Firefighters earn Medal of Gallantry saving lives

Dalton Wilson, Dan Forror and Kaile Bauhof were recognized at the January 24 City Council meeting for heroic efforts that saved the lives of two fire victims.

Three Sheffield Lake firefighters were awarded the Medal of Gallantry for heroic efforts that saved the lives of two victims trapped in a house fire.

Firefighters Dan Forror, Kaile Bauhof and Dalton Wilson were recognized at the January 24 City Council meeting, where their families and city officials heard Fire Chief David Novak describe the harrowing events the morning of December 17.

Novak said Sheffield Lake Engine 63 responded to a mutual aid assistance call from Sheffield Village where a working fire was reported at a residential group home. “As the crew traveled down Abbe Road, a large column of black smoke could be seen in the distance,” he told the audience. At the same time Lorain County 911 confirmed victims were trapped inside the burning home.

Once the Sheffield Lake team arrived on scene, firefighters Forror and Bauhof were assigned to search for the reported victims while firefighter Wilson was assigned to assist in securing a permanent water supply.

Novak described what happened next. “Forror and Bauhof entered the front door and pushed past the operating hand-line. They were met with zero visibility and moderate, but increasing, heat conditions. Working as a team, the firefighters made their way down the hallway maneuvering over drywall and insulation from the ceiling that had collapsed.”

“Locating the first room, the firefighters completed an oriented search. No victims were found and the window was opened to release the heat and smoke. Directly across the hall, a second bedroom was located. Again, an oriented search was performed, locating a victim on the bed. Bauhof reported to Forror that he had located a victim and Forror announced an urgent radio message to Command.”

“They then closed the door and opened the window. Working together, the two picked the victim up and passed him out the window to an awaiting crew which included firefighter Wilson who immediately began resuscitation efforts. Once an available ambulance arrived from Sheffield Township, Wilson continued his resuscitation efforts with the Sheffield Township crew. During transport, Wilson provided advanced level care, saving the victim’s life.”

“Low on air, firefighters Forror and Bauhof exited the home, changed their cylinders, and again, the two re-entered the home to complete the primary search, continuing down the hallway past the room where the first victim was located. Further in the home, the second victim was located lying in the hallway. Command was again notified and the two men got the victim to the crew of Avon Lake that was directly behind them.

Chief Novak said the the Medal of Gallantry is awarded to a firefighter who, at great risk, has been instrumental in rescuing and saving another from possible death, or shows great initiative and capability. “Tonight, we recognize the selfless acts of valor and courage exhibited by these three heroes.”

Pet grooming salon comes to Sheffield Lake

A lifelong love of pets, furry and feathered, drove the creation of Sheffield Lake’s newest business – Roo’s Purrfect Paws, a pet grooming salon, at 5388 Lake Road.

Owner Adrianna Mihalak bubbles with enthusiasm as she describes her work with more than 100 clients who have visited her business since it opened Nov. 2. The majority of clients have been dogs of all sizes, but she has also trimmed feathers, beaks and feet of birds, bathed and groomed cats and trimmed several pet bunnies. She is a one-woman show but shows no signs of slowing despite working 10-12 hour days in order to serve a growing client list.

When she’s not grooming, she’s promoting her business on numerous social media platforms, saying the effort has brought new clients to her door.

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Prepare for Winter Storm Elliott Dec. 22-24

The U.S. Weather Service has issued a winter storm WARNING for our area. This is what forecasters expect for Northeast Ohio from Thursday evening through Saturday:

  • Strong winds with gusts up to 60 mph
  • Wind chills as low as -25 degrees
  • Possible flash freeze as temps drop sharply
  • Power outages
  • Accumulating snow

Travel may be difficult, especially Friday. The weather service has not yet predicted a snow fall total but estimates range from a few inches to as much as six or more.

Please stay safe. The following tips may help you be better prepared.

Get ready

Charge cell phones, computers and other devices.

Locate flashlights, batteries.

Stock up on necessities – medications, nonperishable food, bottled water.

Reporting emergencies

Life threatening emergencies, including electrical contact or entrapment, should be reported directly to 911. Dispatchers are trained to assess these situations.

Reporting a power outage at your home or business (source: Ohio Edison)
If you lose power, contact Ohio Edison (not the police department):

  • Call Outage Reporting Line at 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877)
  • Visit from your desktop computer, laptop or mobile device
  • Text OUT to 544487 (LIGHTS)

Customers with a communications disability can contact the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) at 711 to report an outage. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Life and limb emergencies, such as an electrical contact or entrapment, should be reported directly to 911. Dispatchers are trained to assess the situation and contact Ohio Edison to respond.

Avoid possible carbon monoxide poisoning

Never operate a generator or gas grill inside your home or near a window.

Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven. (source:

Food safety

Keep fridge and freezer doors shut.

If power is out more than a few hours, you can move perishable food to coolers in unheated garages or outside to keep cold or frozen.

