February 19 eEdition

Sentinel Greenwich Over 20 , 000 copi es i n pr i nt week l y connec t i ng our commun i t y together. l Februar y 19 , 2016



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B y r a m

B a n k s v i l l e

C o s C o b

D o w n t o w n

G l e n v i l l e

O l d G r e e n w i c h

R i v e r s i d e

Our St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be March 20

Our Neighborhoods

DOWNTOWN Chicken Joe’s “Ride For Kids” and The Needs Clearing House are holding their third annual “Dough for Donations” Pizza Night at Christ Church on Friday, March 13 4:00 - 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, 10:00 a.m. At Home in Greenwich offers a lecture featuring Dr. Sansanka Jayasuriya titled “A Cardiologist’s View of Strokes and Hypertenstion” held at Fletcher Hall, Second Congregational Church. 139 East Putnam Avenue. Call Belinda to reserve your place 203-422-2342 Saturday, Feb. 27, 2:00 p.m - 3:00 p.m. The Japan society of Fairfield County will host a short film program at Greenwich Library featuring three short films that were screened at the Japan Cinefest at Asia Society in New York City last year. Followed by Q&A session. Free. Monday, Feb. 22, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. “Successful Retailing” Workshop presented by Fairfield County SCORE held at Greenwich Library. Registration starts at 5:30 p.m. BACKCOUNTRY Saturday, Feb. 27, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Join the Audubon as they survey great sanctuaries for over-wintering ducks, herons, hawks, shorebirds and other birds. Meet at the Read Sanctuary or ride from Audubon Center in carpool or van leaving at 7:20 a.m. Pre-registration is required with Ted at 203-930-1353 or tgilman@audubon.org Feb. 24, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm ‘Choosing Hope: The Power of Choice’ by former first- grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elemetary school, Kaitlin Roig- DeBellis. Round Hill Church, 395 Round Hill Road. Tickets $5 followed by Q&A. COS COB Feb. 20, 9:00 a.m. Tax Help from AARP Foundation at all Greenwich libraries. No reservations. Sign-ups begin at 9 a.m. Please bring a photo I.D. along with income information, any W-2’s and last year’s tax return. March 22, 9:00 a.m. All Elementary schools. Incoming Kindergarten Parent Orientation. Parents are then asked to make a registration appointment. Children who turn five by December 31, 2016 are eligible for Kindergarten. BYRAM Sunday, Feb. 21, Annual Town Skating Competition held at Dortothy Hamill Skating Rink. Sponsored by Windy Hill Skating Club and Greenwich Parks & Recreation. Sanctioned by US Figure Skating and approved by US Figure Skating. Feb. 25, 7:00 - 9:45 p.m. Movies from Around the World: “Deux jours, une nuit” (Two Days, One Night) shown at Byram Shubert Library. Co-sponsored by Alliance Sunday, Feb. 21, 4:00 p.m. Sunday Afternoons Live presents “A Concert of Vocal Music with Drew Seigla and Gianna Barone”. First Congregational Church. Tickets are $20 at the door and free for kids. Francaise, Greenwich. OLD GREENWICH

A look back at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Greenwich in 1999 courtesy of GPD Silver Shield. According to the Library of Congress, “St. Patrick’s Day, an Irish and Irish-American holiday, commemorates the death, as legend has it, of Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, on March 17, circa 492. It is also the occasion, in many American cities, for celebrating Irish heritage with a parade. Among the most renowned of these festival traditions are the New York City parade, which officially dates to March 17, 1766 (an unofficial march was held in 1762); the Boston parade, which may date as far back as March 17, 1775; and the Savannah, Georgia, parade, which dates to March 17, 1824.” Save the date!

Cos Cob Fire Police Patrol: A Valuable Service, a ‘Dying Art’

The fire police concept came from the New York board of firefighters in the 1800’s; the name derives from the fire police’s practice of patrolling the streets of New York City. They would walk a beat, looking for fires, carrying an instrument that made an instantly recognizable screeching noise to alert people in case they found one. They would then go into the home to save people and the valuables. These fire police wore red helmets to differentiate from the regular police. The CCFPP operates within the st ruc ture of t he Greenwich Fi re Depa r tment ; it conduc t s t ra f f ic operations, scene control and lighting, sa lvage work, and other suppor t functions for the fire department. The company was founded in 1927, and formerly had powers of arrest in Greenwich. The fire police patrol was used as an arm of the police that focused on emergencies and disasters while other police focused on crime. Today, the fire police patrol keeps up the tradition of wearing badges. Seventy-five percent of the volunteers have some EMS training, and a large number of EMTs volunteer for the station. If the police are shorthanded, they will call on the fire police patrol. It can be a situation where the police need lighting for a scene investigation, or an emergency like Hurricane Sandy in 2012, for which police needed help making sure that, for safety reasons, only residents were allowed in and out of Old Greenwich after the storm hit.

