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Schwenksville, PA - Two young boys were killed on Wednesday, December 13th after an early-morning fire tore through their home in the 900 block of Summit Avenue in Schwenksville. Eleven-year-old Bryan Jr. and 6-year-old Parker were the sons of Montgomery County Sheriff Deputy Bryan Lukens.

- See full story on page 8

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January, 2018


Do You See What I See?

A guide to finding great companies



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Fire Line Equipment Hoffman Radio Network

7 19

Lifesaving Resources

by Chief Joel Miller

During this holiday season, social media should be a routine part of your department's holiday functions. This is a great time to showcase what your department is doing during this holiday season. Most departments are very active in the community during this time of year and your tax paying citizens would love to know that your department is spreading that ewell tide cheer. Below are just a few ideas of postings that can let your community see what you see.

-Crews having Christmas dinner. -Departments having their picture taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. -Videos of your department participating in a community food drive. -Live broadcast on social media promoting your department's toy drive. -Show off your department’s Christmas decorations. -Christmas parade pictures. -Building snowmen.

-Decorating the fire station. -Decorating the Christmas tree. -Showcase Santa Claus arriving to your town on the fire truck. -Post a demonstration video of how fast a dry christmas tree burns. -Videos where your crew members share holiday safety tips. -Videos of how to properly deep fry a turkey.

Using your crew members in safety tip videos allows your department to become a familiar face in the community. No matter how your department celebrates this holiday season, make sure you share all of the positive things your department does on social media for your community and others around the world to see. TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR DEPARTMENT AND ALL OF THE AMAZING THINGS YOU DO.


MVA in Upper Hanover Twp. Without Injuries

Upper Hanover Twp., PA - On Saturday, November 18th at 8:14 A.M., East Greenville Fire Co. was dispatched to an accident on Kutztown Rd. in Upper Hanover Twp. A contractor was traveling south on Kutztown Rd. towing a trailer when three deer approached the road. He slammed on his brakes, but the brakes locked up and blew the tires out on the right side of the trailer after it was swirling side to side as he turned to avoid hitting the deer. There were no injuries. Assisting the fire company was Hereford Fire Police, Upper Perk EMS, and PA State Police.


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1st Responder News (ISSN 1525-1683) - Pennsylvania edition - Vol. 22 No. 1 - is published monthly, 12 times a year for $36 per year by Belsito Communications, Inc., 1 Ardmore Street, NY 12553. Periodicals Postage Paid at Newburgh, NY and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to 1st Responder News, 1 Ardmore Street, NY 12553. No financial responsibility is assumed by this newspaper to publish a display, classified, or legal ad or for typographical errors except of reprinting that part of the ad which was omitted or in error. Omissions or errors must be A division of: brought to the attention of the newspaper during the s a m e month of publication.

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What does the EMS symbol stand for? The six points in the star represent the six tasks of an emergency rescuer.

Detection Reporting Response On Scene Care In Transit Care Transfer to Definitive Care


Broken Steam Pipe in Reading Sends Crews to Box Alarm Reading, PA - On the morning of Sunday, December 3rd, a cellphone call was placed to the Berks County DES 911 center reporting smoke from an upper story at the Bloom Apartments on 18 North 4th Street. Engine 3 arrived at the six-story building and advised that they had what appeared to be smoke showing from the fourth-floor. Firefighters prepared for an upper floor apartment fire and began gathering equipment for the ascent. Ladder 2 raised their aerial ladder for access and possible waterway for the building. As crews made the floor, they realized there was no smoke and forced their way into a vacant apartment to find a broken steam pipe. Companies secured their equipment and returned. No injuries were reported.

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January, 2018



January, 2018

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Ashland Two-Alarm Fire Destroys Home on Arch Street Schuylkill County, PA – Ashland firefighters were alerted to a house fire shortly after 6:30 A.M. on Friday, November 24th. The initial call sent fire crews to 1237 Arch Street in Ashland after 9-1-1 received multiple calls reporting a house fire. Fire District 38 and JUMP TO FILE# 45 were sent on the 112417125 fire alarm. Chief 38 was advised of multiple calls reporting a house engulfed in flames. The chief immediately requested a second-alarm which dispatched Altamont, Gordon, Mount Carmel Station 2 and Englewood for a Rapid Intervention Team. Crews arrived on scene to find a two-story, single-family dwelling with the rear heavily involved in fire. Engine 38-15, which is stationed just blocks down the street, was directed to come to the front on 13th Street while Engine 38-10 was sent to the rear on Race Street. The first-due companies were instructed to stretch a blitzfire and use a deck gun to begin to knock down the fire. Ladder 38-25 came down 13th Street from Race and set the ladder up to the roof on the “B” side. Engine 45-10 and 45-30 staged away from the scene and sent their manpower to the building and stretched additional lines. Englewood Engine 369 brought their

equipment to the front of the house and stood-by as a Rapid Intervention Team. Truck 2, Engine 2 and Engine 367 were directed to stage and send their manpower to the scene. Gordon Engine 46-10 staged near 13th and Centre Streets. Crews were able to knock down the bulk of the fire using a defensive attack before stretching smaller lines into the first-floor. A crew went to the roof and vented off 38-25. Smoke and steam continued to rise from the roof which led command to send a crew to the secondfloor via a ground ladder to pull the ceiling. Firefighters found heavy fire rolling in the attic and requested an additional hand line. The fire was knocked down and additional crews entered to overhaul the building. Altamont firefighters worked to pull siding on the “D” side and find hidden fire. The fire was under control around 8:00 A.M. Command requested PPL Electric and a State Police Fire Marshal to the scene. The American Red Cross was on the scene to assist the displaced residents. Radio reports indicated that five people were living in the home at the time of the fire. Second-alarm companies began to be released around 8:30 A.M., with the Ashland crews remaining on scene throughout the morning.