Preventing frozen pipes

Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

When the weather is very cold outside, let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing. (source: American Red Cross).

Should residents experience frozen water lines as evidenced by a slow drip or no water coming from faucets, they should call the city water dept at 440-949-6259 during regular business hours through Thursday, Dec. 22. After that, they should phone the police department non emergency number at 440-949-7131 to report their issue. (City Hall is closed Dec. 23-26.) According to Service Director Pat Hastings, the source of frozen waterlines often is at the outdoor meter pit location. The city has equipment to thaw the line in order to restore water to the residence.

Stay inside if possible

If you must go out, let someone know your destination, route, and expected time of arrival.

Cover yourself so no skin is exposed. Stay dry. If you lose feeling and color in your nose, ears, hands, or feet, cover the exposed area, avoid rubbing your skin, and seek medical help immediately. You may have hypothermia or frostbite.

When shoveling snow, take breaks and lift lighter loads. Overexertion can lead to heart attacks.

Keep pets indoors

Household pets should be brought back inside as soon as they have relieved themselves. They also experience hypothermia and frostbite – even those with thicker coats.

Snow Parking Ban

When snow is 2 inches or deeper, parking is prohibited on all streets throughout the city. This ban remains in effect until the snow stops and streets have been cleared. Note that the predicted severity of this storm may require multiple plowings of each street.

Fire Hydrants

SLFD requests that homeowners make every effort to avoid covering a nearby hydrant when plowing their driveways or sidewalks. In the event the department is called and needs to locate the hydrant, their job will be made faster and safer for all.

Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays

Sheffield Lake Fire Department wants all residents and their families to stay safe, especially during the holidays. Following are tips from the U.S. Fire Administration:

1) Only use decorations that are flame retardant or not flammable.

2) Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires, broken bulbs or excessive wear.

3) Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights.

4) Never leave a burning candle unattended. Consider using battery operated flameless candles.

5) Keep your live Christmas tree away from heat sources and room exits. Make sure your tree is at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators and space heaters.

6) Water your live Christmas tree daily to keep it from drying out.

Santa arrives for Annual Holiday Lighting and Party Dec. 10

photo credit Mike Arney

Sheffield Lake will get a bit merrier and bright when Santa Clause visits the city at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, to pull the switch that lights the Christmas tree and area around Joyce Hanks Community Center, 4575 Lake Road.

Santa will leave his reindeer at the North Pole to rest up for their big night, so the city’s safety forces will again provide him a ride to the center with flashers flashing and sirens blaring. His arrival has always drawn delight from the children and parents awaiting his arrival.

After the brief lighting ceremony at the gazebo behind the center, Santa will escort families inside for a party that runs to 7 p.m. He will visit with kids, and parents will be able to capture a photo of their kids presenting their lists to him.

Hot cocoa will be served up by the Monday Morning Senior Group, headed by Councilwoman Rosa Gee.

Kids can try their skill at cookie decorating and also try their hand at craft projects. Domonkas Library staff and teaching staff from the city’s Summer Arts Program will have plenty of craft activities to do. Best of all, crafts can be taken home to enjoy over and over all holiday season. Students from Brookside HS National Honor Society have volunteered to assist at the party.

The event happens rain, snow or shine. Ho-ho-hope to see you and your family there!

Walleye tourney organizers hook anglers with Smokehouse contest October 1

Brian Zarembsky and Craig Lewis have a novel way to hook anglers into signing up for Walleye Slam – and it’s smokin’ hot.

Craig Lewis loves fishing. The owner of Sheffield Lake’s popular Erie Outfitters on Lake Road loves it so much that he devotes hours of his free time putting on Walleye Slam to give fishermen, women and kids from across Ohio and dozens of states a chance to visit his hometown and Lake Erie. As a bonus, they can take home some great prizes if they catch a winning fish.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, two weeks before the official start of this Fall’s Slam, he’s organized a sign up party to reel in participants and he is using some unusual bait – smoked foods for an event called King of the Smokehouse.

Lewis is busy recruiting teams who will provide at least ten pounds of finished smoked product. Could be ribs, pork, beef or poultry. He says some teams may be cooking up surprise entries, but did not want to reveal their secrets in order to lure in the curious.

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Leaf pick up continues

Curbside leaf pick up has begun. The Service Department will continue picking up leaves through December, as weather permits.

Leaves should be placed on the tree lawn, not in the street where they can block storm drains in the event of inclement weather. Branches, landscape rocks, bricks and other solid yard debris should be placed in separate piles for pick up.

Crews work from the east to west sides of the city. There is no specific day for any street because the volume of leaves to be picked up and weather impacts the length of time it takes to complete a full sweep of the city.

Leaves not collected in the fall, should be placed in paper refuse bags at curbside for pick up by Republic Services when collection of brown bags resumes in April. Republic picks up brown bags weekly through December.