24 December 2011
21 December 2011
FC John Poulson, thank you sir for your outstanding dedication and hard work to this flotilla and your shipmates. You pulled us through some confused seas the last couple of years and the flotilla is stronger then ever and thriving because of your leadership.
Last Wednesday was your last meeting as Flotilla Commander and probably the quickest of all the meetings in which you were the Chair. Was this you, ready to give up the Gavel, or was it because you had something planned for after the meeting? Well of course you had something planned for after the meeting, it was a fun and non-violent gift exchange and party to allow us all to have some great fellowship and food. And what better way to go out than with a party.
Some quick highlights from the meeting before you get to see some pictures.
* If you plan on participating in the crew and coxswain academy this year, please contact John Poulson and Kevin Thiel FSO-OP 2012 with your intentions. They will work with you to see that your squared away for the academy.
* Congrats to Lynn Easton. Your a Grandaddy to another Granddaughter . Another lucky one to spoil.
* DIRAUX notes are being sent once a month highlighting activities in DIRAUX's office. This is a great source of information from DIRAUX and the staff that helps keep the auxiliary running.
* Uniform of the day at the boat show will be Tropical Blue. Please see that your uniform is squared away when attending the boat show.
* The UDC has an excess of the untucked ODU which means you may now purchase more then 1 set of the ODU from the UDC.
*Commanders remarks were short due to the Change of Watch where FC Poulson will grace us with his last Commanders Comments before passing the Gavel to FC elect Rick Williams.
*If you have not sent your check in for the Change of Watch, please do so as soon as you can. Its going to be a memorable COW.
Stay tuned for more on the meeting in the December meeting minutes.
Here is a slideshow of the meeting and party.
Photos by FSO-BP Jonathan James
13 December 2011
Portland, OR- Christmas Ship Breezy sails by AUX 267 on the Columbia River at the Interstate Bridge. Coast Guard and local law enforcement provide support to the Christmas Ship fleet by marking obstructions, Aids to Navigation as well as providing SAR assistance if needed.
Photo By FSO-PB Jonathan James
all the other vessels in the Christmas Ship fleet.
Portland, OR- Christmas Ship Branch Office
Portland, OR- Coast Guard Cutter Bluebell participates in the Christmas Ship parade as the center piece of the evening. This is the second year that the Cutter Bluebell has participated in Christmas Ships. The Cutter Bluebell is charged with maintaining Aids to Navigation along 500 river miles and she is charged with maintaining more than 420 Aids to Navigation.
Photo by FSO-PB Jonathan James
Portland, OR- Christmas Ship Meant To Be sails into Hayden Bay for the final maneuver of the night. You will find many a Christmas ship with a play on words like CO HO HO HO.
04 December 2011
This week's photo was submitted by Paul Ploeger from AIXAIR piloted by Aircraft Commander Rick Williams on Saturday, November 12, 2011.
Multnomah Channel. AUXAIR provided support to the Coast Guard RB-S from Coast Guard Station Portland, which including a check for possible people in the water as well as a check for pollution that my be leaking from the overturned vessel. AUXAIR conducts muliti mission flights to augment AIRSTA Astoria aircraft on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers.
27 November 2011
Happy Holidays shipmates. I hope you all had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving with family and friends this past week. With Thanksgiving behind us brings our next big operation, Christmas Ships.
I just want to remind all our members underway for these parades to remember risk management, situational awareness and watch out for the safety of their fellow shipmates while underway.
AUX Daren Lewis, USCG. Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
11 November 2011
Some of us did that this last weekend in the Veteran's Day Parade held at the Historic Reserve at the Vancouver Barracks.
Coast Guard Color Guard Leads the Guardian Group.
Photo by: Jonathan James
Truck Towing 25430 from Station Portland.
Photo by: Sandy Carpenter
Auxiliary Boat 181173 Flying the Auxiliary Flag.
photo by: Jonathan James
Here is what the correct answer to the Photo of the Week was.
