Every Day Is Training Day

At Winter Park Fire-Rescue

Every Day Is Training Day

WPFD-logoOutside, the morning is cool and sunny but inside, the old building at Progress Point is eerily dark, quiet. Suddenly, four fire fighters, each wearing 50 to 60 pounds of gear and carrying another 25 pounds of tools, burst into the room like figures in an action movie. They wear hoods and cannot see. They make plenty of noise. They conduct a quick “right hand search,” with two men proceeding into the room keeping their right hands on the wall. A third officer carries a Thermal Imaging Camera that is sensitive enough to detect the warmth from a fire fighter’s hand print on the wall. This is how they see.thermal handprint

Tangle Tunnel

The officer with the camera directs the men as they crawl under and over furniture, searching for fire and for victims. One of the obstacles they encounter is a “tangle tunnel.” A long plywood tunnel crisscrossed with wires and cords, the tangle tunnel replicates what a fire fighter would have to deal with if a ceiling has burned, leaving wires and fixtures dangling. The fully loaded fire fighter must crawl, blindfolded, through the 10-foot long space with his body at an angle to ensure the air bottle he carries on his back does not get hung up in the wires.

“We are frequently called at night,” explains Jimm Walsh, Division Chief of the Winter Park Fire-Rescue Department, “and if there is smoke — even in daylight — we can see nothing. So this is how we conduct our drills.”

Progress Point Being Put to Good Use . . .

Winter Park Fire – Rescue has set up their training facility in the old call center building at Progress Point on Orange Avenue. It is used not just by Winter Park, but also by other area fire companies, including Orlando.

. . .As Is Some Previously Used Furniture

Using furniture and fixtures gleaned from defunct businesses and a few alleys, Fire Rescue training folks have created a mockup daycare center, a living room, an office, a child’s bedroom with bunk bed, and a playroom with toys. The tangle tunnels are placed at random. Amongst the jumble of furniture are mannequins – sand-filled “victims,” some child-size and some weighing as much as 220 pounds – dead weight that must be dragged to safety amidst chaos.

Firefighters at the Ready 24/7

Winter Park has 69 active firefighters (not including administrative personnel) — three women and 66 men. Of the 69, 57 are trained paramedics. Walsh estimates that 70 percent of their calls are medical emergencies. The remaining 30 percent he describes as “other” – fires, automobile accidents, hazmat and other types of emergencies. The department works a three-shift system, with firefighters on duty for 24 hours and off 48 hours. Each shift is covered by 23 firefighters.

Sole Provider of Emergency Medical Service

Winter Park Fire Rescue is the sole provider of emergency medical services within the city limits. Units respond from three fire stations, strategically located to cover the nine-square-mile area of Winter Park. The main station is on Canton Avenue, and the other two are located on Lakemont Avenue and Howell Branch Road. The department has two fully equipped ambulances, and while fire trucks cannot transport a patient to the hospital, each is equipped to provide advanced life support until an ambulance arrives.

Hours of Practice Build ‘Muscle Memory’

Each firefighter must complete a minimum of 20 hours of training a month. Most complete more than that. The array of knowledge required of a firefighter is, dare we say, awe-inspiring. In addition to knowing how to operate their equipment, drive the vehicles, practice the latest firefighting techniques and the latest medical emergency procedures, there is an ever-changing list of new information and equipment with which they must familiarize themselves.

“We are trying to build muscle memory,” said Jimm Walsh, “so that in an emergency situation, these people don’t have to think. They just act. It saves seconds, and seconds can save lives.”

They Know WP Like the Backs of Their Hands

Every firefighter must know the location of every single street in Winter Park. Even though the units have Siri to tell them where to go, technology can fail, so the firefighters must be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the area without technical assistance.

Firefighters study detailed engineering drawings of every commercial and multi-residential building in the city – and there are thousands of them. They learn the interior layouts, how to disable the alarm systems, where to turn off the electricity, where to turn on the water and the location of all fire hydrants in the vicinity of each building.

