Welcome

Welcome to the Joplin, Arkansas, Volunteer Fire Department web site.  Through these pages, we hope to introduce you to our Department, our mission, and our activities.

Please excuse our dust while this site is under construction.


Recent Articles About JVFD Activities:

Tanker Refill Training – September 16, 2014

Today’s training consisted of practicing tanker refill operations in preparation for upcoming ISO testing.

For this exercise, we brought Engine 4 and Engine 3 to the Mountain Harbor launching ramp, positioned parallel to the shore, so that the main suction from either engine could be rigged to draft from Lake Ouachita.  We then positioned Tanker 1 and Tanker 2 above the engine on the ramp where we could dump their load of water down the ramp and then refill each via the discharges on an engine.

Refilling tankers from Lake Ouachita.  Here, Engine 4 drafts from the lake and supplies two fill lines to Tanker 2.

Refilling tankers from Lake Ouachita. Here, Engine 4 drafts from the lake and supplies two fill lines to Tanker 2.
(Click on this image to view more photos from this exercise)

We repeated the exercise with both Joplin’s Engine 4 and Engine 3.  While Engine 3, with its smaller and older pump, could not fill as quickly as Engine 4, it was still effective.

Fill times with Engine 4 feeding two discharges to a single tanker were between 2.5 and 3 minutes, with a single discharge time of about twice that.  Engine 3’s times were only about a minute longer. We were able to effectively fill two tankers at a time with a single fill line to each.

We were filling with the engines running near idle due to the shallow water in which the pickup was placed.  Speeding up the pumps would create a vortex at the pickup that could eventually cause a pump to lose prime.  Drafting from deeper water would potentially allow shorter fill times by being able to run the pumps faster, although even at idle, the fill lines were hard from the pressure.

Keys to the exercise:

  • The pickup suction lines from the engines to the lake must be tight so that no air is allowed into the lines between the pickup in the lake and the input on the engine, or priming can be a problem
  • Engine 4 does not have a valve on its suction intake, so connecting the pickup line to the engine allows the engine’s tank to be dumped, making priming harder.  However, for this exercise, the engine primed quickly.
  • Engine 3 does have a valve on its suction input connection, so after connecting the inputs, the valve can be opened as the pump is engaged.
  • The speed of the pump with respect to drafting from the lake is a function of the depth of the input.  If the input is in shallow water, pulling water too fast can create a vortex that will allow the pump to lose prime.
  • Engine 4, with its larger pump, could certainly supply more water via additional discharges to multiple tankers simultaneously.
  • Quick connects on the fill lines to the tankers are the berries!
  • During exercises or during an actual event, always remain aware of your surroundings.  In this case, Terry pointed out that standing directly behind a heavy tanker filling on an incline (the boat ramp) was dangerous in that should the tanker lose its brakes and jump the scotch, there would be no stopping it.

 

 

2014 Firewise Mitigation Project – September 14, 2014

For our 2014 Firewise Mitigation Project, the Joplin VFD chose to clear an old US Forest Service road that runs between heavily forested property owned by Debbie Balicki to the north and homes that are along US Highway 270 to the south of the road. We were treated to a relatively cool day, for which we were all grateful.

The path included many overhangs from previous ice storms and a heavy layer of dead leaves and other debris.

The path included many overhangs from previous ice storms and a heavy layer of dead leaves and other debris.
(Click on this image to view more photos from the Firewise Mitigation effort.)

It had been years since the old road had been cleaned up, and there had, in the past, been fires near the homes that had subsequently threatened the Balicki property.  Debbie was concerned of a fire.  Additionally, the old road provides good access should there be a fire in the area, so JVFD also has an interest in keeping the road accessible.

The effort to clean up the old road was just good old-fashioned labor.  Firefighters with chainsaws led the way, clearing the road back to the berms of mostly pine and sweet gum trees that had begun to take over the path.  The chainsaws were followed by folks who picked up the debris and moved it off the road, back to at least the berm.  Finally, the blowers attacked the heavy leaf and other small debris left behind to mostly clear the road down to bare dirt.