Smoke and steam rise high into the sky above Ashland during a fire that destroyed a home on Arch Street.


A crew went to the roof with saws to make ventilation holes for the smoke.



Ladder 38-25 took the "B" side of the building and a crew went to the roof for ventilation.


Engine 38-15 established a water supply from a hydrant in front of the building and made a defensive attack to stop the fire.

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January, 2018



January, 2018


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Rick Billings (Cartoon) AJ Fusco (Food Blog) Bob Long (Cartoon) John Malecky (Apparatus, Video, Bookshelf) Didymus McHugh (Chaplain’s Corner) Joel Miller (Social Media) Robert “Pip” Piparo (Health & Fitness) Fernando Villicana (Chaplain’s Corner)


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In memory of those who gave all

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1st Responder Newspaper honors and remembers emergency responders lost in the line of duty

California: Garrett Paiz, 38 Rank: Firefighter/Driver Incident Date: October 16, 2017 Death Date: October 16, 2017 Fire Department: CAL FIRE Initial Summary: Firefighter/Driver Garrett Paiz was killed in Napa, California, while operating an empty 1993 Kenworth water tender (tanker) when, according to the California Highway Patrol, the vehicle left the roadway on a curve and crashed through a guardrail down a ravine. Paiz, who died at the scene, was working on the Nuns fire burning in the hills above Oakville and was heading for a water resupply when the crash occurred near the bottom of a steep winding section of roadway called the Oakville Grade. According to initial reports, the roadway was closed for fire operations only at the time of the crash, and no other vehicles were involved. Firefighter/Driver Paiz, a native of the Coachella Valley in Southern California, and a volunteer firefighter with the Noel Fire Department in Missouri, was working as a contract firefighter with CAL FIRE at the time of his passing. The cause of the fatal incident remains under investigation by authorities.

New York: Ronald W. Hinkle, 71 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: October 17, 2017 Death Date: October 17, 2017 Fire Department: Loch Sheldrake Fire Department Initial Summary: On October 17, 2017, Firefighter Ronald W. Hinkle responded to a motor vehicle accident with the Loch Sheldrake Fire Company #1. Firefighter Hinkle was found later in the day at his home unresponsive. Fellow firefighters and other first responders attempted to revive Hinkle, but all rescue efforts failed. Firefighter Hinkle passed away from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined.

New Jersey: Edward J. Frenenski , 31 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: October 23, 2017 Death Date: October 23, 2017 Fire Department: Stanhope Hose Company 1 Initial Summary: Firefighter Edward J. Frenenski was participating in vehicle extrication training during a fire department drill at the county fire training academy. While performing a practical evolution, he suffered an apparent seizure, and was immediately treated by FD and EMS personnel on scene. He subsequently went into cardiac arrest while being transported to a local hospital, and CPR was initiated. Hospital emergency room staff continued with life-saving measures to no avail. Firefighter Frenenski, a life-saving organ donor at the time of his passing, was pronounced deceased approximately 2.5 hours later.

New York: David E. Carr, 62 Rank: Firefighter-Operator Incident Date: November 3, 2017 Death Date: November 4, 2017 Fire Department: Brasher - Winthrop Volunteer Fire Department Initial Summary: Firefighter-Operator David E. Carr responded with his fire department on a mutual aid call to an industrial fire of 5,800 tons of burning wood pellets inside of a large metal warehouse. Firefighters, with the aid of the company president who brought in an excavator from another work site to tear down the walls and roof of the building, worked through the night to bring the fire under control. After being released from the scene, Firefighter-Operator Carr returned with his fire department to the firehouse to clean and put away equipment. Firefighter-Operator Carr then departed for home, where, later in the morning, he succumbed to a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported.

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January, 2018



January, 2018

The new CFD monument and the Walk of Honor.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


Catasauqua F.D. Honors Past LODDs Catasauqua, PA - On November 11th, the CFD held a dedication ceremony and an open house at their new station at Front and Bridge Streets. A monument was unvailed adjoining the station, honoring three fallen firefighters. Back in 1890, the Unicorn Silk Mill caught on fire which unfortunately took the lives of Ulysses Everett, Charles Frick and John Good. Surrounding this monument is the Walk of Honor, an area with the names of deceased members and instructors inscribed on bricks. As of 2017, the list of inductees consisted of 39 names.



11-year-old Bryan Jr. and 6-year-old Parker were killed when a fast-moving fire tore through their home on Dec. 13th.