I asked to have you guys respond via email to my question of what was wrong with the picture. It had something to do with the uniform and many of you hit to the pen in her pocket. This was not it. The pen was in her pocket correctly and did not violate any uniform policy.
In this photo I highlighted what was different about her uniform.
SN Hanna had a rip in her sleeve and had to sew the rip. For most, the only way to tell this difference was to hold your uniform up to the monitor and compare the picture.
Congrats to Todd Mains who was to closest member to pointing out the difference. He received some nice hangers to keep his uniforms from wrinkling or falling off the hanger and a three drawer container to store all his auxiliary uniform items when not on his uniform.
If you have any photos with an out of place something, please send it to me. I would like to start doing one of these a month and recognizing the member at the monthly flotilla meeting with something that has to do with the photo.
Stay Tuned for the November Flotilla Meeting Highlights Coming this Weekend.
The big highlight of this months meeting was the election of you new Flotilla Commander and Vice Commander for the 2012 year.
Jonathan James was elected as Vice Flotilla Commander.
Photo by Daren Lewis
ODU sleeves are to be worn down during the winter months.
The Passed Officer device is not authorized for wear on the ODU.
Photo by FSO-PB Jonathan James
1 point for every hour as lead instructor for a Public Education class.
1 point for every 2 hours as an assistant instructor for a Public Education class.
1 point for every hour of Public Affairs work. (prep time and travel not included)
1 point for each Vessel Exam completed.
1 point for each Recreational Boating Safety Visit.
B.Z. Brad for being awarded this hard earned device. You are part of an elite group of members who have excelled in our primary cornerstone of RBS.
Ed Kairis was named District 13 Auxiliarist of the Week for his growth in the auxiliary in his first year of service. Ed has been in the forefront of RBS and it has shown, not just in our flotilla but the division and district as well.
Photo by Peggy Stevens
Photo by Peggy Stevens
03 November 2011
This week I decided to use the photo of the week to quiz you on how well you know your uniforms. We as members need to be able to point out BIG and little issues with our uniforms and correct them. We also need to be looking out for our fellow shipmates who my need a heads up on a uniform error.
In this photo there is something astray about this uniform. Can you pin point the difference?
Hint: Take your ODU out and compare the picture.
The first 3 members to email me the difference in this uniform will receive an item to add to your uniform care kit at the next flotilla meeting.
Semper Paratus Shipmates.
26 October 2011
Sorry for not posting a photo of the week last week. I'll get the ball rolling again this week with a picture of our very own Elisabeth Hanna who is a member of 76 and a LE boarding member for Station Portland.
In this photo, Seaman Hanna is underway on 25470 as a LE boarding member in her Active Duty capacity. .
photo by: Todd Mains.
14 October 2011
This months flotilla meeting was outstanding. We had close to 30 members and 3 guests which made for a great time for fellowship and to conduct the flotilla business.
First off, I would like to thank our visitors for joining us Wednesday night. It was nice to meet you all and I hope it was a good experience for all of you. Flotilla meetings are usually the most nitty gritty function of the auxiliary but it is vital to the success of our unit. It allows us as members of a flotilla to come together and plan for the months ahead. It also allows us to get together as friend and catch up on the going on's for the month and recognize members for their hard work.
Speaking of awards.
Paul Ploeger was awarded his 2nd Operational Service Award for more then 341 hours underway this year. That is just outstanding.
Rebecca Easton was awarded her1st Sustained Service Award for 5 years of service in the Auxiliary.
Matt Epstein was awarded his 4th Sustained Service Award for 20 years of service to the Auxiliary. BZ Matt, I know your looking forward to another 20 years of service.
Daren Lewis was officially introduced to the flotilla as District Captain elect and now represents the southern divisions. The District Captain is also responsible as a liaison for the Coast Guard Units in his area. The District Captain delegates some of this to the ASC (Auxiliary Sector Coordinator)BZ Captain Lewis on your new position.
