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The Pennsylvania Edition




MARCH, 2018


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March, 2018

ADVERTISER INDEX A guide to finding great companies


911 Rapid Response


Armor Tuff Floors

California Casualty

Campbell Supply Co. Circle Lights

Command Fire App. FDIC


26 25


43 2


Finley Fire Equipment


Fire Flow Services


Fire Expo

Fire Line Equipment Hampden Fire Co.

Hoffman Radio Network Kimtek

Lifesaving Resources



41 19

Mid Atlantic Rescue


Spotted Dog Tech.



The Fire Store Waterous

WEH Technologies Zodiac

I am one of many retired NYC firemen who went to the towers to offer my help in the recovery. It always amazed me that there were so many rescue and firefighters that came from all parts of the country to help. After 9-11, the NYFD notified its members about the passing of its members. In 2002, one firefighter passed away from a World Trade Center illness (WTC). The following year it was four firefighters. Going ahead to 2017 the numbers go up to 20. Since 9-11, a total of 165 members of the NYFD have now died from WTC illness. I also found out that more than 1,000 recovery workers have died since 911. It is reported that by 2020 there will be more people dead from 9-11 than all those who were killed on 9-11-01. The federal government took

JUMP TO FILE #012318121 11 years to recognize 58 types of cancer connected to the events of 9-11. I was one of the lucky ones to survive two types of cancer. We must never forget 9-11 and those we lost that day, but we must also remember all those that have died after 9-11 and continue to die. To view the list of names of WTC Related Illness Deaths, please visit: - THOMAS COONEY


Thomas Cooney is a retired member of NYFD Ladder 30 and author of "The Man Behind Badge 711".

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



NY Chiefs Show

Remembering All Those Lost AFTER 9-11


Marco Equipment Sales MedEx Billing, Inc.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

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Attack 152 of Columbia County, Benton Fire Company, is this 2008 Ford F-550/Darley with a 1250 pump, 300 water and 25 foam CAFS system.




1st Responder News (ISSN 1525-1683) - Pennsylvania edition - Vol. 22 No. 3 - 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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West Whiteland Fire Company operates this 2001 Ford F350 250/175 Brush Truck.

Structure in Palmer Twp. Heavily Damaged by Fire

Palmer Twp., PA - On Thursday, January 11th, Palmer Township Municipal Fire Department (Northampton County), was dispatched to a high occupancy structure fire. Fire Command arrived on scene and found smoke showing from a single-family dwelling, which was converted into six separate apartments throughout the building. A suppression team arrived and while conducting a primary search, found the second-floor compromised and weakening. A second suppression team found the bulk of the fire in a first-floor apartment, with extension to the second-floor. After a little over an hour, the fire was brought under control with minor injuries reported to one firefighter and one tenant of the building.

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March, 2018



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


If you have photos you would like to see in our “Patch of the Month” feature please upload them on our website, or email them to


Fire and smoke escape from a row of homes that were destroyed by fire on East Abbott St. in Lansford.

Lansford Fire Goes to Three Alarms FRANK ROBINSON

This patch belongs to Goshen Fire Company, located in Chester County, PA.


Basement Fire in Reading

Reading, PA - Around lunchtime on Wednesday, February 7th, firefighters were alerted to a basement fire at 1251 Spring Street. Engine 9 and Ladder 3 arrived at a three-story MOR with smoke showing on the first-floor. Firefighters made a hose line stretch into the dwelling and encountered a fastmoving fire from the basement. Gusting winds up the hill on Spring Street made conditions difficult for crews who were now fighting a wind-driven fire. Chief Stoudt ordered a withdrawal to regroup crews and shift the attack through the rear. The fire was knocked down 15 minutes after dispatch while walls and ceilings were opened up. All searches were reported clear as the occupants were found outside the dwelling. The fire spread upwards through ductwork and void spaces, which required an additional hose line. The fire was placed under control at 1:24 P.M. Car 1 (Stoudt) was in command. Pictured is Reading FF Robert Himes reaching to activate his SCBA while approaching the basement fire on Spring St.

Carbon County, PA – Just before 9:00 P.M. on Friday, February 2nd, Carbon County 9-1-1 dispatched units to 401 East Abbott Street in Lansford for a dwelling fire. The first-alarm included Districts 14 (Summit Hill) and 15 (Lansford), and Schuylkill County District 40 (Coaldale). First responding units were advised of a call reporting smoke showing from a residence. Chief 1501 arrived on scene and confirmed a working fire where smoke was found showing from a row of four homes at the corner of East Abbott and Powell Streets. Ladder 1521 arrived and positioned in front of the address while Engine 1510 came in the opposite way and laid line for a water supply. The Ladder was able to secure a supply from a hydrant located across the street from the fire. Summit Hill Engine 1411 and Ladder 1421 arrived and staged on Abbott Street while Coaldale was directed to position their Tower on the “B” side and set up for operation. Engine 40-17 followed and laid line from a hydrant on Powell Street. Crews encountered heavy smoke from the front of the building as they began to plan their at-

JUMP TO FILE #020518130 tack. A second-alarm was struck as crews started to stretch lines. The second-alarm brought in Nesquehoning Engine 1311 and Truck 1321, Tuscarora Engine 27-17 and Tamaqua for a Rapid Intervention Team. Tower 40-24 flew to the roof and ventilated while crews worked to contain the fire inside the building. Tuscarora was directed to beach their engine and send their staffing to the front of the building. Tamaqua units arrived and set up RIT near Ladder 1521. As smoke continued to push from the residence, fire began to break through the roof. Coaldale Engine 40-13 hooked up the the supply line laid by 40-17 and pumped the hydrant to them. Engine 40-17 subsequently supplied the Tower which began to hit the fire with the ladder pipe. A third-alarm was then dispatched to the scene, bringing in Nesquehoning Engine 1312 and Rescue 1351 with Mahoning Valley Engine 615. Command special requested Mahanoy City RIT and Tamaqua Rescue for air out of

Schuylkill County. Heavy smoke could still be seen pushing from the roofline and multiple windows throughout the second-floor of the building. The Tower continued to pound the fire through the roof near the “B” side while additional crews continued to work inside further down the row. The fire proved stubborn as crews would knock down the bulk of the fire and then moments later, the smoke would intensify and fire could again be seen venting from the structure. Attack tactics rotated from interior to exterior and back as conditions changed throughout the fire. All four units in the row suffered extension damage, but it appeared that firefighters were able to prevent any fire damage to the “D” exposure, which was only a few feet away. Crews were still battling the blaze as midnight approached and were finally able to bring the fire under control. Lehighton ALS was on the scene in case any injuries occurred and Mahanoning Valley EMS was also on-scene with their rehab unit. - JC KRIESHER

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

March, 2018



March, 2018


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In memory of those who gave all

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

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

Texas: Charles Edward Patterson, 60 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: December 1, 2017 Death Date: December 7, 2017 Fire Department: Bowie Rural Volunteer Fire Department Initial Summary: Firefighter Charles Edward Patterson collapsed in the front yard of a residential structure fire while working a hose line with other members of his fire department. Emergency medical personnel were on scene and provided immediate assistance. Firefighter Patterson was transported to the hospital where he died several days later from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported. California: Cory Iverson, 32 Rank: Engineer Incident Date: December 14, 2017 Death Date: December 14, 2017 Fire Department: CAL FIRE Initial Summary: Engineer Cory Iverson died while fighting the Thomas Fire near Fillmore, California. The nature and cause of Iverson's death has not been released pending a Cal Fire serious accident review. Engineer Iverson was part of a multiengine strike team dispatched from the San Diego area more than a week ago to fight some of the largest fires in California’s history. Florida: Jeffery Atkinson, 43 Rank: Engineer Incident Date: December 15, 2017 Death Date: December 15, 2017 Fire Department: Tallahassee Fire Department Initial Summary: Engineer Jeffery Atkinson died while on-duty at the fire station from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined. Texas: Dene Barber, 56 Rank: Captain Incident Date: December 13, 2017 Death Date: December 13, 2017 Fire Department: Brazoria Fire Department

Initial Summary: Captain Dene Barber responded with the Brazoria Fire Department to an apartment building fire on the evening of December 13, 2017. Firefighters made entry into the building and extinguished the fire. Upon exiting the structure, Barber complained to others of not feeling well. Captain Barber was treated on scene by West Brazos EMS, then transported to the hospital where in spite of all efforts he passed away from a reported heart attack.

