Bee Removal

 

              Got bees?

 

Bees are a wonderful part of nature, but if you are experiencing bee swarms consider getting help with bee removal. Below is a list of bee relocation services who may be able to assist, if you have a bee swarming problem.

 

 

Bee Rescue Swarm Removal                                      brsr.org
Just-In Time Apiaries                 
 512-787-7918          justinmarks79@yahoo.com
Larry Bates                                  254-534-5380
Sarah Denman                             512-627-3881          sarah@sarahdenman.com
Tom Bates                                    254-493-8630
Williamson County Area                                             info@wcaba.org
       Beekeepers Association

*If you know of a bee removal service who would like to be added to this list, they may submit their information to fire@georgetown.org.

The Georgetown Fire Department is not endorsing any individual or business.

Free Blood Pressure Check

Visit Georgetown Fire & Medical Stations for Free Blood Pressure Checks
and Learn About Recommendations for Managing High Blood Pressure!

Georgetown Fire & Medical invites members of the Georgetown community to visit their neighborhood station to get their blood pressure checked and learn about managing high blood pressure.

It is important for everyone to monitor their blood pressure and Georgetown Fire & Medical is here to help. Unless Georgetown firefighters are engaged attending to an emergency, they are available to check your blood pressure, advise you on understanding it, and giving you recommendations for managing high blood pressure. Another name for high blood pressure is hypertension. About 80 million U.S. adults suffer from this condition. It is important to know if you have high blood pressure and need to seek treatment by a physician. Treatment measures can be as simple as lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, or your doctor may recommend medication. Georgetown firefighters can explain what your numbers mean, after they evaluate your blood pressure.

All Georgetown firefighters are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and a Paramedic, for Advanced life Support (ALS) measures, is a part of most crews.

For Georgetown Fire Stations locations, please click here.

You may get a blood pressure check card at one of our fire stations or click here to print a copy.

For more information on high blood pressure, please visit the American Heart Association’s website.

Georgetown Fire Department
Our Hearts Caring For Yours

Severe Weather

 Severe Weather Information

tornadoSevere Weather Season is Here! Preparation is Our Best Defense! Severe weather season can bring frightening storms, incredible damage and change lives in the blink of an eye. The best way to meet violent Texas weather is to be prepared. KnoWhat2Do has a number of steps you can take to help each member of the family know what to do when storms are coming.

Knowing your hazards is just one component of preparedness- the next step is to ACT! Make sure each member of the family knows how to use the following resources:

Emergency Notification System
http://wireless.capcog.org/ENS/Intro.aspx

NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio (NWR) Listen for emergency information.

Emergency Alert System (EAS) Tune into your radio for instructions.

Outdoor Warning System Pay attention to sirens. Sirens may be used for all-hazard notification. When sirens are sounded, go indoors and tune in to local news and radio programs to understand the nature of the emergency.

TV Broadcasts Watch for emergency interruptions and tune into news stations.

If you live in a trailer or other housing susceptible to tornadoes or high winds, consider your evacuation plan.

Creating an Evacuation Plan:

  • Plan places to meet within and outside of your immediate neighborhood.
  • Keep a half tank of gas in your car at all times in case you need to evacuate.
  • Familiarize yourself with alternate routes out of your area.
  • If you don’t have a car, plan other means of transportation.

A tornado is one of nature’s most powerful and destructive forces.

• Prepare for a tornado by gathering emergency supplies including food, water, medications, batteries, flashlights, important documents, road maps, and a full tank of gasoline.

• When a tornado approaches, anyone in its path should take shelter indoors—preferably in a basement or an interior first-floor room or hallway.

• Avoid windows and seek additional protection by getting underneath large, solid pieces of furniture.

• Avoid automobiles and mobile homes, which provide almost no protection from tornadoes.

• Those caught outside should lie flat in a depression or on other low ground and wait for the storm to pass.

Here is an interesting website to use for  the history of tornado sightings.

http://www.tornadohistoryproject.com/

911 Tips

ribbon 4The Georgetown Fire Department motto  is “Where duty calls there you will find us” and we are committed to preventing as well as responding to emergencies.

911 Tips

Do’s and Don’ts When Faced with Fire Emergencies
Emergencies – Calling the Fire Department
Georgetown  has an enhanced 9-1-1 system. This means that the 9-1-1 operator (referred to as the “dispatcher”) can identify through the system’s computer, the phone number and address of the calling party. This assists in timely dispatching of police or fire units to the emergency scene.

Common fire emergencies include structure fires, brush fires, and car fires. Common medical emergencies include heart attack, car accidents, respiratory difficulty, seizures and ill persons.