In the end, we again have a good, clear path from which to attack any wildfire or other issues in the area, while at the same time, Debbie feels safer from any fire that may start from the highway.

Here's the team, sweaty and spent. Look at that clean path they're standing on!

Here’s the team, sweaty and spent. Look at that clean path they’re standing on!
(Click on this image to view more photos from the Firewise Mitigation project.)

Patriot Day at Mount Ida Elementary – Sept. 11, 2014

Members of the Joplin Volunteer Fire Department were invited to participate in the annual Patriot Day (Sept. 11) ceremonies at Mount Ida Elementary.  This is the fourth year we have participated in this event.

Firefighters Bunnie Lester and Dan Watson arrived at the school on an unfortunately rainy day, preventing the usual outdoors ceremony and raising of the American Flag or the planned arrival of a LifeNet helicopter.  However, the Flag ceremony, including an introduction by Gen. Standrich (US Army, Ret.), was held within the halls of the school.

Gen. Standrich leads all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Gen. Standrich leads all in the Pledge of Allegiance.
(Click this image to view more photos.)

Following the opening ceremony, the various presenters, including deputies from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, ambulance personnel, US Forest Service personnel, and, of course, we firefighters, went to different rooms for our presentations.  Then, groups of students would be brought into the rooms to learn about the different departments and their duties.

Our goal as firefighters was to make sure that the children would recognize and trust firefighters in full turnouts when/if they are ever in a situation where they need to be helped to safety.

In the schools library, Dan and Bunnie talk to the students about firefighting while they demonstrate how a firefighter dons turnouts.

In the schools library, Dan and Bunnie talk to the students about firefighting while they demonstrate how a firefighter dons turnouts.
(Click to view more photos)

Overall, we believe that the children to whom we presented enjoyed the demonstration and will hopefully not become alarmed if they ever need the assistance of a firefighter.

With our turnouts on, we answered questions and learned who in the childrens' families are firefighters.

With our turnouts on, we answered questions and learned who in the childrens’ families are firefighters.

Annual Vietnam Veterans R & R – September 6, 2014

Each year on the first weekend after Labor Day, the Hot Springs, Arkansas, Vietnam Veterans Organization descend upon Mountain Harbor Resort for their annual “R&R” reunion.  And, on most of these years, the Organization arranges to have a helicopter fly in for the occasion.  On some years, the bird will be from a local National Guard or US Army base, but this year, the group was treated with a visit from the LifeNet Air Ambulance team located in Hot Springs.

As part of preparing for the helicopter’s visit, the Joplin Volunteer Fire Department will muster a team to prepare the landing zone, manage traffic in the area during landings and takeoffs, and to be on hand with a fire engine at the ready should there be any accidents.  This year was no exception.

Veterans of the Hot Springs, Arkansas, Vietnam Veterans Organization gather in front of a LifeNet air ambulance during their annual R&R outing at Mountain Harbor Resort.

Veterans of the Hot Springs, Arkansas, Vietnam Veterans Organization gather in front of a LifeNet air ambulance during their annual R&R outing at Mountain Harbor Resort.

Prior to the day’s event, firefighter Bob Bochik prepared the site on the Mountain Harbor launching ramp by blocking off a space for the landing zone and then cleaning the surface with a JVFD brush truck.  Bob also brought JVFD’s Engine 2 to the area in preparation for the landing/takeoff.

On the day of the landing, Bob was joined by JVFD volunteers Ken Mattson, Bunnie Lester, Robert Herrington, and Dan and Anita Watson.  The small crew moved the larger barricades that were in place and replaced them with smaller cones, expanding the landing zone area.  A fire hose managed by Ken was charged from Engine 2 in preparation for the landing, and vehicles R1 and U1 were placed at either end of the road to the launching ramp to manage traffic.

