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House Fire Sends Woman to Hospital, Two Dogs Perish

The Easton Police Communications Department received a 911 call from a Northwood Drive home reporting smoke in the house on May 30 at 8:07 p.m. The Easton Fire Department, Easton Police Department and Easton Volunteer Emergency Service were immediately dispatched to the scene.

Upon arrival they found visible flames coming from the side of the residence. Mutual aid was requested from the following fire departments: Long Hill, Stepney, Fairfield, Monroe, Weston, Botsford and Redding Ridge. 

The fire department immediately began firefighting efforts and brought the fire under control at about 8:50 p.m. The residence sustained heavy smoke and fire damage. One adult female was taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.

Two dogs perished in the fire. A local veterinarian responded to the scene and pronounced the dogs deceased and removed them from the scene. The investigation is being conducted by the Easton Fire Marshal’s office to determine the cause and origin of the fire. 




Judd Road at North Street Shut Down Due to Accident: School Bus Delays Expected

Update 4:18 p.m.: Frontier Communications is currently on the scene. The crew plans to clear the wires from the roadway and will return tonight for repairs. The road will be open in about an hour.

A large crane truck pulled down a fiber optic communications wire which shredded and snapped, according to Chief Richard Doyle. It is unclear how long the road closure will be.

Shredded Cable at Judd Road and North Street will cause delays for School Busses. Photo Richard Doyle

Easton Police and Easton Fire Department are on the scene. Easton Public Works blocked the roads with barriers. The truck left the scene and the police department is pursuing leads in identifying truck and driver.  

The school bus company has been notified. Parents should expect a delay at the bus stops in the area. Frontier Communications has also been notified.

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.     




Easton EMS Makes a Special Delivery

All too often people call us when it is their absolute worst day. They are very sick or severely injured. It is a rare occurrence when we are called to help celebrate something good. But today, just that happened. At approximately 7:45 a.m. Easton 911 received a call for a woman in labor.

Easton EMS, Easton CT Police Department and Easton, CT Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched and responded immediately, as a team. The police helped EMS load mom safely into the ambulance while the fire fighters prepared the ambulance for transport.

EMTs Josh and Peter were able to focus all their attention on mom while police and fire officials figured out the rest. With contractions minutes apart, our ambulance picked up the paramedic enroute to the hospital and before they could get to the hospital a little baby boy made his first appearance to this world in the back of our ambulance.

JUST AMAZING. Huge morale booster for our staff that has seen so much suffering over that last few months. Special thanks to the Easton 911 dispatcher who stayed on the line, our paramedic back up AMR Bridgeport, CT and SWRCC, the Southwest Regional Communications Center, responsible for coordinating communications from Emergency Medical Services to the hospitals in the region.

Great way to start off the week!




Easton Police Officer Rescues Man and Dog from Keller Pond

Easton Police Officer Anthony Telesco was on routine patrol at the Helen Keller Middle School on the evening of Dec. 18 at 6:04 p.m. when he was flagged down by a man who reported his dog had fallen through the ice on Keller Pond. Telesco called the Easton Fire Department, requesting an ice rescue. In the interim, the dog’s owner climbed onto the ice to reach his dog and fell through the ice on top of his dog.

Telesco, 32, an Easton police officer for more than two years, waded into the pond in water up to his chest and successfully rescued both the man and the dog. Suffering from cold water exposure, Telesco was taken to Bridgeport Hospital by the Easton Emergency Medical Service. He was later released in good condition.

Both the dog, a golden retriever, and his owner were released at the scene and are both doing fine, according to Easton Police Chief Richard Doyle.

In a joint statement, Doyle and Easton Fire Department Chief Steve Waugh both urged people not to hazard onto ice-covered water to rescue another person, dog or wildlife.

“The Easton Fire Department has numerous firemen who are highly trained in ice rescues. They have cold water gear, specialized equipment and train regularly for these types of situations,” the two chiefs stated.

The Easton Police Department is located at 700 Morehouse Road, Easton, CT 06612, 203-268-4111, EastonCT.gov.




Message from First Selectman Bindelglass

Update for 10/16/2020

Easton Public Library

It is time to put Covid 19 at the top of the post. There is definitely a resurgence in the state and a small rise in Easton. Our schools remain open, although I personally think about that on a day to day or week to week basis and am thankful for every day of relative normalcy that occurs. This could not  have happened without the tremendous efforts of our staff at Central Office, administrators, teachers and all those responsible for our children’s education, including and especially the families of this town who continue to cooperate to make it all work.