Sheriff Deputy’s Two Sons Killed in Schwenksville House Fire Schwenksville, PA - Two young boys were killed on Wednesday, December 13th after an early-morning fire tore through their home in the 900 block of Summit Avenue in Schwenksville. Eleven-year-old Bryan Jr. and 6year-old Parker were the sons of Montgomery County Sheriff Deputy Bryan Lukens. Bryan's wife, Tracy, and their 9-year-old daughter, Soffia, were able to escape the fire, but the two

JUMP TO FILE #121517104 young boys were found dead on the second-floor of the two-story home. Bryan suffered burn injuries as he tried to rescue the two boys and was treated at the burn unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital before being released the same day. The family's dogs also did not survive the fast-moving blaze.

The fatal fire was found to have been caused by a faulty extension cord that was plugged into a space heater in a porch area of the home. A GoFundMe page has been started to help raise funds for the family as they deal with this devastating loss. Donations can be made by going to - LINDSEY PALMER


Did you know the reason for dalmatians being used as the dog of choice for firefighters? It was due to dalmatians getting along well with horses (back in the day, firefighters used horse-drawn carriages), being adept at protecting the carriage and equipment while the firefighters were performing their duties, and being able to run alongside their carriages for lengthy periods of time. Nowadays, the dalmatian has shifted its role to more of a companion (obviously due to technological upgrades over the years). PROVIDED

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If you have photos you would like to see in our “Apparatus in Action” feature please upload them on our website or email them to


February 15 - 18, 2018 Portland, Maine

2018 INTERNATIONAL TRAIN-THE-TRAINER ACADEMIES Minersville Fire Rescue Tower 519 works the scene of a first -due house fire.



January, 2018

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WATER RESCUE May 17 - 20, 2018 Portland, Maine

Shenandoah Ladder 745 and Squrt 745 operate on the scene of a fire in Shenandoah Heights.



Keystone Water Rescue Inc. Squad 16 responding to a water rescue call with Marine 16-1. They assisted in rescuing kayakers pinned against a bridge. Keystone Water Rescue Inc. is located in Boyertown.


Second-Alarm Transmitted in Saint Lawrence Borough

Picture Rocks Tanker 26 supplying Engine 24 at a recent working fire.


Saint Lawrence Borough, PA - On Saturday morning, November 18th, the Berks County Department of Emergency Services received a call reporting smoke coming from a basement. Exeter Fire Department Lieutenant 25-2 (Lombardo) arrived at 3615 Patton Street with smoke showing from a single-story ranch. On scene, firefighters stretched two lines into the dwelling and reported fire extension into the first-floor. With all hands working, a second-alarm was transmitted for additional help. The occupant escaped the home safely and no injuries were reported. The fire was placed under control at 7:13 A.M. The Red Cross was contacted for shelter for two people. Firefighters from Mount Penn, Lower Alsace, Reading, Birdsboro, Oley & Lower Alsace ambulance assisted.


January, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

LITTLE BIG GUYS If you have photos you would like to see in our “Little Big Guys” feature, please upload them on our website or email them to


1st Responder Newspaper er features EMERGENCY SERVICES RELATED ATED TATTOOS


Castanea Fire Company in Clinton County operates this 1986 Chevrolet/2012 Stahl as Brush 3-10. It has a 150 pump and 175 water. The cab and chassis were acquired through DCNR.

This tattoo was submitted by John Harriott, Sr. from Harris Gardens Fire Co. in Union Beach, NJ. When asked for details about the tattoo, he said: "Oldie but goody. One of the oldest tattoos from a member. Cause we have blue fire trucks. Thanks Ron W. for your service. I got it 1993 and Ronnie Wilson has been with the fire company for 25 years. When we got our first blue fire engine, it was called the "Blue Goose".

Would you like your emergency services related tattoo featured here? Contact Lindsey at

Penns Creek Fire Co. Brush 11-1 is a 2015 Dodge/First Attack 250/400/5.


1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

January, 2018



January, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


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Heavy smoke pours from a 2nd floor window as firefighters make entry to battle the blaze at 234 Broad Street.

House Fire Displaces Family in Waynesboro Waynesboro, PA - On the afternoon of November 24th, Franklin County 911 received calls reporting a house fire in the Boro of Waynesboro. Waynesboro Fire was dispatched out to 234 Broad Street around 1:49 P.M. for the house fire assignment, with several other surrounding jurisdictions due on Box 2-1. Units responding had heavy smoke showing upon their arrival on the scene. Waynesboro Fire Chief Shawn Adolini arrived shortly after dispatch and reported heavy smoke coming from the roof. Chief Adolini reported that they had possible entrapment on the secondfloor of the structure as he established Broad Street Command. Firefighters quickly deployed an attack line to the second-floor where firefighters found a working fire in one of the bedrooms. Firefighters were able to make an aggressive attack, bringing the fire under control within minutes.

JUMP TO FILE #112917109 Interior crews reported fire knocked at 1:54 P.M. as Waynesboro’s Engine Operator made contact with the home’s occupants who confirmed that everyone was out of the residence. Crews were committed on the scene for several hours checking the home for further extension from the fire and conducting overhaul operations. Fire Marshals were called into the scene to investigate what caused the fire that Friday afternoon. The point of origin was found to be in a second-floor bedroom where firefighters located the fire upon their interior attack. Firefighter’s quick actions saved the home, keeping the fire contained to the bedroom on the second-floor. The rest of the house sustained some residual smoke and water damage as a result of the fire.