For the program visitors, we have some PV specific materials that you may not be aware of. The most important is the CG-5093 Manufacturer ID Code System, which is the form to sign up the marine dealers as a program partner. The biggest thing this can can do for the dealer is provide them with the quickest recall updates available. There is no yearly renewal unless the business name or location changes.
ANSC 7048 PV Activity Report is another must have. You don't get credit for your visits unless this form is filled out and SENT TO THE FSO-IS.
A program partner sticker is also available for our partners to show their customers at the front door that they care and participates as a program visitor.
A FRIENDLY REMINDER: MEMBER DUES ARE PAST DUE. PLEASE GET YOUR DUES IN TO THE FSO-FN
The Flotilla COW has changed the date to 15 January 2012 due to the Division COW being held on the 7th and would require a good number of flotilla members to participate in 2 COW that weekend. Boarding time and meal cost will be available via email soon.
We voted on a couple VERY IMPORTANT motions at the meeting this month. The first of the two motions is as follows.............. Sorry I can't tell ya on the blog what the motions were. I will have the motions available soon in the flotilla meeting minutes.
Mary Magrant conducted our member training session at the meeting which covered the steps/process to becoming an instructor (IT). The first step to gaining your qualification is to study the Instructor Development Course located at http://www.cgauxed.org/elib/idc.htm
Once finished with the course you need to log onto the E-Learning site and take an openbook, none proctored test.
Once the course and test is completed you can move onto the Personal Qualification Standard (PQS) which is a book that has tasks that must be complete in the presence of a mentor. Once this is completed, your paper work is sent to district and walla. Please call Mary for a more in depth discussion on the steps required.
VE's please remember to submit any Vessel Exam paperwork that has not been entered. The leadership would like to see your numbers accounted for this year.
EVENTS TO ADD TO YOUR CALENDER:
22 OCT Sat: ECP Training Session at MSU.
02 NOV Wed: Division Meeting
09 NOV Wed: Flotilla Meeting. Elections will be held.
12 NOV Sat: HAZWOPER Training and Exercise.
19 NOV Wed: ABS Class. Contact FSO-PE for details.
11 October 2011
This Ain't no Cookie and Cold Coffee Line!!!
Photo by Peggy Stevens
Gary Bell working his Stainless Steel Edible Art Storage Apparatus.
What fantastic food Gary. BZ as usual.
Flotilla Body Guards Manning the Gate!!!!
Photo by Area Captain elect Daren Lewis
Thanks to Chris Roosevelt and Paul Plouger for standing Gate Watch
and maintaining a heighten sense of Situational Awareness.
Watch out for these two, they may pounce and bust some
Gummbie Suit Ninja stuff if they sense something odd.
Edd Kairis is Number One.........
Photo by FSO-PB Jonathan James
Edd Kairis was awarded the Division 7 Auxiliarist of the month
for October. Edd is the first to be awarded the Aux of the month sense
the division voted to start recognizing an Aux each month.
Edd's name will now be sent to district as a candidate for
District 13 Auxiliarist of the year for 2011.
Frocking???? Yup That's What's Happening.
Photo by Peggy Stevens.
Division Commander elect Brad Schuldt was frocked at the division
meeting after being elected as the Division Commander for 2012.
MSU XO, USCG CDR Michael Zamperini and Brad's son preformed the
frocking ceremony. For those of you who don't know what a frocking is, it's
a ceremony which changes the officers insignia from his or her current rank (office)
to his or her promoted office before they actually take office.
03 October 2011
Member training is the highlight of this weeks photo of the week. Without this most important program, we couldn't serve the boating public or the Coast Guard. A BIG thanks to Jon Polimeni for some outstanding training offered at the division level this year and his support to the flotilla's who have offered training to members in the division.
