News and Events

Monthly meetings of the Plainfield Volunteer Firefighters Association are held on the second Thursday of each month at 1900 (that's 7:00pm) at the Plainfield Public Safety Complex, 38 North Central Street. If you are interested in joining the Association and helping Plainfield's emergency responders, be sure to stop by our monthly meeting. 

If you are interested in joining Plainfield Fire-EMS and becoming a firefighter, EMT, or medical first responder in Plainfield, or want to get involved in any way, be sure to stop by any Thursday evening.

See the calendar for dates of special events and of the next monthly meeting.

See below for news.

Annual Fund Drive needs you!

posted Dec 2, 2018, 12:16 PM by Brian Hawthorne

Each year, your generous contributions help the Plainfield Volunteer Firefighters Association provide financial support to the Plainfield Fire-EMS Department for projects that exceed the department’s annual town budget. You make it possible for the town to operate a volunteer department of a quality that larger towns with larger budgets strive for. In the last year, your donations purchased upgraded radio technology. In previous years, you acquired vehicle stabilization tools, a thermal imager and more. This year, we are writing to ask for your help in helping protect our firefighters from cancer.

Thirty or forty years ago, cancer was not considered an issue in the fire service, certainly not among the roster of the volunteer Plainfield Firefighters and EMTs. Responders took pride in how dirty their fire gear was and breathed in what we now know are toxic diesel fumes that filled the garage bays while they waited for fire apparatus to build enough air pressure to release their brakes before responding. As building and motor vehicle construction changed and more items in homes and vehicles were made out of plastic and other synthetic materials, the smoke given off by their combustion became even more hazardous. Call after call, year after year, your fire department responded to your requests for help.

Firefighters everywhere now have self-contained breathing apparatus to keep from breathing these fumes within a burning building or near a burning vehicle. Our 10 year old Public Safety Complex, like most newer fire stations, has air filtration systems that come on automatically when fire apparatus starts or returns to the building. Despite having safety tools like these, the Boston Fire Department is seeing a huge jump in the number of their firefighters fighting many forms of cancer. If it’s in Boston, it’s here too. One of the hazards that has been identified is contact with cancer-causing residue on firefighting turnout gear. Your fire officers recognize this issue and want to do everything they can to protect our firefighters from coming in contact with contaminants from hazardous environments.

We need your help to provide a way to effectively remove contaminants from firefighter turnout gear after an incident. We need to purchase a Continental commercial washer/extractor and dryer. These units clean up to four sets of turnout gear at a time. They are designed to wash and “extract” potential hazardous materials attached to the gear after an incident. This specialized equipment is not cheap; we expect up pay as much as $20,000 for the full system. This must happen now, and your support of our goal of personal protection for all Plainfield volunteer firefighters is the only way we will overcome the financial challenge.The cost is steep, but the potential to protect our most valuable assets, your firefighters and EMTs, is worth every penny. These are your friends, your neighbors, who are committed to protecting our small town. Will you step forward and help us to reach our critical goal?

We hope you will support our Annual Fund Drive through a tax-deductible donation.

48th Annual Firefighters' BBQ Tickets are on sale!!

posted Jul 16, 2018, 6:30 AM by Brian Holt Hawthorne   [ updated Jul 16, 2018, 1:58 PM ]

The Plainfield Volunteer Firefighters Association (PVFA) will host its annual Chicken Barbecue, Sunday, Sept. 2nd, 2018, behind the Shaw Memorial Library on Main Street. Dinner will be served starting at 1pm. As always, the meal will include a 1⁄2 barbecued chicken, locally grown baked potato, corn on the cob, homemade cole slaw, dinner roll, slice of watermelon and a beverage; all for $12/adult and $6/children under 12. All Plainfield firefighters and EMTs have tickets to sell. As the total number of meals served is limited, tickets should be purchased before the event.

This year's event will include live entertainment, funded by the Massachusetts and Plainfield Cultural Councils. The annual Firefighter's silent auction will feature multiple locally donated items to choose from, tickets on sale at the gate. The 43rd Annual Plainfield Road Race will run at 1pm. Open to all, the 1.1 mile course around the center of town is a deceptively hilly course. Free registration at serving tent.

Many Plainfield groups will again take advantage of the Firefighter's Barbecue and have events going on simultaneously during the afternoon. This includes an information table from Plainfield Broadband, the Shaw Memorial Library Annual Book Sale, ArtsFeast, and Cub Scout bake sale all offering items for sale and display.