The company also lent its help to Greenwich residents during Hurricane Ernesto in 2006. During the town elections last fall at Greenwich High, there was some concern about the lighting in front of the school, since construction was in progress. The fire police patrol set up auxiliary lights and made the area safe for voters. There have been occasions when a powerline was on fire in the middle of a residential street and the fire police patrol would come to block the road. The CCFPP a lso “protects the protectors” when they are called to the highway to guard the perimeter around an accident. All volunteers take the TIMS course, which stands for traffic incident management system. “We’ll pull up and position the truck on an angle as a blocker, so the traffic doesn’t drive into the scene,” said Kelly. Kelly is a third-generation volunteer. His grandfather was captain/chief officer in 1958 and his uncle was president of the patrol on 1990. His grandfather was an active member into his 70’s. The trucks carry portable traffic signs, such as “lane closed” signs, and cones to aid in diverting traffic. “The whole idea is to get the traffic organized like marching ants passing our scene,” Yeskey. “We’ve shut down I-95 when the accident warranted.” In 2013, state Rep. Fred Camillo helped pass the Fire Police Bill after a volunteer of the CCFPP was struck by a man in a car who disregarded his orders

and attempted to drive through an area with fallen trees and power lines. The bill makes it a traffic infraction to ignore the directions of a member of the fire police when they are protecting traffic from a hazardous area. “We went to Hartford to change the law to make fire police patrol members as protected as fire fighters,” said Kelly. “We were personally involved, and that affects all of Connecticut.” Yeskey added, “We learn as we go along from these unfortunate situations. That’s how laws are typically made.” Incidents go through the dispatch center and the police patrol has a text messaging system and pager devices to receive the calls. “We respond to 80 to 180 calls a month,” said Yeskey. “We get a lot of water calls in the wintertime.” The fire police hold regular open house events to reach out to the community. “We do an open house in collaboration with the Cos Cob Volunteer Fire Company each year,” said Yeskey. The company has also held fire safety demonstrations at schools like Greenwich Country Day. Volunteers are usually paired up with more seasoned volunteers and the company performs monthly drills. The company checks the working condition of the equipment every week. The CCFPP is equipped to help with an array of emergencies. “When in doubt, call us,” said Yeskey. “And we’ll somehow figure it.”

By Chéye Roberson Sentinel Reporter

T he Cos Cob Fire Police Patrol, Inc ., is an a l l-volunteer company that places special importance on saving valuables inside a building from fire and water damage. CCFPP, which typically responds to over 1,000 calls a year, has draining tools to decrease f lood damage and other threats to a home or shop. “We will go in and cover furniture, files, family heirlooms—many residents are thankful for that,” said Peter Yeskey, president of the Cos Cob Police Patrol. But fire police are not nearly as common as they once were. “There are only 10 of us left in the country. The nearest is Rochester, N.Y.” “It’s a dying art,” added Cos Cob Fire Police Patrol Chief Brian Kelly. When CCFP arrives at a scene of a blaze, its “first priority is to make sure everyone is out of the structure,” said Yeskey. Then the company will secure the valuables inside and use a water pump to remove excess fluids if necessary. One tool the company relies on heavily is the “water shoot,” the design of which has been used for decades to catch water and direct it away from carpeting, furniture and other water- threatened materials. “The water shoot diverts the water out of a window, saving the carpet,” said Yeskey, who was elected president of the patrol in 2011.

The Greenwich High School girls ice hockey team celebrated its Senior Night Monday afternoon at the Dorothy Hamill Ice Rink. During Big Red’s game against New Canaan, the girls hockey team honored its nine seniors, led by captains Lisa Lewis, Haley Raftery and Claire Eschircht. To read more on the Greenwich High girls’ hockey team’s game against the Rams, and hear from players and head coach Alex Lerchan, check out the sports section starting on B1. (John Ferris Robben photo)

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