Damage Control Trailer
Photo By FSO-PB Jonathan James
Area Captain elect Daren Lewis (left) and SO-MT John Polimeni (right) work on repairing a leak in the Damage Control Trailer. This trainer is used to train Coast Guard personnel and commercial fishermen on the methods used to patch leaks due to cracks, holes, splits and leaking seals. This is also a great piece of equipment to show what TCT is all about.
Flotilla 73 Crew Academy With 76 OPFACs
Photo by Area Captain elect Daren Lewis
In this photo, 051 Coxswained by Todd Mains is practicing the side tow evolution with 173 Coxswained by Ken Babick who is the academy lead officer. In the background 267 Coxswained by Lynn Easton stands off while the crew observes the process of a side tow evolution.
Training With The Active Duty
Photo by Area Captain elect Daren Lewis
The station often asks the auxiliary to participate in training of the station boat crew and coxswains. In this photo an auxiliary OPFAC is being used as an escorted vessel to allow the active duty to practice their escorting procedures.
Photo By Area Captain elect Daren Lewis
In this photo Todd Mains teaches the Boat Crew candidates of an easy method to remember the sound signals when approaching or passing a vessel. We are lucky in our area as we have a bus load of outstanding instructors who have a wealth of knowledge.
Note: Wednesday we will be hosting the division meeting which is also the division election. Lets have a great turn out and support or members running for higher office. I would like to say thank you to Matt Epstein who is running for Division Vice Commander and Brad Schuldt who is running for Division Commander. Good luck to you both on Wed.
29 September 2011
Photo by Steven Lane
The Columbian News Paper reported today that the owner of a broken barge that polluted the Columbia River and triggered a $20 million cleanup has been charged with two felony crimes, which was announced Thursday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Western Washington district.
Check out the full story at http://www.columbian.com/news/2011/sep/29/davy-crockett-owner-indicted-two-felony-charges/
26 September 2011
Bu: FSO-BP J. James
Lynn Easton at the Portland Boat Show. This is a great opportunity for us to talk to the boating public. Especially the new or soon to be new boat owners
LEFT: Area Captain South elect Daren Lewis fitting kids at the Oregon Zoo Safety Fair. This is a great example of our working relationship with other agency's like AMR Ambulance. RIGHT: A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk from Astoria lands in a field at a school for a safety fair. We had a tent with the cold tank so kids could see how hard it is to function in the cold water.
This is what a table at an event could look like. We have literature
and exhibits for specific aspects about boating. This allows us to customize
our booth to each PA event. This was a picture taken from the Columbia
Slew Regatta. The information provided was specific to the paddling community.
18 September 2011
This week's photo of the week will be the start of a series of photos highlighting areas of flotilla 76 operations. Not just operations as in surface, radio, or aircraft operations, but of what we do on a weekly basis. Each week I will be selecting a group of photos that pertain to certain functions or equipment that we use in our auxiliary careers.
This week's photos are of the Flotilla Operational Facilities (OPFAC)
Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel 222129
Photo of AUX222129 which is on of the primary vessels used in
training new crew and coxswains. You will see this OPFAC most
at special events, or conducting make-way patrols on the Columbia
and Willamette Rivers.
Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel 201267
AUX201267 is another primary vessel used in training and make-way patrols. You may also see this vessel alongside a deep draft, tug or other commercial vessels to load or unload Coast Guard boarding teams or transporting members of the Press.
Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel 222051
AUX222051 is very active with the above vessels. A major use
of this facility and it's coxswain is to take active duty members
on Area of Responsibility Tours. Active duty members are
required to get eyes on the AOR they task to work.
Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel 192154
AUX192154 is our newest facility in our flotilla and
has been featured in multiple SITREP videos from our
Division Commander, Daren Lewis.
I do want to give a special thanks to the owners of these facilities. With out your contribution, we would not be able to function as an operational flotilla. Thanks to all of you.
15 September 2011
A few photo highlights of the flotilla meeting.
There was a table full of awards and qualifications to be presented.
Thanks to Peggy Stevens for the great photos.
