip
Every year, over 200 people in the United States die and several thousand require medical care because of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. It is produced by the incomplete burning of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels. Appliances fueled with natural gas, liquified petroleum (LP gas), oil, kerosene, coal, or wood may produce CO. Burning charcoal produces CO. Running cars produce CO.

The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness. To prevent CO poisoning have your home heating system serviced annually. Never burn charcoal or use fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home or garage. Do not run a car inside a garage even with the doors open. You can detect CO by installing a CO detector/alarm in the hallway near every sleeping area of the home.

We wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

October '06

Our annual Pork BBQ dinner on Saturday, October 14 was a great success. This is an important fundraiser for our members and we appreciate everyone who came out to support us. Our event was so popular, in fact, that we ran out of the pork BBQ about 30 minutes before the scheduled end of the dinner. We apologize to those who came later and found our menu depleted.

The BBQ comes at the end of Fire Prevention Week. Our staff stayed busy all week providing fire safety training to preschool and elementary school children. This year over 2500 children learned about safety in the kitchen and general ways to prevent fires in their homes. Sparky, the fire dog, and his robotic firetruck helped teach the children and entertained them at the same time. PVFD firefighters purchased Sparky with money earned at the annual Chicken and Pork BBQ dinners. Next spring we will host the Chicken BBQ, so please come join us and help us continue to bring important safety programs to our community.

At the end of October twelve new members joined the department. Their energy and enthusiasm for community safety will help us continue our commitment to you to provide the highest standard of emergency services.

Working for You -- September 2006
Fire related25Patients transported to hospitals203
Auto crashes37Total Alarms345

Safety Tip
Evacuation plans should be part of every family’s commitment to safety. Surveys show that one-third of American households believe they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home became life-threatening. Often, the time is much less. Develop an escape plan for every room in your home that includes two ways to exit. Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance away from your home for everyone to meet. A neighbor’s home, a light post, or mailbox are possibilities. If your home has double-deadbolt locks on the doors, make sure a key is immediately available to all occupants. Also, don’t forget about visitors. Tell guests about the escape plan. And if you are visiting someone, take a few minutes to think about escape routes. Then, if the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

September '06

Training is a major focus for our department. Even though our crews deal with automobile crashes every month, training allows us to try new techniques and to sharpen our skills. Thanks to Wagner’s Collision who supplied us with wrecked cars, we were able to set up several exercises. Wagners’ wrecker trucks towed the cars into positions to simulate entrapments and rollovers. Manikens took the place of real patients. The crews practiced safe equipment setup, specialized techniques to cut apart the cars, and incident command.

Also this month several members attended a Fire-EMS Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Three days of seminars focused on new ideas is emergency medical care and showcased the latest in equipment development. All of this training is our commitment to our community to promote the highest quality emergency services care.

You are invited! Our annual Pork BBQ is coming soon on Saturday, October 14. Serving will be noon-7PM with eat in or take out options at PVFD Station 1 (1409 Seaton Rd.). Slow-cooked pork BBQ with slaw, Brunswick Stew, and hush puppies all for $7 adult plates and $4 children. Come join us! Miss this and you’ll have to wait another year!

Working for You -- August 2006
Fire related29Patients transported to hospitals226
Auto crashes32Total Alarms390
Safety Tip
Fire Prevention Week (October 8-14) is reminder to take stock of safety in our homes. This year’s theme is “Watch What You Heat” or prevent cooking fires. Between 1999-2002, the National Fire Protection Association reports there were 114,000 homes fires associated with cooking EACH YEAR! Never leave cooking unattended. Distraction and forgetfulness are the two main reasons that unattended cooking is so hazardous. Then, “Keep it clean”. Check around the stove and remove anything that could catch fire. Food packaging, bags, towels, and even grease are major culprits that start unintended kitchen fires. Also, don’t cook while holding small children. In fact, try to keep a “kid-free” zone of 3 feet around the stove. Then, in case a fire does start, keep a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it! Call our fire prevention specialists at 361-0927 if you have any questions! Last, don’t forget to change your smoke detector batteries in October when the time changes!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

August '06

August brought friends and families together at PVFD. On August 22 our Auxiliary sponsored an Ice Cream Scoop night at Coldstone Creamery. With officers serving up ice cream treats, the store donated a portion of the profits that night to our Auxiliary. Our thanks go to Coldstone Creamery for their support.

Also, this month the Auxiliary hosted a family day for our members. This event brought the most important support group together--our families—for a day of swimming and picnicking. The Auxiliary is an important part of our support network for firefighters and their families. To check out other activities of the Auxiliary, look at our website at

In addition to enjoying the family events, we also spent time training for emergencies. Injured and sick children pose special challenges so this month pediatric emergencies were the feature training for our EMT’s. In conjunction with Durham Technical Community College, two weekend sessions of a nationally recognized training program were taught at the fire station. Almost 40 personnel received the national certification.

Working for You -- July 2006
Fire related32Patients transported to hospitals227
Auto crashes36Total Alarms358

Safety Tip
Fire Prevention Week (October 8-14) is coming soon. Sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association, the theme this year is preventing cooking fires. More fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home. Two out of three cooking fires start at the stove and most of those occur because cooking is left unattended. Keep your home and family safe. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. When boiling or simmering, set a timer to remind you that the stove is on. If a fire does start in the oven or microwave, keep the door closed. Turn off the heat or pull the electric plug. When frying with grease or oil, keep a lid handy. Smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Then don’t remove the lid until the pan is cool. Remember these tips work only on small fires. If you cannot put out the fire, get out of your home and call 911. When in doubt, get out!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

July '06

Tall ships sailed into Beaufort for the July 4 celebration and as expected crowds came to see the spectacle. Because the large numbers of tourists could overwhelm emergency services in the small city, the local fire department asked for help from across the state. Area hospitals sent mobile “MASH” units. Regional emergency teams provided response units. PVFD responded by sending and staffing a ladder truck and a “gator”. The all-terrain gator easily maneuvered among the crowds and provided fast response for medical emergencies. The truck company staffed the primary Beaufort fire station and treated over 300 people for heat-related problems during the 4-day event! Thanks go to all members who gave up their holiday to ensure emergencies were answered here and in Beaufort.

While most people were enjoying summer vacations, many firefighters were in school. This month PVFD began hosting EMT-Basic classes at Station 3 on Old Page Rd. Three sessions are being run concurrently. Students will complete the training by early fall. They then must take a North Carolina certification exam before being eligible to function as an EMT. EMT-Paramedic classes are also ongoing at Station 1. These students should complete training by early next year.

A new initiative for the community and our fire service began this month with the inception of a Chaplaincy program. This program is the first in this area. M. Holland, a paramedic and licensed Chaplain, was hired to bring chaplaincy support to our staff and the community when critical events dictate. Research shows that emergency responders can suffer post traumatic stress as much as any person. Stress is one of the top reasons they leave their profession. The Chaplain will be conducting research and providing counseling as needed. Don’t be surprised to see him responding with our staff. He is part of the PVFD commitment to bring the best possible emergency response to our community.

Working for You -- June 2006
Fire related46Patients transported to hospitals210
Auto crashes40

Safety Tip
Everyone is aware of the threats from terrorism, but the more probable (and just as deadly) danger comes from everyday household chemicals. For example, common cleaning agents can cause serious injury. Simply mixing ammonia and bleach creates a toxic gas that can easily burn the respiratory tract and eyes. Drain cleaners work by “burning” through organic clogs in the pipes. Swallowed by children, they can cause disastrous burns of the digestive tract. Bug killers, weed killers, and fungicides kill more than pests. They also can kill people. Organophosphates, like Sevin dust, are common pesticides sold by the pound in hardware stores. If absorbed through the skin or swallowed, they cause damage to the nervous system. Exposures can be fatal. Take a few minutes right now to make sure all your household chemicals are stored properly and kept away from children. Store chemicals in their original container with proper labels. Never put chemicals in a food container! Keep the number for Poison Control handy. It is 1-800-222-1222.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

June '06

Parkwood VFD thanks all in the community who supported our recent BBQ fundraiser on June 3. Great weather and good food brought friends together to help us raise funds to support our firefighters’ missions. Our firefighters with the help of their families started the grills at 1AM the morning of the event and continued until 10PM serving plates and cleaning up, all the while remaining ready to respond to any emergency. If you missed this one, plan to come by and eat with us in October when we host our fall BBQ fundraiser!

Other activities this month included Hazardous Materials (hazmat) training for EMS and fire personnel. Every member is required to have training necessary for responding to emergencies involving chemical, biological, or radiological agents. This training is essential for learning how to respond to “routine” hazmat emergencies and also to the more unusual incidents involving weapons of mass destruction.

Working for You -- May 2006
Total alarms419
Fire related44Patients transported to hospitals248
Auto crashes40

Safety Tip
Probably every American has taken over-the-counter drugs (OTC) at one time or another. Just because these drugs are sold without a prescription doesn’t mean they are safe in every situation. Mixing medications can result in unexpected, serious side effects. OTC may interfere with prescription drugs. Taking more than the recommended dose can result in just as serious an overdose as prescription drugs. And finally, OTC meant for adults can cause deadly reactions if given to children. Common emergencies include heart arrhythmias, high or low blood pressure, and altered mental status. To make sure you use these drugs in the safest possible manner, read the manufacturer’s label carefully. Take only the recommended dose. Keep ALL medications out of the reach of children. If you also are taking prescription drugs or have health concerns, consult your pharmacist or physician before taking OTC. Another resource on drug interactions is the website Learn how medications can improve your quality of life and how they can be a danger. Use them safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

May '06

In May Parkwood was busy training and renovating. Several firefighters attended the Fire Department Instructor Conference in Indianapolis. This national conference focuses on training fire instructors in the newest techniques for fire suppression and rescue. These individuals will bring new ideas to our staff and help us ensure we provide the highest quality service to our community.

Renovation to our main station is currently underway. Recent plumbing repairs required removing the flooring in portions of the station. Combined with the increase in personnel on duty and the need to replace the flooring, we have chosen to make some much needed space rearrangements. Crews spend 12 or 24-hour shifts at the station so it is important that they have a place to eat, relax, and rest. Our changes will make better use of the space and provide staff more comfortable living quarters.

We hope you come see us at our annual fund-raiser Chicken BBQ on Saturday June 3. We serve drive thru or eat in from noon til 7pm. Don’t miss it!