WPFD Earned Top Rating

All this effort has paid off. In 2013, after an on-site examination from the Insurance Services Office (ISO), the WPFD received a Class 1 rating – the highest possible. Criteria for the rating are community water supply, emergency communications (911) and the fire department itself.

Within the Fire Department, the areas evaluated include daily staffing, fire apparatus, training, equipment and pre-fire planning. WPFD is one of only three departments in the U.S. to receive Class 1 accreditation from the ISO. The classification is used by insurers to rate the risk of loss, which affects premiums paid by property owners.

Winter Park is a wonderful place to live. Everyone says so. So much goes on behind the scenes to make it that way. Thanks to these folks for looking out for us – 24/7.

Winter Park’s Most Influential

Randy Noles Honored at Mead Botanical Garden

Winter Park’s Most Influential

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Randy Noles

On January 24, dozens of Winter Park “influentials” gathered to celebrate the work of Randy Noles, long-time editor and publisher of Winter Park Magazine. The crowd assembled to honor Noles’s contributions as community builder and, in particular, his support of Mead Botanical Garden, Inc., which hosted the reception.

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The Gazebros provided the music. L to R: Jack Byrd, Trevor Hall, Craig Taylor, Sheila Verde and Chip Weston. The Gazebros play at the Gazebo in Albert Park in College Park, at 6:30 on Tuesday evenings, weather permitting.

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Genean McKinnon

Katrina Jenkins

Katrina Jenkins

 

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Ned Cooper & Commissioner Carolyn Cooper

 

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Phil Kean

 

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Dr. Bahia Maroon

 

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Pat & Randy Robertson

 

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Janne Lane

 

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Dr. Jack Lane

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Steve Goldman, Peter Gottfried and Commissioner Peter Weldon

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L to R: Randy Noles, Steve Goldman, Randy Roberts, Thaddeus Seymour

 

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Ann and Tom McMacken

 

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Bob Hartnett (left) and Steve Foreman (right)

 

Ann Murrah

Ann Murrah

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Erika Spence and Debra Hendrickson

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Rafael Diez – Reprinted with permission — http://cartoonucaricatures.com

To mark the occasion, this character drawing by Rafael Diez was presented to Noles. Mead Botanical Garden Executive Director Cynthia Hasenau learned that Noles, himself, had an abbreviated career as a character artist. “That,” she said, “led me to commission this rendition of Randy enjoying a stroll in Mead Garden.”

Roger Trindade Death Ruled Homicide

Three Juveniles Arrested

Roger Trindade Death Ruled Homicide

roberttrindadeWPPD announced tonight that the final cause of the death of Roger Trindade was “homicide as a result of blunt force trauma.” With this information, the police obtained arrest warrants for three juveniles, all of whom are now in police custody.

The three young men charged in Roger Trindade’s death are Jesse K. Sutherland, age 15; Simeon Hall, age 15; and Jagger Gouda, age 14. None of the three is currently enrolled at Winter Park High School. The arrest affidavits have been sealed by a judge and no further information has been released by the WPPD.

Simeon Hall and Jagger Gouda were arrested in Orange County, FL. Jesse Sutherland was arrested in Virginia. Sutherland and Hall are both charged with manslaughter. Jagger Gouda is charged with tampering with a witness.

According to the statement issued this evening, “The Winter Park Police Department and Joint Homicide Investigation Team are working closely with the State Attorney’s Office and the Medical Examiner’s office during this investigation.”

Young Composers Challenge Comes to DPAC

You Should, Too

Young Composers Challenge Comes to DPAC



Music Lovers, mark your calendars. On Sunday, November 13. Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center will host the National Young Composers Challenge (YCC) from 12:30 to 5:00 pm, with a reception to follow.