Some highlights for those not present:
a. Dues are due at months end, please save the commander some stress and get your dues in.
b. This years Change of Watch will be on the Portland Spirit. More info in the meeting minutes.
c. Commander Poulson talked about what it means to step up and take a staff position. He also had staff members or members in special projects highlight their job duties to show the members present what it takes to keep the local auxiliary operating.
d. We all had our taste buds in an uproar from the wonderful food that the fellowship team put together. It was fantastic.
e. Our flotilla will be hosting the next division meeting. This is the first Wednesday of October which is the 5th. DIVISION MEETINGS ARE NO LONGER HELD THE FIRST MONDAY....
13 September 2011
10 September 2011
Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11/2001. A day where more than 3,000 innocent Americans were murdered, a day that changed America, a day we all cried.
Tomorrow as you go through your day, I ask that you take a moment and remember the great Americans that we lost that day. Remember how you felt watching those towers fall, or how you felt to see a ball of smoke above the Pentagon, or how you felt to hear that United 93 crashed in a field in a rural part of Pennsylvania.
Remember all those firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and all the other first responders who knowingly and selflessly went into danger to help evacuate people from the World Trade Center. Remember the responders that climbed upon the "Heap" and spent days and weeks looking for survivors.
Remember the days after the attacks and how we, as a nation came together regardless of our political, religious, or ethnic back ground. We came together as one. We were "United we Stand"
Remember how the whole nation was bursting at the seams with patriotism. We all flew flags and had ribbons on our cars. Some of us even went to Ground Zero to help with the recovery efforts knowing the dangers.
Many Americans have made a commitment, a commitment to do whatever we can to keep this from happening again. Many Americans are now first responders, active, reserve or volunteer members of the armed forces because of what happened that day. We are safer because of them.
Thanks to all of you who serve as volunteers in the United States Coast Guard. You are all Patriots. Tomorrow, after you have bowed your head in remembrance, you can hold your head high knowing that you have made a difference to the security of this nation.
Be safe tomorrow and God Bless America.
07 September 2011
Lowest vessel to upper vessel: 52' Motor Life Boat Triumph
100 foot Inland Buoy Tender Coast Guard Cutter Bluebell
157 foot Coastal Buoy Tender Coast Guard Cutter Henry Blake
MLB Triumph was specifically designed for assignment to a Pacific Northwest region station, where severe surf conditions were commonly encountered. The original wooden 52’ MLB versions, although proven highly capable for heavy weather rescue operations, were quickly wearing out and needed replacement. It was determined that their replacements should have hulls of steel rather than wood, aluminum superstructures, twin diesel engines and propellers, and self-righting and self-bailing features. Triumph was built in December of 1961 and stationed at Station Cape Disappointment.
Coast Guard Cutter Bluebell was commissioned April 4. 1945 in Tacoma, Washington. Cutter Bluebell is in charge of maintaining 420 Aids to Navigation on over 300 river miles on 3 different rivers. This is 23 percent of the entire 13th District buoys and aids. Another historical fact about the Bluebell is that she is the second oldest cutter in the Coast Guard fleet next to the Queen of the fleet. 100-foot inland construction tender Coast Guard Cutter Smilax.
Coast Guard Cutter Henry Blake is the thirteenth of the Keeper Class of the Coastal Buoy Tenders. Henry Blake was placed in Commission, on the 18th of May 2000 and began her journey of over 9,400 nautical miles over a six month period which included port calls in 4 countries and 11 states on her way to her home port in Everett, Washington, which she arrived at on the 14th of September 2000. Henry Blake is responsible for the maintenance of 80 lighted, 39 unlighted, and 65 shore aids to navigation.
29 August 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. - Auxiliarists take a break from training to observe Coast Guard H-60 Jayhawk helicopter CG 6021 conducting a rescue demonstration on May 21, 2011 at the Marine Safety Unit Portland Open House. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Auxiliarist Daren Lewis
24 August 2011
ASTORIA, Ore. — The final section of the derelict barge Davy Crockett will be lifted out of the Columbia River near Camas, Wash., Thursday.