Working for You -- April 2006
Total alarms425
Fire related45Patients transported to hospitals211
Auto crashes54

Safety Tip
With summer vacation on most everyone’s mind, it is difficult to think about hurricane preparation. Yet hurricane season has started and now is the time to make plans for dealing with the aftermath of these storms. Extended periods without electricity require having a stock of batteries for lights and a portable radio. Gather information you might need like a list of insurance company contacts, doctors, and medications. If you have pets, make arrangements for their care in the event you must evacuate. If you have special medical needs like oxygen or air-conditioning, consider whether you should go to a special shelter or whether you have the resources to stay at home safely. Travel may become impossible during the storm and emergency assistance may be unavailable. Evacuation outside the storm path may be a better option than risking danger at home. Additional information on disaster preparation is available from……Enjoy a safe summer.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

April '06

New faces came to PVFD in April. This month we hosted a quarterly orientation for new members. This training program reduces the time it takes for new personnel to get familiar with PVFD operations and provides them with a chance to meet others who are just getting started in emergency services. Parkwood welcomes membership inquiries in person or electronically. If you think that volunteering for your fire department would interest you, stop by 1409 Seaton Rd. and pick up an application packet or go online to and apply. PVFD is an equal opportunity employer!

You might have noticed this month that our truck lineup in the main station is different. One ambulance is gone to a factory for “remount”. Remounting refers to the process of removing the “box” or patient compartment from the old truck and putting it onto a new truck chassis. This reduces the cost of replacing an ambulance and results in essentially a new truck. The process takes about 8-10 weeks. We hope to have the truck back in our lineup by the end of May.

Don’t forget our annual fundraiser, the Spring Chicken BBQ, Saturday June 3 at 1409 Seaton Rd. We serve the best in slow-cooked chicken and all the fixings from noon to 7PM, eat in or take out. Come see us!

Working for You -- March 2006
Total alarms389
Fire related36Patients transported to hospitals240
Auto crashes32

Safety Tip
May is National Stroke Awareness month. Did you know that stroke is the third leading cause of death and THE LEADING cause of disability in the US? It can strike people of ALL ages! Stoke, or “brain attack”, is caused by impaired blood circulation to the brain. In many cases it is treatable if the treatment is started within 3 hours of onset! With prompt treatment death and disability can be prevented. Stroke is a life-threatening emergency. Call 911 without delay if you suspect that you or someone you know is having a stroke. Here are the signs and symptoms:
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
For more information contact the National Stroke Association at

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

March '06

Inspections were the main focus for March. Fire crews this month continued their cycle of pre-fire inspections. Every 6 months PVFD staff members visit companies in our fire district to inspect physical structures. These site surveys help us develop fire protection strategies for businesses. We map areas of rescue assistance, locate sprinkler connections, and identify any significant dangers. In the event of a fire this information is crucial for protecting the safety of the employees and of our response crews.

March 14 and 15 North Carolina Office of EMS inspected all ambulances in Durham County. This event occurs every two years and ensures that all vehicles providing emergency medical care are clean, well-maintained, and stocked with all equipment required by NC statute. All PVFD ambulances as well as two engines passed inspection.

Working for You -- February 2006
Total alarms316
Fire related35Patients transported to hospitals205
Auto crashes32

Safety Tip
Recent traffic crashes have taken the lives of several teenagers. Sadly, North Carolina ranks eighth in the nation for number of fatalities from teenage driving. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. These crashes not only kill teen drivers, but almost two-thirds of the fatalities are passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers. North Carolina requires a progressive graduated licensing program for teens but legislation alone will not make safe teen drivers. Children learn by watching parents drive. Speeding, aggressive driving, and distractions such as cell phone use are common causes of crashes for adults and teens. Crashes are not accidents. They are preventable. Help prevent teen death. Be a good role model. Drive like you would want your child to drive!

April 1 Daylight Savings Time began. Did you change your smoke detector battery?

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

February '06

The recent sight of a backhoe digging up a portion of the foundation at the station is not a sign that PVFD is expanding. A plumbing break was discovered under the building which required drastic measures to repair. After a couple of weeks of disruption, we can now report that all systems are working.

Training is always a large component of our work agenda and February was no exception. On two weekends EMS crews attended a nationally recognized course for trauma care. Over 30 PVFD EMS personnel received this special certification.

Also, in February PVFD sponsored a course in emergency vehicle driving. This 20-hour program for fire and EMS personnel reviews everything from vehicle maintenance to vehicle operations.

In addition, the PVFD Chaplain presented a special class on stress management for emergency providers. Stress, whether it comes from specific or cumulative events, can lead to both physical and emotional problems. Stress counseling is available for members through the Chaplaincy Office at any time.

Working for You -- January 2006
Total alarms379
Fire related47Patients transported to hospitals217
Auto crashes42

Safety Tip
Since spring cleanup may be just around the corner, this month’s tip is about open burning regulations. The Parkwood Subdivision is with in the municipal limits of the City of Durham. There can be no open burning within the City Limits of Durham. For further information or clarity, you may contact the office of the City of Durham Fire Marshall, Chief Kenneth Crews, at 560-4242.

For citizens outside of the Parkwood Subdivision, that are in the County of Durham, you are allowed to burn any natural substances that grow on your property. This includes leaves, braches, vines, trees etc… You may not burn construction debris, trash, plastics etc… It must grow on your property and you must obtain a Burning Permit before you start burning. This permit is issued under authority of the North Carolina Forestry Service. Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department Inc. is an approved agent to issue permits. Permits can be obtained at PVFD Station 1, 1409 Seaton Rd, Durham NC 27713. The officer in charge at this station can issue permits. They will advise you at this time of any Burning Bans in effect for this region and the availability of obtaining a permit.

An easy way to remember, if you pay City of Durham taxes you may not burn. If you live outside the City of Durham Limits, in Durham County, you may obtain a permit to burn under the aforementioned guidelines.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

January '06

The new year brought a few changes at PVFD. Our EMS added new airway devices to help better manage patients with pulmonary edema. This life-threatening problem can now be treated with medication and positive pressure oxygen delivery devices. This should make it easier for these patients to breathe without the need for insertion of breathing tubes, called intubation.

Also this month PVFD hosted an orientation for new members. The group was a combination of volunteers and part time employees. These new members bring skills and commitment to emergency service to our department. They will be training with us over the next few months to ensure that they meet the standards of emergency responders in this county. Firefighters must meet minimum competency standards established by the Durham County Fire Marshall’s Office and EMTs must meet the standards set by the Durham County Medical Director.We welcome them and look forward to sharing our commitment to community safety.

Working for You -- 2005 Summary
Total alarms3921
Fire related476Patients transported to hospitals2229
Auto crashes406

Safety Tip
One common cause of home fires is the misuse of extension cords. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that about 4,700 residential fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 persons and injuring some 280 others. Older homes rarely have enough receptacles to accommodate the amount of electrical equipment used by today’s families. Be sure you follow these simple guidelines if you need additional power sources.
  • Use power strips with surge protectors rather than extension cords.
  • Use strips or protectors that have a built-in circuit breaker. The breaker will trip if the strip is overloaded or there is a power surge.
  • Use strips or protectors that have the UL (Underwriters Laboratory) seal of approval.
  • Never plug one strip into another. Always plug then directly into an outlet.
  • Replace worn or frayed cords.
  • Avoid running cords under carpets, rugs or tiles.
If necessary, call an electrician to install additional receptacles. Don’t take chances with your home’s safety.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.


December '05

The holidays were special times at the fire department as we celebrated with the community and our families. On December 3 the children of our members and the PVFD Auxiliary decorated the station Christmas tree with handmade ornaments in preparation for Santa’s visit the next day. December 4 our station hosted the community for a holiday party and visit with Santa following the Parkwood Christmas Parade. The weather cooperated for the biggest parade ever and Santa was kept busy with the many children who came to tell him their wishes.

EMT of the Year, L. West Firefighter of the Year, C. Wheeler

December 10 our members and family gathered for a special awards banquet. Asst. Chief A. Barringer received a 25-year service award and Capt. S. Bullock received a 15-year service award. L. West received the EMT of the Year Award and C. Wheeler received Firefighter of the Year Award. These awards are highest recognition PVFD bestows on members who demonstrate exceptional commitment to the community and to emergency service.

Working for You -- November, 2005
Total alarms344
Fire related47Patients transported to hospitals196
Auto crashes32

Safety Tip
Over 750,000 Americans will experience a stroke this year. One third will die and the others will struggle with a range of disabilities. Stroke is a medical emergency, also called a “brain attack”. It can occur at any age. During a stroke either a hemorrhage or blockage of blood flow in certain areas of the brain causes damage. Most common signs of stroke include severe headache, trouble seeing or speaking, dizziness, sudden confusion, muscular weakness on one side of the body, facial droop, or sudden numbness. Stroke is treatable if treatment begins with a few hours of onset. Therefore, recognizing a stroke quickly and calling 911 are important. Even though some strokes are transient and patients will recover fully in a few hours, never wait to see if symptoms resolve. The longer the stoke goes untreated, the greater the risk of permanent disability or death. Call 911 right away.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

November '05

In November PVFD honored members, past and present. On November 11 Mike Davis, PVFD’s first fire chief, was laid to rest in Markham Memorial Gardens in Durham. Mike died on November 8 after a long illness. Along with 22 other men from the Parkwood community, Mike was instrumental in establishing Parkwood Fire Department in 1969. His willingness to serve as the first fire chief reflects his courage to accept new challenges, his deep commitment to community service, and his love for his neighbors. Even after he stepped down as Chief in 1971, he continued to serve in the fire service for many years. He will be missed by the Parkwood Community and by Parkwood Fire Department.

On November 10 the Durham County Fire Chiefs honored Asst. Chief A. Barringer at an annual awards banquet. Asst. Chief Barringer has served at Parkwood Fire Department for 25 years. He started service as a volunteer rookie firefighter and EMT in 1980 at the age of 18. After progressing to Captain as a volunteer, he transitioned to a full-time employee 1988 and in 1997 became full-time Captain . In 2000 he was promoted to Asst. Chief in charge of Fire Operations and Personnel. When he joined the department, the department answered fewer than 300 calls a year in a mainly quiet residential community. It now responds to over 3500 calls each year in a district that includes high technology businesses, a major shopping mall, and high-density residential areas. Chief Barringer has played a key role in ensuring the department develops the skills and training to meet the new and ever-changing challenges of emergency response. We are grateful for his leadership and applaud his dedication to Parkwood Fire Department. Durham County Fire Chiefs salute Asst. Chief A. Barringer!

Looking forward to December, PVFD invites you to the Parkwood Community for an afternoon with Santa. On Sunday December 4 at 2PM, there will be a Christmas Parade along Revere Rd. in Parkwood subdivision. We have it on good authority that Santa will take time off from his Christmas preparation at the North Pole and visit the Parkwood Fire Station following the parade. Refreshments and live music will be provided for all. Come see us!

