Riverhead FD responded to more than 1,000 alarms in 2011

BETH YOUNG PHOTO | Riverhead Fire Department volunteers extinguished a brush fire near the wrack line on the Long Island Sound in August.

The Riverhead Fire Department responded to 1,091 alarms last year, just four less than the all-time record set in 2010, said Riverhead fire chief Nick Luparella in his annual report released on Friday.

Volunteers responded to 84 structure fires, 25 vehicle fires, 41 reports of gas odor, and 82 carbon monoxide alarms. In all, firefighters spent 10,346 hours responding to the incidents, over half of which were for automatic alarms, Mr. Luparella said.
The department also spent roughly 15,000 hours in training, drills, meetings, and work details.

The department’s 180 volunteers dedicated more than 900 hours for fire safety education at Riverhead’s public schools and the annual Riverhead Fire Department open house held last October. Thanks to outreach programs, more than 2,500 elementary school students learned about fire safety in 2011, Mr. Luparella wrote.

Mr. Luparella thanked Riverhead for supporting the fire department, adding that “our 180 volunteers live and work in our community and it is important that many businesses allow their employees to respond when called to protect lives and property.”

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