Fire Marshals were on the scene for a while investigating the incident. No injuries were reported during the fire, but the family of five was displaced and is currently receiving assistance from the American Red Cross. No cause was released as of Saturday, but the incident is still under investigation. Over 25 emergency personnel responded to the afternoon incident in Waynesboro. Waynesboro Fire Co. 2 responded out with other Franklin County crews from Mont Alto Fire Co. 5, Greencastle Rescue Hose Co. 3, Blue Ridge Summit Fire Co. 4, New Franklin Fire Co. 17 and West Shore Medic 200 from Waynesboro Hospital. Waynesboro also received additional Mutual Aid out of Washington County, Maryland from Leitersburg Fire Co. 9, Smithsburg Fire Co. 7 and Hagerstown’s Pioneer Hook & Ladder Truck 1.


Senior Reading FF Dan Wade works an extinguisher at the Berks Fire Training Center during a company drill.




Firefighters training on victim rescue from the 2nd story window of the fire training tower.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

January, 2018


Boston, Striking the Box VIDEO REVIEW

Video reviews by John Malecky

Boston, Striking the Box By Fireline Video Available from: FSP Books & Videos 188 Central Street, Suite #4 Hudson, MA 01749-1330 1-800-522-8528 E-Mail: Price: $29.95 (DVD) This DVD was originally released by Advanced Print and Video in 2002. It is 90 minutes in length and covers eight Boston incidents between 2001 and 2002. Those incidents are listed in the ad found on the FSP website. Otherwise, they are shown at the beginning of the incident as you view the DVD. It involved two working fires with the rest being multiples between two and nine alarms. At the beginning of each incident is found

the date, the location and the number of alarms. With a few exceptions, that is all that can be found. It is up to the viewer to figure out what is burning. The viewer can hear a narrator in a few of the incidents but not all are narrated. Most of the incidents occur at night and it is hard to make out the scene. Also, heavy smoke obscures the ability to size up a building and in one incident, the apparatus obstructs the view of the fire building because the videographer is on the ground at the same level as the vehicles. One 9 alarmer is of a fire at the Old Navy Yard and another at a high, windowless commercial or industrial structure. A fifth alarmer involves several wood frame structures which started in a 2 ½story vacant one which became fully involved. A 4th alarmer at a three-story ordinary construction building of either commercial or industrial use, proved to be a stubborn one to fight. In all, the BFD put up a valiant fight. Those who like to view major fires would find this to be a good selection.


Palmer Firefighters Respond to Car Versus Building

Palmer, PA - Palmer Township Fire Department responded on Friday, October 6th to a motor vehicle accident. Upon arrival, firefighters found a vehicle that crashed through a Verizon store, through the structural wall, and into a Holiday Hair Store.


If you have photos you would like to see in our “Buddy Shots” feature, please upload them on our website, or email them to


Reading Fire/PD Hockey Team Beats Allentown During Charity Game Allentown, PA - On Saturday, November 25th, the Reading Fire & Police hockey team travelled to the PPL center in Allentown for their very first game against Allentown Fire & Police. The Allentown Badge's defense was no match for the Reading team. Goals were scored by Pete Karpovich (3), Tim Conti (2), and one a piece for Jim Salanik, Brian Errington and Sean Driscoll, giving Reading the 8-5 win. All proceeds raised from the game were donated in Firefighter Matthew Schneck's name. Their brother Matt was a retired Lieutenant for Allentown before getting hired by Reading.


Reading firefighters from the "C" platoon pose with Donald Sassaman (2nd from left) after a job on Elm Street. "The Sass" is set to retire in December.


January, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


Kitchen Fire Quickly Extinguished in Shenandoah Shenandoah, PA - On December 2nd at 10:15 P.M., the Shenandoah Fire Department (Five Stations), Mahanoy City West End Rescue 993 and Shenandoah Ambulance were dispatched to 161 Pioneer Road in Shenandoah for a possible house fire. The phone caller reported that she had a pot on fire on the stove in her kitchen. A large number of additional phone calls were made to 911 by the next-door neighbors. The neighbors also observed smoke coming form the home and heard smoke alarms sounding. The Shenandoah police arrived within minutes and found a kitchen fire in the row home. The resident was able to throw water on the fire, knocking it out. The fire was quickly extinguished and smoke began to move throughout the

JUMP TO FILE #120317101 home. The police advised the dispatch center that the fire was out and the home was filled with smoke. Defender Engine 751 arrived first and could see smoke venting from the front door of the home. Squirt 745 arrived on scene second and staged in front of the home next to Engine 751. Ladder 745 staged in front of the home behind Engine 751 and sent its crew to assist with ventilation. A search team entered the residence to search for fire extensions and sized up the smoke condition. Smoke was found rolling across the second-floor ceiling and needed to be vented. Firefighters then deployed smoke ejector fans from Squirt 745 and Ladder 745

into the home to start ventilation. Shenandoah Chief 740 assumed command of the incident and cancelled all responding units that were not on the scene. The smoke condition in the home started to dissipate with the help of the electric negative pressure fans. The smoke condition in the home was removed in 15 minutes, allowing the residents to re-enter. The fire chief and assisting fire marshals remained on the scene for a few additional minutes to investigate the cause of the fire. The investigators believe that the fire started in a pot on the stove and spread smoke throughout the home. The fire chief reported that there were no injuries to firefighters or civilians during the incident.