Working for You -- October, 2005
Total alarms306
Fire related43Patients transported to hospitals176
Auto crashes41

Safety Tip
Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol is an obvious safety risk. Many people do not realize that driving while “tired” can be just as dangerous. Every year tragic vehicle crashes occur when drivers fall asleep at the wheel. Drivers are particularly prone to fall asleep during the holiday season because of trying to drive long distances, intake of even moderate amounts of alcohol, eating large meals, and busy schedules which reduce the amount of sleep. Tiredness also can result in making bad decisions that can have serious consequences. For example, tiredness may cause a driver to disregard whether passengers are wearing seat belts or whether children are buckled into car seats. Tiredness increases response time in an emergency and may impair night vision. This holiday season make driving an important consideration. Take breaks on long drives.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

October '05

October is traditionally a very busy month for PVFD. October 9-15 we celebrate Fire Prevention Week. The “celebrations” are a series of educational programs for preschoolers and elementary school students to teach them fire safety. Fire Prevention Week was started by President Coolidge in 1925 to commemorate the great Chicago fire of October 9, 1871. This fire killed over 300 people and destroyed over 100,000 structures. Over 3000 children were taught fire prevention this year.

The classes this year featured a new addition to Parkwood’s truck fleet. In September the firefighters used money from previous BBQ sales to purchase Sparky, the fire dog’s robotic fire engine. Using the remote control, microphone and speaker of Sparky’s truck, education specialists delivered “kid-friendly” fire safety messages. The entertaining truck attracted children and parents alike, making fire safety a message to remember.

October 8 PVFD hosted our annual Pork BBQ. As mentioned above, we use the money from our fund-raisers to enrich ongoing programs at PVFD, such as Fire Prevention Training. We thank everyone who stopped in to support our efforts! If you missed this one, put June 3 on your calendar for our spring Chicken BBQ!

PVFD welcomed new members this month, as well. On October 19 and 22 we held our last orientation for 2005. The new members brought enthusiasm and a variety of skills to our department. They will be training over the next few weeks and then tested to ensure they can respond with the high standard that Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department demands in our of emergency service to you.

Working for You -- September, 2005
Total alarms336Community service hours1585
Fire related35Patients transported to hospitals200
Auto crashes31

Safety Tip
The cooler weather of later fall means many people will start using alternative heat sources. Chimney fires and carbon monoxide alarms rise in frequency in this early season. Before you start your fireplace for the season, invest in a chimney cleaning service. Soot and tarry combustion by-products can build up in the chimney and ignite from the heat of a simple fire. Such a chimney fire can easily spread into the attic or roof and cause serious damage. Also, be sure to burn only the type fuel your chimney was built to burn. Do not burn charcoal in a wood-burning fireplace and do not burn wood or charcoal in a gas-log fireplace. As an extra safety precaution, install a carbon monoxide detector. These devices are inexpensive but alert you when poisonous, odorless carbon monoxide builds up in your house. Carbon monoxide is also a by-product of combustion and each year people die from accidental inhalation of this toxic gas. Enjoy your fireplace safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

September '05

September PVFD became home for the newest addition to our truck fleet—a John Deere gator. Purchased through a federal grant, it will have many uses. In the event of a hazardous materials incident the Gator will be used to move response personnel and equipment at the scene. In addition we will be able to use this vehicle to respond to emergency calls along the hiking/biking trails in our district such as the American Tobacco Trail.

PVFD responded to the call for help for Hurricane Katrina victims over Labor Day weekend. On Saturday Sep 3 PVFD crew and ambulance stood by at the airport to transport victims to area hospitals. Over 50 ambulances and medical personnel were standing by that day. In the end we were not needed, but the out-pouring of resources was ready to provide medical care to hundreds of patients.

A week later our firefighters took on a challenge when they burned a house which had been donated for training on Fayetteville Rd. PVFD greatly appreciates that owners of old homes which are scheduled for demolition would give us permission to burn them. These experiences allow our firefighters to practice searching for victims, experiment with nozzles and thermal imagers, and allow our new firefighters the chance to “feel the heat” in a realistic but safe situation.

On Sat. October 8 PVFD will host its annual Pork BBQ from noon-7PM at the fire station at 1409 Seaton Rd. This fund-raiser features BBQ plus slaw, Brunswick stew, and hush puppies. Eat in or drive through for $7 adult plates and $4 child plates. Come hungry!

Working for You -- August, 2005
Total alarms373Community service hours1523
Fire related33Patients transported to hospitals205
Auto crashes32

Safety Tip
Most people make the effort to fasten their seat belt when they drive. But during a crash injuries often occur when objects in the vehicle are not secured. One dangerous behavior is the failure of people riding in the back seat to buckle up. The force of even a small adult being thrown into another can easily result in life-threatening injuries to both, whether in the front seat or the back seat. So make sure EVERYONE in the car wears a seat belt! Unsecured belongings or pets in the car can be hazardous, as well. If possible, carry groceries and any loose equipment in the trunk. Pet restraints are available from a number of commercial vendors. Also, remember that if pets are allowed to ride in the front seat, they are at great risk of death if the airbags should deploy. For your safety and theirs, secure precious pets in the rear seat.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

August '05

Despite the August heat the fire department was active.  EMS training this month focused on respiratory emergencies and new technologies to better manage them.  Capnography is one of the new technologies we began using this month.  Capnography will allow staff to continuously evaluate respiratory status of patients in acute distress.  This improves our ability to identify life-threatening conditions before they occur.  Training in use of electronic care reporting was also featured in preparation for its implementation on September 1.  Electronic reports will allow crews to provide clearer, comprehensive patient reports to the hospital, permit PVFD to comply with state regulations to transmit all patient data to the state database, and allow PVFD to monitor quality of patient care more systematically.

Firefighters continued an ongoing process of visiting businesses in our response district to review pre-fire plans.  These plans identify hazards, define hydrant locations, describe fire alarm systems, and provide contact information to be used in the event of an emergency at the facility. These plans are important to protect our crews and to allow faster, more coordinated response to fire calls. Site visits take place every six months to ensure the information is up-to-date.

This month the PVFD Auxiliary sponsored Family Day to celebrate our families, who sacrifice and support our efforts to respond to emergencies.  On August 13 they hosted a cookout for our families at the Parkwood station followed by a Durham Bulls game.  Members, spouses and children enjoyed the food, the fun, and spending time together.

Working for You -- July, 2005
Total alarms328Community service hours1579
Fire related44Patients transported to hospitals168
Auto crashes28

Safety Tip
The fire department is always prepared for severe weather.  You should be too.  We hope that "hurricanes" will remain only the name of a hockey team, but in case the Triangle area experiences a strike by a tropical storm, being prepared can make life after the storm much easier.  Power outages may be widespread.  Instead of candles with their fire hazard, have a supply of batteries for flashlights and a battery-operated radio.  ATM's and gas stations may be inoperable.  Have some cash available and fill vehicle gas tanks.  If you take medications, make sure you have at least a week's supply.  Also, purchase non-perishable foods that don't require refrigeration. Plan for enough food to feed your family for several days.  Remember to include a hand-powered can opener!  If you have a propane gas grill to use as a back-up cooking source, fill the tank.  Also, keep on hand some first aid supplies such as ibuprofen, band-aids, antibiotic cream, and benadryl.  And finally, if you have pets and health issues could make it advisable for you to go to a shelter, make arrangements in advance for someone to care for your pets at home.  Emergency shelters cannot take pets.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

July '05

July activities heated up like the summer temperatures at PVFD. This month our department was audited on water hauling by ISO (Insurance Service Organization). This organization establishes the portion of insurance rates dependent on the capability of the primary fire department. The inspection involved an active demonstration of PVFD's capability to establish a continual water flow in non-hydrant areas. Members of every squad participated. Our new tanker played an important role in that it can bring 3000 gallons of water to a fire scene and dump it into a special holding tank all within 90 seconds. Filling the tanker takes only a little bit longer. Results of the audit will be known next month.

PVFD hosted a new member orientation this month as well. Six new members joined the department and will spend the next few months learning about our operations, our equipment, and our district. This commitment to community safety makes us proud to accept these new members. We welcome them to our Parkwood team!

Our thanks go to Coldstone Creamery at Southpoint. Coldstone Creamery promoted an "ice cream dipping" fund raiser for PVFD on July 21. That evening the Parkwood Chief Officers served the community…by scooping ice cream. All profits benefited the fire department.

Working for You -- June, 2005
Total alarms286Community service hours1109
Fire related31Patients transported to hospitals164
Auto crashes28
Safety Tip
Severe weather in spring and summer can mean multiple dangers. Sudden thunderstorms can rapidly drop inches of rain making driving hazardous within minutes. Visibility is reduced, stopping distance is increased, and loss of control becomes more likely. Three simple things can make your drive safer. Reduce your speed to reduce the risk of hydroplaning, increase your following distance to decrease the risk of hitting the car in front, and turn on your headlights for better visibility. If you are outside, go indoors until the risk of lightning strikes has passed. If you can hear thunder, you are at risk if outside.

Tornadoes are also a safety threat during this time of year. If you are in your car when a tornado threatens, park on a side-street and get out of your car. Seek shelter inside immediately. If none is available, lie down in a ditch. If you are inside a building, go to the center of the building, away from any windows. Bathrooms and inner hallways are often safer places. Cover yourself with blankets, rugs, or even mattresses. Remember a tornado "warning" means a tornado has been sighted. Don't take it lightly. "Weather" the summer safely!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

June '05

PVFD began June by hosting its annual chicken BBQ. The weather cooperated and our annual fundraiser was a great success. The afternoon brought crowds to enjoy the food and tour the trucks. We would like to thank all the community who supported us.

The newest truck on display was Parkwood 2, a 3000-gallon tanker. This truck features a large water capacity that can be dumped by gravity in about 90 seconds. Filling the tanker can also be accomplished in similar time. With a substantial part of our district rated "non-hydrant", tankers are necessary to bring adequate water supply for fire fighting. On the fire scene tankers typically dump their load into a portable tank set up near the pumper. Then a rotation of several tankers can be established, each of them dumping on scene and refilling at a remote location in turn. The more water a tanker can bring and the faster it can dump and refill, the more assurance the water flow to the pumper will not be interrupted. This makes firefighting safer and more effective.

This month fire crews trained by burning a house scheduled for demolition. These training burns require a great deal of advance preparation to ensure any hazardous material is removed prior to the burn. Then, during the burn, the performance and safety of the crews must be continually monitored by a state certified instructor. This type of "live" training is invaluable to firefighters as they continually improve their proficiency using new equipment and trying new techniques to rescue people and put out fires faster.

