In Memoriam.. Mario Luis
1965 - 2016

On Wednesday, September 14th, the SVFD experienced the sudden and unexpected loss of firefighter and emergency medical responder Mario Luis. Mario was an exemplary member who set the standard for dedication to service that others should try to achieve. He will be greatly missed.

Donations in Mario's memory can be made to:
Sherman Volunteer Fire Department
PO Box 249
Sherman, CT 06784

September 11th Memorial Bench

On Sunday, Septermber 11th, members of the SVFD, their families and a few invited guests gathered in a grassy area on the south side of the firehouse and held a brief ceremony to dedicate a 911 memorial bench. Engraved on the bench is the phrase, We Will Never Forget.

Please feel free to stop by and relax on the bench and enjoy the serenity of Sherman while keeping in mind all those people who have sacrificed so much to make that possible, especially those who gave their lives on September 11th, 2001

Live Burn Training

Typically when the fire department arrives on the scene of a burning structure they work rapidly to put the fire out. When they've dowsed the flames the last thing you would expect them to do is go back inside and start the fire again. Unless of course this is a training exercise in a donated structure that is slated for demolition.

Starting on Sunday, March 20th and continuing for several other nights in the following week, about fifteen members of the SVFD gathered at a donated structure and repeatedly lit and extinguished fires. They practiced ventilation by cutting holes in the roof, they pulled sheetrock off the walls and exposed ceiling joists. They practiced with small handheld extinguishers, fully charged hose lines and practiced locating "hot spots" with the Departments Thermal Imaging Camera. All of these skills are critical but the opportunity to practice them on a live fire in a controlled environment occurs very infrequently. Fortunately the number of structure fires that occur in Sherman is small, but at the same time that means the opportunity to use these skills is not presented so other means need to be found. The donated structure for these drills provided an excellent opportunity to practice skills from all ends of the operation that included not only interior operations, but also apparatus placement, water supply and fire ground procedures.

There are many steps required to make sure that these drills are performed in a safe and controlled manner. If you have a structure that you feel would be suited for the fire department to use for drills then please contact us at 354-9273 and we can discuss the details.

2010 Call Totals

In 2010 the SVFD responded to 262 calls. That total can be further broken down into 105 fire related calls and 157 EMS calls. This means that members responded to an average of 5 calls per week. Due to the unpredictable nature of emergency services we have no way of knowing whether those 5 calls will come spread out evenly over 7 days or if we won't get any calls for a week and then get half a dozen calls in 24 hours. This means that our members must be ready and prepared to respond to an emergency on any day and at any time.

The SVFD is always looking for new members. We especially are in need of volunteers who are interested in being EMS certified or who hold a Commercial Drives License and would be interested in being trained to operate a fire truck and are available during the day when many of our members are working at jobs outside of Sherman. If you are interested in volunteering, please call the firehouse at (860) 354-9273.

Fire Prevention Poster Winners

Congratulations to Michael Tarby and Kayla Amorosa for winning the 5th and 4th grade fire prevention poster contest. They each received a $50 Savings Bond from the SVFD. Their posters will now be entered with the winners from other schools in Fairfield county to determine the county winner.

Engine 5 Now in Service

You may have noticed a nice shiny new fire truck driving through town. If you didn't get a good look at it here are some photos that take you from construction through delivery. photos

CPR Class held November 2nd

On Tuesday November 2nd, while most of the students from the Sherman School were taking the day off and sleeping in, a group of 7th and 8th grade students took advantage of a CPR class that was held in conjunction with the SPTO and the Sherman Volunteer Fire Department. This was the first class in what will hopefully become an annual event.

According to the American Red Cross web site, "Sudden cardiac arrest claims the lives of more than 200,000 people in the U.S. every year. As many as twelve children between the ages of four and 19 are injured every minute".

Many of these people could be saved if they received CPR and were treated with an AED. By training these students it's possible that some day they could be in the right place at the right time and save a life.

Mutual Aid Drill in Dover

On Saturday, October 23rd, Sherman joined forces with towns on both side of the NY/CT border and conducted a large scale mutual aid drill where the objective was to keep two ladder trucks continuously fed with water. This is no small task as the water needs to be shuttled from a water source and then transferred to a truck to pump to the ladder. To maximize efficiency, the tankers dump their water into one of several portable ponds and the truck that is pumping to the ladder then draws the water ouf of those ponds to feed to the ladder truck. By clicking on the photo above you can see Sherman's new Engine 5 stepping up to the task and having enough water to spare to show off the deck gun.