We have settled into this new reality and we need to continue to keep our collective guard up for our own sake and for our neighbors. Our Senior Center has reduced its programs, but is serving our seniors, recently with a very successful flu shot clinic.  Athletics on our fields continue, apparently with no significant spreading of disease. There is room for hope still but need for caution.

We are in the process of recruiting a consultant to look at our emergency services, and how they might be reorganized for greater service and efficiency. This is a good time to consider that a significant part of our Fire and EMS Departments are volunteers. These are huge time commitments by these individuals, not to mention that they put their lives on the line to support us. Without volunteers, these services would cease to function. We thank everyone who gives so freely of their time, but more volunteers are always needed. Contact

Last night there was a spirited discussion about an application for a grant to get state funds to improve the intersection of Route 136 and Center Road. We are a town with limited revenue and need to look for every source of funding that we can find to help improve our town. In every project, there will be some who say it is not needed or could be done better. Inevitably the town will need to spend some funds to get larger grants. Our priorities are safety and quality of life and the town will continue to look for ways that we can propose to our citizens to improve on those with the greatest value for all of us.

There were also discussions this week about the maintenance of our fields by the Park and Rec Department. There are some in town who believe there are greater efficiencies to be had by putting field maintenance  under the Department of Public Works because of the broader range of services DPW can provide i.e. equipment repair, construction, and because the need for field maintenance varies by season and are far less in the winter. This would require a change in the Park and Recreation Ordinance, which would require a Town Meeting.

It is our hope that we could have a Town Meeting before the end of the year. It is frustrating as a First Selectman to have everything on hold indefinitely when the town has business to conduct. That will require some creativity, but I am hopeful. The Town of Easton staff, in all departments, has done a great job in continuing to provide services and assistance to the residents of our town, although in a much different pre-COVID way. I couldn’t be prouder of how we have all worked together to not only keep ourselves, but our residents safe.  We continue to look at ways we can streamline processes to make this a helpful and becoming place to build, renovate or just raise a family.

Be well and be safe. Have a great weekend.

Dave Bindelglass

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Police Dog Talk with Peter Neary

Easton is a dog loving town. Over 800 dog licenses were issued this year. For the most part, these are pets or self-appointed guard dogs.

Peter Neary, Easton’s fire marshal, and his family have three Labrador retrievers, two yellows, Sally and Holly, and one black, Coal. “As in what a bad kid gets for Christmas,” Neary joked. They are loving pets—and so much more.

All three have multiple certifications in police work from the International Police Work Dog Association. Think of them as the canine equivalent of PhDs in Search and Rescue. They are rigorously trained in a variety of tasks that exceed human capacity.

“A search dog has 44 times more olfactory sensory cells than a human. He’s a super sniffer,” according to Mike Doyle in The Search Dog Handbook. “Dogs are from one million to one hundred million times more sensitive than man to the scents of common body acids.”

Search dogs are trained to find missing or lost people. They can be taught to locate both the living and the remains based on scent training.

It’s important to dispel the images moviegoers have of police dogs who only pursue bad guys through steamy, dark woods and when they apprehend their prey-—escaped convicts and murderers-—they viciously attack.

There are of course, attack dogs, (actually called bite dogs) and they are used to take down bad guys, but Search and Rescue dogs (SAR dogs) are trained in a variety of positive operations, many life-saving.

Training SAR dogs is an intense two-year process with specific areas of concentration. Neary has spent 11 years training and working with his police dogs, in part, because “my dogs need a job,” he said.

Not any dog can make the grade. Before pursuing “graduate degrees,” there must be early indications of potential,” Neary said. “Puppies are tested to ascertain their level of drive and determination. Are they aggressive? Eager? Do they have basic aptitude? At two or three months, you can generally tell. Sometimes it’s genetic.”

Sally, an eight-year SAR dog veteran, still enjoys tagging along when the Nearys’ dogs go to work–Tomas Koeck photo

Sally

Neary’s oldest Lab, Sally, 12, is now retired after having been certified in two wilderness and two water search specializations for human remains. She sits at Neary’s feet like a normal pet these days, but her desire to continue working is powerful. “When she sees me leaving to work with the other two, I know she wants to join them. So, sometimes I take her out with them because I know she loves it,” Neary said a little wistfully.