New York: David Jahnes, 58 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: December 18, 2017 Death Date: December 18, 2017 Fire Department: Nyack Fire Department – Fire Patrol Initial Summary: Firefighter David Jahnes fell ill while at the scene of an investigation into an odor at a bank which turned out to be an overheating battery in the alarm system. Firefighter Jahnes was treated by fellow responders and transported by the Nyack Ambulance Corps to the hospital where later during treatment he suffered coronary failure and passed away. Indiana: Jeffery Alan Blackmer, 42 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: December 20, 2017 Death Date: December 20, 2017 Fire Department: Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Company Initial Summary: Shortly after working a barn fire with his fire department, Firefighter Jeffery Alan Blackmer was discovered deceased at the fire station where he had been cleaning and stowing away gear used to fight the early morning blaze. The nature and cause of fatal injury are still to be determined by authorities.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

March, 2018



February 15 - 18, 2018 Portland, Maine


Reading Police Officers Discover Building Fire

Reading, PA - On the cold evening of January 6th, a police cruiser reported smoke coming from a food storage warehouse in the 400 block of North 6th Street. Berks County DES dispatchers immediately transmitted Box 0303 at 10:10 P.M. Chief Moyer (C8) arrived at 424 North 6th with smoke showing from a single-story block building. Crews began a hose stretch while firefighters used saws to cut through security bars on the doors. Crews would work two lines in the rear of the building for a large volume of fire. Ladder companies worked the roof to open up and stop the fire extension. The fire was placed under control at 10:46 P.M. All searches were clear with no injuries reported. The Fire Marshal's Office is investigating.



WATER RESCUE May 17 - 20, 2018 Portland, Maine


March, 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

Firefighters arrived at this automotive repair shop in East Reading with smoke pushing from the building.



Palmer Fire recently welcomed back a past chief visiting from his new residence down south. He was greeted with a snowstorm and early morning fire!

Second-Alarm Struck at Auto Repair Shop in Reading Reading, PA - Late in the day on Tuesday, February 13th, a box alarm was transmitted for 411 South 12th Street. With apparatus responding, a column of smoke was observed rising from East-Reading. Chief Moyer (Car 8) arrived with a dense pressurized smoke pouring from the garage. Crews were directed to stretch a two-and-a-half inch hose line into the garage to knock down a large volume of fire. Several vehicles were found burning within the 40-foot

JUMP TO FILE #021518111 long building. A second two-and-ahalf inch line was deployed to the rear of the garage to stop the fire from spreading into an attached twostory dwelling. With smoke conditions unchanging, a second-alarm was ordered 10 minutes after arrival. An additional hose line was stretched into the adjacent dwelling

for protection. All searches were declared clear with no injuries reported. The fire was placed under control with overhaul at 5:53 P.M. Firefighters preparing to come on-duty for the night shift were placed in service with reserve apparatus, bringing Engine 2 to the scene. Suburban units from Mount Penn and Exeter assisted. The Fire Marshal's Office is investigating. - JASON BATZ

PRIZED POSSESSIONS If you have photos you would like to see in our “Prized Possessions” feature, please upload them on our website, or email them to


Reading Fire Chief William Stoudt poses with FF Mark Kulp and the famous "Ground Hog Brothers" of Reading.



Benjamin Franklin is responsible for the first fire company in Philadelphia. These firefighters were sometimes known as Benjamin Franklin’s Bucket Brigade. They would meet monthly to discuss different techniques to fight fires.

We are excited to be debuting our new feature called "Prized Possessions," that will showcase people's FIRE/EMS related possessions and collectibles! We are 'kicking it off' by featuring these flame sneakers worn by 1st Responder News correspondent, Damien Danis. When asked about his infamous sneakers, Damien had this to say: "I wear the sneakers only once a year to the Wildwood Fire Expo. The flames go with my nickname, "Flamien Damien". My friend's brother gave me the nickname years ago and it stuck!!" DAMIEN DANIS

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


Vehicle Rescue Conducted in Limerick

Limerick, PA - On Saturday, January 13th at approximately 2:50 P.M., Limerick and Linfield Fire Companies responded to a vehicle accident with rescue on Township Line Road, at the RT422 Westbound on-ramp. One vehicle was up against another vehicle on its side with the driver trapped. Extrication was about 15 minutes after the arrival of the rescue truck and the patient was flown by Pennstar to Paoli Hospital. Other patients were ground transported to Phoenixville Hospital by Friendship Ambulance of Royersford. Ironically two hours prior, Limerick and Linfield responded for an accident with injuries at the same location with the same scenario of accident, only nobody was trapped or seriously injured, but the car was on its side just like the later rescue call.

March, 2018



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


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

The Brockway Hose Co. of Jefferson County operates a 1995 Pierce Dash as Engine 1. This engine came from Berkeley Heights, NJ and has a 1500-GPM pump and 500 water.



Three-Alarm Warehouse Fire Breaks Out in Pittsburgh’s Southside Pittsburgh, PA – Just before 7:00 P.M. on Sunday, February 18th, City of Pittsburgh firefighters were dispatched to a possible commercial structure fire located somewhere near the 10th Street bridge in the Southside of the City. The caller reported seeing a large fire somewhere in the area, but was unsure of it’s location. Less than a minute later, dispatch reported that they were now receiving multiple calls. The first arriving officer reported that there was a large working fire in a warehouse type structure that housed “The Appliance Warehouse,” located at the corner of Bingham and S. 6th Streets, and requested that a second-alarm be struck. Shortly after the initial report, he advised dispatch that there was a two-story warehouse that was now fully involved, with a five-story exposure attached to the warehouse. About a minute after that, he then advised dispatch that the two-story warehouse had collapsed and requested a third-alarm. Arriving units were put into de-

JUMP TO FILE #022018100 fensive operations with multiple aerial master streams set up. The bulk of the fire in the original fire building was knocked down in about 30 minutes. Shortly after, command was advised there was smoke starting to push out of the five-story structure and was getting heavier by the minute. Crews were not allowed to enter either structure due to the amount of fire, as well as the age and condition of the buildings involved. About one hour into the incident, heavy fire began pouring out of the second and third floors of the second building. Fire Chief Darryl Jones arrived onscene, assumed command and advised that no firefighters would be entering the structure at any time. Firefighters continued defensive operations as heavy black smoke poured from the structure for about two hours. The fire was finally placed under control around 10:00

P.M., however, several units remained on-scene with the last unit clearing just under 13 hours later. Power was requested to be cut to the area, leaving over 1,500 residents without power for hours. The building housed a business that sold used appliances which were stored in the buildings. An entertainment business called “Escape Room” was also located on the "Delta" side of the complex. At the time of the fire, guests were quickly evacuated from the building and no injuries were reported. An ongoing investigation is now being conducted as to what may have started the fire. Witnesses reported hearing a loud boom followed by heavy fire shooting from the building. The owner of the appliance business stated that there was work being done earlier in the day which may have been a factor. The buildings were torn down later in the day due to the amount of damage. - ERIC RASMUSSEN


Ex-Rescue 72 of Kimberton Fire Dept. now operates as Engine 2914 with the Renovo Fire Dept. in Clinton County. It is a 1993 Spartan/3D Metals with 2000/750/30 Foam. It started it's life with the Roslyn Fire Company.


The Airville Fire Co. of York County operates this 1976 Oshkosh/Pierce with a 1992 Pierce Arrow refurb and cab, that originally saw service with the Media Fire Co. in Delaware County. It has a 1500 pump, 250 water and 250 foam.



Ex-Waynesboro Tower 2 out of Franklin County, PA is currently serving the New Market Fire Department in Virginia as Truck 23. We found out that they have this truck currently in a reserve status.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

March, 2018



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


Fire Claims the Life of 83-Year-Old Man in Turtle Creek


Mahanoy City firefighters found a working fire on the second-floor of this residence when they arrived on scene on West Spruce St.

Mahanoy City Strikes the Second for House Fire Schuylkill County, PA – At 4:19 P.M. on Friday, February 2nd, Schuylkill County 9-1-1 dispatched the Mahanoy City F.D. to 508 West Spruce Street in the borough for a house fire. First responding units were advised that the caller was reporting fire in the walls. Assistant Chief 455 and Ladder 457 arrived on the scene to find smoke showing and confirmed a working fire. Chief 450 arrived on scene and assumed command. The Chief requested Englewood for their Rapid Intervention Team and a Tanker Task Force for a possible supplement to the municipal water system. Crews made entry into the house and found fire on the second-floor while additional crews made their way to the third-floor. Command requested Frackville Ladder 43-20 to be dispatched off the second alarm. As interior firefighters continued to work, exterior chiefs ad-

JUMP TO FILE #020518126 vised that they had heavy fire underneath them. At that time, command requested the full second-alarm to be dispatched. Shortly after the second-alarm was sent, interior teams radioed that they had the bulk of the fire knocked down on the second and third floors. Light smoke and steam was seen exiting the building. Frackville’s Ladder Company was directed to throw a ground ladder and be prepared for vertical ventilation, which was found not to be needed. The fire was under control in about 20 minutes and out-of-town companies began to be released. PPL Electric was dispatched to the scene, as was the American Red Cross to help displaced residents. - JC KRIESHER

Serving g those who se erve us.