The Firefighters Barbecue is Plainfield's signature annual event, bringing together most of the town's residents and friends for an afternoon of good food and entertainment. The Barbecue is one of the largest annual fundraisers of the PVFA, supporting operations of the town's volunteer
Fire/EMS department. The department will have it's new vehicle accident stabilization equipment and Rescue Trailer on display during the Barbecue. Join your neighbors and friends and support your town's volunteer first responders.

For further information, Contact Asst. Chief David Alvord at 413-634-5470 or
dalvord@gazettenet.com. Medical officer Ellen DuPont at 413-634-5343.

You can also purchase tickets on-line!

Association provides additional gear storage

posted Jul 16, 2018, 6:21 AM by Brian Holt Hawthorne   [ updated Jul 16, 2018, 6:22 AM ]

In 2015, the PVFA researched, purchased, and installed a gear storage rack for firefighter turnout gear at the Plainfield Public Safety Complex. Prior to this, most gear was stored in personal vehicles, as many firefighters responded directly to calls from their homes. With a smaller department, firefighters are more likely to need to respond to the station to staff apparatus, and safe gear storage to allow protective gear to dry properly and stay clean was crucial. After 3 years, all of the 8-bays were doubled up with two firefighters sharing a space meant for one, so PVFA in 2018 purchased and installed a second 8-bay gear rack.

The entire cost of $2750 was provided by generous donations made to the PVFA.

PLAINFIELD VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION PURCHASES EVACUATION CHAIR FOR AMBULANCE

posted Dec 14, 2017, 2:35 PM by Brian Holt Hawthorne

The Plainfield Volunteer Fire Department put a brand new Ferno EZ Glide Evacuation Chair in service this week after it was donated to the fire department by the PVFA. The chair will be stored on the department's Class 2 Ambulance, Plainfield R10, and is similar to the chairs carried on Highland Ambulance, the regional paramedic level transport service for the Hilltowns. The need to upgrade the previous older model was brought forward last winter, when the unit did not perform safely for both patients and first responders during winter conditions. The chair is used to move patients down and up stairways and from homes to the transport ambulance when environmental conditions are difficult. The cost of the new chair was $3700 and was purchased through fund raising by the PVFA. Plainfield EMT's and first responders reviewed hands on training of the new chair this week and it is now in service.

David Alvord
Asst. Chief/EMT
PVFD

It Wasn't Easy, But it worked!

posted Oct 5, 2017, 1:09 PM by Brian Holt Hawthorne

Labor Day weekend's 47th Annual Firefighter's Barbecue was one to remember.  

After many previous years of mostly fair weather, this year's event became a huge challenge for the members of the Plainfield Volunteer Firefighter's Association(PVFA). As the Sunday weather forecast deteriorated as we moved closer to the event, PVFA members made plans to make the event happen in spite of the forecast. After attempting to rent a large tent unsuccessfully on Saturday, the decision was made to move the serving of the barbecue dinner, running of the annual auction and live music to the interior of the Plainfield Public Safety Complex on North Central St. on Sunday. The meal would still be cooked on the fire association's giant outside grill behind the library as always.

On Saturday, along with picking up and delivering all the food supplies, creating the homemade cole-slaw and barbecue sauce, wrapping 400 potatoes, putting 400 ears of corn in water filled coolers; a first ever design, created By Ed Morann, was constructed around the fire pit. When the rain started early Sunday morning, after allowing the fire pit to get started, a tin roof was installed on the steel frame. This was done during pouring rain and in smoke coming up from the grill. It worked! Soon we started the cooking of 1200 items-chicken, potatoes and corn on the cob. Overcoming cool temperatures, the barbecue sauce was added to the chicken. All foods were then stored on pallets in the fire department's rescue trailer and driven up to the Safety Complex.

The day before, in addition to the tasks described above, most of the many sized picnic tables were moved up from the pavilion behind the library to inside the truck bays at the Safety Complex, allowing for dry seats for barbecue ticket holders. All these tables were then moved back down to the pavilion after the barbecue ended. Cummington Fire Dep't. delivered extra tables Sunday morning. With one group of firefighters cooking  the meal in the rain, a separate group association members, spouses and friends were setting up the interior of the Safety Complex to serve dinners, listen to live music and enjoy the huge silent auction all within a dry, comfortable environment. A new gravel path was constructed from the ball field to the complex parking lot. Cars parked on the field allowing easy access to the event.

In the end, the members and friends of the PVFA pulled off an amazing day for the hundreds of ticket holders who attended the event, under extreme challenges. 

I thank all of them and all of you who joined us on a Barbecue to remember.