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Commercial Structure Fire Quickly Knocked in Braddock


When the Washington H&L Co. #1 of Mahanoy City dedicated their new station on October 14th, on display were some of the momentos that survived their disastrous station fire that occurred in 2013.

Braddock, PA - Shortly after midnight on December 5th, firefighters were dispatched to a possible structure fire in the 500 block of Braddock Avenue. Shortly after dispatch, there was a report of somebody possibly living inside the structure. Units arrived to find heavy fire on the secondfloor of a two-story commercial structure. Firefighters made a quick attack and quickly gained control. A short time later, it was confirmed that there were no occupants inside the structure. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is now being investigated.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


January, 2018


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Thanksgiving Brush Fire Brings Out Sheppton Firefighters JOSHUA "GUNNER" KNOLL

Harrisburg City Wagon 4 "D" Platoon Chauffeur displaying his jacket with the Squad 8 patch on the shoulder.

Schuylkill County, PA - At 9:30 A.M. on Thanksgiving morning, the Sheppton-Oneida Volunteer Fire Company was dispatched to the area of 500 Main Boulevard in East Union Township for a brush fire. Tanker 9-30 and Squad 9-70 responded and arrived on scene to find a couple hundred feet of leaves and brush on fire along the Sheppton Mountain, south of State Route 924. Chief 9 took command and instructed a booster line to be pulled off the Squad and the Tanker to stretch a trash line. Crews were able to bring the fire under control in 20 minutes and were able to return to their families in under an hour.


January, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

Large Second-Alarm Lumberyard Fire Hits Leola Leola, PA - A large fire broke out at H.M. Stauffer & Sons on Glenola Drive in Upper Leacock Twp. on November 30th at 8:30 A.M. Lancaster County Dispatch were taking numerous calls that a large fire had broken out and that an employee was injured and burned at the scene. JUMP TO FILE# Fire crews were 120717108 beginning to arrive and went to work. Numerous hand lines and Ladder Pipes were set up. Smoke could be scene from 10 miles away. A second-alarm was placed immediately, bringing over 15 Lancaster County Fire Companies to the scene. The employee was airlifted to Crozer Burn Center in Philadelphia with Second Degree burns. Many firefighters worked hard to contain the 240x60 foot structure from spreading to nearby structures. Water pressure was an issue and a tanker taskforce was put in place. Fire crews were at the scene for 10 hours hitting hot spots. No cause has yet been determined. The building sustained $1.5-million in damages. Fire Companies from Leola, Bareville, Garden Spot, Witmer, Farmersville, West Earl, Rothsville, Manheim Twp., Martindale, Intercourse, White Horse, Gordonville, Ronks and many others were placed on stand by at area fire stations. - FRANK ROBINSON



1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

January, 2018



Phone: (203) 445 6536 • Built by firefighters, for firefighters



January, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

The Mary Christmas Chaplain's Corner

Pastor Fernando Villicana

Bible verse: Luke 1:46 And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, v47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. v48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. v49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. The words “I’m pregnant” never fails to attract attention. As a husband, a father and grandfather I’ve heard them spoken several times – three times by my wife and seven times by my own children. Usually when we hear these words “I’m pregnant” there is happiness attached to it. But not always: Sometimes it’s said in fear and uncertainty – perhaps the wrong time in life or an insecure future. Sometimes in anger, because the relationship occasioning the pregnancy carries with it the likelihood of becoming abandoned and having to face it alone and it becomes embittering. From joy to guilt, or from “happy to be” to “what will happen to me,” the full spectrum of emotions surrounds pregnancy. As you read the account of Mary, you’ll find that even in a drab, uninviting town called Nazareth, God brings a miracle. As proven over and over again, there is no place you can be in life where God’s grace can’t find you. The story of Mary is a story of how God is able to bring life into the most barren settings and bring hope into the most unpromising situations in your life. There’s no doubt the most popular Christian theme of Christmas is the birth of Jesus. But have we overlooked another miracle? Another truth of this whole picture is that God Himself can birth miracles in us as a way of life. The Christian life is one of miracles. The point: Just as God blessed Mary, he will bless us. You may say: “But there’s only one Jesus born.” Yes, that was Mary’s time – now it’s our time. There’s something inside of us just waiting to be birthed. A miracle, a blessing. The nativity is a story of people getting pregnant. Regardless of gender, age or circumstance – we are all pregnant! Pregnant with a miracle. This is what happens when the Mary Christmas is embraced by all of us. Heaven is still waiting to pour promise into earth’s most unlikely places. Are you in a place where it seems like nobody knows where you are? Or, are you doing relatively well but need a boost of spirit (renewing/refreshing). In any case, you are a prime candidate for a Mary Christmas.