87 77-541-HERO

Turtle Creek, PA – At 11:04 P.M. on January 14th, fire units were dispatched to a possible structure fire located in the area of Hall Drive and Boone Drive in Turtle Creek. Dispatch also reported that there was possible entrapment. A firefighter notified dispatch that he had just come down the hill past the area and saw heavy smoke. A second-alarm was then dispatched. Firefighters arrived and quickly knocked down the bulk of the fire. An 83-year-old man was then located deceased on the second-floor. The fire was placed under control in just under one hour. This was the second fatal house fire in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh that day; the first being in Penn Hills earlier that morning. The fire is being investigated.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

March, 2018


FDNY Fires of the Past, Volume 1 VIDEO REVIEW

Video reviews by John Malecky

F.D.N.Y. FIRES OF THE PAST Volume 1 By Fireline Video Productions Available from: FSP Books & Videos 188 Central Street, Suite #4 Hudson, MA 01749-1330 1-800-522-8528 Price: $29.95 (DVD)

This DVD is 60 minutes in length. It was originally produced by Advance Print & Video and is now re-released by Fireline Video Productions. It is an assortment of large and difficult fires which took place from 1989 through 1992. There are nine incidents. Narration

is brief and generally states the borough, the year and sometimes the date, the number of alarms, the type of structure or incident, and one or two of the highlights. Sometimes the location, as to the intersection or address, is given. There are two six-alarms, one fourth-alarm, three thirdalarms, one second-alarm and two others not classified, however one is a vacant warehouse in Brooklyn and the other a gas explosion on 7th Avenue underground in Manhattan. So they were both major incidents. Some are apartment houses or warehouses, a cockloft fire, a dramatic rope rescue, wall collapses, rescues made down an aerial ladder, tower ladder streams, ground handlines and master streams. Heavy streams are popular! Many if not most of the incidents are at night. Also, because these fires were years ago, the viewer will see a lot of the older apparatus working. It is a good example of firefighters and the EMS working together. It is not a DVD you would want to miss!

PET FRIENDS If you have photos you would like to see in our “Pet Friends� feature, please upload them on our website, or email them to

Heavy fire showing on the "Delta" side about 15 minutes after dispatch.


Firefighters Arrive to Find Heavy Fire Throughout in East Pittsburgh East Pittsburgh, PA - At 2:36 A.M. on January 18th, the Allegheny County 911 Center dispatched units to a report of a possible structure fire at 316 Howard Street in East Pittsburgh. A few minutes later, dispatched notified incoming units that they had received multiple calls and it was reported that the entire back of a multi-unit row house was on fire. The first arriving units found heavy fire showing on the "Alpha" side of the row house and began making a offensive attach. A second-alarm was also requested. Firefighters worked for some time attempting to knock down the fire,

JUMP TO FILE #011818113 but all units were eventually evacuated from the building. One engine was able to make it to the rear of the structure, which was located in a very tight alleyway. That engine was unable to receive water due to a frozen hydrant and it took some time for the engine in the rear to finally get water. A defensive attack continued until the bulk of the fire was knocked down. Firefighters then re-entered the building to begin overhaul. By

3:30 A.M., a third-alarm was requested, bringing the total number of fire companies responding to 17 with multiple other companies placed on stand-by. The fire was finally placed under control shortly before 5:00 A.M. and firefighters remained on scene for about five hours. All the residents had escaped without injury, but a total of five residents have been displaced. Residents state that the fire began somewhere in the rear of the building, but the actual cause of the fire is still under investigation. - ERIC RASMUSSEN


"Tanger," a six-year-old American Bulldog is looking handsome in his Dutch Harbor, AK Fire-Rescue tee shirt while he recovers from a recent surgery. Tanger's family members are current members/supporters of the Fairview Twp. Fire Department.



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


1st Responder Newspape er features EMERGENCY SERVICES RELA ATED TATTOOS


Crews quickly gained access to the roof and opened a vent hole as the engine crews pushed into the structure.

Frigid Temps During Three-Alarm Restaurant Fire in Montrose Borough "This is my husband, Josh Ramsdell's, EMS tattoo. He has been involved in EMS for 12 years, working for Missisquoi Valley Rescue in Vermont. He has worked his way up from a junior member during his senior year of high school, to his current position as Vice President of the company! Before retiring, his father was on the rescue squad, and his mother was a dispatcher. As a hobby, his father, Greg Ramsdell, often submits pictures and articles for 1st Responder News. EMS runs in his blood! 99024 is his Vermont State EMS number."

Montrose, PA - At 10:51 P.M. on January 6th, United Fire Company was dispatched for a structure fire at Original Italian Pizza in the borough. Within seconds, a working fire was confirmed with a second-alarm added. First arriving units were met with a heavy smoke condition pushing from the roof, with flames visible along the ridge. Within minutes, a third-alarm would be requested as the Tower laddered the roof to open it up and crews from

JUMP TO FILE #010918110 the engine began an interior push. Tower crews discovered a large body of fire in the third-floor upon opening the roof. Due to rapidly deteriorating conditions, as the old construction of the building allowed the flames to travel the entire length of the structure unseen, the interior and roof crews were pulled back and a

defensive operation was established to knock the bulk of the fire down before interior crews could re-enter the structure and perform overhaul. Units operated for over four hours on this frigid -11 degree night and an excellent job was done in challenging conditions. A huge thank you goes to all mutual aid companies and the other various agencies who assisted at the scene. - DILLAN VANNOSTRAND

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

Submitting photos and press releases is EASY! Register at to begin posting directly. Prefer emails? Email your press release and photos directly to


United Tower flowing the materstream after crews were forced to evacuate the roof and interior of the structure.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

March, 2018


EMS Mom Recounts Personal Experience Responding to Son’s Burning Home Stillwater, NJ - Responding to a call for help is a normal day in the Martin family. My husband Bill, who was a 23-year veteran of EMS, died while driving an ambulance to a landing zone. He was transporting a burn victim from a structure fire. My son Andy is an offi- JUMP TO FILE# cer with the Sussex 011118116 County Sheriff's Dept. Andy is also an EMR with the Stillwater Emergency Rescue Squad. I have 28 years of service to EMS. I was a 911 operator for over 10 years. Volunteerism and community service is our way of life. It's a commitment we passed to our children. Andy and Beth were recently married and spent the first few weeks of marriage painting an old Victorian house. They cleaned and polished till everything gleamed. They displayed wedding photos and wedding presents. They were settling down to enjoy being a new family. On January 4, 2018, I responded to a call for a smell of smoke; it was the home of my son and his wife Beth. I got a panicked call from Beth telling me she smelled smoke in her home. She had called the fire department, but she was okay. I raced out the door and was on the way there in minutes. Because the location was just up the street, I was first on scene. I notified dispatch via radio that I was just seconds out. As I got to the end of the street, I noticed the bright orange color in the lower windows. The glow was terrifying, as I didn't see my daughter-in-law outside. I shouted in the radio, "I got flames showing". Later, one fireman approached me and said that he has known me for years and that was the first time he heard panic in my voice. He said he rolled out of bed faster. A longtime fire dept. member from a neighboring town called me and said my radio dispatch made the hair on his neck stand on end. He said he knew I was in trouble. Another EMS member told me he stepped up his response when he heard my voice. I will admit that is the first time in my life I witnessed the was in the form of was sheer terror. So many horrible thoughts ran through my head in those few short seconds. Flashbacks to almost five years ago when Bill went to a structure fire and didn't come back. I searched the darkness and finally saw Beth running toward me in her nightgown and robe. I have never felt such relief. She was safe, but crying and covered in black soot. I held her tight trying to calm my fear. I notified dispatch that the structure had been evacuated. Stillwater EMS arrived on scene. They offered blankets and a warm place

to sit inside the truck. It was hard to walk away, so we stayed...watching. EMS stayed with us. Beth and I watched the flames lick through the walls and melt the siding. The windows buckled and fell out. The shattering noise of glass breaking was heart wrenching. Black smoke with bright embers floated up in the night sky. The bone-numbing cold cut through us while we watched the fire grow brighter. We were helpless till the fire department arrived on scene. Minutes later, the trucks arrived, one after another. Men and women jumped off the trucks ready to tackle what was destroying a new family's dream. My son, Andy, arrived from work. He jumped in carrying hoses, still in uniform. Neighboring fire departments were simultaneously dispatched for this structure fire, an action that saved the home. Thank you "Tripod dispatch". When the fire was extinguished and the scene cleared for safety, we were escorted into the house to get much needed possessions. Walking into the house, we saw walls with dripping water, heavy black soot and charred memories. New furniture that was polished with pride, now covered with fallen plaster and broken ceiling fans. Destruction was everywhere, nothing was recognizable in the main fire area. Christmas presents totally gone. What was left there was only huge masses of sodden ash and soot. The walls and doors six-feet down from the ceiling were covered with black soot. The light switches and furnace thermostat were melted mass dripping down the walls. The heat was intense; the fire did its damage. As we walked through the house my son noted his prized John Wayne posters were leaning against the wall. They were covered in black. He dropped his head and just walked away. I got three firefighters to secure these framed posters and turn them over to EMS to safe guard for us. Throughout the house, Andy and Beth picked up what they could save. They kept saying to each other, "no one was hurt," "it's just stuff," and "it's okay". The one wedding present they bought themselves was a huge big screen tv. It was Andy's pride and joy. He had it hooked up before he had cable. It melted off the wall. On the floor below where it hung lay the mass that once brought joy. Andy just hung his head. No words. Just silence. Returning to his childhood home, Andy brought his new wife and black garbage bags of what was salvaged in his burnt home. No toothbrush, no clean clothes, just what they were wearing. So many friends and family have reached out to make sure they were okay. These contacts have kept them going. A GoFundMe page was started and the response has been overwhelming. Responses from as far