  •  When a call is received by the 9-1-1 dispatcher, they will say, “What is your emergency,  police, fire or medical?” The caller should tell the dispatcher which type of emergency they are reporting or give a description of the problem, allowing the dispatcher to decide how to route the call.
  • Whenever a person calls 9-1-1, their message needs to be clear. The dispatcher will ask you a series of questions and verify the address. They also need to stay on the phone until the person in the 9-1-1 center has released them from the conversation.
  • The dispatcher will begin to dispatch emergency units immediately. If it is a medical emergency, the dispatcher then will transfer the caller to the medic dispatcher sitting nearby. The medic dispatcher is specially trained for medical emergencies to provide self-help instructions to the caller while units are en route.
  • In Georgetown, the closest fire engine or ladder truck will respond to the call. The EMS system is handled by Williamson County EMS, which Stations 3 and 4 house.
  • All Georgetown firefighters receive medical training and, at a minimum, are EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) and we have several paramedics.
  • Try to stay calm. State what kind of emergency it is — fire, car accident, heart attack, etc. Then tell the dispatcher where the incident is.
  • Stay on the phone. The dispatcher may ask more questions or want you to stay on the line. Emergency units already have been dispatched even while you are talking with the dispatcher.
  • Children should be taught their home address and telephone number as soon as possible. In most cases, when a caller dials 9-1-1, the address and phone number of the caller’s location is displayed to the 9-1-1 dispatcher. However, this is not always verified because of information that may be called in from cellular or mobile phones.

Location

When the fire department responds to a given location, it may be delayed in arriving if the address is not clearly seen from the street. Although it’s fairly easy to spot a column of smoke from a house fire, it’s difficult to see someone’s heart attack from the street. In a medical emergency, firefighters may waste critical time having to knock on several doors to try and find a correct address. Make sure your address is clearly visible from the street with numbers at least three or four inches in height and reflective, if possible.

This problem is compounded in large condominium and apartment complexes. Arriving at a correct address, the engine company finds a huge residential facility with many buildings in the complex. Make sure large identification lettering or numbering is mounted on the side of the building. This is as important as the street address. It would be even better if someone could be standing near the street to direct the fire units to the appropriate apartment.

When an emergency vehicle is heard and/or seen, drivers should carefully pull their vehicle to the right of the road and stop. If they are at an intersection, or stopped in traffic when they see lights or hear a siren, drivers should remain stopped and wait until the emergency vehicles have passed. Do not make quick or erratic maneuvers. The law is very specific; drivers must yield the right-of-way to an emergency vehicle. Drivers also should stay 500 feet behind emergency vehicles.

A crash involving an emergency vehicle delays help to those who need it. Firefighters are careful to avoid vehicle collisions by driving slowly when traveling against traffic, or coming to a complete stop at intersections. The cooperation of all vehicles on the roadway is required.

Be careful when driving by or around a motor vehicle accident or any situation where emergency vehicles are parked and the firefighters are working. Resist the impulse to “rubber-neck.” This can cause additional collisions.RUBBERNECK

Even though fire apparatus are placed to protect firefighters, tragically, sometimes emergency crews have been hit and killed by passing vehicles.

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Africanized Honey Bees

Facts about Africanized Honey Bees

In the years past, we have had reports throughout the United States of Africanized honey bees, but in most all cases, they are simply a variety of European honey bees.  Below we will share with you some of the facts about bees, but first we need you to understand one very important fact: You can not determine if a bee is Africanized by simply looking at the bee with the naked eye. 

In order to determine if a bee is Africanized or not, we must send it to Texas A & M for examination. So if someone tells you that the bees are Africanized, take caution and treat them with respect, but realize that the chances are very low that is possible.

Africanized honey bees were imported to Brazil in 1956 to enhance honey production in the tropics. Some of the bees escaped into the wild and have gradually moved towards North America.

Africanized honey bees are the temperamental cousin of the more common European honey bee found in Texas. They often are called “killer bees,” but in reality their stings are less potent and painful than the common bee sting. Contrary to portrayal in the movies, these bees do not swoop down in mass causing death and destruction. They do defend their nesting sites very aggressively, sometimes stinging their victims hundreds of times.

It is impossible for the average person to tell the difference between an Africanized honey bee and the common European honey bee. Only an expert with sophisticated lab equipment is able to distinguish between the two. Those at highest risk are individuals who are allergic to bee stings and pets that are penned or tied up near honey bee hives.

Do’s and Don’ts

DO check your property regularly for bee colonies. Honey bees nest in a wide variety of places, especially Africanized honey bees. Check animal burrows, water meter boxes, overturned flower pots, trees and shrubs.