Working for You -- May, 2005
Total alarms347Community service hours1802
Fire related51Patients transported to hospitals199
Auto crashes34
Safety Tip
A recent survey by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) showed Americans underestimate their risk of fire. Choosing from a list of disasters more people said they felt at greater risk of tornado than fire. Asked what disaster they felt most prepared for, the highest percentage felt they were most prepared for fires. And yet data shows this perception may be dangerous. While 70 people on average die annually from tornadoes, 3925 people died in fires in 2003. While tornadoes cause an average of $1 billion damage, in 2003 fires caused almost $12 billion dollars in property damage. There are two important things you can do to protect your family and yourself in the event of a fire. Make sure you have a functioning smoke detector on each floor of your house and make sure you rehearse an escape plan with your family. And for those tornado warnings? Stay tuned next month.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

May '05

May brought new challenges to PVFD. Early in May EMS personnel spent 8 hours training on obstetrical and gynecological emergencies. Instructors came from Durham Community Technical College, Duke Medical Center, and our own chaplain. The curriculum covered everything from normal childbirth, to managing trauma and the pregnant patient, handling the sexually assaulted patient, and communicating with parents who have just experienced a miscarriage or still-birth.

May also brought another delivery-that was the arrival of the long-awaited new tanker. We still need to add equipment to the truck before it can be put into service. Initial tests of time to load and offload a full 3000-gallon tank were very impressive. In next month's article we'll show you the new truck and tell you more about what it can do.

If you don't want to wait, come see all the trucks on Saturday, June 4 when PVFD hosts its annual Chicken BBQ. From noon til 7PM we will serve our slow-cooked grilled chicken with potato salad, slaw, and rolls. Adult plates are $7 and Child plates are $4. Come hungry!

Working for You -- April, 2005
Total alarms381Community service hours1730
Fire related45Patients transported to hospitals211
Auto crashes42
Safety Tip
Even though the heat of summer isn't here yet, people may have more trouble adjusting to the heat early in the season rather than late in the season. If you are not used to working in the heat, limit the time you spend outside and try to do chores in the cooler morning or evening hours. Remember that many medications can impair your ability to sweat and regulate temperature. Consult your physician if this may be an issue for you. While exercising in the heat, drink plenty of fluids. Water is the best. Avoid beverages with caffeine or alcohol. If you have respiratory problems, do not exercise outside on "ozone action red days". Heat emergencies can be life-threatening. Learn to recognize the danger signs. If you or someone you know is not behaving normally, loses consciousness, feels nauseous, and has hot and dry skin after being outside in the heat, call 911 immediately.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

April '05

In April PVFD hosted a new member orientation, taking on 8 new members. The orientation program provides basic information they will need to work at Parkwood. Then they will train for several months to acquire the experience needed to become emergency services personnel. Firefighters initially complete national NFPA 1403 training requirements before they are allowed to function. That program takes 3-6 months to complete for most volunteers. EMS personnel are required to be NC state certified, but they also spend 2-3 months training on Parkwood equipment before being released to function. We welcome these new members and appreciate their commitment to community safety.

Working for You -- March, 2005
Total alarms312Community service hours1601
Fire related27Patients transported to hospitals197
Auto crashes29
Safety Tip
Spring is a good time to clean up the yards and also to clean up those cabinets or shelves containing old fertilizers and pesticides. Improper pesticide use and disposal can cause injury or death. Here are some tips for chemical safety:

  1. Store lawn and garden chemicals and sprayers/spreaders in a locked storage cabinet.
  2. Never remove the container label or put the chemical into a food storage container. The label contains important safety information and what to do in case of an exposure.
  3. Keep absorbent material, like kitty litter, near the place where you dilute or mix chemicals.
  4. Keep soap and water handy to quickly remove any chemicals that may get onto your skin.
  5. Dispose of used containers and old chemicals properly. Durham County has Household Hazardous waste disposal every Wed. and Sat. Waste collections are held at 1900 E. Club Boulevard (across from the North Durham Water Reclamation Facility) from 9am to 3pm.
  6. Call 911 if anyone accidentally eats, drinks, gets splashed in the eye, or otherwise gets contaminated. Remember to have the container available for emergency responders.
Enjoy a safe spring!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

March '05

Our fire crews started the month with training which will prepare them to use a new tanker due to be delivered at the end of April.  Tanker trucks are important in the Parkwood fire district because not every area we protect has fire hydrants.  Tankers allow us to haul large quantities of water from a distant location to feed the pumpers which are actually putting water on the fire. The new tanker has an increased water capacity that will allow the fire crews to fill two dump tanks at one time instead of the usual one dump tank.

EMS crews focused on training to meet new county and state standards for performance.  Each EMT over the course of the year has to demonstrate proficiency in certain medical skills according to their certification.  State certified evaluators conducted this session which was presented in scenarios to make the testing more realistic.

This month PVFD started a special health program for our members.  Working with the Duke University Stedman Nutrition Center, a program combining physical fitness with nutritional training was offered to all staff by special trainers.  Heart attack is a leading cause of death in firefighters so learning how to improve cardiovascular fitness early in life is a priority for us.

Working for You -- February, 2005
Total alarms317Community service hours1551
Fire related27Patients transported to hospitals202
Auto crashes30
Safety Tip
Recognizing a heart attack is not always simple.  In fact only about 23 percent of people having a heart attack even call 911.  Many simply drive themselves to the hospital.  Not only is this dangerous in the event the heart attack leads to cardiac arrest, but it increases the time to treatment.  The longer a heart attack goes on, the more heart tissue is damaged.  Parkwood is working with Duke Hospital on a special program to speed the time to treatment for patients in our district that call 911.  That program decreases the time the hospital takes to begin treatment, and by calling 911 our medical crews can start treatment in the home or workplace.  So learn to recognize the signs and symptoms that may mean trouble.  Call 911 if you experience sudden shortness of breath accompanied by clammy skin; pressure in the chest; or pain or discomfort that radiates to the back, arm or jaw that does not go away with rest.  Our crews carry equipment to monitor you and medications that can reduce the chances of heart damage during a heart attack.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

February '05

This month our staff was busy training.  Our EMS crews spent an entire day on February 5 studying cardiology.  The classes were a mix of lecture and scenario-participation so everyone was able to practice what they learned.  In addition to the standard course of cardiac care offered by our service, Parkwood VFD is partnering with Duke Hospital in a program designed to speed patient access to surgical intervention at the hospital.  These classes prepared our staff to make the best use of that program.

On February 7 our Chaplain, M. Holland, taught a class to all staff on “Dealing with Death and Dying”.  One of the biggest challenges emergency providers face is communicating bad news to family and friends of our patients.  We spend thousands of hours learning how to save property and lives, but when our efforts fail, we have little training on how to deal with that.  During this class session the Chaplain taught us how to manage our own feelings and how to better assist our community in moments of grief.

Also, this month a new round of North Carolina Firefighter I and II certification classes started at PVFD.  These sessions are taught every Monday and some Saturdays.  They are open to all firefighters.

Working for You -- January, 2005
Total alarms267Community service hours1286
Fire related38Patients transported to hospitals139
Auto crashes29
Safety Tip
Hypertension is a major health problem in America.  One in three adults has high blood pressure.  It is also known as “the silent killer” because it has no symptoms.  Left untreated, hypertension can lead to heart failure, kidney failure, heart attack, or stroke.  In addition it can cause retinal bleeding in the eye, leading to blindness.  Stress, drinking too much alcohol, and some medications can raise blood pressure.  Dietary changes that limit salt, medication, and exercise can reduce blood pressure.  The good news is that hypertension can be treated and controlled.  Have your blood pressure checked regularly.  Home units are fairly inexpensive and make it easy to check yourself frequently.  Normal blood pressure is 120/80 or less.  If yours is greater, contact your physician.  Stop the Silent Killer.  Get your blood pressure checked.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

January '05

Even in good weather, the fire department makes storm preparations.  This month our ambulances were outfitted with “On-Spot” chains for snow and icy road conditions.  These chains attach to the undercarriage and can be deployed by the driver when needed by the push of a button. This gives us the ability to respond even in quickly deteriorating weather conditions. Chain saws, power tools, and hydraulic tools on the fire engines and rescue truck are tested weekly.  When bad weather threatens, extra personnel are put on notice and extra staff may be added at the stations.  We enjoyed the taste of spring, but we remained ready for weather-related emergencies.

January 19 and 22 we hosted the first new member orientation of 2005.  About a dozen new firefighters and EMTs joined the department.  We are pleased to welcome them and look forward to the energy and commitment they bring to our department and to the community.

Working for You -- December, 2004
Total alarms292Community service hours1430
Fire related47Patients transported to hospitals187
Auto crashes47
Safety Tip
Fire safety training and a little preparation paid off for one Parkwood family this year.  When a fire started in the kitchen, a child at home used the fire safety training he received in school to put out the fire.  He was able to use a fire extinguisher on the fire and to get a younger sibling out of the house.  He also called 911 and by the time the fire department arrived the fire was out and everyone was safe.

You can make your family safer in the event of a fire by doing some simple preplanning.  Discuss routes to safety from different rooms. Determine a safe place for everyone to meet outside the house in the event of a fire.  Place several fire extinguishers in strategic locations, such as near the entry to the kitchen and near the front door.  Make sure to test your smoke alarms and change the batteries twice a year.  Keep hallways and doorways free of clutter and combustible materials, such as stacks of newspapers or magazines.  Never block an exit with furniture. Some easy planning in advance can make all the difference to your family’s safety.  If you need assistance, please call us at 361-0927.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.


December '04

December was a busy social month at the fire department.  On December 4, the newly formed PVFD Auxiliary hosted a “Trim the Tree” party for our families and their children.  The group made ornaments for the station tree and enjoyed sampling fresh baked holiday cookies.  PVFD hosted the annual Parkwood Christmas parade on December 5.  The weather cooperated and no doubt encouraged the hundreds of people to view the parade.  Santa and Mrs. Claus parked the reindeer at the North Pole and rode in the aerial ladder truck.  Neighbors gathered at the fire station after the parade for snacks provided by the Parkwood Association and children gathered on Santa’s lap for a quick Christmas request.

The following weekend we celebrated with our families at our annual Christmas Party.  This occasion is also an awards evening where individuals are recognized for special contributions to the department.  J. H. Rudisill, retired PVFD Chief, received a plaque for 35 years of service with the fire department.  The awards for Parkwood’s highest achievement and exemplary service were voted by the membership.  This year the award for Firefighter of the year goes to C. Steele.  The award for Hazmat Technician of year goes to T. Dettman.  The award for EMT of the year goes to Paramedic-Firefighter D. White.  Ms. White has won this award for an unprecedented 3 years in a row!  We thank all these individuals for their commitment to community service and for being an inspiration for all our members.