Before the fire struck.

away as Germany have been coming in. Days after the fire, a request for clean up and salvage assistance was put out via Facebook. Not knowing how many, or if anyone would show up, we went back to the house. Our family was met at the scene by neighbors, friends, family, EMS and fire department members. All ready to help. The Stillwater mayor, Lisa Chammings, came and was working in the muck with us. Stillwater Emergency Rescue squad came with a rig, crew and Captain. Yes, an ambulance. After all, we are an EMS family. There is always an ambulance. Stillwater Fire Department

After the fire struck.


members were there helping with salvaging of what we could find. The local church opened its doors for food and a warm place to rest. Neighbors who could not help dropped off packing supplies and food. The Stillwater community gathered around to assist one of their own. The cold just seeped through your clothing no matter how warm you dressed. The smell, oh the smell. You don't forget that quickly. Not one person complained. On that day there would be no tears, just smiles. Everyone was there for Andy and Beth. A few hours after the clean up at the house, I received a call from the EMS crew. They were stopping

at the house. They had a surprise. Rob Losey and Trevor Havens of Stillwater Emergency Rescue Squad brought back the three posters that were taken from the house the night of the fire. They had spent hours cleaning the John Wayne posters until they were pristine. These young men took time to ease the pain of a fellow volunteer. That is family. That is a volunteer for EMS and Fire. I am proud to say I am a resident of Stillwater, N.J., where the term "family" includes your neighbors, friends and fellow volunteers. - TERI MARTIN



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

Mount Carmel Third-Alarm Damages Multiple Homes Northumberland County, PA – At 11:11 P.M. on Thursday, February 1st, Northumberland County sent out a box to 317 North Hickory Street in Mount Carmel for a dwelling fire. First arriving crews found heavy fire throughout the rear of multiple du- JUMP TO FILE# plexes in the 300 020518122 block of North Hickory. A secondalarm was quickly struck while Engine 1 and Truck 2 took the address and Engine 2 went to the rear. Engine 3 secured a water supply behind Truck 2. A third-alarm was struck shortly after the second and a request for a Tanker Task Force was also placed. These alarms brought in units from Northumberland, Columbia and Schuylkill Counties. Crews worked to contain the fire, which had spread to at least three duplexes and damaged at least one other. Firefighters could be seen using heavy lines from the street in the front and from yards in the rear. Truck 2 was sent to the roof where crews worked to open up. Fire could be seen rolling throughout the second and third floors of the middle duplex as firefighters worked their way to those floors. Smoke began to push from the third-story of the “B” exposure, which quickly led to the windows blowing out and heavy smoke billowing out into the sky. An exterior line was directed into the windows and began to lighten up the smoke. Englewood Engine 369 was directed to set up a Rapid Intervention Team in the rear while Mahanoy City Rescue 993 set up RIT in the front, replacing the Shamokin RIT who got put to work helping with extinguishment. A tanker dump site was set up two blocks away where Girardville Tanker 45-30 drafted from two portable ponds and pumped to Shamokin Engine 33, who relayed the water to the scene. The bulk of the fire was knocked down and crews were in the mop up stage before 1:00 A.M. Volunteers were on the scene handing out water and Gatorade to firefighters, as were local homeowners. Ice melt was also being applied to walkways in the area as heavy snow was falling throughout the incident. There were radio transmissions regarding a possible MAYDAY in the early stages of the fire, however it sounded like it was just an emergency activation from a radio; these details couldn’t be confirmed.


Heavy smoke could be seen pushing from the front of multiple duplexes on North Hickory St. in Mount Carmel as fire can be seen in the rear.


Crews arrived on scene to find three duplexes fully engulfed in fire to the rear of North Hickory St. in Mount Carmel.


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March, 2018



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March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

March, 2018


House Fire Displaces Occupant in Guilford Township Guilford Twp., PA - On the afternoon of January 19th around noon, Franklin County 911 received multiple calls for a large column of smoke in the area of Lowe's on Lincoln Way East in Guilford Township. Dispatchers were preparing to dis- JUMP TO FILE# patch the fire de- 012218134 partment for an outside investigation when they began receiving more reports of a house on fire on Cherry Avenue in the vicinity of the Lowe's store. Franklin Station 4 was dispatched out with multiple units due on Box 44-01 at 12:04 P.M. Franklin County 911 had multiple reports of a house fully engulfed in flames. Dispatchers immediately started the Working Fire assignment with the initial dispatch that afternoon due to the amount of calls reporting a working fire. Chief Mark Trace from Franklin Fire Co. marked up directly after dispatch and confirmed that he had heavy smoke showing as he approached the scene. Chief Trace arrived at 89 Cherry Ave. to find a single-family wood-frame home with heavy fire showing on side "Alpha" of the structure. Chief Trace reported that this would be a defensive attack only and established Command 44. After conducting a 360 assesment of the structure, Command deemed it safe to attempt an interior attack. Firefighters from Franklin Fire and Fayetteville arrived and pulled several attack lines to begin their fire attack. Firefighters had visible fire on sides "Alpha" and "Bravo" of the structure, with heavy smoke showing from side "Charlie". Firefighters were able to conduct an aggressive interior attack, gaining quick control of the blaze. Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control within 30 minutes of their arrival on the scene that afternoon. Crews were committed on the call for several hours conducting extensive overhaul operations. The home's location challenged firefighters who could only fit two pieces of apparatus back the lane where the house was located, limiting their available resources. Firefighters had to drop a supply line on the opposite side of Lincoln Way East to establish a good water supply back the lane which shut down the road for several hours during the incident. Command had all incoming units stage and requested their manpower to report to the scene for assignment. The home is still standing, but appears to be a total loss. Firefighters searched the structure and were able to confirm that no one was inside during the fire. One occupant was displaced by the fire and is receiving assistance from family members. No injuries were reported during the incident, and the cause is cur-

rently under investigation by the Pennsylvania State Fire Marshal’s Office. Over 40 firefighters from four different counties were alerted to the incident. Franklin Station 4 responded, receiving assistance from Franklin County crews from Fayetteville Fire & EMS Co.7, Mont Alto Fire Co.5, New Franklin Fire Co.17, Marion Fire Co.8, Letterkenny Fire Co.13, Holy Spirit EMS Ambulance 100, Franklin Air 10, and Franklin County Fire Police. Out-of-county mutual aid was received from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania’s Cumberland Valley Hose Co.53, Adams County, Pennsylvania’s Buchanan Valley Fire Co.27, and Washington County, Maryland’s Longmeadow Fire Co.27. - WILLIAM KING



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Eats FORK & HOSE CO. a Food Blog by A.J. Fusco

I have always said, if I wasn’t Italian I would be Irish. Not sure exactly why though. Maybe it’s the fact that when I hear pipes and drums playing I get excited, pumped up or in some cases emotional. I even tried to join the local Emerald Society when they recruited at my fire academy, but they didn’t buy my name as being A.J. “Mc”Fusco. Still, the Irish tra-

ditions run deep in the fire service and that may very well be the reason. The fire service and tradition are near and dear to my heart. But this is a food column right?! Irish cuisine here in America is not much to write home about. Please, to all the Irish out there, don’t beat me up over this. It happens to all cultures; Chinese food in the states is for the most part not at all how they eat in China. And very much the same can be said for Italian food here, and this I know first-hand having been to Italy twice. I hate to break it to ya, but chicken parm isn’t really a thing. In Ireland, there is a great food movement going on, showcasing the best produce, meat and fish the

Emerald Isle has to offer. But I digress, just because it may not be authentic certainly does not mean it can’t be good. So when I decided to make something “Irish” for dinner at the firehouse, I knew I wanted to do something familiar but put my own healthy twist on it. Shepherd’s Pie is delicious, I mean how could you not want beef smothered in a brown gravy-like sauce and topped with buttery mashed potatoes. But one of my favorite things to do is take a dish that is popular in the firehouse and make it a little more nutritious, so just a few ingredient substitutions and boom! A healthy variation on a classic!

“Turkey-Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie” Serves 6 Ingredients:

1.5 Lb. Ground Turkey 6 Sweet Potatoes ½ Yellow Onion, diced 2 Garlic Cloves, diced 4 Medium Carrots, peeled and diced 8 oz. Mushrooms, quartered 10 oz. Frozen Peas 10 oz. Frozen Corn 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemaryleaves removed and finely chopped 14.5 Can of Low-Sodium Chicken Broth Extra Virgin Olive Oil ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon ½ tsp Paprika ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper 2 tsp. Flour Salt and Pepper, to taste Procedure:

-Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

add the mushrooms and sauté until nicely browned and no moisture is left in the pan. Add the garlic and rosemary, stirring often.