The 431-foot former World War II-era Liberty Ship partially sank Jan. 27, 2011, while moored near the Washington shoreline. The vessel buckled due to structural instability, likely caused by improper deconstruction practices. Approximately 70 gallons of oil discharged to the river in late January, causing patches of sheen 14 miles downriver. The Unified Command was established at that time to respond to the unknown environmental threat posed by the Davy Crockett.
A cofferdam and impermeable barrier were built to surround the barge during deconstruction to keep any hazardous material releases contained inside. The decision to do in-water deconstruction was made after exhausting all feasible dry dock options.
Work will continue for several more weeks while divers dredge the river bottom inside the cofferdam to remove contamination resulting from the deconstruction work. The cofferdam will be removed after worksite cleanup is complete.
Personnel Currently Assigned
36 - response contractors, federal & state
Total Oil water mixture recovered to date
1.6 million gallons*
|Total steel removed||4.43 million pounds|
|Debris & oiled debris removed:||838,296 pounds|
|Bunker oil recovered:||32,669 gallons|
Samples analyzed to date (e.g. water, oil sediment)
Obligated costs to date
For more information and pictures of the incident, please click on the link:http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/incidents/DavyCrockett/DavyCrockett.html
Article from District 13 Public Affairs website.
16 August 2011
This Sunday is the annual summer flotilla picnic catered by the only member in the flotilla that could give Gordan Ramsay a run for his money, Gary Bell. Gary will bring the Traeger grilled chicken, baked beans, and corn on the cob sickles with melted butter or chipotle lime mayonnaise.
If you have a favorite recipe you would like to show off to your fellow members or know of some great side dishes, please bring them along. I know I'm bringing some tasty bean and cheese dip I fell in love with at a friends party.
This years games and entertainment will be provided by Lura Walters. She will have some great games that will test your knowledge of things Coast Guard. Who knows, there may be some Frisbee Golf happening.
Don't forget the fellowship. There isn't a time limit on how long you can hang with your shipmates. No gates here to push us out. I look forward to seeing everyone and making some good memories.
P.S. This site has no covered picnic areas and a request has been made to members participating that if you have a canopy and your willing to offer it to be used for the picnic to please contact Gary Bell via email.
It is Sunday, August 21, and Gary will be serving the catered foods at 1300 (that's 1:00 pm for civilians).
The cost is either free, or $8 if you want to order the catered food. You don't have to participate in the catered food to join us, the cost is only for the food.
It is in the same place as the last two picnics: Columbia Park, on North Lombard between Woolsey and Chautauqua, and our site "D" is closest to the intersection of Lombard and N. Russet.
Look forward to see you all there.
27 July 2011
Once again, we have been invited to participate in the Columbia Slough Regatta for the third year. The regatta is the largest paddle function in the State of Oregon and its hosted by the Columbia Slough Watershed Council to celebrate the Columbia Slough. There will be community organizations as well as some state and federal agencies promoting the Columbia Slough as well as paddle crafts. The Counsel provides free paddle craft rentals and encourages the public to bring their own paddle craft to take a paddle through the Columbia Slough.
The event starts at 0845 and ends at 1300 on 31 July 2011 and I am requesting that any of you who are VE or would like to participate in the PA booth to give me an email to sign up.
We will be promoting paddle carft safety and offer paddle craft vessel safety checks as well as offer paddle smart stickers. This is a great time to talk to the paddle craft community and provide them with the paddle specific information their looking for. Commander Daren Lewis has done an outstanding job of constructing a paddle craft specific display. Brovo Zulu sir.
Here is the address and I look forward to seeing you there.
NE 150th Ct & NE Mason (undeveloped field), Portland, OR 97230
24 May 2011
*Flood Warning for the Columbia River at Vancouver.
*From this afternoon until further notice.