January, 2018


Paramedic Appointed to Administrative Officer in Reading

The God who chose a virgin girl as the avenue through whom He would miraculously give us the greatest gift of all - a Savior, is still at work today. In marriages, in child rearing, in hearts and minds, in business, relationships and even retirement. Where life or love, hope or strength, promise or patience have disappeared (or never been there in the first place), God comes to offer the Mary Christmas Miracle. Qualifying for a Mary Christmas doesn’t require a self-accomplished goodness. It only calls us to be open to a God-appointed grace. Have a Merry Mary Christmas, -Pastor Fernando Villicana, Fire Service Chaplain

Reading, PA - Congratulations to Reading Fire Department Paramedic Josh Schmeck on his appointment to Administrative Officer. Paramedic Schmeck was hired for EMS on April 22nd 2009, and assigned to Medic 2 on the "A" platoon. In 2011, the department sent Schmeck to the Allentown Fire Academy to receive firefighter training and certification. Josh would transfer to the "D" platoon on April 3rd of 2016 to work Medic 3. In October of 2017, he applied for the position of Administrative Officer, which he served in a temporary role beginning on October 9th. He is officially appointed to the position as of December 1st. The Administrative Officer is tasked to run many of the things behind the scenes of the fire department. NIK KNAUER


January, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


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Ronks Fire Company operates a 2016 Seagrave Heavy Rescue. J. KRIESHER

Hazleton Makes Quick Knock on Morning Fire Luzerne County, PA – Just before 8:30 A.M. on Friday, November 17th, Hazleton City Fire was dispatched to 619 Hanover Court for a reported house fire. Chief 3 was advised Luzerne County 9-1-1 received two calls for the incident, however there was an address discrepancy and the location was possibly 619 West 4th Street. Luzerne quickly updated fire units that police were on scene at the 4th Street address and confirmed a working fire. Police were also reporting people still in the

JUMP TO FILE #112417119 building. Chief 3 requested a working fire page be sent and backstaffing be sent for Engines 4, 5 and Tower 1. Police were able to help occupants get out of the building prior to the arrival of fire units and requested EMS for one person with smoke inhalation. Engine 2 took the address with Ladder 1 following right behind. A line was stretched

off Engine 2 while Rescue 3 arrived on scene and secured a water supply at a nearby hydrant. Chief 3 arrived on scene and assumed command. Command advised that crews had the fire knocked down within minutes of arriving on scene. One person was treated by APTS ambulance for smoke inhalation while crews began to pick up from the scene. Units went available again shortly after. - JC KRIESHER


Cochranville Fire Company operates a 2015 Kenworth/Pierce 2000/3000 Pumper Tanker.


McKean County Rescue 55 is this 2014 Sutphen from the Kane Fire Dept.


The Exeter Township Fire Dept. in Berks County runs a 1995 Seagrave/2015 Seagrave 95' mid-mount tower as Tower 25. This unit was purchased from Monroe Twp., NJ.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

January, 2018



January, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

Firefighters Make Quick Work at Penn Hills House Fire Penn Hills, PA - On Sunday, December 10th at approximately 8:00 P.M., firefighters were dispatched to a residential structure fire in the 100 block of Crescent Hill Road in Penn Hills. Penn Hills 227 Truck arrived on JUMP TO FILE# scene and reported 121217100 fire on the first and second floors. All occupants were accounted for and firefighters made quick work, bringing the fire under control in about 30 minutes. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is still being investigated. - ERIC RASMUSSEN

Firefighters quickly knock down a residential structure fire in Penn Hills.


1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

January, 2018



January, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

ON THE LITER SIDE If you have photos you would like to see in our “On The Liter Side” feature, please upload them on our website, or email them to

Santa Claus recently made his grand entrance to the holiday season in Shenandoah (Schuylkill County). On Black Friday, Santa jumped out of an airplane with two of his elves and landed at the Shenandoah football field. After a safe landing, Santa climbed atop the Polish American Fire Company antique fire engine and paraded through town before stopping at a party where children could tell them their wishes.


Reading firefighters arrived on Mount Penn above 14th Street with two rapidly spreading brush fires.

Thanksgiving Weekend Brush Fire on Mount Penn Get your personal copy of

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Reading, PA - On the afternoon of Saturday, November 25th, a column of smoke appeared on Mount Penn Mountain above 14th Street. Several 9-1-1 calls were made to the JUMP TO FILE# Berks County DES 112617120 call center reporting a fire in the area of 14th and Walnut Streets. A brush assignment was dispatched, sending Engine 1, Brush 2 and the local Forestry team. Chief Mogel (C2) observed the column and requested Ladder 2 for additional personnel along with brush jeeps from Lower Alsace and Exeter. Firefighters had to access the area through different trails and paths from an entrance point on Walnut Street. Units arrived at the head of the fire within 15 minutes and began wetting the area down. Most units would begin to return after an hour; Forestry team members remained on scene throughout the night. No injuries were reported.




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Visit 1st Responder on the Web at Members of the Harrisburg City Bureau of Fire pulled out Tower 1 for the night tour rig check.


1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

January, 2018



Early Morning Garage Fire in Reading

Reading, PA - Early on the morning of November 18th, a single call was received at the Berks County DES call center reporting a smoke odor in College Heights. Engine 9 and Ladder 3 arrived at 1813 Olive Street with smoke showing from a oneand-a-half story garage. A box alarm assignment was requested as firefighters started a hose stretch to the rear. The fire was quickly knocked down and placed under-control 10 minutes later. No injuries were reported. The Fire Marshal's Office was notified. Chief Thorpe (C7) was in command.


