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Fourth of July celebrations are about to begin and, with them, dozens upon dozens of fireworks displays. Although consumer fireworks are legal in Connecticut, Trumbull Volunteer Fire Services strongly discourages amateurs from using them.

“The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display orchestrated by trained professionals,” said Chief Doug Bogen of the Long Hill Fire Department. “More fires are reported on July 4th than any other day of the year. And, fireworks are responsible for 40% of those fires.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), every July 4 thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage. In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries; 55 percent of those injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head.

Injuries caused by fireworks typically require hospital emergency room treatment – they include severe burns, fractures, scars, permanent disfigurement, and even death. It’s important to remember that even sparklers, considered by many to be a safe and harmless alternative to fireworks, reach temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (water boils at 212 degrees and glass melts at 900 degrees).

The risk of fireworks injury is the highest for children under up to four years old.

In 1991, three-year-old Michael Shannon was killed when a legal consumer firework struck him in the head during a July 4 family celebration. He was standing 40 feet away from it, between his mother’s legs where he was presumed safe.

Volunteers needed

Trumbull Volunteer Fire Services is currently participating in Everyday Hero CT, a program dedicated to increasing the number of volunteer firefighters throughout the state. Eighty percent of all fire personnel in Connecticut are volunteers, and the majority of fire departments throughout the state are experiencing a volunteer shortage. Local fire departments need volunteers of all skill levels and abilities, people willing and able to respond to emergencies whenever called upon.

“The skills and experience gained as a volunteer firefighter are invaluable and have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of others,” says Chief Fred Dudek, Everyday Hero CT program manager. “Those who join their local fire departments sign up for one of the most rewarding opportunities they’ll ever have.”

About Trumbull volunteer fire services

The Town of Trumbull has three separate volunteer fire districts – Long Hill, Nichols, and Trumbull Center. Each district collects its own fire taxes, has its own volunteer fire department, operates its own fire houses, and elects its own leadership. The three fire departments are 100 percent volunteer. They provide fire protection, rescue, public education, and community services to the residents of the Town of Trumbull. These operational services are provided by roughly 100 professional volunteers, based out of seven fire stations. Specifically designed to meet the ever-changing needs of the community and evolving requirements of the fire service industry, Trumbull’s primary fire apparatus include nine engines, three heavy rescues and three ladder trucks. Trumbull’s volunteer fire departments respond to approximately 2,000 emergency and fire related calls every year.

Anyone interested in learning more about the volunteer fire service in Trumbull should visit the departments online at Long Hill website, Long Hill Facebook, Nichols website, Nichols Facebook, Trumbull Center website, and Trumbull Center Facebook.

Everyday Hero CT

A partnership of the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association (CFCA) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs(IAFC), the Everyday Hero CT campaign is a two-year Volunteer Workforce Solutions (VWS) initiative designed to address the shortage of volunteer firefighters in Connecticut.

It is helping achieve a viable and sustainable volunteer firefighter workforce for 15 Connecticut fire departments: Broad Brook Volunteer Fire Department, Cromwell Fire and EMS Department, Gales Ferry Volunteer Fire Company, Gardner Lake Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. (Salem), Greenwich Fire Department, Killingworth Volunteer Fire Department, Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company, Old Mystic Fire Department, Rocky Hill Fire Department, Somers Fire Department, Stamford Volunteer Firefighters Association, Trumbull Volunteer Fire Services, Westfield Fire Department (Middletown), Windsor Volunteer Fire Department, Wolcott Fire Department. Everyday Hero CT is funded by a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant awarded to the CFCA by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a model to enhance the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. For more information, visit www.EverydayHeroCT.org.