David Alvord
Barbecue Chair   
Plainfield Asst. Fire Chief

47th Annual Plainfield Firefighters Barbecue Tickets Now On Sale

posted Aug 18, 2017, 11:56 AM by Brian Holt Hawthorne   [ updated Jul 16, 2018, 6:35 AM ]

The Plainfield Volunteer Firefighters Association (PVFA) will host its annual Chicken Barbecue, Sunday, Sept. 3rd, 2017, behind the Shaw Memorial Library on Main Street. Dinner will be served starting at 1pm. As always, the meal will include a 1⁄2 barbecued chicken, locally grown baked potato, corn on the cob, homemade cole slaw, dinner roll, slice of watermelon and a beverage; all for $12/adult and $6/children under 12. All Plainfield firefighters and EMTs have tickets to sell. As the total number of meals served is limited, tickets should be purchased before the event.

This year's event will include live entertainment, funded by the Massachusetts and Plainfield Cultural Councils. The annual Firefighter's silent auction will feature multiple locally donated items to choose from, tickets on sale at the gate. The 42nd Annual Plainfield Road Race will run at 1pm. Open to all, the 1.1 mile course around the center of town is a deceptively hilly course. Free registration at serving tent.

Many Plainfield groups will again take advantage of the Firefighter's Barbecue and have events going on simultaneously during the afternoon. This includes the Shaw Memorial Library Annual Book Sale, ArtsFeast, LBS Tag Sale at the Shaw-Hudson House, and Sanderson Academy PTO bake sale all offering items for sale and display.

The Firefighters Barbecue is Plainfield's signature annual event, bringing together most of the town's residents and friends for an afternoon of good food and entertainment. The Barbecue is one of the largest annual fundraisers of the PVFA, supporting operations of the town's volunteer
Fire/EMS department. The department will have it's new vehicle accident stabilization equipment and Rescue Trailer on display during the Barbecue. Join your neighbors and friends and support your town's volunteer first responders.

For further information, Contact Asst. Chief David Alvord at 413-634-5470 or
dalvord@gazettenet.com. Medical officer Ellen DuPont at 413-634-5343.

PVFA launches 2016 fund drive

posted Nov 23, 2016, 7:54 AM by Brian Holt Hawthorne

The Plainfield Volunteer Firefighters Association relies on donations from the general public to provide support to the volunteer Fire-EMS department in Plainfield. Please take a look at our latest fund drive letter, and consider a donation today.

PVFA elects officers and committee members, honors long-time service

posted Nov 10, 2016, 6:28 PM by Brian Holt Hawthorne   [ updated Nov 10, 2016, 6:29 PM ]

At the PVFA's 2016 annual meeting, the Clinton Fiske committee recommended four people receive the Fiske award for their decades of service to the Fire-EMS department and to the PVFA. The membership agreed and honored Andy Stevens, Rob Shearer, Mert Taylor Jr., and Theresa Thatcher.

The PVFA membership elected John Westwood as President, Debbie Stevens as VP/Secretary, and Andy Stevens as Treasurer. The association elected Mert Taylor Jr. to a three-year term on the Clinton Fiske Committee, and re-elected Brian Hawthorne to a three-year term on the Boryta Committee.

New PVFA website is live

posted Oct 9, 2016, 8:46 AM by Brian Hawthorne

The Plainfield Volunteer Firefighters Association website (http://pvfa.org) has been updated to use Google Sites as of 10/9/2016. If you are reading this, then you are on the new website. This new website provides us with an easily updateable calendar of events and news page, and will also support members-only features for tracking project to-do lists. Google Sites is part of the Google for Non-profits product, which allows registered 501(c)3 organizations free access to Google's new G Suite.

PVFA has been proud to provide free web hosting space for the Town of Plainfield's Fire-EMS department for many years. The town now has its own official website. Much of the information that PVFA had been hosting on the website has now been moved to the Plainfield Fire-EMS section of the town's website, making clear the distinction between the non-profit Association and the town's Fire-EMS Department. This separation will make it easier for the town fire chief when applying for federal grants, and for the Association when soliciting donations from individuals and foundations.

2016 Fire Rescue Trailer is in service

posted Oct 8, 2016, 7:38 PM by Brian Hawthorne   [ updated Oct 11, 2016, 5:45 AM by Brian Holt Hawthorne ]

Thanks to our many generous donors, PVFA was able to research, fund from donations, procure, and outfitted a custom 2016 U.S. Cargo 18' customized heated trailer (9900 lbs GVW, 4' side door, drop ramp) at no cost to the town. The trailer is now in service, and carries the 4x4 off-road rescue vehicle, Rescue Alive ice/water rescue sled and six cold water ice rescue suits, a generator, and other items.

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