Working for You -- November, 2004
Total alarms322Community service hours1717
Fire related45Patients transported to hospitals175
Auto crashes52
Safety Tip
The mild winter weather has been a welcome treat but now is the time to ensure your family is prepared in the event of power failures.  Check your supply of batteries, making sure you have the right size for your flashlights.  Many families have an alternate source of heat in addition to a furnace system.  If you use a fireplace, have a supply of hardwoods to burn.  Do not burn paper or pine.  Paper creates an intense flash heat and pine has resins that will make dangerous sparks.  Also do not burn charcoal in a fireplace or bring a grill inside.  If you use a kerosene heater, use ONLY kerosene as fuel.  Never use gasoline or Coleman fuel.  This could result in an explosion.  Also, keep a window slightly open to allow carbon monoxide to escape.  Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause death.  And when checking fuel level in these heaters, remember to use only a flashlight, not candles or matches.  Stay warm, stay safe, and have a very happy new year.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

November '04

On October 9 PVFD hosted its annual Pork BBQ.  Many neighbors came to support us and share a good meal.  We thank all for their contributions!  This year the members voted to donate a portion of the proceeds to the firefighters in Clyde, NC.  This small town in the mountains was hit hard by catastrophic flooding this fall.  Seven members of their local fire department lost their homes in floodwaters while they worked to save others.  We are proud to join other fire departments across the state in providing financial assistance to these emergency workers.

On October 20 PVFD conducted a quarterly orientation program for new volunteer and employee recruits.  Twelve new firefighters and EMTs became members of the department.  They have months of training ahead but their enthusiasm and commitment to community service will already be a benefit to the department.  Parkwood runs one orientation program for new recruits each quarter.  Our next program starts January 19, 2005. If you are interested in becoming a member, please pick up a membership packet at our station at 1409 Seaton Rd. or visit our website at

And don’t forget that on December 5 at 2 PM Santa will visit the Parkwood Fire Station following the annual holiday parade in Parkwood subdivision.  Come see us!

Working for You -- October, 2004
Total alarms319Community service hours1630
Fire related37Patients transported to hospitals164
Auto crashes36
Safety Tip
The cool air is a reminder that holidays are fast approaching.  Each year the festivities are marred by home fires caused by holiday candles.  In 2001 candles started an estimated 18,000 home fires and caused 190 deaths.  December has twice the number of candle fires as any other month.  The National Fire Incident Reporting System shows that 45% of candle fires start in the bedroom and 25% start when combustible materials come too close.  For candle safety follow these simple rules: 1) Never burn a candle unattended, 2) Keep the candle away from combustibles like curtains, bedding, and wooden furniture, 3) Keep wicks trimmed to 1/4 inch, 4) Discard candles with less than 1/2 inch of wax remaining, and 5) Keep candles and matches away from children.  But whether candles are part of your holiday or not, make sure your smoke detector has a fresh battery and is fully functional.  If you need assistance or would like more information, contact us at 361-0927.  Have a safe and happy holiday season!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

October '04

September 16 was the annual election of the Board of Directors.  At this open membership meeting K. Neal was newly elected.  C. McDowell, D. Beach, R. Parrott, and R. McCray were re-elected to serve another 2-year term.  We thank all the Board members for their volunteering their talents and efforts in providing effective management to our ever growing and changing organization.

During this month Dr. Charmaine Gregory, a physician from Duke Medical Center Emergency Department, presented two lectures for PVFD EMS.  The lectures on “Managing the Difficult Airway” and “Shock” were special topics on life-threatening medical emergencies.  Dr. Gregory provided a physician’s perspective on managing these events.  Dr. Gregory, also spent several 12-hour shifts riding with crews on our ambulances to better understand the challenges of providing medical care in the pre-hospital setting.

On a very sad note on October 2 the wife of a former Board member, L. Paul Strickland, was killed in an automobile crash.  Jodie Strickland had previously been a volunteer firefighter at PVFD and left to pursue a career in law enforcement.  Paul was a member for 17 years and in addition to serving on the Board, he also had been a Captain in charge of recruitment.  Our department shares his sadness in this tragic loss of life.

Working for You -- September, 2004
Total alarms308Community service hours1319
Fire related28Patients transported to hospitals171
Auto crashes46
Safety Tip
Recently, one of our former firefighters was killed when she lost control of her personal vehicle on a rain-slick road.  She was an excellent, experienced driver and had driven fire trucks and other emergency vehicles.  It took just one instant on a wet highway for her to lose control and lose her life.  Hydroplaning occurs when tires briefly ride on top of a thin sheet of water on the road.  They lose traction and the vehicle slides uncontrollably, just as if it were on ice.  There are simple things you can do to reduce the risk and make your traveling safer in bad weather.  First, for maximum grip make sure your car tires have good tread and are inflated to manufacturer’s recommendation.  Second, do not make sudden changes in travel direction at high speed.  Make turns and change lanes gradually.  Last and most importantly, slow down when the pavement is wet!  A dry road that is safe at 55mph may be deadly at that speed when wet.  Take a few extra minutes and arrive at your destination safely!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

September '04

August brought a mixture of activities at PVFD.  Nearly 40 EMS personnel attended a special pediatric education program offered over two weekends.  This was the first time this nationally recognized course was taught at PVFD. The course featured lectures on child medical issues and skills stations where our personnel had opportunities to practice life-saving techniques.

August 28 firefighters and EMTs worked at the REI-sponsored Bike Rodeo and Clinic at Southpoint Mall.  Durham Police were also on hand to give safe bicycle-riding instruction and the Durham Safe Kids Coalition brought child bicycle helmets to sell at cost for children who did not have a helmet.  The children had their bikes tuned up and learned lots of good safety tips while having lots of fun.

At the end of the month we celebrated both the closing of summer and the contributions made by the families of our members.  On August 19 our members and families met at Jordan Lake for a day of fun and good food.  Families are a vital part of our emergency response.  Their support is essential to our members and this event recognizes that important contribution.

Mark your calendars!  Saturday Ocober. 9 PVFD hosts its annual fund-raising pork BBQ.  The plates have slow-cooked marinated pork, coleslaw, Brunswick stew, and hushpuppies.  Adult plates are $8 and child plates are $5 at the door.  You can buy discount tickets in advance from any member or at the station on Seaton Road. Discount tickets are $6/$4 and will be available through October 8.  We’ll be serving from noon till 7 PM.  Come join us!

Working for You -- August, 2004
Total alarms307Community service hours1829
Fire related42Patients transported to hospitals168
Auto crashes50
Safety Tip
On October 9, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire started.  This tragic fire killed some 300 people, left 100,000 homeless and destroyed more than 17,000 structures.  National Fire Prevention Week, started in 1925 by President Coolidge, was to raise public awareness of their role in reducing fire-related deaths.  It is always the week in which October 9 falls.  Each year the National Fire Administration chooses a specific theme to commemorate throughout the United States.  This year the theme is “Test Your Smoke Alarms.”

Testing smoke alarms is a simple lesson that can save lives.  Because fire can spread through a home so quickly, it is essential that everyone in your family be able to recognize the sound of the alarm, and has a plan for getting out safely.  Once out of the house, stay out until firefighters have ensured it is safe to re-enter.  Smoke alarms are the fire safety success story of the 20th century, but they cannot save your life if they do not work.  Test your smoke alarm today.  It could make all the difference.  If you need assistance or would like more information, please call us at 361-0927.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

August '04

On July 21 several new members joined our fire department.  S. Johnson, T. Jones, O. Gaston and M. Herrera accepted the responsibilities of providing emergency services to our community.  They bring a variety of experience in EMS, fire operations, and hazardous materials response to our staff. We welcome them to our department!

As we welcome new recruits, we say goodbye to the state RRT-4 HazMat contract.  Since the contract’s beginning in 1998, PVFD has served as the home base for this North Carolina regional team.  Recent grant opportunities allowed us buy response equipment to support our own Hazardous Materials Response team.  This means our response area will be focused locally, not regionally over many counties.  So even though the RRT-4 equipment has gone away, the highly trained and experienced crews remain. With these newly reorganized HazMat responders, PVFD will maintain the ability to answer our community’s needs.

Working for You -- July, 2004
Total alarms325Community service hours1703
Fire related52Patients transported to hospitals172
Auto crashes40
Safety Tip
Road construction hasn’t made driving in our area any easier. I-40 lane and exit ramp closures, Hwy 55 widening, and other road projects have created even more traffic congestion and travel delays.  This leads to a mixture of driver irritability and confusion.  Aggressive driving, such as speeding, tailgating, and changing lanes rapidly are NOT the answer.  These techniques will only increase the chances that you will cause a crash.  If there is a crash, understand that because of traffic, emergency vehicles may have a hard time accessing a crash scene and will have to shut down the highway for a time, further adding to everyone’s frustration.  Please give everyone a “brake”—slow down.  Caution and courtesy will help you get to your destination safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

July '04

The summer heat hasn’t slowed the department down. June and July are the months we test the fire hoses on all the trucks.  Twice a year the hoses are taken off the trucks and stretched out as far as they will go.  The free ends are capped and then the hose is “charged”, that is filled with water under pressure. We do this to ensure that the equipment is in good shape and will not fail when we need it.  An uninterrupted water flow is important in fire suppression to save your property and to protect the lives of our firefighters.  This is one way we ensure our equipment is ready.

Training is a huge component of readiness.  In July we sent 4 firefighters to the national Firehouse Expo Conference in Baltimore, MD.  The conference consists of a large trade show displaying the latest in fire and rescue equipment and seminars on new and established techniques.  The information and enthusiasm they bring back to the rest of the department will help shape our training in the future.

Working for You -- June, 2004
Total alarms324Community service hours1514
Fire related33Patients transported to hospitals186
Auto crashes38
Safety Tip
As summer draws to a close, hurricane season starts up.  Now is the time to prepare for possible widespread loss of electrical power and flooding.  Make a survival kit for your home that includes non-perishable food, water, flashlights, portable radio and plenty of batteries.  Put together a first aid kit.  Be prepared to be without electrical service for several days.  Do not run generators in your house and do not use candles or gas lanterns for light.

You may need to evacuate from your home.  Make a list of important documents to have with you like insurance policies, birth certificates, and important phone numbers.  Be sure to bring prescription medicines and if any need refrigeration, have a small cooler ready.  Pack some personal hygiene items, extra eyeglasses, hearing aids, flashlight and batteries, a couple changes of clothes, and some comfort foods.  Have a small battery operated radio and some bedding available.  If you have pets, decide now what you will do with them.  Community shelters will not accept pets.

Remember, if you wait to evacuate until after the storm hits, damaged trees and power lines may prevent you from leaving.  Emergency personnel may also be prevented from reaching you.  The bottom line is plan ahead.  For free storm-planning guides contact the Durham County Fire Marshal at 560-0660.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

June '04

Many thanks go to the community who supported us during our Chicken BBQ fund-raiser on June 5. This annual event is an important fund-raiser for our members and it also gives us a way to showcase our station and equipment. If you missed this event, mark your calendar for October 9 when we will host a pork BBQ dinner. You won’t be disappointed!

Our thanks also go to the Woodcroft Women’s Club for their donation to PVFD and for their support to our department. On May 24 they awarded cash donations to several non-profit agencies, including PVFD. We greatly appreciate this recognition and will use the money for supplies needed for our children’s Fire Prevention Program.