Reading Firefighters Participate in MDA Charity Auction

Reading, PA - Reading firefighters attended the Greater Lehigh Valley's MDA Black and Blue Ball on Friday, November 19th. The annual Gala raises money for the charity to sponsor programs and health care treatments. The fire department contributed to the event by auctioning off a children's birthday party. The highest bidder is able to hold their child's party at a fire station, complete with fire engine rides. Retired FF Keith "Sarge" Eschleman conducted the auction with the final bid at $750. The event raised more than $85,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The staff of 1st Responder Newspaper would like to extend to our valued readers and advertisers our warmest wishes for a safe & happy holiday season.


January, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

Vehicle News

The Glenn Lebanon Fire Co. has placed this 2018 Peter- The Nanty Glo Fire Dept. recently acquired this Rosen- The Gap Fire Co. in Lancaster County has taken delivery built/Pierce, (750/2000) tanker into service as Tanker 42. bauer 2000/500/30/109' to run as Truck 43. of this 2017 E-One Typhoon pumper (1500/1030), designated as Engine 421. DALE FEEHRER



The Christiana Fire Co. of Lancaster County has placed Swatara Fire-Rescue has taken delivery of this 2017 The Mifflintown Hose Co. is now running this 2014 into service this 2018 Pierce Enforcer tanker. Tanker 52 Pierce Arrow XT 95' tower. Truck 91 will be stationed out Pierce Enforcer engine (1500/750/30f), designated as Enoperates with a 1500-GPM pump and a 2500-gallon tank. of the Chambers Hill station. gine 22. This engine was purchased from Pierce as a demo. DALE FEEHRER



1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

January, 2018




1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

To see your “Faces” in the newspaper, upload them on our website or email them to


Members of the Palmer Township Fire Department (Northampton County) recently received a donation to purchase ballistic vests for when responding to police related incidents such as active shootings and standoffs.

Reading FF John Seyfert works with new FF William Farmer to explain the operations of Ladder 3. JASON BATZ

Englewood Captain Dave Malloy takes a break during aN RIT assignment in Ashland.


Hazleton Firefighter Dave Fatula prepares a saw before ascending to the roof for ventilation at a building fire.


The fire scene is discussed from the turntable of Ashland Ladder 38-25 during a recent fire.


1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

January, 2018


WHERE ARE THEY NOW? If you have photos you would like to see in our “Where are they Now?” feature please upload them on our website or email them to


This Mocanagua E-3 1987 Ford/FMC 1250/1000 originally saw service with Salorsburg.


Smoke was seen pushing from all sides of this building at the corner of Diamond Ave. and Wyoming St. in Hazleton.

Thanksgiving Fire Brings Mutual Aid to Hazleton City KEN SNYDER

This ex-Owings Mills, MD 1966 Seagrave 1000/500 is now owned by a PA collector.


West Cape May Fire Company once operated this 1976 Seagrave 100' Ladder. The unit also served Glenside, PA Fire Department. The truck is now privately owned.


This 2003 Ford Expedition is used by the Hauto Fire Co. in Nesquehoning. It was originally used by the East Greenville Fire Co.

Luzerne County, PA – Just after midnight on Thanksgiving, November 23rd, Hazleton City Fire and Medic 11 were dispatched to 265 North Wyoming Street in the city for a reported building fire. Chief 3 was on JUMP TO FILE# scene shortly after 112417120 dispatch and reported smoke showing from a three-story taxpayer at the intersection of Wyoming Street and Diamond Avenue. The chief assumed command and requested a re-tone for a working fire. Ladder 1 arrived and positioned on the Diamond Avenue side of the building followed by Rescue 3 who secured a water supply. Engine 2 took the "A/D" corner on Wyoming Street while Engine 4 secured a second water supply at Diamond and Carson Streets. Chief 3 reported that he had fire in the upper floors and was working on evacuating occupants. He requested back-staffing for Engine 5 and Tower 1. Crews were instructed to stretch a line into the building. Smoke was seen pushing from the upper floors and the eaves on all sides of the buildings. Chief 3 requested additional back-staffing and to send Engine 5 and Tower 1 to the scene. Tower 1 was directed to back in along the “D” side and go to the roof. Chief 3 gave an update that he had a 100x100 building with crews working inside with two lines stretched. Conditions weren’t improving so the chief requested Hazle Township for a Rapid Intervention Team and West Hazleton rescue for manpower to the scene. McAdoo was dispatched for their quint and West Hazleton for an engine to cover the city.


Tower 1 was filled with off-duty personnel and sent to the scene to work on the "D" side of the building.

Crews began to make progress and found a fire in a second-floor apartment that extended to the thirdfloor. A crew from Tower 1 performed vertical ventilation and then began to open up the eaves on the "D" side. Interior crews had to perform extensive overhaul where they found hidden fire throughout, including the crawl space. Ladder 1 worked to overhaul the Diamond Ave. side of the building. Hazle Township Tower 7 set up RIT at the "A/D" corner. West Hazleton crews arrived and went in to assist with overhaul.