In her eight-year career, Sally specialized in air-scenting in wilderness such as heavily wooded areas common to Easton. Air-scenting dogs, as the name suggests, keep their noses high to follow airborne skin cells that humans all shed as a matter of course. Someone lost and frightened sheds many more skin cells, or rafts as they are known, as a result of increased adrenaline.

Sally also certified in water recovery and cadaver work. It seems counterintuitive that a dog could follow the scent of a drowning person or cadaver in the water, but Sally could follow a scent through 300 feet of shoreline. Her skill set was especially useful in a community like Easton, which has so many bodies of water.

“Sally is a high-drive hunter and liked cadaver work,” said Neary. “But she navigated extremely well in the woods and could work for two hours and cover 40 acres of land.”

Neary with his three dogs: Sally, Holly and Coal–Tomas Koeck photo

The Mission Continues

Holly and Coal are continuing to work with Neary, who donates many hours of his time to SAR training and answering the call when needed.

Currently, he is providing direction to Easton’s Emergency Medical Service and Fire Department personnel in the implementation of disciplined search management activity.

“This is part of my journey, educating our service professionals to use the dogs to best advantage in our community.”

Neary is a serious professional, but softens on the subject of SAR dogs.

“These animals do so much for us for so little in return,” he said. “A meal, a ball and a pat on the head. They really inspire me and inspire my journey.”

Photos–Tomas Koeck




Two Firefighters Injured Responding to House Fire

Two firefighters were treated on the scene after responding to and extinguishing a fire this morning on Honeysuckle Hill Lane in Easton.

The Easton Police Department received a 911 call at 8 o’clock from the homeowner, reporting smoke in the residence, according to Police Chief Richard Doyle.

The Easton Fire Department responded and quickly extinguished the fire that had started in the garage. The Easton Emergency Medical Service also responded to the scene, along with the police and firefighters.

“Two firefighters were treated by the EMS on the scene,” Doyle said. “One was for heat exhaustion and one received a minor laceration to the finger.”

Doyle referred further comment to Fire Chief Steve Waugh and the fire marshals who are still on the scene, investigating.

More details will be provided as they become available.




Update: Car Crash Sends Three People to Hospital

Easton Emergency Services cleared a two-car motor vehicle accident June 22 at about  3:51 p.m. at the intersection of Route 59 and Adams Road. Three occupants were taken to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries, according to Police Chief Rich Doyle. 

The intersection was closed for about one and a half hours. The incident is under investigation, Doyle said. 

Update: Police issued a misdemeanor summons to Tyler Orban, 21, of Southwick, Mass., charging him driving under the influence and failure to stop at a stop sign pursuant to his involvement in the two-car crash.  

Orban posted a $100 cash bond and was released and ordered to appear in court on July 28. He was also issued an Infraction for possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of less than 1/2 an ounce of marijuana.




Fireman’s Carnival Cancelled

The Easton Volunteer Fire Company released the following statement on their Facebook page:

After much deliberation and out of an abundance of caution to protect our community, the Easton Volunteer Fire Company is sad to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Fireman’s Carnival. However, the EVFC is still holding its annual car raffle.

The carnival, including the raffle, is our main fundraiser each year, so the raffle is more important than ever. We hope that all community members support us this year by buying raffle tickets. The raffle prize is a 2020 Ford F150 or 2020 Ford Mustang GT. In the event one or both of the vehicles are not yet available at the time of the drawing due to COVID-19, the winner will be given a credit of equal value of the first prize vehicle of any vehicle from Colonial Ford in Danbury.

For more information on the Car Raffle please visit www.evfc1.com or our Facebook page or email rklem@evfc1.com.

We would like to thank our community for their ongoing support.

The direct link to purchase raffle tickets is https://easton-volunteer-fire-company-1.myshopify.com.




Decision to Hold Annual Fireman’s Carnival Will Be Made This Week

Fire Chief Steve Waugh said the decision about whether to hold the annual Fireman’s Carnival is still pending and will be made this week.

He and the town’s emergency response leaders are taking into consideration social distancing regulations in effect to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic as they make the difficult decision.

The carnival is the major fundraiser for the Easton Fire Department and a decades long popular event for people of all ages from Easton and the region.

Waugh said he will let the Easton Courier know as soon as they make the decision. Watch this space for more information.