Admission to the Composium is Free

Doors will be kept open during the event so that you can come to be inspired by your favorite young composer or stay for the entire event. After the performance, everyone is invited to share refreshments and mingle with musicians, judges, the composers and their families.

Most Prestigious U.S. Competition

The brainchild of Winter Park philanthropist Steve Goldman, YCC has been around since 2003. Limited at first to submissions from young Central Florida composers, aged 13 to 18, YCC has grown into the most prestigious competition in the country for young composers of orchestral music. YCC now receives thousands of submissions from around the country from youngsters aged 13 to 18. The 13-year-olds will amaze you. By the time they’re 18, they’re old hands.

What’s a Composium?

The performance you will see on November 13 is like a concert, plus a master class, plus a competition. It’s informative, dramatic, and entirely entertaining. Hear the winning compositions by America’s top young composers discussed, rehearsed, and conducted by Maestro Christopher Wilkins and performed by the symphony orchestra in the Disney Theater at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.

The performance of each composition begins with an audio excerpt from the young composer’s computer-generated score. Next, the composition is rehearsed by the orchestra, giving the composer an opportunity to interact with the conductor, the orchestra musicians, and the judges. Each session ends with the final performance of the composition.

Come As You Are and Bring the Kids

Dress casually, bring the kids, and prepare to have your mind expanded. You are unlikely ever to listen to an orchestra performance in quite the same way again.

Location

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Walt Disney Theater
445 S. Magnolia Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801

Get driving directions here or contact the Dr. Phillips Center offices at (407) 839-0119

Large Hole Opens on Fairbanks

East-Bound Fairbanks Temporarily Closed

Large Hole Opens on Fairbanks


sinkholeThis was the scene about 4:15 pm on Fairbanks Avenue across the street from Linda’s Diner. A water main beneath the roadway burst, and the resulting hole swallowed a large chunk of Fairbanks Avenue. Winter Park Police Officer Greg Easterbrook, who was at the scene, said the east-bound lanes of Fairbanks between I-4 and Harold St. would be closed “for at least six to eight hours, perhaps more.”

Officer Easterbrook said he had received a call that the road was flooded. He said he responded, “and sure enough, a large hole had opened. Fortunately,” said Easterbrook, “this happened on a Sunday instead of during Monday rush hour.”

Crews will remain on the scene until the roadway repair is complete.

WP High Pays Tribute to Roger Trindade

Part of Homecoming Celebration

WP High Pays Tribute to Roger Trindade

trindadetribute-smA tribute to Winter Park High School student Roger Trindade, who died October 18, will take place at the Central Park main stage tomorrow, October 26, at 6:00 p.m.

The tribute is part of Winter Park High School’s Homecoming celebration, which will include a parade down Park Avenue from Webster to Lyman from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. Side streets to Park Avenue will be closed during that hour for the passing of the parade.

Police Investigation Ongoing

The Winter Park Police Department investigation into Roger Trindade’s death continues. Police Chief Michael Deal told the Voice, “The Winter Park Police Department is committed to doing a thorough, unbiased investigation regarding the tragic death of Roger Trindade.

“Since day one, we have treated Roger’s death as a criminal investigation. As such, we have dedicated the significant amount of resources necessary to present a prosecutable case. As in all cases of criminal investigation, especially those involving juveniles, our investigation must proceed with care and discretion – and this may take some time.

“We are maintaining contact with Roger’s family and will continue to make the privacy and interests of the family a priority. We are aware and understand the safety concerns of our citizens to include parents and students, and we are committed to ensuring Park Avenue and all of our schools remain safe places.”

WPPD Updates Roger Trindade Case

Suspects Identified – Investigation Continues

WPPD Updates Roger Trindade Case


roberttrindadeAt 11:23 this morning, the City of Winter Park Police Department (WPPD) provided the following update regarding their investigation into the death of 15-year-old Winter Park High School student Roger Trindade.

