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PROGRAMS & PROJECTS.
MHVFD is working to advance the professional status and expand the knowledge and skills of fire and emergency services personnel. Our free training and education programs support fire departments and emergency services organizations in preparing for, preventing and responding to fires and other hazards.
Community Conservation - Wildfire Prevention
Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.
Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house.
Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
Remove flammable materials (firewood stacks, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
Wildfire can spread to tree tops. Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet from the ground.
Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Dispose of these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.
Inspect shingles or roof tiles. Replace or repair those that are loose or missing to prevent ember penetration.
Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent sparks from entering the home.
Enclose under-eave and soffit vents or screens with metal mesh to prevent ember entry.
Early Education - Junior Firefighters
The Junior Firefighter Program is for teens between the ages of 16 and 18. As these members reach 18 years old, they become eligible for Active Membership. Our goal is to give them a sense of belonging and that they can help. It gives them the chance to see what firefighters do and to learn the basics before taking the Level 1 Firefighters Course. We are looking for individuals that are willing to work as part of a team, be able to take commands from RFD Officers, be able to serve in a professional manner, and be able to attend the regular trainings and meetings.
As a Junior Firefighter, members serve in a support role for the senior firefighters at actual emergencies as a supplement to a formal training program. The Junior Firefighters attend monthly training drills with the full Department. A RFD fire officer serves as the Junior Firefighter training officer, and he is the primary contact person for the Junior Firefighter. Those selected are expected to act in a mature manner and commit to a demanding, long-term program.
In both training sessions and actual emergency situations, the safety of the Junior Firefighter is of paramount concern to the Department. As such, the activities of the Junior Firefighters are limited in scope and the fire officers closely supervise them. The Junior Firefighters quickly become an integral part of the firefighting team during emergencies, serving in such important capacities as establishing a water supply, supplying equipment for interior firefighters, changing air packs, manning exterior hose lines and assisting with interior overhaul once a fire has been extinguished. It should be understood, however, that despite the training and supervision provided, firefighting is a dangerous activity and serious injury is a possibility. The fire officers will make every effort to minimize the Junior Firefighters' exposure to danger. It is also the responsibility of the Junior Firefighter to avoid known hazardous situations.
Due to the inherent dangers of firefighting, strict rules of conduct and tight procedural standards have been established. In an actual emergency, it is essential that all firefighters, including Junior Firefighters, act in a calm and efficient manner. The Junior Firefighters are expected to attend training drills to be prepared for the many challenges presented in an emergency situation. Each member is expected to read and understand these requirements and to adhere to the standards. The RFD fire and administrative officers are available to discuss any questions.
Wildfires can cause major environmental, social and economic damages. The loss of timber, wildlife habitat, homes and even lives may result from a devastating wildfire. The wildfire that does not start is the one that does not have to be fought.
Prevention is the key in helping to reduce the number of human-caused fires — one of the most important goals for the MHVFD.
Abaco's fire-dependent ecosystems and year-round fire season pose a challenge to wildland firefighters in their attempt to continually educate Bahamians and visitors about wildfire danger pn the island of Abaco.