*At 8 AM Tuesday the stage was 15.9 feet.
*Flood Stage is 16.0 feet.
*Minor flooding is forecast.
*Forecast.... the Columbia River is forexast to rise above flood stage around 12 PM Tuesday. The Columbai will remain near or above flood stage through Wednesday... then slowly start rising by Thursday.
*Impact... above 16 feet... expect minor flooding of some lowland access roads near the river on Sauvie Island... and on the walkway near downtown Vancouver. There will be significant flooding along the banks of the Columbia River that are commonly used for camping such as on Government Island.
*Rivers currents are particularly strong and the water temperatures are very cold. It is dangerous to try to swim in these water.
13 May 2011
For our purpose the three most common extinguishers are the A,B,C or multipurpose type.
These extinguishers extinguish fire by removing one of the facets of the fire triangle i.e. oxygen, heat, fuel or by interrupting the chemical chain reaction that keep the fire burning.
Class A fires are the common combustibles like paper, wood, fabric, etc. Water is the most common, and if properly applied, most effective extinguishing agent for this class of fire. The water cools the fuel and coast the surface cutting off it's air supply. A pressurized water "can" or "pump can" is a handy extinguisher for class A fires.
Class B fires are the flammable liquids, diesel, gasoline, oils, etc. These require a dry chemical application which will suffocate the fire by cutting off the oxygen supply to the fuel.
Class C fires are electric in nature. The CO2 (carbon dioxide) extinguisher works well by cooling and displacing the oxygen from the device. CO2 is also a nonconductor so it will not conduct an electrical charge back to the extinguisher/operator. Be careful though because the nozzle will quickly become extremely cold.
For use around our homes, vessels, vehicles etc, the common multipurpose ABC extinguishers are what we are most familiar with. They are nonconducting and reasonably simple to use. While they are most specifically suited for class B fires they will do a good job on A and C fires as well. However, they will cause a major mess and ultimately damage electrical equipment.
The extinguishers are rated by size. For instance you may see a 1A, 10B (no rating for C) extinguisher. What that means is that the extinguisher is equal to a gallon of water for class A fires and should extinguish approx 10 square feet. of burning liquid surface. Of course how you use the extinguisher will effect how much fire you can successfully extinguish.
Extinguishers will have a gauge by the handle. The needle should be in the green zone to be sure there is sufficient pressure for it to work. The extinguisher should be shaken thoroughly periodically to be sure the powder inside does not compact into a useless solid mass in the bottom of the container. You can also tap them with a rubber mallet to break the powder up. However, if you hear clumps thumping around inside your extinguisher, it is likely no good and should be replace. Most the smaller extinguishers are not rechargeable. Once they are used they are done there is no way to refill and recharge them. Larger extinguishers may be rechargeable. These typically have tags attached indicating when they should be tested. Usually most types of common extinguishers should be hydrostatically tested about every 5 years.
Now we must make a decision about whether or not we should fight the fire. FIRST, has everyone been alerted and evacuating the premises? Has 911 or the Coast Guard been called? Is the environment safe enough to stay in close proximity to the job? It does not take an awful lot of heat and smoke to rapidly make a room untenable, especially a small room like a kitchen or pilot's house. Is the fire small enough to be handled by the size extinguisher you have at hand? Is the fire still confined to it's original container or has it already begun to spread to surroundings such as curtains, cabinets, etc? Can you actually see the source of the fire? Meaning is it in the open where you can get to it and not behind something like a bulkhead. You should be sure conditions are such that you can stay to do the job. Starting and then quitting before the job is done puts yourself at considerable risk for little benefit.
Your extinguishers should always be near an exit. You should never walk past the fire further into the room etc to get your extinguisher. When you grab your extinguisher you wont to be able to quickly walk away if you have changed your mind about fighting the fire. Do not keep your extinguisher on a kitchen counter near the stove, or in the engine compartment ( as the only location). If you get a grease/oil fire on the stove top you don't want to have to reach past it to get to your extinguisher.