What Happened

On October 15, 2016, at 9:48 pm, Winter Park Police Officers were dispatched to Central Park at the corner of Park Avenue and Morse Blvd. Police and Fire/Rescue personnel arrived on scene within two minutes. They arrived to find Roger Trindade unconscious. The suspects had already fled the scene. Roger Trindade bore no physical signs of injury and no physical evidence that would suggest he had been beaten.

Investigation Still Active

“This remains an active investigation,” stated Lieutenant Pam Marcum. “The Winter Park Police Department will continue to work directly with the Trindade family through the developments of this investigation.”

WPPD investigators have identified all of the individuals involved and are continuing their criminal investigation into what happened. Because those associated with this incident are juveniles, their identities cannot be released.

Park Ave. Patrols Upped

WPPD has increased patrols in and around Central Park.

Cause of Death Still Unknown

Exactly what caused the death of Roger Trindade is still not known. “Until we know what caused his death,” said Marcum, “we cannot make an accurate assessment of what criminal charges are appropriate.” The Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner is continuing to investigate the cause of death, and their investigation will take several weeks.

State, County Agencies Involved

Other agencies, including the Joint Homicide Investigation Team, the Medical Examiner and the State Attorney’s Office are assisting WPPD in their investigation. In criminal cases where juveniles are arrested, there is a very short window between the arrest and the prosecution. If a law enforcement agency makes a premature arrest, the prosecutor will not have the benefit of the Medical Examiner’s results or any potential forensic examinations at trial.

If You Have Information . . .

Lieutenant Marcum emphasized that the WPPD appreciates everyone who has provided a tip or information about this case. Even though police have identified all parties involved, she said, if you have any information regarding this case, you should contact WPPD at 407-644-1313 or Crime Line at 407-423-TIPS.

Matthew – Aftermath

Leaving Us to Pick Up After Him

Matthew – Aftermath

Matthew has come and gone, and we can only hope he stays gone.

Winter Parkers are fortunate that Matthew left nothing in his wake but a big mess. Here is how some of our neighbors were dealing with it after the storm moved north.

 

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Michael O’Donnell on Georgia Ave., making good progress.

 

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Peter, Charlee, Concetta and Maria on Via Tuscany. Peter has plans for that limb you see on the ground.

 

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Trees and Port-a-Potties Upended.

 

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Hannibal Square and Park Avenue did not go unscathed.

 

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Just look at all that parking at Trader Joe’s. You won’t see that again soon.

 

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Matthew did leave a fun, if temporary, new jungle gym at MLK Park.

 

 

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The best part of all is having good neighbors who help each other out. Thanks, Michael Vaughn and J.C. Peterson!

Photos courtesy of Kim Allen and Steven McElveen.

U.S. Census Bureau Reports Central FL Population Explosion

How will Winter Park Cope?

U.S. Census Bureau Reports Central FL Population Explosion

goldman-cover

Documentary Film – “Rebels With A Cause”

The 14th Annual Global Peace Film Festival and Rollins College present the documentary film “Rebels With A Cause,” in which a group of “ordinary” northern Californians dealt with just such a question.

Thursday, September 22 – 8:00 pm
Rollins College Bush Auditorium
Click here to buy tickets

Panel Discussion

Immediately following the film, there will be a panel discussion moderated by Orlando Sentinel Columnist Beth Kassab. The five panelists are:
Mark Brewer, President & CEO, Central Florida Foundation
Becky Wilson, Attorney, Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed
Bruce Stephenson, Professor Environmental Studies, Rollins College
Chris Castro, City of Orlando Director of Sustainability
Steve Goldman, Winter Park Visioning Steering Committee

Central FL Growing Fastest

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Central Florida is the fastest growing of the 30 largest regions in the country. In January, Orlando Economic Development Commission CEO Rick Weddle told an audience at the Orange County Convention Center that Orlando is “growing at close to double the rate” of the U.S. population. “More people are expected to move here than at any other point in history,” said Weddle, “with a net immigration of 350,000 new residents by 2020.”