Firefighters had the fire under control shortly after 1:00 A.M. PPL Electric arrived on the scene and cut power from all sections of the building. The American Red Cross was dispatched to the scene to assist multiple displaced residents. Mutual aid units were released before 2:00 A.M., and the city fire department was clear with the exception of the Ladder and an engine by 2:20 A.M. City officials and a State Police Fire Marshal are investigating the cause of the fire. - JC KRIESHER


January, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA



BUDDY SHOTS If you have photos you would like to see in our “Buddy Shots” feature, please upload them on our website, or email them to


Our company is dedicated to drowning and aquatic injury prevention and emergency management. We develop educational curriculums in Water Rescue, Swiftwater Rescue, Ice Rescue, Lifeguarding, and Aquatics Safety and we conduct training programs throughout the U.S., as well as internationally, for the Public Safety and Rescue, as well as the Lifeguard and Aquatic Recreation Sectors.

The company is run by Gerry Dworkin, a professional Aquatics Safety and Water Rescue Consultant. Gerry is currently a Firefighter/EMT with the Kennebunkport (Maine) Fire Department, and has been a Firefighter and EMT for over 40 years, having been certified in Connecticut, New

York, Texas, Virginia, New Hampshire and Maine. He has been a career and volunteer Firefighter, and is currently Paid-on-Call with Kennebunkport.

Gerry regularly consults as a Forensics Expert in drowning and aquatic injury litigation and has consulted on over 350 cases to date. He has also consulted as a Subject Matter Expert for CNN; MSNBC; CBS’ Early Show; NBC’s Today Show; ABC’s Good Morning America; The Discovery Channel; The Weather Channel; and The History Channel. Lifesaving Resources hosts a very extensive website at For information on the company, please access their website, or call 207/967-8614.


Second-Alarm Struck During Early Morning Fire in Reading Reading, PA - Early on the morning of November 29th, a call was received from 935 Perry Street reporting a house on fire. As Berks County DES dispatchers were transmitting a box alarm at 3:20 JUMP TO FILE# A.M., more calls 112917107 began to flood the center reporting a house fire. Engine 9 and Ladder 3 arrived at a three-story MOR with fire showing from the second and third floors. Firefighters started a hose line stretch into the dwelling at 928 Perry Street. Chief Rehr (C9) requested an immediate second-alarm due to the amount of smoke showing. With the advanced fire spreading into the exposures, second-alarm companies were ordered into the exposures, and Ladder 1 was also directed to proceed to the rear. With the large volume of fire encountered, firefighters reported delays in completing the primary search. Several lines were stretched and operating with the bulk of the fire knocked down at 4:11 A.M. Primary searches were completed and clear. One firefighter was treated on scene for minor injuries. The fire was placed under control about one hour later. The Fire Marshal's Office is investigating. Firefighters from Goodwill and Temple of Muhlenberg Township assisted. - JASON BATZ


Franklin County, PA - Lexus Shifflett, daughter of 1st Responder News correspondent Shane Shifflett, poses with Sparky during Fire Prevention Week.



Reading Engine 9 and Ladder 3 arrived at 928 Perry St. early on the morning of November 29th with fire showing from the second and third floors.


How long do you think firefighters have to get dressed? Less than two minutes! This includes all of their gear, which can weigh from eighty to one hundred twenty pounds.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

January, 2018



January, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

EMS If you have photos you would like to see in our “Emergency Medical Services� feature, please upload them on our website or email them to

Pennsylvania Turnpike AED located in Harrisburg.




Kitchen Fire Quickly Knocked in Reading

Reading, PA - At around 1:00 P.M. on Wednesday, November 29th, the Berks County Department of Emergency Services received several phone calls reporting smoke visible at an apartment building. After transmitting a box alarm for 614 North 9th Street, additional calls reported people evacuating. Engine 9 arrived at a three-story MOR with smoke showing from the upper floors. Firefighters stretched a line into the structure and located a kitchen fire on the second-floor. All searches of the building were clear, with the fire knocked down in 10 minutes. No injuries were reported. The Fire Marshal's Office is investigating. Fire Chief William Stoudt (C1) was in command.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

January, 2018



January, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


If you have photos you would like to see in our “Apparatus in Action” feature, please upload them on our website, or email them to


Minersville (Mountaineer) Engine 521 has multiple lines stretched during a house fire in the borough.


Vacant Building Fire in Reading Quickly Knocked

Reading, PA - Shortly after midnight on Sunday, November 19th, a neighbor in the 100 block of South 12th Street observed a glow from a boarded up house at 138 South 12th Street. After phoning 9-1-1, a box alarm was transmitted, sending companies to the block. Chief Moyer (C8) arrived at a two-and-a-half story MOR with smoke showing from the upper floors. Firefighters used a saw to quickly cut through the plywood. Crews stretched a line into the second-floor and found a mattress and other debris burning. The fire was knocked down and the remainder of the building was searched. No victims were found and no injuries were reported. The fire was placed under control in 15 minutes. The Fire Marshal's Office is investigating.


Manheim Township, Lancaster County 2017 Pierce 100' Tiller is seen here at a recent fire in Upper Leacock Township. It was the truck's first working fire since being put into service.


Sheppton-Oneida Tanker 9-30 sends its water to Engine 9-10 at a house fire in East Union Township.


If you have photos you would like to see in our “Command Vehicles” feature, please upload them on our website, or email them to

The Bethlehem FD uses this 2014 Ford Explorer as a special operations vehicle.


1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

January, 2018



January, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


Wishing Everyone a Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday Season from the entire staff at Campbell Supply Company!


1st Responder PA January Edition  
1st Responder PA January Edition