Both landing and takeoff (the LifeNet Team had to leave before they could eat lunch with the Veterans) were executed without any incidents.

It is always an honor to help and participate in this event with these Vietnam Veterans.

July 4, 2014, Celebration at Mountain Harbor Resort

Phil Merry hosts the July 4, 2014, Celebration at Mountain Harbor Resort

Phil Merry leads the July 4, 2014, Celebration at Mountain Harbor Resort
(Click on this image to view the photos from the July 4, 2014 celebration)

Each July 4, Mountain Harbor hosts a patriotic celebration that culminates with a 4-wheeler parade around the Resort.  And, each year, the Joplin Volunteer Fire Department helps with the event.  This year, we took our Engine 2 (“Telesquirt”) to the Harbor South Ballpark and took photos of the celebration from atop the ladder.

Click on the picture of Phil Merry or on the picture below to see photos from the event.

A large crowd celebrates July 4, 2014, at Mountain Harbor.

A large and enthusiastic crowd celebrating the birthday of the United States.
(Click on this photo to see many more photos from this event.)

Blessing of the Fleet – May 24, 2014

Joplin VFD’s fireboat crew participates each hear in helping Mountain Harbor Resort with their annual Blessing of the Fleet event.

This year, Rev. David Jones, in association with the Joplin Methodist Church, presided over the event, blessing each boat and its crew and praying for their safety and well being during the year.

Blessing of the Fleet, May 24, 2014

Blessing of the Fleet, May 24, 2014
(Click on this image to view this event’s photos)

JVFD’s new Boat 3 Decked Out For Christmas

We couldn’t resist taking the new Boat 3 out for a photo shoot after its appearance in the Mount Ida Christmas Parade.  Click on the image below to view a gallery of photos taken on this moonlit night at Mountain Harbor.

Joplin Volunteer Fire Department's new Boat 3 dressed up for the Mount Ida Christmas Parade

Joplin Volunteer Fire Department’s new Boat 3 dressed up for the Mount Ida Christmas Parade

Retrieval of Grounded Houseboat – July 23 – 24, 2013

Tuesday afternoon, July 23rd, Bill Barnes was notified by radio of the grounding of one of the DreamChaser houseboats during the storm that rolled across eastern Lake Ouachita. This storm came from the northwest with severe down drafts that blue down numerous trees in the Buckville/Jessieville area, causing wide spread power outages and some structural damage. This storm blew the DreamChaser houseboat, whose stern was facing the on-coming winds, sideways up onto shore. The initial call from the DreamChaser folks was that their renters had contacted them, and that they believed that the boat was taking on water and was sideways on the bank. JVFD Fireboat Crews were put on standby.

The DreamChaser Houseboat hard aground near point 5 on Lake Ouachita.

The DreamChaser Houseboat hard aground near point 5 on Lake Ouachita.

After arriving at the boat, DreamChaser staff determined that the boat’s watertight integrity was intact, and the water in the bilge was from rain water. But, the ~70′ houseboat was hard aground. After attempting to pull her off with the DreamChaser boat, Joplin VFD was requested to tow her in the morning.

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Matt Simpson

Rest in Peace, Matt.  We're proud and thankful to have known you.

Rest in Peace, Matt. We’re proud and thankful to have known you.

Matt Simpson

A Friend – A Mentor – A Trainer – and A Brother

Matt Simpson's Funeral Procession

Matt Simpson’s Funeral Procession

Many accolades will be seen about Matt.  Here are a few:

Firefighters from across Arkansas with whom Matt had worked and trained were present at Matt’s funeral.  Matt’s casket was loaded onto a Lake Hamilton VFD truck for the procession from the funeral home to the Babtist Church where the funeral ceremony was held.  The procession consisted of fire equipment and official cars and trucks, and it stretched a long way down Central Avenue in Hot Springs.

Fire Equipment lined up for the procession.  Departments from all across the State were represented.

Fire Equipment lined up for the procession. Departments from all across the State were represented.

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