Although it looks like everyone is having fun, large scale drills such as this allow us to develop skills that we might need if we ever had a large structure fire or an incident where we needed significant amounts of water for a long period of time.

Boot Drive Held October 17th

The SVFD held its annual Boot Drive on Sunday, October 17th. Thanks to everyone who made this a successful effort.

If you didn't happen to be driving through town on Sunday morning or found yourself without any spare change and would like to make a contribution, you can mail your donation to:

The Sherman Volunteer Fire Department
PO Box 249
Sherman, CT 06784.

Please make checks payable to S.V.F.D. Remember, all donations are tax deductible.

Annual SVFD Fireman's Ball held August 7th

The SVFD would like to thank everyone who came out on Saturday, August 7th for the 46th annual fireman's ball.

We would like to add a special thanks to all the individuals, groups and local businesses who helped make the ball possible through generous donations of door prizes or services that made the evening a success. Please remember them and show your appreciation by giving them your business when possible.

Come on in, the water's fine

GVFD (Gaylordsville Volunteer Fire Dept.) and SVFD (Sherman Volunteer Fire Dept.) "broke the ice" Sunday with a collaborative ice rescue drill. With winter activities such as ice skating and fishing in full gear these two fire departments decided to prepare for what we hope never has to be used: the skill to rescue someone who has gone through the ice. Bordering fire departments have a long history of helping each other. Mutual aide fire departments come to rely on each other for unique specialized equipment; specialized skills and man power.

The two departments combined equipment and members to exercise ice rescue and recovery techniques. We started with an overview of techniques and of course safety issues to watch for once on the ice. Classroom preparation is an essential component of training and is critical to the success of the outdoor exercise. We were now ready to take the plunge. The rescue scenarios that we reviewed revolved around plucking victims from an icy open water hole on Mill pond in Kent and delivering our package to shore safely. Once on scene all members donned PFD (personal flotation device) and took our places…some on the ice and some on the shore. Mike Pryor GVFD member and also member of the Wilton Fire Department Dive team managed the in water aspect of the drill. For every "victim" a single rescuer was dispatched with an additional rescuer on deck for support. All volunteers were able to exercise and observe all aspects of the drill. We split up into an ice crew; shore crew; or support crew. Whether playing the victim getting rescued; playing the rescuer; playing a "facilitator" helping members with the bulky Mustang Ice suits or keeping everyone warm with coffee and chili; 32 neighbors contributed to a safe and fun drill. There were seven GVFD families with multiple members participating (The Stietzels managed four members and two generations).

Whether "soft ice" extraction on an ice sled or "hard shelf ice" extraction with Cold Water Rescue Sling, all "victims" were rescued safely and delivered to the shore dispatch area. An interesting item was that the extraction gear used was manufactured by CT based company Marsars Ice Rescue Systems of Shelton CT. Their ice rescue sled performed just like it was designed and may warrant GVFD mutual aide to neighboring departments that lack this gear.
- Photo and article courtesy Tom Hogan, GVFD

Brick Campaign Closes on May 31st

Time is running out for your opportunity to purchase a Brick that will leave a legacy showing the support and thanks to all the volunteer members of the Sherman Volunteer Fire Department who are there for each and every one of you. The bricks will form the walkway that leads to the main entrance of the Emergency Services Facility.

For a minimum donation of $100, a brick may be personalized with your family name, in honor or memory of a loved one, or to promote a business. It’s also a great way to recognize a Birthday, Wedding, and Anniversary or as a unique Holiday gift. The money raised will help to defray the cost of Audio Visual training equipment for the vital continuing education of the Fire and EMS members. Any excess funds would be ear marked toward the purchase of a Water Rescue Boat.

Each brick will be 4" x 8" x 2 1/4" and is ‘laser’ engraved with up to 3 lines of text that is specified by the donor. The laser transforms the clay of the brick into hardened dark glass. The lettering becomes part of the brick itself and requires no maintenance. The laser mark will last as long as the brick surface, guaranteed!

So, let’s all be part of Sherman History. Purchase a commemorative Brick that will last for future generations to share!! If you are interested in purchasing a brick you can print off this form. (all the information you need is on the form) If you have questions please give us a call at (860) 354-9273 or send an email to

Emergency Services Facility Bids are in

On June 10th, the 15 bids that were submitted were opened. The bids ranged from a low of $3,616,129 to a high of $4,295,000. The four lowest bids are being reviewed by the project architect. The complete list of bids is available at the Town of Sherman website. or by clicking here for direct access to the list.