-Now add the turkey back to the pan with the peas and corn. Sprinkle the flour in, stir and cook for a minute or so. Add in the broth, bring to a boil and lower to a simmer for a few minutes until thickened. Place mixture in an oven-proof baking dish or tray.

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Hazleton F.D. Rescue 3 on the scene of a house fire on 4th Street in the City. Rescue 3 is a 2018 KME Predator with a 2000-GPM pump and 750-gallon water tank.

soning. Spread on top of the turkey mixture. For a nicer presentation place the potato in a ziploc bag, cut one corner tip of the bag and squeeze the mixture on top of turkey like a pastry bag. -Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the top has browned. You can also use the broiler if you have one. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

-Now that the potatoes have cooled, peel the skin (you could chop the skin and add to turkey mixture for extra nutrients). In a large bowl add the potato flesh, a drizzle of olive oil, pinch of salt and the spices. Mash with a fork, taste and adjust sea-

-In a large pot, place sweet potatoes with enough cold water to cover. Salt the water like you would pasta water. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook until soft, approximately 30 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

-While the potatoes are cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat. Add a couple glugs of olive oil. When the oil is simmering add the ground turkey, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. When the turkey starts to brown, stir it until cooked through and set aside. In the same pan add a little more olive oil and the onions and carrots. When the onions are translucent



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


Sheppton-Oneida Squad 9-70 and Tanker 9-30 work a brush fire along Route 924 on Thanksgiving day.



Engine 38-10 (American Hose Company - Ashland) works the rear of a dwelling fire that went to two alarms.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

March, 2018



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

March, 2018



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

Fully Involved Garage Fire in East Greenville East Greenville, PA - On February 9th at 4:39 P.M., East Greenville Fire Co. was dispatched to a garage fire at 226 Main Street. Upon arrival, Chief 38 had a fully involved two-car garage in the rear. Power lines leading to the garage were burned off and laying on the black- JUMP TO FILE# top. There were no 021218110 cars in the garage. The roof was gone and damage to the garage was extensive. There was no injuries. Assisting East Greenville was Pennsburg, Red Hill Fire Co's., Hereford and Pennsburg Fire Police, and Harleysville EMS. The cause of the fire is pending the outcome of the investigation. There was extensive overhaul to follow. - TERRY RITZ

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Mahanoy City Firefighter Frank Gallo takes a minute to strike a pose while cleaning up the scene of a house fire in the borough.


Limerick, PA - On Tuesday, January 16th at about 7:40 P.M., Limerick and Linfield Fire Companies were dispatched to an accident with injuries on Game Farm Road in the Township. While units were enroute, the call was upgraded to a rescue with several injured – some of them serious. AC54 arrived on scene with EMS officers and PD with a head-on crash and multiple patients, two walking, two on the ground and one trapped in the driver's seat. Four ambulances on scene transported two patients via ground to trauma centers, while two helicopters transported two to trauma centers and one non-critical patient was transported to a local hospital. Limerick Police and Montgomery County Detectives remained on location for investigation while the road was closed for about two hours.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

March, 2018



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

Vehicle News







The Liverpool VFC has taken delivery of this 2008 Inter- East Pennsboro Fire Department now operates this 2017 Swatara Fire-Rescue has taken delivery of their 2018 national/2018 Deep South tanker, equipped with a 1250- KME 2000/500/50F. Pierce Enforcer Ascendant engine (1500/500/107'). GPM pump and a 2500-gallon tank.

Manheim Township Fire Department now operates this The Grantville VFC in East Hanover Twp. has taken de- The West Grove Fire Co. is now running this 2017 Pierce 2017 Pierce Enforcer 100' Tiller. livery of this 2018 Spartan/4-Guys engine Arrow XT 105' (no pump-tank) ladder truck, designated (2000/1000/40F). It will be designated as Engine 39. as Ladder 22.


8:00 AM



Priced Comparable to Epoxy Goes Right Over Your Old Floor



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March, 2018



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

Crews found heavy fire to the rear of the structure.


Crews Battle House Fire in Wyomissing Borough Wyomissing Borough, PA Just after 8:30 P.M. on February 6th, Fire and EMS crews from Berks County and the City of Reading were dispatched to 413 Oley Street for a structure fire, reported to be a kitchen fire. As crews went responding, a 560 Medic from Muhlenberg Ambulance driving past reported a working fire in the rear. Shortly after, Wyomissing F.D. Tower 79 arrived with heavy smoke showing on side "Charlie" of a twostory single-family dwelling. Going with a working fire, Captain 79 assumed command until the arrival of Deputy 85 and reported the closest hydrants to be on Park and Oley, and 4th and Oley. Chief 650 reported flames showing in the back. Captain 85 requested a career recall of Companies 79 and 85. Command requested Rescue Engine 85 to stretch a line to the rear upon arrival. Rescue 85 hit the plug at 4th and Oley and laid into the scene. As crews were stretching a line to the rear, a one-pound propane torch exploded on the back porch of the house. EMS reported that the sole occupant was out of the structure,

JUMP TO FILE #021218120 but one pet was unaccounted for. EMS transported one victim to Reading Hospital. As command was transferred, Captain 79 reported that good progress was being made and requested a second line to be stretched to the front. Deputy 85 also made the decision to open up the roof. Captain 79 requested that the Fire Marshal be contacted and for utilities to be secured. Primary searches were completed and found negative. Crews created a hole in the roof above the fire. Interior crews reported a bulk of fire knocked down as crews started to open up the ceiling to check for extension. As crews secured power, firefighters reported a power line down in the rear on the "C/D" corner with a propane tank on the "D" side near the "A/D" corner. Electric utilities were requested to the scene. Crews also secured water to the house. The missing pet was found and treated for smoke inhalation.


Ringtown Valley firefighters work to extricate the driver of a car that struck a utility pole on Farmers Rd. in Union Twp. Once extricated, the patient was flown to a trauma center by Life Flight 5.

Driver Flown from Ringtown Car Crash Schuylkill County, PA – Shortly before 10:00 P.M. on Saturday, January 20th, Schuylkill County 9-1-1 dispatched Fire District 30 (Ringtown Valley) and Shenandoah (Columbia Hose) with Shenandoah ALS to 330 Farmers Road in Union Township for an accident with unknown injuries. Chief 30 arrived on the scene with Engine 30-10, Rescue Squad 30-15 and Brush 30-45 to find a vehicle versus pole with two poles down, wires scattered throughout the scene and one person still in the vehicle. The call was upgraded to an accident with entrapment. Chief 30 found the driver in the

JUMP TO FILE #020518112 vehicle semi-responsive and requested aeromedical be placed on stand-by. The crew from 30-15 brought their hydraulic rescue tools to the car and removed the driver’s door. Once the door was removed, the crew worked to free the driver who was stuck in the steering wheel. Shenandoah Medic 6402 arrived on the scene and the patient was extricated onto a backboard before being moved to the awaiting stretcher. The patient was quickly taken into the ambulance and para-

medics requested aeromedical to fly to the scene. Rescue 741 and Engine 742 were released from the scene and sent to the Ringtown Recreation Complex to set up a landing zone for Geisinger Life Flight 5. The ambulance transported the patient to the landing zone where they met the flight crew, and the patient was flown to a trauma center. District 30 units remained on the scene while Pennsylvania State Troopers investigated the accident and then waited for utility companies to arrive on the scene. - JC KRIESHER



Two-Alarm Fire Destroys Braddock Hills Home

Captain 79 arrived in Tower 79 and assumed command.


Braddock Hills, PA - At 12:40 A.M. on January 2nd, fire units were dispatched to a residential structure fire located on 4th Street in Braddock Hills. Police arrived on-scene first and reported an active fire on the second-floor. Upon their arrival, fire units found heavy fire conditions on the second and third floors, and crews went to work. About 40 minutes later, a second-alarm was requested and a few minutes after that, EVAC tones were initiated. Crews then began a defensive attack. Later, crews attempted to make entry a second time, but were again evacuated from the structure. A defensive operation continued until the fire was placed under control. All occupants made it out safely and there were no reported injuries. The Allegheny County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

March, 2018



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


If you have photos you would like to see in our Drills feature please upload them on our website or email them to

On February 14th, firefighters from Cumru Township and Mohnton conducted a survival and RIT skills drill at Cumru Township Fire Department Station 3. Different scenarios were set up to complete practice donning and doffing SCBA, calling MAYDAY, and bailing out of a window. Crews also reviewed the SCOTT Rit-Pak.

Flames escape from the top of this vacant dwelling on West Bacon St. in Palo Alto.