Assuming we have chosen to fight the fire remember not to get too close. Usually you should be about 6'-8' away for a small extinguisher to 10'-12' for the larger extinguishers. Getting too close puts yourself at risk of injury and can very well actually spread the fire as the burst of dry chemical blows into the container or surface.
Now remember P.A.S.S.
Pull the safety pin,
Aim the nozzle, don't forget to actually hold the rubber nozzle (if so equipped) and aim it at the fire.
Squeeze the handle and
Sweep the fire.
You want to aim at the base of the flames. Your target is the burning fuel not the flames themselves. Aim for the nearest fuel edge to you and work your way to the farther edge. Be aware that the fire can reignite. Class B fires are especially likely to reignite. Depending on the size of your extinguisher you will only have from about 6-18 seconds of use.
Once the extinguisher has been used it is done unless it's a larger rechargeable type. Even the rechargeable's will need to be serviced. You cannot activate an extinguisher and save some for a future use.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER throw water onto burning liquids! You will create an explosion of fire as the water instantly boils and splatters the burning liquid , oil, etc into a ball of fire.
I hope this helps explain the uses and cautions of using a fire extinguisher. Thanks to Bob Southwick for this great article. If you have any question for Bob relating to fire extinguisher, please email me and I will get it to Bob.
25 April 2011
Word of caution when using LED light bulbs. A member of the communications team was having difficulty copying the signal from a D1N, VHF repeater, and could not understand why. He stated, “I had installed some LED replacement light bulbs and when we turned on the light, the VHF receiver input was desensitized.”
After reading the LED bulb package carefully, it states in very small print, "may cause harmful interference to sensitive marine band radio equipment. Do not install near sensitive life-saving marine communications equipment"
A word of caution for all members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Please check your gear and see that it operates with the use of your LED lights. You could loose comms and not even know it.
17 April 2011
Well I was going to wait to introduce the latest Telecommunications Operator (TCO) qualified members for flotilla 7-6. I however think these members deserve a bigger spotlight than a staff report. John Polimeni, Nick Gyore and myself qualified as TCO last Friday, 15 Apr.
After three months of study and practice these member are now allowed to offer their radio facilities for use and operate them under Coast Guard orders. These members are also qualified to stand as watchstanders in the Emergency Incident Command Post (eICP) and in select Coast Guard command posts as well as meeting the stations requirement to start the brake-in process as a watchstander at Station Portland.
With this qualification brings a greater knowledge of radio operations and communicating with the mariner. If you have questions regarding Coast Guard communications, these member along with other TCO qualified members will be more than willing to answer them for you. TCO qualified members also have the ability to mentor and sign off tasks in the TCO-PQS.
We now have 6 TCO’s in our flotilla which is more than any other flotilla in the district.
BZ guys for a great job on your qualification.
10 March 2011
Last night at our monthly flotilla meeting, we had the honor of having three outstanding members offer their services to the flotilla in the capacity of Vice Flotilla Commander. As we all know, we can only elect one as our Vice. It turned out to be a difficult decision for the members of our flotilla because all the candidates were outstanding and had their own tools to bring to the office if elected.
Rick Williams, a member of 76 for two years and a new Aircraft Commander, was elected as our new Vice Flotilla Commander for the remainder of the 2011 term. Congratulations Rick on your elections to this very important office. I know that FC John Poulson and the Flotilla Staff Officer's are very happy to have you aboard.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our FC, John Poulson for his selflessness through this whole evolution. Not many Flotilla Commanders would have handled this as professionally and as classy as FC Poulson did. It was John who would always remind us to not forget why we joined the auxiliary and to keep that in the forefront of our auxiliary career. He has had to put a lot of his desires aside and has had to focus %100 of his auxiliary time on maintaining a very difficult and unpredictable watch as FC for the past few months.
B.Z. FC John Poulson and congratulations VFC Rick Williams.