During the past month PVFD installed new vehicle exhaust extractors in its stations. This system will remove the diesel fumes emitted by the trucks when they idle inside the station and as they start up. Diesel fumes contain carcinogens and particulates that can cause breathing difficulty. Because our crews live in the station for long periods, it is important to reduce their exposure to these fumes. The renovation was paid for by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and will help improve the health and safety of all our members.

Working for You -- May, 2004
Total alarms332Community service hours1759
Fire related43Patients transported to hospitals159
Auto crashes47
Safety Tip
On July 4 Americans celebrate with fireworks more than any other time of year. Home fireworks are dangerous and especially to children. In 2002, 8,800 people were treated in U.S. emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries. Four people died. Children 14 years and younger sustained about 50% of injuries related to fireworks, and boys represented 75% of all those injured. Hands and fingers (32%), eyes (21%), and head and face (17%) were the parts of the body most frequently injured. More than half of the injuries involved burns (66%).  Take some simple precautions when using fireworks.

  1. Keep all fireworks away from any flammable liquids, dry grassy areas, or open bonfires.
  2. Keep buckets of water nearby and/or a "working" garden hose for any fire emergency that may occur.
  3. Never attempt to pick up and relight a "fizzled" fireworks device that has failed to light or "go off".
  4. Do not use any aluminum or metal soda can or glass bottle to stage or hold fireworks before lighting.
  5. Never make use of mail-order fireworks kits. These kits are simply unsafe.
  6. Keep small children a safe distance from the fireworks; older children that use fireworks need to be carefully supervised.
The best advice, however, is to leave the fireworks to professionals. Enjoy the holiday safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

May '04

PVFD welcomes 4 new volunteers to our ranks: P. Hooker, K. Keith, K. MacKillop, and B. Parsons.  Three of which are all certified NC EMT's. And one will train as a firefighter.  Over the next few weeks these folks will be completing a training program at PVFD that will prepare them to provide emergency care according to our local protocols and procedures.  We welcome their commitment and enthusiasm for public service!

With much regret we said good-bye to Volunteer Firefighter M. Chapman, who relocated to Wilmington.  FF Chapman was instrumental in managing our firefighter training program and also served as an officer on the NC Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team (RRT-4).

No position remains vacant for long so we also thank Volunteer Firefighter T. Whalen for taking on the challenging task of coordinating fire and rescue training for PVFD.  Thanks also to Volunteer Mike Pirrello for accepting the leadership position for the RRT-4.  Both of the individuals have years of experience and will bring extensive knowledge and skills to their positions.

May also brought training opportunities for our EMS personnel.  About 45 EMT's participated in an all day seminar May 1 on Medical Emergencies.  Doctors and nurses from Duke Medical Center, UNC Hospital and our own paramedic staff offered classes on a variety of specialty topics directed towards prehospital emergency care.

Working for You -- April, 2004
Total alarms301Community service hours1864
Fire related40Patients transported to hospitals155
Auto crashes26
Safety Tip
Juvenile arson is not a widely acknowledged problem.  Yet last year fires reported to the US Fire Administration showed children playing with fire started almost 42,000 fires, caused 165 deaths and almost 2000 injuries in addition to $272 million in property damage.  In fact juvenile firesetters accounted for half of all those arrested for arson with one-third of those arrested being under the age of 15! Most children play with fire in their bedrooms using matches or lighters that parents have failed to secure out of reach.  Youth firesetting is not a fire problem.  It is a kid problem.  Make sure your children understand the dangers of playing with fire.  Teach older children to use matches and lighters responsibly.  Then make it clear to your child that if he or she does accidently start a fire, that they should get themselves and everyone else out of the house. Call 911 and let the fire department make sure the fire is properly extinguished.  If you would like any further information on fire prevention, please contact our staff at 361-0927.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

April '04

In December, 2003 the members of PVFD voted Captain R. Lowans as Firefighter of the Year.  In March 2004, we are proud to announce that the Durham Jaycees voted him Young Public Servant of the Year.  This outstanding young man was acknowledged for his contributions to the community and the department.  A member of PVFD since 1991, he has steadily acquired new skills.  He now has an Associate Degree in Fire Science, is a certified Rescue Specialist, an NC Hazmat Technician, and an EMT-Intermediate.  He has also taken on the responsibility of maintaining the entire fleet of emergency vehicles for our department.  Through his leadership, he is a role model for his squad employees and volunteers.  He actively promotes fire safety and fire prevention by teaching classes at local elementary and day care schools.  In his spare time he has chaired numerous fund raising projects for the department.  Join us in congratulating him for all his efforts on making our community a safer place to live and work.

Don't miss the Annual PVFD Chicken BBQ on Saturday, June 5 from noon until 7PM at our main station at 1409 Seaton Road!  We will have the popular drive-thru as well as the eat-in option. The meal is one-half of slow grilled chicken, coleslaw, potato salad, and roll.  Sweet tea included and all for $6.  Children plates are available for $4.   Come see us!

Working for You -- March, 2004
Total alarms313Community service hours1432
Fire related34Patients transported to hospitals149
Auto crashes25
Safety Tip
As the weather gets warmer, be careful that you do not become a victim of heat-related emergencies.  Surprisingly, most people have trouble early in the season when perhaps they are not accustomed to the rising temperatures.  Often problems can be avoided by simply drinking plenty of water.  Avoid alcoholic beverages and beverages high in caffeine or sugar.  Electrolyte replacements, though marketed for the general consumer, are generally needed only by athletes or people working for long periods in the heat.  Heat emergencies may begin as simple abdominal cramps with excessive sweating.  Pale skin, dizziness, and nausea may indicate more serious problems.  If someone has stopped sweating, has hot, flushed skin, and is not acting normally, this is a true emergency.  In each case get them into a cooler environment and call 911 immediately.  If you have medical problems, approach the summer heat and humidity with caution.  Some medications may impair your ability to sweat.  Enjoy the warm weather safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

March '04

State inspections were the big news in March.  On the same day, the NC Dept. of Insurance began an inspection of fire operations and the NC Office of EMS arrived to inspect every ambulance and the two engines that are also used for responding to EMS calls.  The fire inspection involved a comprehensive review of records documenting everything from hydrant inspections, to numbers of trucks and personnel responding to different types of calls, to how our crews manage to do water hauls in areas with no hydrants.

The inspection results in a numerical rating called an “ISO number” which impacts the fire insurance costs of property owners in our primary response area.  The better we do, the lower the fire insurance rates.  These inspection are performed every 5 years.

The EMS inspection is required annually to ensure that the EMS vehicles responding to your emergency calls are stocked with all the equipment required by NC and that all equipment is clean and within expiration date.  PVFD is proud that its service exceeds the state standards.

Working for You -- February, 2004
Total alarms309Community service hours1663
Fire related40Patients transported to hospitals145
Auto crashes29
Safety Tip
A fire extinguisher is an important piece of safety equipment that should be in every house.  The reasons for having a fire extinguisher are to suppress a fire along an escape route and to contain a small fire until the arrival of the fire department.  For household use the ABC extinguisher is the most common type.  ABC is good for fires of paper, wood, burning liquids (like grease or gasoline) and electrical fires.  Extinguishers come in 2, 5, and 10 lb. sizes for homes.  The larger the size, the longer it will discharge.  For these small units, however, that time is measured in seconds!  Therefore, a 5 lb. extinguisher is the minimum size recommended.

Even if your home is protected by an extinguisher, in the event of fire, the first step is to call 911 and get everyone out of the house.  Use the extinguisher only if the fire is small.  Aim at the base of the fire and keep your back to an unobstructed exit!  If you have any questions about using or selecting fire extinguishers, call our station at 361-0927.  Our staff will be glad to assist you.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

February '04

Trauma related incidents compose a large portion of PVFD’s emergency calls.  In February nearly 50 EMT’s participated in a 2-day Prehospital Trauma Life Support class.  This specialized program provides a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on scenario-based training. S tudents learned how to quickly determine the seriousness of injuries and how to manage the patient efficiently and effectively.  We thank Triangle Life Sciences at 86 T.W. Alexander Dr. for the use of their classroom facilities.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol and MAP representatives (the helpful folks who assist motorists on I-40) also gave a presentation on highway safety to firefighters and EMS personnel.  Responding to traffic crashes is dangerous for rescuers because drivers approaching a scene often do not slow down or pay attention to their driving.  The new “Move Over” law may provide us some protection.  The law requires drivers who are approaching a parked emergency vehicle operating its lights and emergency flashers to move over to a lane away from the vehicles, if it is safe to do so.  If a driver is unable to move over, then they should slow down to a prudent speed.

In late February several firefighters will attend a national firefighters conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, IN.  The conference is a multi-day training event, showcasing new techniques and new equipment.

Working for You -- January, 2004
Total alarms335Community service hours1912
Fire related42Patients transported to hospitals150
Auto crashes41
Safety Tip
A recent fire at the home of one of our firefighters served as a reminder that clothes dryers can be dangerous.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 15,500 fires associated with clothes dryers occur annually.  These fires account for more than $84.4 million in property damage annually.  The most common problem is lint-clogged filters and vents that may cause the dryer to overheat.  In addition, the lint is an excellent and easily combustible fuel.  Follow these tips to keep your dryer operating safely:
  1. Clean the lint filter before or after each load.  Don't forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can be trapped.
  2. Clean the venting system periodically.
  3. Replace plastic, vinyl, and aluminum foil venting with rigid or flexible metal venting.
  4. Do not dry clothing/fabric on which there is anything flammable (alcohol, cooking oils, gasoline, spot removers, dry-cleaning solvents, etc.)  Flammable substances give off vapors that could ignite or explode.
  5. Do not leave home while the dryer is running.  Consider your dryer just like your stove.  Always make sure they are OFF when you leave the house.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

January '04

Have you ever wondered how to get involved with Parkwood Fire Department?  In January Parkwood hosted an orientation program for new recruits.  On Wednesday evening the program covers the history of PVFD, the benefits package, and introduces the new member to their officers.  The following Saturday PVFD provides safety training, an introduction into the Fire Department operations and a tour of our 3 stations.  Lunch is provided on this all-day session.  This popular program allows the recruits to see if this work is "right for them.

Commitment to emergency services means hours of staffing, training, and public service.  If you are considering volunteering or investigating a career in emergency services, visit our website at for information on how to apply.  You are also welcome to visit our station at 1409 Seaton Rd. and talk to our staff about volunteer and career opportunities.  PVFD offers service in Fire Protection, Heavy Rescue, EMS, and Hazardous Materials Response.  Except for EMS, which requires prior state certification, experience is not required.  The orientation program is sponsored quarterly but applications are taken at all times.