Palo Alto Brings in Tankers for Fire in Vacant Home


Firefighters practice removing a downed firefighter up to a high window using webbing and an attic ladder.


Mohnton FF Andrew Gruver practices an emergency head-first ladder bail.

Schuylkill County, PA - Just before 1:00 A.M. on Friday, January 5th, Schuylkill County 9-1-1 dispatched the first-alarm assignment to the 500 block of West Bacon Street in Palo Alto for a reported house fire. The first-alarm included Palo Alto, Port Carbon, JUMP TO FILE# Pottsville Stations 30 010918113 and 60, and St. Clair for the tower ladder. Port Carbon Engines 59-10 and 5911 responded immediately after dispatch, as they had just returned from a fire alarm in their first-due. Crews were advised that Pottsville police had a visual on the fire from the city and confirmed a working fire. Engine 59-11 dropped supply line on the way in and arrived to find a well-involved fire in a twoand-a-half story, single-family dwelling at 634 West Bacon Street. Engine 59-10 came in from the West Side of Bacon Street and was directed to leave room for the aerial. Chief 59 directed the first-in engine to hit the fire with their deck gun. Multiple lines were stretched off 59-11, and Engine 32 came in behind 59-10 and stretched additional lines. Chief 610 arrived on scene and assumed command. The chief requested a rapid intervention team from Schuylkill Haven be dispatched. When crews arrived, the bulk of the fire was to the rear of the structure. As the fire was knocked back with the deck gun, firefighters made an attempt to enter the structure and attack the fire, but after a few minutes conditions were too fierce and personnel were evacuated from the building. With lack of water from the west side of the fire, tankers were dispatched to help with the operation. Tankers from Schuylkill Haven, Cressona, Landingville, Mount Carbon and Llewellyn were


Firefighters use exterior lines on the "B" side after being evacuated from the structure.

dispatched to the scene. Pottsville Chiefs 2 and 5 were in charge of water supply. Engine 702 was sent to Mady’s Car Wash on Route 61 for a tanker fill site. Engine 63-12 responded as part of the RIT assignment and was then directed to draft from portable ponds after the crew set up RIT in front of the building. Once tankers began to drop their water, the deck gun from Engine 32 and an elevated master stream on Tower 701 were charged and worked to knock down all visible fire throughout the building. A step gun was used off 59-11 on the “B” side while additional lines from 59-11 and Engine 32 worked the “C” and “D” sides. The bulk of the fire was darkened down around 2:00 A.M., and crews continued to pour water onto the building with

their master streams. Throughout the incident, temperatures on scene hovered around 8-degrees. Several community members arrived on the scene, bringing hot coffee for first responders to keep them warm. One person on scene told Fire & Film he used to own the building before selling it around one year ago, and it had been vacant since. Chief 610 placed the fire under control around 3:30 A.M. and the tanker operation was broken down. Crews slowly began to return to service, with the final units clearing the scene around 5:00 A.M. A State Police Fire Marshal was requested to the scene to help investigate the cause of the fire. - JC KRIESHER

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

March, 2018



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

Finding Time for What’s Important Chaplain's Corner

Pastor Fernando Villicana

In the fire service time is of the essence and we are loaded with priorities and important choices. Once emergency services arrive on scene of a crisis, the decision wheels begin to turn. In business “time is money". In the fire service, time can be a matter of life or death. Even though there are procedures in place, the incident commander must begin using each moment wisely as well as deciding what resources to deploy. Making the best use of time and resources is the name of the game. There seems to be an increased emphasis on Time Management nowadays. Companies are investing more resources to provide seminars and instructional material on how to plan your life out. Corporate America realizes that if employees are taught this concept, the company can be more fruitful and productive. Prioritizing is the name of the game and more and more books are being published on the subject. But what are the things that are most important in life? Well, there could be a long list of things depending on the person and their status (single, married, retired etc.). Exercise is important for a healthy body. Spending quality time with your spouse and your children is important. Reading your Bible and praying everyday is important. Maintaining balance between work and play is important for a healthy life. For the most part, we already know the right things to do! The problem is we have a hard

time finding time for these things that are important. Today in our society there are more time-saving devices than any other time in the history of mankind. Yet we still don't seem to have enough time. We're always in a hurry. We just can't seem to get it all done. The fact is: You can't be all, do all, and have it all. You have to make selections and choices in life. It’s called time management! The Bible has this to say about time management. Ephesians 5:1516 (Phillips trans.) "Live life with a due sense of responsibility not as those who do not know the meaning of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time.” We all have the exact same amount of time - 168 hours a week. The bad news is that next week you're not going to have any more time than you did this week. So, the only thing that can change is how you manage it, how you use it. You can't save time, you can't stretch time, you can't add time - you just have to manage it well. The big question is: what do I want to give my time and my life for? And you decide what really matters most. Nothing really happens until you schedule it. You may say spending time with God is important. You may say spending time with your kids is important. You may say quality time with your spouse is important. You may say exercise or anything else is important, but if you don't schedule it, it's not really important to you. Scheduling is where the rubber meets the road. Start setting a date with yourself and with the Lord and with your spouse ... things like that. Thank you for taking the time to read through this message. -Pastor Fernando Villicana, Fire Service Chaplain


Firefighters arrive to find a fully involved home in Penn Hills.


Three-Alarm House Fire Claims Life of 82-Year-Old Man in Penn Hills Penn Hills, PA – At 6:23 A.M. on January 14th, fire units were dispatched to the 1400 block of Homestead Road for a possible structure fire. The caller reported that a car was on fire and that the house was also catching on fire. Dispatch then updated units that it was unknown if all occupants were out of the home. Minutes later, police arrived on-scene reporting that a house was fully involved. At

JUMP TO FILE #011718105 that point, the first responding engine requested a second-alarm. As units arrived, the first hydrant they attempted to secure was frozen and a third-alarm was requested. A second hydrant was located and water supply was establish. Soon after, there was a

sudden drop in pressure so command requested three tankers be dispatched for a water supply. Firefighters continued to work on knocking down the fire for several hours. An 82-year-old deceased man was finally located in the rubble. There is no word on what caused the fire and it is now under investigation. - ERIC RASMUSSEN

OLD & NEW If you have photos you would like to see in our “Old & New” feature, please upload them on our website, or email them to


Firemen enter buildings with temperatures greater than what you cook meat at in your oven. A burning building typically reaches 600 degrees on the bottom floor and can get up to typically 1500 degrees in the ceiling! Most people don't cook their food at more then 450 degrees.


Reading F.D.'s recently delivered 2017 Seagrave Ladder 1 with the 1959 Mack/Maxim Ladder 1. The 59 is an ongoing restoration project being completed through the Keystone Fire Company of Reading.

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

March, 2018



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA


Carbon Monoxide Response in Lancaster City

Lancaster, PA - Lancaster City firefighters responded to a seven-unit apartment building at 547 E. Orange Street, Thursday evening, February 1st. Firefighters arrived to find levels of CO in excess of 300-ppm. A resident of the apartment said that the CO alarm had been sounding for two days and that the battery was removed because of the alarm. Firefighters from Engine 3 quickly found the source of the CO and turned the furnace off. Command requested Truck 2 to the scene to assist with ventilation. Firefighters remained on the scene for several hours until the building was safe and turned back over to the owner.


Retired Reading Chief Requests Box Alarm for House Fire

Reading, PA - Early on the morning of Sunday, February 2nd, retired Fire Chief William Rehr phoned the Berks County DES call center for a working fire in the 1500 block of Greenview Avenue. Engine 7 arrived shortly after at 1513 Greenview with fire through the roof. Crews stretched two lines into the dwelling to knock down the fire. All searches were declared clear. Overhaul required pulling most of the plaster and lath ceiling to expose the fire burning in the attic space. Companies were on scene for nearly two hours. Chief Thorpe (C7) was in command. The Fire Marshal's Office is investigating. The dwelling was vacant at the time of the fire.

Mahanoy City Tower 456 uses its elevated master stream to knock down fire from the exterior.