Annual Appreciation Dinner

On Saturday, March 14, the SVFD held their annual appreciation dinner. To help keep costs down we went with a pot-luck format for this years event. Clearly luck was on our side because the food selection was exceptional. We had a wide selection of appetizers, desserts and main courses and nobody went home hungry.

In addition to the great selection of food, the following life members who reached a service plateau were recognized:
  • 35 years ---- Allen Beatty, Tim Beatty, Jeff Lescynski
  • 30 years --- Bill Hipp, dave DeGraff
  • 25 years --- Paul Voorhees
  • 20 years --- Jamie Albert

We also thanked those members who responded to 100 or more calls in 2008: John Dwyer, Chad Beatty, Justin Reynolds, Ken Grant Jr, Paul Voorhees and Kathy Grant.

Firefighter Training

Despite what you may believe, certified firefighters are not born with all the skills that they need. Sure, there is a certain level of aptitude for solving problems and thinking clearly in a crisis situation, but that only takes you so far.

The first level of certification is called Firefighter 1 and carries with it around 180 hours of training. Some of that time is spent in a classroom with 4 walls and others in a more open space, like at the top of a ladder truck. Here are a couple shots of SVFD members Andrew Cardillo and Chad Beatty who are currently working on their FF1 certification. The jury is still out as to whether Andrew volunteered to go up that ladder first or if he lost an impromptu round of Rock-Paper-Scissors a few seconds earlier.

Good job guys and thanks for taking the time to get certified, we all appreciate it.

In Memoriam.. Guido Tino
1937 - 2008

On Friday, November 21st, SVFD Life Member Guido Tino passed away. Guido's enthusiasm and focus on public safety was unmatched in Sherman and he will be missed. There will be a memorial mass at 10:00 am on Saturday, December 6th at Holy Trinity Church in Sherman.

SVFD Training at Chris' Pizza

Over the past few weeks you may have noticed a lot of SVFD activity at the old Chris' Pizza building. The structure is scheduled for demolition and the SVFD has been given the opportunity to use this building for training. We have practiced removing victims from a building, navigating through a smoke filled structure and most recently venting and breaching.

Breaching walls is a way to get from one spot in a structure to another when the normal paths are not an option. Fundamentally it means making a hole in a wall that's large enough to get through. Here are few Photos from the drill on Monday, September 15th.

Emergency Services Day at Sherman Camp

On Tuesday, July 29th, members of the SVFD in conjunction with the Connecticut State Police and LifeStar set up a display of emergency services on Veteran's Field for the campers of both junior and senior camp. Over 80 campers and staff members had the opportunity to get a close look at the fire and EMS apparatus as well as spray a little water from a fire hose. In addition we had two, yes two, helicopters land on the field for the campers to get a close look at. Some pictures from the day are available on the SVFD Photos page.

Election of officers held July 10th.

On July 10th the SVFD held its annual election of officers. In attempt to help balance the load across both the EMS and Fire sides of the department several of the positions were renamed to more accurately reflect their scope and responsibility. In addition the SVFD has elected Jim Reilly into the newly created office of president. For a complete list of officers please check out the Members section.

SVFD Places Third

For the second year in a row, the softball team from the SVFD placed third in the Bear Showalter Memorial Softball Tournament in the Fire Department B division. Congratulations to all who participated.

HEARTSafe Community

You may have noticed the signs that recently appeared around town announcing that Sherman was a HEARTSafe Community. A HEARTSafe community designation indicates that the town has attained a level of education and awareness to respond to cardiac emergencies as well as the necessary means to respond with trained first responders. For details on the requirements for becoming a HEARTSafe community check out this brochure . The CT Department of Public Health also has a short video explaining the importance of having the appropriate response to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest that can be viewed here.

Softball Kodak moments

Pictures from a recent SVFD softball game are now available for anyone who wants to relive the moment. Games are on Sundays and there is still plenty of season left. Details of the schedule are available here.

Huntington's Disease Benefit Dinner

On Saturday May 31st, there will be a benefit dinner at the Bantam Fire House to raise awareness and funds for Huntington's Disease. The event runs from 5:30-9:30 and the $30 includes hors d'oeuvres, dinner salads, roast beef, baked potatoes and dessert. For details about the event and how to purchase tickets, please check out

EMS Week 2008 May 18th-24th

Sunday, May 18th, marks the start of EMS Week The SVFD will actually start its EMS Week activities a few days early with a demonstration at the Sherman School Ice Cream Social on Wednesday May 14th. Members of the SVFD will give those in attendance a quick demonstration on how to use the public access AEDs at the school. There are two public access AEDs in the school, one is outside the entrance to the gymnasium and the second is downstairs in the hallway between the multipurpose room and the cafeteria.