Working for You -- December, 2003
Total alarms323Community service hours3200
Fire related30Patients transported to hospitals158
Auto crashes41
Safety Tip
Winter is not over yet.  The number of traffic crashes that occurred during the last snowstorm showed that many people do not understand the risk of snow-covered roads.  The simple but important driving technique to remember is to SLOW down.  Even roads that are merely wet can cause out-of-control skids from hydroplaning when drivers go too fast.  When driving on snow or ice, keep your speed constant and well below the posted speed limit.  Plan ahead while you drive to avoid fast acceleration and braking, or sudden changes in direction.  Double the recommended following distance between you and the car in front of you.  Instead of leaving a space of 1 car length for every 10mph, leave at least 2 car lengths.  And please, take a minute even on frosty mornings to clear your windshield before getting on the highways.  Traffic crashes are not accidents.  You CAN prevent them!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.


December '03

The holidays were busy for our department and for our families.  On December 7 PVFD participated in the annual Parkwood Neighborhood Christmas Parade.  The weather cooperated so that Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus rode the parade route in a refurbished ’51 open cab Mack pumper with the firefighters.  A record crowd came to the station after the parade for refreshments, to visit with Santa, and to enjoy the holiday music.

On December 13 we celebrated with our families at the PVFD Christmas party.  The festivities always include a presentation of awards.  Two very special awards were presented.  The firefighters presented Chaplain M. Holland with a white helmet and gold helmet shield for his extraordinary service to the department.  The only other person to be awarded the gold shield in all of PVFD history is Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

In another moving presentation Dr. D. Marcozzi, a PVFD firefighter and Captain in the US Army presented to the department an American Flag he had carried with him on his tour of duty in Iraq.  We are honored to care for this flag and all that it represents.

Three other special persons were recognized.  A. Boone was named Hazmat Technician of the Year, D. White was named EMT of the Year, and Capt. R. Lowans was named Firefighter of the Year.  These three outstanding individuals were voted Best of the Best by their fellow members.  They received the awards for their hard work, dedication, and professionalism to emergency situations.

Working for You -- November, 2003
Total alarms300Community service hours2565
Fire related40Patients transported to hospitals120
Auto crashes55
Safety Tip
Candles are a common cause of wintertime fires.  In fact, the incidence of candle fires has increased 20% over recent years.  In 1999 (the most recent year for statistics) 15,040 home fires started by candles were reported with 102 deaths and 1473 injuries.  Property losses were $278 million.  Nearly 40% of these fires occurred in the bedroom.  The beauty of a candle is undeniable but be careful when burning them.  Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.  Don’t leave children unattended with them.  Keep the candles away from things that could catch fire like drapes, books, and clothing.  Should there be a power outage, never use a candle to check pilot lights or when fueling equipment such as generators or kerosene heaters.  The damage to homes and injuries caused by candle fires are preventable.  Keep your home safe and enjoy a pleasant January.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

November '03

As the year draws to a close the pace of activities at PVFD has not slowed down.  In November, fire and rescue crews trained for several days on school bus extrication.  Old busses were brought into our station parking area and our personnel were able to try out a variety of tools and techniques for cutting into the busses.  We thank Alamance and Hyde Counties for their generous donation of the vehicles.

How many lives can one house have?  An old wood-frame house on S. Alston had several.  After being used by families for decades, it was taken over by the Jaycees in October for their Haunted House.  Then in November it became a training ground for firefighters.  Scores of firefighters from several companies practice ventilation, fire suppression, water streams, and rescue techniques before the house was allowed to burn to the ground.  Practice with thermal imaging cameras was also an important part of the drill.  Using old houses for these drills provides the best realistic training.  We greatly appreciate all who contributed to allow us this opportunity.

Working for You -- October, 2003
Total alarms310Community service hours3194
Fire related37Patients transported to hospitals149
Auto crashes44
Safety Tip
Last year when our area was devastated by an ice storm, numerous people turned to alternate heat sources for heating and cooking.  As a consequence, many fell victim to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.  Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless poisonous gas that is given off whenever wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, or gas is burned.  If appliances that burn fuels are used incorrectly, CO can accumulate to toxic levels.  Fetuses, infants, elderly people, and people with anemia or heart or respiratory disease can be especially susceptible.  Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, confusion, and nausea.

DO read and follow all of the instructions that accompany any fuel-burning device.  DO use the proper fuel and keep doors to the rest of the house open.  DO call EPA's IAQ INFO Clearinghouse (1-800-438-4318) or the Consumer Product Safety Commission  (1-800-638-2772) for more information on how to reduce your risks from CO and other combustion gases and particles.  DON'T use a gas oven to heat your home, even for a short time. DON'T ever use a charcoal grill indoors -- even in a fireplace.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

October '03

Many thanks go to those who supported our recent fund-raising BBQ on Oct. 11.  Despite damp weather a steady stream of people came to eat, inspect the fire trucks, and gather fire prevention literature.  The BBQ marks the end of Fire Prevention Week.  This year our personnel visited area schools and taught almost 2000 children about fire safety.  It was one of our most successful public service events ever!

Earlier in October two PVFD paramedics, D. Andrews and R. Furberg, delivered a lecture at the North Carolina EMS Conference in Greensboro.  They described the work done at PVFD last year investigating the usefulness of prehospital cardiac enzyme tests to diagnose heart attacks.  This presentation was a first in PVFD history and represents the high standard of care we bring to you!

In mid October PVFD held an orientation program for 14 new members.  This program is held quarterly and is designed to show prospective new firefighters and EMT’s what is expected of our members.  This group-training event integrates new members quickly into the PVFD family.  It is an intensive learning adventure that helps prepare them for the challenges of community service.  Welcome to all these new volunteers and employees!

Working for You -- September, 2003
Total alarms294Community service hours2940
Fire related45Patients transported to hospitals137
Auto crashes27
Safety Tip
As holidays get closer, we gather more frequently with friends and family to celebrate.  Often these gatherings include alcoholic beverages.  The message is old but still rings true -- drinking and driving is one of the leading causes of death and injury on our highways.  Each year PVFD responds to motor vehicle crashes only to find that the occupants of the vehicles are dead on arrival.  Alcohol is a common factor and especially so during this time of year.  Please make your holidays happy times.  Don’t drink and drive. Have a designated non-drinking driver.  Wear your seat belts.  Arrive safely.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

September '03

October is fire prevention month.  This year’s theme is “Get Out and Stay Out”. PVFD staff will be visiting schools and other community organizations to get the message out. Part of our mission is to provide community education on fire safety.  Don’t be surprised if your child comes home from school talking about the firefighters’ visit.  If you are a member of an organization which would like a speaker to come talk about fire prevention or any other emergency service, feel free to call us at 361-0927.

The PVFD annual Pork BBQ is Saturday October 11 from noon until 7pm.  As usual, drive-thru service will be available but for those who eat-in, the fire trucks and ambulances will be out for inspection.  Come in for a meal and take a tour of the equipment that’s here to protect you.  Free fire prevention and emergency medical information will be available as well.

Working for You -- August, 2003
Total alarms313Community service hours3685
Fire related19Patients transported to hospitals129
Auto crashes41
Safety Tip
“GET OUT AND STAY OUT”. The fire prevention message is just as important for adults as for children. Each year lives are lost because someone returned into a burning building in a fatal attempt to retrieve an object or rescue a person. If you are inside a burning building, evacuate immediately and notify 911. In Durham fire departments are located within a few minutes of every home and business. When responders arrive on scene, tell them if someone is still in the building and where they might be located. Firefighters train for such search and rescue. In addition, their protective clothing and gear will allow them to survive in conditions where you could not. Fires can quickly create poisonous gasses, superheated air, and blinding smoke. Remember, the best way to help someone else is NOT to become a victim yourself.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

August '03

Fire Academy Begins

August means school opening at the fire department as well as our local public schools.  The second Durham Technical Community College Fire Academy began at our main station on Seaton Rd.  This 16-week program is designed to train students on the basics of fire prevention and fire suppression, as well as emergency medicine.  Upon completion of the course participants will be NC certified Firefighters and be eligible to take the NC EMT exam.

Explorer Post Open for New Members

For younger students (14-17 years old) possibly interested in careers as firefighters or EMS, PVFD offers an Explorer Post.  This is a training/mentoring program for young adults which allows them an opportunity to explore the world of fire and EMS services.  The Post meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:30pm at our main station at 1409 Seaton Rd.  Any boy or girl are welcome.  There is no fee and no experience is necessary.


Pretend disaster victims are still needed for a mock disaster on Saturday morning, Sept. 13.  Durham County emergency agencies are planning a large-scale training exercise on that day to better prepare them in case of real disaster.  The planning committee promises lots of fun and food.  You must be 14 years of age or older.  If you know of anyone or any group interested in helping with this exercise, please contact Mike Smith, Durham County EMS, 560-8285 ext. 201.

Working for You -- July, 2003
Total alarms313Community service hours3685
Fire related19Patients transported to hospitals129
Auto crashes41
Safety Tip
Smoke alarms have been around since the 1970’s.  Now they are found in 94% of homes.  Typically homes with smoke alarms have death rates 40-50% less homes than without them.  Recently PVFD responded to a house fire in the early hours of the morning.  The house was well-involved in flames, but the occupants were safely outside.  The smoke alarm had activated and awakened them from sleep, allowing them precious time to evacuate.  Take a moment now to make sure your smoke detector is working properly.  If you are unsure how to do that or cannot do that, please call our station at 361-0927.  One of our trained community service personnel will make an appointment to assist you.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

July '03

This month PVFD inaugurates a new support program for our members.  Emergency services professionals daily face critical incidents of life and death.  Serving victims involved in traumatic automobile collisions to experiencing the death of an infant, emergency services professionals serve in a high stress vocation.  Recognizing the need to care for their members, PVFD organized the Division of Chaplaincy Support.

The chaplaincy seeks to mobilize the resources of faith that will enhance the spiritual, psychological, and physical aspects of emergency services professionals.  The Chaplain is available to support the department through responding to the scene of critical incidents, provide confidential professional short-term counseling, critical incident scene debriefings, and workshops on family-work life management.

Parkwood welcomes our newly appointed Emergency Services Chaplain, M. Holland. The Chaplain has served in emergency services since 1983 and ministered in pastoral care since 1985.  He holds Master of Divinity and Master of Arts degrees in Counseling.  He is also an ordained Southern Baptist minister and North Carolina Licensed Professional Counselor.


On Saturday, Sept. 13 emergency agencies in Durham County will participate in a large-scale disaster drill.  Help is needed from the community to be pretend "Victims".  The drill planning committee promises lots of fun and food.  The only requirement is you must be 14 years of age or older.  The drill will be held locally at a central location in the City of Durham.  If you know of anyone or any group interested in helping with this exercise, please contact Mike Smith, Durham County EMS, 560-8285 ext. 201.