Gilberton Home Destroyed in New Year’s Day Fire Schuylkill County, PA – Just after 10:00 A.M. on New Year’s Day, Schuylkill County 9-1-1 dispatched a first-alarm assignment to 128 Main Street in Gilberton Borough for a reported house fire. The initial alarm included District 44 (Gilberton), Englewood Fire, Shenandoah Ladder 745, District 43 (Frackville) and Mahanoy City West End. Marshal 44 arrived on scene shortly after dispatch and confirmed a working fire. Smoke and flames were visible from the rear of a twostory, single-family dwelling with an attached single-story building on the “B” side, a carport attached on the “C” side and a garage inches away as an exposure on the “D” side. As first-alarm units began to sign on to respond, Marshal 44 requested the second-alarm to be dispatched. The second-alarm included District 45 (Girardville), District 38 (Ashland), Shenandoah Tanker 759 and Mahanoy City RIT. Engine 44-15 and Englewood Engine 369 were directed to the front of the building to initiate a fire attack. Engine 465 also took the front of the building and secured a water supply from a nearby hydrant. Ladder 43-20 came in and positioned at the "A/D" corner and set up the stick. Ladder 745 staged to the rear of 43-20. As crews began to stretch lines to the building and establish a water supply, firefighters found low water pressure from the municipal system. A tanker task force was dispatched, bringing in Mahanoy City Good American, District 4 (Butler Township), District 26 (Ryan Township), District 30 (Ringtown Valley) and District 46 (Gordon). Engines from Ryan Township and Shenandoah Heights were also due with the tankers. Firefighters stretched lines through the front door and the rear of the building from Engine 369 and 44-15. Engine 44-10 and Tower 456

JUMP TO FILE #010218154 were sent to the rear of the building where an additional line was stretched from the Engine. Girardville Engine 45-10 was sent to the rear to help with the water supply. A crew from 43-20 ascended their ladder and made it to the roof for vertical ventilation. Interior firefighters knocked down the fire on the first-floor and began to move to the second-floor. Smoke continued to poor from the upper floors as firefighters worked to make a hit. Frackville firefighters vented the roof and came back down to ground level. Heavy smoke could be seen venting from the second-floor windows until crews began to knock down the fire. Approximately one hour into the incident, Mahanoy City Chief 455 radioed an urgent message to command that a resident of the home arrived at the scene and ran into the building. Firefighters were able to follow the individual into the building and had to forcefully remove him from the building. Local police quickly made their way to the back of the building where they tried to walk the resident away, but he continued to be disruptive and was eventually led away in handcuffs. Firefighters then continued on working to bring the fire under control. Interior crews were finding fire in the walls and the ceiling and asked for relief by getting more of the roof opened up. A crew from Frackville again went to the roof and began to ventilate. Fire began to vent from the holes as soon as firefighters opened them up, and fire was soon seen overtaking the dormer on the “A” side. Soon after the roof was opened up, Command conversed with units on the “C” side and determined that all firefighters would have to evacu-

ate the building to prepare for a defensive attack. After the airhorns sounded and all members were accounted for, crews began pouring water onto the building. An exterior line was used on the “D” side while a deck gun from E369 poured water on the “B” side. Ladder 43-20 and Tower 456 began to flow water from the front and the rear, respectively. To ensure adequate water supply, Mahanoy City Chief 450, who was put in charge of tankers, added additional tankers from Hometown, Girardville, Mount Carbon, Lavelle and Nuremberg. Tankers were filled by Mahanoy City Engine 451 near the Gilberton Coal Company and Shenandoah Heights Engine 881 filled the rest on Herald Road in Shenandoah. The bulk of the fire began to darken down after a few minutes of the master streams doing their work. Tower 456 broke down and repositioned closer to the house for more effective use. Crews continued to pour water onto the building. The fire was under control around noon, but overhaul would still be needed. A local church was opened up to bring in displaced residents from the area as well as cold firefighters who were battling the blaze in temperatures below 10 degrees. The American Red Cross and Salvation Army were dispatched to the scene, as was Ryan Township EMS for their rehab unit. EMS units from Shenandoah and Frackville were also on scene. Multiple utility companies were also dispatched to the scene including PPL Electric, PennDOT, Gilberton Streets Crew and the Mahanoy Township Water Authority. A State Police Fire Marshal was requested to the scene. Units began to be released after noon, with the final units clear of the scene around 4:30 P.M. - JC KRIESHER

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March, 2018


PAgE 36

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Etna, PA - At 2:49 P.M. on January 13th, fire units were dispatched to a commercial structure fire at 80 Hafner Avenue in Etna Borough. Etna Fire Chief Greg Porter arrived on-scene and was unable to give an immediate sizeup due to the large amount of smoke surrounding the building. He requested EMS to respond to assist a police officer with smoke inhalation. Chief Porter was finally able to do an initial size-up, stating that he had a working fire in a 50x150 storage type building with exposure issues. A second-alarm was also requested. Due to the location of the building being across a small bridge with the "Delta" side having a creek run behind it, as well as a large retaining wall for a highway on the "Alpha" side and exposures, plus train tracks on the "Delta" side, made fighting the fire very difficult. First-alarm crews were able to get two engines and a truck near the "Bravo" and "Alpha" sides of the building and attempted an of-

JUMP TO FILE #011718104 fensive attack. Fire began venting through the roof and command requested that all units evacuate the building. At that point, command requested a defensive operation to commence and that no units would be allowed to enter the building. Multiple master streams were put into service. Two aerials were placed across the creek on the "Delta" side of the building. Due to the conditions, with a snow storm just coming through the area and temperatures in the mid-teens, a third-alarm was requested for manpower. Command notified dispatch that the building was being used to store vending and video game machines and no hazardous materials were inside. Crews remained on scene for several hours. The Allegheny County Fire Marshal’s Office is now investigating. - ERIC RASMUSSEN

Attendance in recent years has been over 20,000



1-800-262-9974 or


Defensive attack on stubborn three-alarm Etna fire.

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March, 2018



March, 2018

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From Fire Victim to Fire Defender: A Story 50 Years in the Making What triggered my relentless hunger for anything fire service related? Many of us old-time firefighters get that question a lot. I have served in many capacities in the fire service, UMP TO FILE# from firefighter to J011118100 emergency medical services, rescue captain, and chief of my local volunteer fire department. I am also a fire “buff” (enthusiast) and the official fire photographer for the nation’s largest fire conference—FDIC International. I am currently a fire department dispatcher and 911 call taker. Fifty years ago, on January 11, 1968, it was a cold, brisk, gloomy winter morning much like it has been recently. The night before, on my 13th birthday, some relatives came over our house in Hasbrouck Heights for a small birthday party. My mom, Josephine, managed to bake my favorite cake even though she was recuperating from a cancer operation. I went to bed with a smile on my face and some gift money, with no idea what the day ahead would have in store for me and my family. The next thing I remember was my dad waking me up early; I was an altar boy and had to serve at the 7:00 a.m. mass at my local Catholic church. Dad dropped me off in his 1963 Chevy Corvair, which had little or no heat with the engine in the rear. Father Paterson was the priest that morning, which was great: Not only was he friendly, but he had the record for the shortest mass! As the daily service started, Father Paterson waved me over and whispered: “Do you know where the electrical box is?” He instructed me to go turn on the rest of the church lights, since it was too dark with partial lighting. I found the panel and threw the switches to the position the rest of them were in. I ran back to the church and was met with laughter and complete darkness! I had shut all the switches to the OFF position! Father Paterson was laughing along with the rest, and we couldn’t make eye contact the rest of the service for fear of laughing. Little did I know I would see the priest later that day under much different circumstances. After church I went off to the adjacent parochial school to my eighth-grade classroom. Meanwhile, my older brother, Peter, was at home, getting ready to go to his high school, which was one block from our home and afforded a view of our house because of an open baseball field in between. He went to the kitchen and smelled natural gas. He went to tell our recuperating mother and she rushed Peter out the door to school and called the utility company at 8:15 a.m. By 8:50 a.m., the odor was getting worse, and she called a neighbor, Fred Moll. As he exited

his house to come over, he saw the roof of our house lift off like a flying saucer, followed by a fireball and a deafening noise. Our mother was in that house! My brother heard the explosion as well and could see our house on fire. He ran home. The fire chief of neighboring Lodi pulled up and saw our mother on the ground. Another neighbor, Frank Ercolino, noticing her hair was on fire, threw her down and used snow to douse her flaming hair. The Lodi chief took her in his vehicle to Hackensack Hospital. Our mother had been standing in the center of the house on the ground floor. The house had exploded around her. She fought her way to the front door and smashed through the storm door. She had beaten death’s door twice—once with the cancer and now a second time. As my class started, I remember hearing the volunteer fire department’s horn tower blowing madly. Neighboring fire departments were responding, and the police were inundated with calls of a terrible explosion on the Hasbrouck Heights-Lodi border. With all the screaming sirens, you didn’t have to be a firefighter to know something terrible was happening. I went to the window and saw an ominous black cloud of smoke rising from the vicinity of our house. Later someone reminded me that I said, “Man, that looks like where my house is.” Our teacher shooed us away from the window to resume class, and the PA announcement interrupted with: “Will student Anthony Greco please report to the principal’s office with his coat and his bookbag?” I was thinking, “Oh no, what did I do now? My parents are going to kill me!” When I got to the principal’s office, my uncle Dominick was there. I thought, “Oh, this looks bad. What is my uncle doing here? Did my mom take a turn for the worse?” My uncle explained that there had been a fire at our house and took me to the scene. 127 Ottawa Avenue. My house. There were fire trucks everywhere. Hoses on the street. Lots of noise. The gas utility company was fervently digging up the street. When I got closer to the house, it appeared to be gone except for one staircase. Parts of the structure had been blown next door. Our refrigerator was lying in the backyard. I had a hard time comprehending what I was seeing. My mom’s new 1967 Ford Fairlane 500 was in the driveway with live wires down on it. I found out later my dad narrowly missed serious injury when he went to move the car—he was in shock on his arrival at the scene and did not notice the live wires. The gas utility had dug a hole about 20 feet down in front of the house and found a cracked pipe feeding gas into the house. A young detective at the scene, also a volunteer firefighter, ordered the pipe handed over to him before