DO keep pets and children indoors when using weed eaters, hedge clippers, tractor power mowers, chain saws, etc. Bee attacks frequently occur when a person is mowing the lawn or pruning shrubs and inadvertently strikes a bee’s nest — any bee or wasp’s normal reaction.

DO avoid excessive motion when near a colony. Bees are much more likely to respond to an object in motion than a stationary one.

DON’T pen, tie or tether animals near bee hives or nests.

DON’T destroy bee colonies or hives, especially with pesticides. Honey bees are a vital link to U.S. agriculture. Each year, pollination by honey bees add at least $10 billion to the value of more than 90 crops. They also produce about $150 million worth of honey each year.

DON’T remove bees yourself. If you want bees removed, call a professional. Here are some commonly asked questions on bees and bee removal.

 

What to do if you are attacked:

  • Run as quickly as you can away from the bees.
  • Do not flail or swing your arms at them, as this may further annoy them.
  • Because bees target the head and eyes, cover your head as much as you can without slowing your escape.
  • Get to the shelter or closest house or car as quickly as possible. Don’t worry if a few bees become trapped in your home. If several bees follow you into your car, drive about a quarter of a mile and let the bees out of the car.

When to call the Fire Department
Call the fire department only when emergency medical services are needed. If someone has been stung by many bees at once or has an allergic reaction to a bee sting, call 9-1-1.

Call 9-1-1 if someone has become trapped in a building or car with lots of bees. Fire trucks are equipped with a foam that can be sprayed on the bees to drown them. Do not call the fire department to remove bee colonies or hives.

How to treat bee stings:

Treating stings from Africanized bees is much the same as treating a common bee sting. If a person is stung:

  • Keep the affected area below the heart.
  • If the sting was by a bee and the stinger is still in the skin, remove it by gently scraping against it with your fingernail, a credit card or a knife. Be careful not to squeeze the stinger. The venom sac still will be attached and you will inject additional venom into the area. Be sure to remove the venom sac.
  • Apply cold compresses to relieve pain and swelling but do not apply ice directly.
  • If it becomes difficult to breathe, call 9-1-1. Itching should quit within a few hours. If it persists beyond two days, or if signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction occur after an insect bite you should be seen by a doctor.

The signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Burning pain and itching at the bite site
  • Itching on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet
  • Itching on the neck and the groin
  • General body swelling
  • A nettle like rash over the entire body
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Faintness, weakness
  • Nausea
  • Shock
  • Unconsciousness

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Winter Safety Tips

InfoGraphic_winterSafety_AG_1213With colder temperatures in the upcoming months the City of Georgetown Fire Department would like to remind the citizens to use caution when heating their homes.

Here are some tips to remember for winter home Fire Safety:

  • Do not overload electrical wiring or outlets. We have experienced home fires from overloaded electrical wiring powering portable space heaters.
  • Do not use your stove to heat your home.  This is a dangerous situation that not only increases the chance of a fire but it will fill your home with deadly carbon monoxide. An unattended open flame is a disaster waiting to happen especially with small children at home. Using portable space heaters is safe if you keep the heater 3 feet away from combustible materials. Do not leave a space heater unattended in a child’s room. Plug the heater directly into an outlet and do not use extension cords. If the electrical breaker trips while using the heater, discontinue the use of the heater and call a qualified electrician to check your electrical system.
  • Service your fireplace before use.  Have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year. Chimneys often become clogged with soot and other debris from birds or squirrels. Always make sure your chimney flue is open before you light your fire.
  • Keeping your pets warm: Every year we see at least one fire started by heating lamps or lights that were placed in a dog house to keep the pets warm. This is a dangerous practice and we do not recommend placing heating devices within the dog house or pet container.
  • Check your smoke detectors for proper operation and review your fire escape plans with your family. If you have gas fueled appliances in your home,  install a carbon monoxide detector and have your heating unit checked and serviced by a qualified service company.

It is also important to make sure your pipes are wrapped well to prevent frozen pipes.

  • Before winter hits, disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.
  • Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic, even if you live in a climate where freezing is uncommon. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Remember: The more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.
  • Seal leaks that allow cold air inside where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.

Even if you’ve taken the right preventative steps, extreme weather conditions can still harm your pipes.
Here are a few more steps you can take:

  • A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
  •   Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature  both day and night. You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re asleep, but further drops in the temperature – more common overnight – could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

              Prevention is the key for keeping water running during the winter months,
so take precautions to see that your pipes are securely wrapped and warm.