As the name implies, these devices are intended to be used by members of the general public who are present at the time of a cardiac emergency. The demonstration is intended to show how to follow the directions that are included with the unit itself.

During EMS Week there will also be presentations at the daycare and preschool in town to help the children get acquainted with the EMS personnel and equipment that they may see them using in an emergency.

Sherman Fireman's Ball Held 8/4/07


Under a cloudless starfilled sky, the guests at the annual Sherman Fireman's Ball danced to the music of The Hey Baby Band on Saturday night, August 4th. From the looks of the food on the tables and the smiles on everyone's faces it looked as though a good time was had by all. If you happen to have any pictures from the event that you'd like to share, please send them to

Appreciation Dinner Held March 8th

On Saturday, March 8th, the SVFD held the 15th annual appreciation dinner. The event is a way to recognize and say thanks to not only the members of the fire department but also to extend our appreciation to our mutual aid companies in Gaylordsville, New Milford and New Fairfield.

The dinner is also a time to recognize life members who have reached a milestone in their service to the fire department. Life members are any SVFD member who has served for 15 years or longer or who has served as Fire Chief. Jim Reilly was the newest addition to the ranks of life members, achieving his 15th year of service in October 2007. Check out the Members page for a complete list of life members.

Additionally, the following members were recognized for service anniversaries:
  • Gordon Braislin - 40 years
  • Ernie Winkler - 35 years
  • Ken Grant Jr - 35 years
  • Bill Knipple - 35 years
  • Maureen Winkler - 30 years
  • Will Jones - 25 years
  • Cliff Palmer - 25 years
  • Mike Crawford - 25 years
  • Kris Fazzone - 25 years
We would also like to recognize those local businesses who contributed door prizes for the evening. Please show your appreciation by remembering them when shopping or looking for services in the area:

Why was Route 55 closed the other day?

If you happenned to be in need of taking route 55 from Sherman to Gaylordsville on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 29th you were met with barricades and a closed road. If you are wondering what was going on, here are few snapshots of the truck that overturned, spilling roughly 600 sheets of plywood onto the road and surrounding property. Luckily no one was hurt in the incident.

Sherman voters approve Firehouse Expansion

At a town referendum vote on Saturday, June 9th, Sherman residents approved the bonding for the conversion of the firehouse into an Emergency Services Facility. For details of the plan, please go to the Town of Sherman website.

Thanks to all the Sherman voters who turned out to cast their votes.

Did you know…

Through the first 8 months of 2007, SVFD members interrupted their daily routine to respond to emergency incidents a total of 1676 times. There weren’t 1676 calls to 911, but when a call comes in we always have more than one person responding. If if you add up all the times each person responded then you reach 1676. If each response conservatively took a half an hour, which is a very low estimate, then that means members have provided over 800 volunteer man-hours of EMS and fire services in response to 911 calls.

Additionally, there have been almost 1200 man-hours spent on local drills and training. This does not include the many hours of community service that members provide in training for first aid and CPR classes as well as the time outside of the weekly drills that is spent maintaining the aparatus and managing the day to day operation of the firehouse.

Sherman Resident Wins Jeep Raffle

SVFD Fire Captain Kris Fazzone (l.) presents long-time Sherman resident Andy Alexander with the keys to a 2007 fire engine red Jeep.  The professional architect won the jeep in the recent fundraising raffle sponsored by the SVFD.  Mr. Alexander's winning ticket was drawn under state supervision at the annual Fireman's Ball on August 4th.  The keys to the Jeep were presented Sunday evening August 12th at the firehouse.  Mr. Alexander said he purchased a single raffle ticket, without much expectation of winning, to aid the SVFD fundraising effort.  He said he would likely buy more tickets at the next raffle.   Rose DeMatteo, an ancillary member of the SVFD, coordinated sales of the raffle tickets and the presentation of the keys.