the utility could take it away. It was evidence that the leak started outside and filled the house with gas. Later I remember walking into my mom’s hospital room and seeing her all bandaged up. She was going to be okay. That image still gets to me 50 years later. Then reality set in: We were homeless, with just the clothes on our backs. We would split up and stay at my uncle’s and grandmother’s houses for the time being. Then, Father Paterson and Father Kukura showed up and told my father they were taking me and my brother out for a few hours. They took us to a shopping mall and a salesperson at Gimbel’s completely outfitted us from new underwear to shoes to coats and hats. I was confused: Was I living through a tragedy or was it Christmas? The townspeople also pulled together, with fund drives through the VFW, the mayor’s office, and the Catholic church. I remember sitting in church when they announced: “The second collection is for the Greco family” and 500 people were staring at us. A week later, my dad got a call from Leroy Fisher, the pastor of a Baptist church in Englewood who owned a large excavating company. He volunteered to remove all the debris from the fire scene with his equipment at no charge. A lit-

tle wary, my dad agreed, and the man showed up with some serious heavy equipment to do the job. The only thing he asked in return was for my dad and uncle to attend one service at his church. They gladly did. My mom recuperated from her injuries, beat cancer, and lived to age 84, dying on Christmas Day 2011. My dad died three years after that. They got to see grandchildren and great grandchildren and rebuilt their home on the same lot of their former home—all electric, no more gas for them!

You never quite forget an event like my family experienced. To this day it makes me think about fire victims and their losses. Will they be okay? Is there anything else we can do for their family? PROVIDED

### Anthony Greco is a fire department dispatcher, a 911 call taker, and a longtime volunteer firefighter. He can be reached at - ANTHONY GRECO


Quick Knock Down by Pittsburgh Firefighters

City of Pittsburgh, PA - At 1:00 P.M. on January 10th, a first-alarm was struck for a residential structure fire located along Meadow Street in the East Liberty section of the City of Pittsburgh. Fire dispatch reported that they had received multiple calls with conflicting reports of possible entrapment. The first arriving unit reported a good working fire with fire showing on the roof. First-alarm transfers were then put into effect. The first arriving battalion chief assumed command and reported a working fire on the second and third floors of a three-story home, and that crews were making an interior attack. Firefighters were able to quickly knock down the bulk of the fire and stayed on scene for over an hour for overhaul. The report of entrapment had been false and no injuries were reported.

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March, 2018


IN SERVICE If you have photos you would like to see in our In Service feature, please upload them on our website or email them to


Lincoln Fire Company operates a 2016 Pierce Enforcer 1500/1000/30 Foam.


McKean County's Kane Fire Dept. operates a 2008 Sutphen with 2000/500/95' mid-mount tower as Tower 5.

Crews arrived with heavy flames throughout the building.


Two-Alarm Fire Strikes Woodworking Shop in Leacock Township Leacock, PA - Just before noon on January 5th, Fire Companies were dispatched to 3222 West Newport Road for a building fire. Chief 44 (Intercourse Fire Company) went responding, stating that the woodworking shop was on fire and that the building was evacuated. Chief 62 (Witmer Fire Co.) reported heavy smoke showing from a couple miles out. Chief 44 also spotted the heavy smoke and shortly after, requested a secondalarm. Chief 62 arrived and reported a 30x40 building fully involved. Chief 44 arrived and assumed command, confirming a fully involved two-and-a-half story building. Chief 62 completed a 360, reporting that the exposure on the "Alpha" side was a barn. Some equipment was reported as the exposure on the "Delta" side. Engine 44-1 came up the main driveway and prioritized attacking

JUMP TO FILE #011018119 the fire. Command requested Truck 43 (Gordonville Fire Co.) to come up the driveway and the next engine to lay a line up the driveway. A fill site was established on Pond Road. Crews attempted to cut through ice to reach the water on Pond Road. Engine 31-1 (Bareville Fire Co.) was sent to Kings homestead on Newport Road in case crews could not get through the ice on Pond Road. As the roof caved in, crews set up a 30-foot perimeter in case of collapse. Manpower staging was set up in the area of Truck 43 inside the barn. A water supply was established on scene. With multiple lines stretched and Truck 43 opening up, crews reported the bulk of the fire knocked down. Air 39 (Garden Spot Fire Res-

cue) set up behind Engine 41-1 (Bird-In-Hand Fire Co.) to start filling air cylinders. Initially, crews on Pond Road were not able to set up a supply. As Engine 31-1 finished setting up, crews were finally able to gain access to the water on Pond Road and began to fill tankers. Command then began releasing units due to the bulk of fire being knocked down. The fire was placed under control in under one hour. Crews battled hot spots for a few additional hours after the fire was placed under control. An excavator assisted crews with digging through the rubble to battle hot spots. The fire was found to be caused by a woodstove in the basement. No injuries occurred at the scene. Firefighters battled the blaze with temperatures in the single digits. - LUCAS RICHARDSON


Oley Fire Company in Berks County operates a 2002 Pierce Dash as Rescue 5.


Rescue 13 of the MERCK & Co. (pharmaceutical) in West Point is a 2017 Ford 550/KME 250/150.

Crews had multiple hand-lines and masterstreams in operation.



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA



Pottsville Swears-In New Fire Chief

Schuylkill County, PA - Pottsville City Council hired and swore in new Fire Chief Jim Misstishin at their Monday, February 12th council meeting. Misstishin was serving as an Assistant Chief in the City for 17 years at the time of his appointment and has been a member of the American Hose Company for over 40 years. Misstishin replaced former Chief Todd March who served in the position for 42 years and retired at the end of 2017.

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March, 2018



March, 2018

1ST Responder Newspaper - PA

STILL IN SERVICE If you have photos you would like to see in our “Still in Service” feature, please upload them on our website, or email them to



KIMTEK Announces Upgrades with Mercedes Booster Hose and Draft Kits Boostlite® and Draftlite® become standard equipment on select FIRELITE® skid units


The Summerhill Fire Co. in Briar Creek Twp. still uses this 1965 Toyoto as Brush 313.

Engine 153 of the Benton VFC is this 1999 Spartan/Darley 1500/1000.


January 17, 2018--Orleans, VT KIMTEK Corp, makers of MEDLITE® and FIRELITE® Transport skid units for off-road rescue and wildland firefighting, today announced a new relationship with Mercedes Textiles, Canadian manufacturers of firefighting systems including fire hoses, couplings, adapters, accessories, and fire pumps. KIMTEK has made Mercedes Boostlite® non-collapsible reel booster hose the new standard on all its UTV and Truck FIRELITE® skid units that feature the Hannay 4000 series reels. Heavy duty and kink resistant even at low pressure, Mercedes Boostlite hose weighs an average of 30 lb less than rubber jacketed booster hose. This state-of-the-art addition represents another top-of-the-line fixture to KIMTEK's long list of trusted product offerings available on its skid units, already including W.S. Darley pumps, Hannay reels, Scotty foam systems, and others.

Drafting kit upgrades also in effect KIMTEK has also announced that new for 2018, every KIMTEK FIRELITE® FDHP-300 series truck skid unit will come with a complete Mercedes Draftlite® Kit which includes the Hydro-Wick® hand primer, 20 ft of 1.5” high pressure suction hose, and a HydroWick foot valve with strainer. The Hydro-Wick hand primer is hardplumbed into the stainless steel piping with a separate valve. This kit seamlessly mates to the 5.5, 9 and 13 HP FIRELITE-300 series skid units and assists with drafting from virtually any source of water.

KIMTEK will make the new Mercedes Draftlite Kit available as a stand-alone purchase intended for customers who already own a FIRELITE Transport 300 series or UTV skid unit and want to improve their drafting capability. In this application the Kit's hand primer will include a 1.5" NH (NST) coupling. The Draftlite® kits ship complete

from KIMTEK.

About KIMTEK Corporation Founded in 1984 as a research and development company dedicated to advances in life safety technology in the fire sciences, KIMTEK Corporation is the largest producer and marketer of ATV/UTV and pickuptruck skid units for public safety agencies in the U.S. KIMTEK's FIRELITE® fire and rescue skid units and MEDLITE medical skid units are now in service worldwide, including all branches of the U.S. military, the National Park Service, numerous NASCAR tracks, sporting complexes, schools, and universities. KIMTEK Transport skid units are proudly made in the USA. For more information, please contact KIMTEK at 888-546-8358 or visit the company's websites at and


Fullerton Fire Company still runs this 1989 Mack CF/Ward79 1250/500.


The members of Ickesburg continue to operate this 1996 International/New Lexington tanker (1000/2500). This piece is scheduled for a refurb in 2018.

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March, 2018


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