Arson

A mission of Fire Prevention is to provide fire investigation and law enforcement services to the citizens of Georgetown through complete and thorough investigations, evidence collection and professional expert testimony in court proceedings.

Fire Prevention is responsible for investigating suspicious fires and explosions throughout the city. Nationally, arson (and suspected arson) is the primary cause of property damage due to fire in the United States and the second leading cause of building fire deaths. To combat this serious problem, certified investigators respond to assist the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Arson investigators are sworn peace officers authorized to interview witnesses, collect evidence, make arrest and appear in court.

If you have information or questions concerning fire crimes, contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 512 930-8416 or ray.cummings@georgetown.org.

The State of Texas Arson Hotline can be reached at 1-877-434-7345. If your information leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for an intentionally set fire, you may receive a reward of up to $1000.00.

Billing for Services

The Georgetown City Council passed an ordinance authorizing fire service cost recovery from insurance providers on January 2001. Georgetown follows the lead of other cities in the area, including: Round Rock, Hutto, Cedar Park, Leander, Liberty Hill, Pflugerville, Jollyville, and San Angelo. More than 61 fire departments in Central Texas and 266 in the state are recovering costs of service from insurance providers.

The trend of insurance billing is one way for fire departments to maintain services to growing populations whose tax revenues have not kept pace with service demands.

For additional questions, contact the Georgetown Fire Department at 512-930-FIRE (3473) or visit our Code of Ordinances page.

 

 

Carbon Monoxide – The Invisible Killer

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

 

Each year people become ill or die as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is often due to:

  • Improperly operating a generator in an area not properly ventilated.
  • Using a charcoal grill indoors.
  • Running a vehicle in an enclosed garage.

Be safe – learn about carbon monoxide, the symptoms or carbon monoxide poisoning, and how to avoid it.

What is Carbon Monoxide?          CO Warnings          CO Detectors

 

Carbon Monoxide Can Be Deadly

You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. If appliances that burn fuel are maintained and used properly, the amount of CO produced is usually not hazardous.

However, if appliances are not working properly or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of CO can result. Hundreds of people die accidentally every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances.

 

Symptoms of CO poisoning:

  • At moderate levels, you or your family can experience:
    • Severe headaches,
    • Dizziness
    • Mental confusion
    • Nausea
    • Fainting
    • You can even die if these levels persist for a long time
  • Low levels symptoms may include:
    • Shortness of breath
    • Mild nausea
    • Mild headaches
    • May have longer term effects on your health

Since many of these symptoms are similar to those of the flu, food poisoning, or other illnesses, you may not think that CO poisoning could be the cause.

 

Actions to Take:

If you experience symptoms that you think could be from CO poisoning:

  • Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off combustion appliances and leave the house.
  • Go to an emergency room and tell the physician you suspect CO poisoning. If CO poisoning has occurred, it can often be diagnosed by a blood test done soon after exposure.

Warning!!

  • Never leave a car running in a garage even with the garage door open.
  • Never run a generator in the home, garage, or crawlspace. Opening doors and windows or using fans will NOT prevent CO build-up in the home.
  • When running a generator outdoors, keep it away from open windows and doors.
  • Never burn charcoal in homes, tents, vehicles, or garages.
  • Never install or service combustion appliances without proper knowledge, skills, and tools.
  • Never use a gas range, oven, or dryer for heating.
  • Never put foil on bottom of a gas oven because it interferes with combustion.
  • Never operate an un-vented gas-burning appliance in a closed room or in a room in which you are sleeping.

 

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

A carbon monoxide detector is a device that detects the presence of carbon monoxide. If a high level of CO is detected, the device sounds an alarm to alert you and your family of a potential risk. Take immediate action and ventilate the area or safely leave the building if CO poisoning symptoms (confusion, headaches, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, etc.) are experienced.

 

Carbon monoxide detector

  To Purchase a Detector:

Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased at most retail and hardware stores.

 

 

Here is a video for some safety tips about carbon monoxide.

Protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning!

https://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/Multimedia/?vid=61664

Child Car Seat Inspections

Georgetown Fire Department provides child car seat inspections by nationally certified inspectors. 

Georgetown Fire Department and Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas are working together to provide child car seat inspections. Please see the information below. Email or call to schedule a child car seat inspection.

Email: www.dellchildrens.net
Phone Number: 512.324.TOTS (8687)

If you are in need of a car seat inspection and cannot attend a scheduled event, inspections may be scheduled by calling Lt. Jonathan Gilliam at 512-930-8092.

For additional information on child car seat safety, visit: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/saferiders/seats/