Sooner or later, all 350,000 of our new neighbors will find their way to or through Winter Park.

How Will WP Preserve Quality of Life?

One of the overriding concerns expressed by Winter Park residents during the recently completed Visioning Process was how to preserve the character of Winter Park in the face of such growth. Steve Goldman told the Voice in a recent interview, “One thing became clear as we spoke with thousands of people during the Visioning process, and that was that people place a very high value on the village feel of Winter Park. They value the lakes and the tree canopy – the feeling of openness. They expressed a concern that all that was eroding as density increased, and they felt boxed in.”

Can Parks, Green Space Keep Pace with Population Growth?

A growing number of Winter Park residents, including Goldman, believe the only way Winter Park can preserve our quality of life is to ensure that our parks and green space increase at the same rate as the population. “Imagine New York without Central Park,” said Goldman, “or San Francisco without Golden Gate. Without the relief of that green space, neither place would be as attractive, and real estate values would certainly not be at their current levels.”

Government Can’t Solve the Problem

“Everyone seemed to be expressing the same concerns,” said Goldman, “and it became clear to me that government wasn’t going to solve this problem. Nobody wants to raise taxes to buy green space. It became clear that it was going to take a private initiative to bring this about.”

It’s Been Done

“This movie, ‘Rebels with a Cause,’ illustrates that if enough people believe something can happen, it can happen,” said Goldman. “As I’ve been talking to more people about this idea of creating a trust fund to acquire greenspace, I’ve found almost universal excitement about it. The real question is how do you bring people together to do something like this?”

Come See the Inspiring Story of How They Did It

“Rebels with a Cause” chronicles the long journey of preserving coastal lands in Marin and Sonoma Counties in California. Writes Nadine de Coteau of EarthJustice: This film is “a reminder that a strong coalition of ‘regular people’ can achieve a truly ambitious goal.”

Pick for Top Cop Pulls Out

While Police Cars Get a New Look

Pick for Top Cop Pulls Out

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Winter Park’s pick for Top Cop, Dallas Police Department Narcotics Division Deputy Chief Vernon Hale, announced over the weekend that he has withdrawn his name from consideration. This leaves the post open as Brett Railey begins his final week as Chief of Police of the city he has served for nearly 35 years.

The news leaked out during the August 22 Commission meeting. No reason was given for Hale’s change of heart – simply that he “had changed his mind.” In a subsequent interview, Chief Railey told the Voice that the City has a sizeable pool of well-qualified applicants from which to draw, and that he expected a new Chief will be announced soon.

Whoever Railey’s successor turns out to be, he’ll have a big pair of shoes to fill – and some decorating to do.

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Older vs Bolder

Are These the Cars of Arts & Culture?

Previously, during Commissioner reports at the end of the August 8 Commission meeting, Commissioner Sarah Sprinkel reported that she had seen a strange looking police car in a Publix parking lot. While the paint job identified the vehicle, a small SUV, as a Winter Park police car, Sprinkel was taken aback by the new paint job.

It turned out that some of the younger officers had approached Railey with the notion that the old paint job on the police sedans looked a little, well, stodgy. “Too Nineties.” Here is Chief Railey describing what happened when he challenged the officers to come up with a new look.

Once the design was approved by City Manager Randy Knight and senior staff at the police department, all new vehicles were slated to have the new look. Winter Park now boasts eight small SUVs with the new design.

“Not My Favorite,” says Leary

“The police cars are some of our most visible branding devices,” said Mayor Steve Leary. “And I don’t think that paint scheme, that detail, matches anything else we’re doing in the city of Winter Park.” Leary went on to explain that there should be a “more consolidated view” of branding, and directed the City Communications Department to become more involved in the design of the new cars.

Railey responded, “That’s an understandable concern that you may have,” and suggested the Commission direct the City Manager to direct the new Police Chief to change the paint job moving forward.