Bone Marrow Match Found for Pat Harris


Sherman resident Pat Harris has received word that a suitable bone marrow donor has been located. He is now is undergoing treatment in New Milford Hospital, prior to receiving the much needed bone marrow transfusion, and is reported to be “in very good spirits.” More…

Landing Zone Safety Class Hosted by SVFD

The Sherman VFD held a Landing Zone safety class at the Sherman School on Monday, May 21st 2007. This was the first time that helicopters and crew from both LifeStar and LifeNet of NY presented landing class together. Joining the 38 members from Sherman in attendance that night were representatives from Bridgewater, Campion Medic 4, Kent, Warren, Roxbury, Washington, Northville, Water Witch, Gaylordsville, New Milford Ambulance and Northfield. All told over 100 people had the opportunity to improve their skills and understanding of helicopter landing zone safety, protocols and procedures.

Photos from the evening can be viewed courtesy of Veronica Scheer and there are a couple minutes of video from the evening. If you have photos that you would like to share, please email them to

SVFD Graduates 8 new MRTs

The Sherman Volunteer Fire Department is proud to announce the graduation of eight new Medical Response Technicians as a result of the class that was hosted by the SVFD over the past few months. Pending final certification from the state, the following have joined the ranks of first responders:
  • Beryl Taylor
  • Julie Robinson
  • Jeff Rabito
  • Howard Rusk
  • Mark Huber
  • John LaVia
  • Rebecca Willett
  • Clay Winters

The class included an additional 15 students as follows:
  • One Sherman resident
  • Two members of the New Fairfield Fire Department
  • One member of the New Milford Ambulance Corp
  • One member from Water Witch Hose Co #2
  • Two Kent residents
  • Four members of the Kent Volunteer Fire Department
  • One member of the Bridgewater Fire Department
  • One outdoors instructor
  • One member of the Western Connecticut State University Police Dept.:
  • Two members of the Danbury Police Department
  • One Member of the Redding Police Department

This is the first time that the SVFD has hosted a class of this nature and it is also the largest group of MRTs that have been added to the ranks of the SVFD at one time. Class coordinator Joe Dos Santos would like to express his appreciation for the dedication shown by this group and their commitment to the SVFD and the community.

Thanks also go out to the instrutors, Earle Judson and John Osborne.

Sherman IGA Aids SVFD Fundraising

Thanks to the generosity of Mike Luzi and the Sherman IGA, residents enjoyed a rare free lunch -- of hot dogs, hamburgers chips and soda -- over the recent Father's Day holiday weekend.  All they needed to do to was purchase a raffle ticket for the Fire Engine Red Jeep now being offered by the Sherman Volunteer Fire Dept.  

The lunch was served outside the IGA from 11:00 am to 2:00 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.  The raffle tickets cost $25.00 each.  The purchase of a single ticket was sufficient to enable an entire family to eat for free.  More than 125 raffle tickets were sold during the two-day event.

The free lunch was Mike's effort to help boost sales of the raffle tickets.   "An expanded firehouse is a much-needed improvement for Sherman," Mr. Luzi told the Citizen News.  "The volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel are trying very hard to lower the cost of the project by raising a portion of the funds for the project themselves.   Sherman is grateful for their many hours of volunteer work and I am glad to support their fundraising effort."

Proceeds from the sales of the tickets will be used to buy interior furnishings for the firehouse expansion, which was recently approved by voters.

New Milfod Hospital Celebrates EMS Week

Sherman Designated a HEARTSafe community

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), in collaboration with the American Heart Association, announces that Sherman has been designated a HEARTSafe Community…

With this classification, Sherman joins other towns such as Roxbury and Stamford as being recognized as a town where someone who is suffering a sudden cardiac arrect will have the best possible chance for survival. Gary St. Amand from the Connecticut Department of Public Health will be on hand at the next BOS meeting on Thursday, April 26th to present the Town with a certificate.

Hats off to Mike Berger

Walk around the Sherman Volunteer Fire Dept. this week and you’ll notice something very different: several members are now hairless and virtual look-alikes of Yul Brenner, Howie Mandel and even our own Kris Fazzone. More…..

Two groups of photos from the evening are online at HERE and HERE .

Bone Marrow Registration Drive

From the Danbury News Times following the bone marrow registration drive:
THUMBS UP to the Sherman Volunteer Fire Department for an impressive bone marrow registration drive. It was organized to help Pat Harris, a longtime resident of Sherman. He has been diagnosed with myelodysplasia syndrome, a blood disease that could develop into leukemia without a bone marrow transplant. Nearly 400 people turned out for the registration drive. A match for Harris may not be found among those 400, but it's possible a match for someone else waiting for a transplant will be found among them.

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