Working for You -- June, 2003
Total alarms342Community service hours2919
Fire related48Patients transported to hospitals161
Auto crashes46
Safety Tip
Recently the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a web-based safety program focused on reducing the number of deaths and injuries in the home.  Recognizing that homeland security must start in the home, this course was designed to help reduce the two million poison exposures that occur each year.  The on-line course is titled "Household Hazardous Materials: A Guide for Citizens".  In the first unit citizens can learn about cleaning products, gasoline, pesticides, carbon monoxide and much more.  In the last 2 units participants can review disposal methods, protective equipment needed, and poison prevention measures.  To access the site go to the Emergency Management Institute site.  Select "Our courses" and then select "IS-55" from the list of courses.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

February '03

Training is a major component of maintaining our readiness for any of the community’s emergencies.  PVFD has an active training calendar with activities going on day and night.  To better coordinate those classes PVFD recently appointed two experienced volunteers, T. Whalen and M. Chapman to oversee scheduling and design of the courses.  Both volunteers have extensive experience in firefighting, rescue and hazmat.  Some of the improvements they have made in the training program include a totally revamped rookie orientation program and a new continuing education program emphasizing “hands-on” drills.

Early in February over 30 members participated in a training exercise which involved burning a house donated to the department for demolition.  New firefighters gained valuable experience with water supply and general safety, while experienced firefighters practiced with thermal imaging cameras and more advanced firefighting techniques.  We greatly appreciate the generosity of property owners who allowed us to use buildings about to be demolished for training.

And most importantly, at the recent annual awards banquet PVFD awarded 3 members the highest recognition that PVFD recognizes.  These three members demonstrate the highest level of professionalism and commitment to emergency services.  The members voted Karen Trimberger, Hazmat Person of the Year; Firefigher/Paramedic D. White, EMT of the Year; and Firefigher/Paramedic L. Cone, Firefighter of the Year.  Parkwood salutes them!

Working for You -- January, 2003
Total alarms337Community service hours2916
Fire related40Patients transported to hospitals141
Auto crashes41
Safety Tip
Spring can’t be too far away now.  As the mild weather encourages people to be active outside, remember a few safety tips to keep you safe.  When walking or bicycling wear bright or reflective clothing.  And if you are walking in an area without sidewalks, always be aware of traffic.  Walk on the left, facing traffic.  At night despite the glare of headlights, don’t assume you are visible to the driver.  This also goes for any four-footed friends accompanying you.  If you are riding a bicycle, ride with traffic.  Always wear a helmet. For children under 14 years, it is a law.  For anyone over 14, it is good common sense.  Be safe and enjoy spring!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

January '03

PVFD Action Summary for December 2002 Ice Storm

December 4 – December 9

Tuesday 12/3 – Started fueling of all vehicles, and checks of equipment

Wednesday 12/4 – Extra staff added as storm approached

Thursday 12/5 – Started surveying area for passable routes. Crews used chainsaws to remove trees from the road to create passable routes for larger fire trucks. Parkwood responded to one structure fire on Grandover. Stations were opened to the public for water, or anything else that we could assist with. Station 1 went on emergency power at 2am Thursday morning. Durham opened a shelter at Jordan High School for people with special needs. This increased the EMS call volume for Parkwood. Parkwood was asked to keep an ambulance on the premises, but we were unable to do so due to the high call volume for our area.

Saturday – Responded to a 10-50 with pin-in.

As of Tuesday 12/10, Station 1 is still on emergency power. Responded to a 10-50 with pin-in.

Call Summary -- Ice Storm 2002
ThursdayEMS - 13FridayEMS - 23
FIRE - 8 FIRE - 12
Total - 21 Total - 35
SaturdayEMS - 14SundayEMS - 10
FIRE - 5 FIRE - 4
Total - 19 Total - 14
MondayEMS - 15TuesdayEMS - 7
FIRE - 6 FIRE - 3
Total - 21 Total - 10
Staff Summary
Average personnel per day - 15


  1. Moved an engine to Chapel Hill for coverage 3 different times.
  2. P-6 responded to Redwood, Bethesda, Creedmoor, and Chapel Hill during the last 6 days.
  3. Provided coverage for DCEMS multiple times when they were out of Medic units.


October '02

Parkwood Firefighter/Paramedic Receives Community Award

On October 8 Firefighter/Paramedic T. Stanton was recognized as Durham County Firefighter of the Year by the Durham Association of Insurance Women.  Mr. Stanton received the award for his dedication to duty and exceptional service to the community.  This is the third award for service beyond the call of duty that Mr. Stanton has received this year.  Earlier he was also recognized by the Durham County Jaycees and was voted Firefighter/EMT of the year by his fellow PVFD members.

BBQ Fund Raiser

PVFD would like to thank all the members of the community who supported us during our recent BBQ fund raiser.  It was a great success.  In addition to selling a lot of BBQ, we also collected a large box of used cell phones.  These phones will go to an organization that reprograms them to call 911 and then distributes them to victims of domestic violence.  PVFD will continue to be a collection site for any unwanted cell phones you might have.  If a new phone is in your holiday future, consider dropping your old one at the fire station at 1409 Seaton Rd.  All donations are tax-deductible.

Learn CPR

Free Family/Friends CPR class will be taught on Saturday Nov. 16 at 10AM at the station at 1409 Seaton Rd.  The class takes about 2 hours.  Please call 361-0927 to register.

Working for You -- September, 2002
Total alarms256Community service hours2633
Fire related30Patients transported to hospitals136
Auto crashes28
Safety Tip
Each year when the weather turns cooler many of us light our fireplaces and accessory heaters.  Take a few minutes now to make sure that those appliances will operate safely.  Fireplace chimneys should be cleaned at least once a year.  As smoke rises up your chimney, it leaves behind a combustible soot that builds up.  Unless the chimney is cleaned, this can ignite causing a chimney fire. Be careful when using kerosene or electric space heaters.  Keep papers, fabrics or anything combustible at least 3 feet away.  And NEVER NEVER use gasoline in place of kerosene.  Stay warm safely!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

July '02

August 8 8-5pm PVFD will host a blood drive to benefit patients at UNC Hospital. The process takes only about 1 hour and is truly a gift of life. Call the UNC blood donor program for information at 966-2370 or call PVFD at 361-0927 for an appointment to donate on August 8. Donations will be at PVFD Station 1 at 1409 Seaton Road.
Working for You -- June, 2002
Total alarms309Community service hours2859
Fire related37Patients transported to hospitals147
Auto crashes31
Safety Tip
Last year nearly 2700 children under age 16 were killed in traffic crashes. Despite the publicity about child safety seats almost half of parents are making major mistakes when it comes to protecting their children in motor vehicles. A study by the National SAFE KIDS campaign showed that 14% of children were completely unrestrained. Thirty-three percent of children were in the wrong restraint for their size and age. These children are three and a half times more likely to suffer severe injury or death than appropriately restrained children. PVFD has trained, state-certified personnel available to check your child’s car seat for proper installation and size. Call today for an appointment at 361-0927. The service is free and could save your child‘s life.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

May '02

May was a busy month for the members of PVFD.  On May 4 a multi agency exercise was held for firefighters at a house donated for a training burn.  The exercise gave firefighters valuable experience in fire attack, search and rescue, and fire ventilation.  Our thanks to the owners of the house for their contribution to the community.

On May 18 PVFD hosted a free Family and Friends CPR class for anyone in the community.  This popular event will be offered again in the fall, so watch for future notices if you missed this opportunity.

PVFD also gratefully acknowledges the generous contribution of the Woodcroft Women’s Club.  On May 20 the Women’s Club donated a cash award to PVFD which will be used to fund community service projects.  We thank them for their support!

Working for You -- April, 2002
Total alarms306Community service hours4207
Fire related34Patients transported to hospitals158
Auto crashes44
Safety Tip
Hot summer weather is right around the corner.  Know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat related injuries.  If someone you know is working in the heat, make sure they drink plenty of fluids.  Water is best.  If they begin to have cramps, stop sweating, feel faint, or act abnormally, bring them into an air conditioned room or at least put them in the shade.  Call 911 for assistance.  Heat injuries can range from simple to life threatening.  Keep cool and make your summer a safe one.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

April '02

Parkwood Firefighter Wins “Young Public Servant of the Year” Award. On March 26 the Durham Jaycees presented PVFD firefighter/paramedic T. Stanton with this special recognition for his superior commitment to public service. In addition to his community service, he is also actively pursuing a college degree at UNC. In December 2001 his fellow members at PVFD voted him Firefighter of the Year and EMT of the Year. Congratulations!

April 18 PVFD Chief Colley and Bahama VFD Chief Len Needham will travel to Washington, DC to attend a Congressional Dinner hosted for fire departments across the country. Issues about funding of fire departments will be one of many topics up for discussion.

CPR Class Anyone? On Saturday May 18 at 10AM a FREE Family and Friends CPR class will taught at PVFD Station at 1409 Seaton Rd. The class should take about 1 1/2 hours and anyone is welcome. No advance registration necessary.

Working for You -- March, 2002
Total alarms326Community service hours3338
Fire related41Patients transported to hospitals177
Auto crashes47
Safety Tip
Perform a Home Hazard Hunt

Ordinary objects that we take for granted in our home can cause serious injury or even death. During a disaster, certain chemicals and anything that can move, fall, break, or cause a fire is a home hazard. For example,flammable liquids such as gasoline, paint thinner, or kerosene stored too close to your hot water heater may ignite if their vapors escape the container. To correct this hazard, make sure flammable liquids are tightly sealed and stored in approved containers. Do your best to keep them as far as possible from the hot water heater. Inspect your entire home at least once a year and fix potential hazards when they are noticed. Contact the Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department to learn more about home fire hazards.

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

February '02

Community Service Training was highlighted in February. Four of our members (Capt. R. Kaufman and firefighters/EMT’s L. Adams, A. Karon, and S. Russell) attended a 4-day course to become Child Seat Safety Inspectors. Parkwood will now be able to offer free child seat evaluations at the main station. Call 361-0927 for an appointment.

Two other members (Asst. Chief Bobseine and Firefighter/EMT M.E. Prouty) completed training as CPR Instructors. This is in preparation for PVFD’s annual “Friends and Family” CPR classes to be held this spring. Classes will be free and take about 1-2 hours. Exact dates and times will be announced soon.

Working for You -- January, 2002
Total alarms279Community service hours4284
Fire related41Patients transported to hospitals171
Auto crashes23
Safety Tip
Did you know that stairways cause the most home-related injuries? According to 1999 trauma statistics over 1 million injuries occurred in our homes that year from falls on steps or stairways. Take a quick look around the top of your stairs. Is the access clear of tripping hazards like small rugs? Is the area well-lighted? Is there a sturdy handrail? If you have toddlers in your home, is the access gated to prevent accidental falls? Are the stairs free of “stuff” that accumulates before it completes the journey up or down? A bit of prevention now can keep your family members from becoming injury statistics in 2002!

--Chief William L. Colley, Jr.

Parkwood Volunteer Fire Department ~ Durham, North Carolina ~ 919.361.0927