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VOLUME 10, NO. 6


Fire,Serving Rescue & EMS Fire, Rescue & EMS Heroes Heroes Since 1973 Since 1973


Story on page 17. - Fire News photo by Casey Saussaman

Lancaster Celebrates 100th Anniversary See page 26.

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Fire News, January/February 2021, Page 3

In this issue... Summerdale Garage Fire Northeast Fire and Rescue arrived to find heavy fire engulfing a two-story detached garage. See story on page 7

Devil’s Night Fire in South Park On October 30, 2020 (Devil’s Night), crews were dispatched for a fire in South Park. See story on page 10

9 Displaced in Lancaster Township Fire Nine residents were displaced after an apartment building fire in the Kensington Club Apartments. See story on page 14

McKees Rocks House Fire On December 18, 2020, crews were dispatched to a house fire in the area of Island Avenue and Churchill Street in McKees Rocks Borough. See story on page 18

1 Dead, 1 Rescued in Harrisburg Fire Crews were dispatched for a fire with reported entrapment on the second floor of a North 15th Street residence in Harrisburg City. See story on page 19

Obituaries Conestoga’s Jere F. Goretzke, Jr. Dauntless’ Mike Lieb See story on page 28

PLUS: Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 4 Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 23 Up Close & Personal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 24 Industry News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 30 Business Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 31 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 31

A Service for Pennsylvania Firefighters and EMS Providers Founded 1973


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Nine Editions Serving Long Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wildwood, NJ Proud Member Of: Letters to the Editor, byline articles, and columns represent the opinions of the writers and photographers and are not necessarily the views of the Fire News. We reserve the right to edit all of the above. We are not responsible for errors in advertisements beyond the cost of advertising space. Copy submitted is subject to editing for space requirements. The placing of an advertisement in this publication does not constitute endorsement. Contents are copyrighted. Editorial and advertising copy cannot be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Fire News is published monthly by Fire News Inc, with corporate offices at 146 South Country Road, Bellport, NY 11713.

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From the Editor’s Desk Dennis Whittam, Editor

Are Photos Worth a Thousand Words? I have been taking photographs at fires since 1964. I started taking photographs with an Olympus Pen EE film camera that my father gave to me. It was a great camera because it split a 35mm negative in half, doubling the capacity of photos I could take. I was very young at the time and really didn’t know what I was doing. On the other hand, I quickly learned that everyone loved the photos that came out of my camera. My new hobby stayed and grew as I ventured to more and more local fires. It was my way of becoming part of my father’s engine company in Ridgewood, Queens. It wasn’t long before I was a regular at FDNY Engine 291/Ladder 140. I always left my photos and negatives (ouch!) on the kitchen table for the members to enjoy and share amongst themselves. I never cared about the content of the photographs. I cared about documenting the faces of my heroes. It wasn’t until I photographed a tragic fire where two children perished that I realized my photographs had worth. I documented a tragedy and saw a completely different attitude towards my

photographs. The firefighters actually studied the photographs and reviewed what happened. Gosh, I wish I still had those photos. Photographs can tell us a lot about an incident. Recently, I captured a fire that was near my home. It was a bedroom fire in a home that had numerous pets in it. Another neighbor, who was a member of my department, made a successful attempt to save a few of the pets. With the help of the first arriving assistant chief and our EMS crew, several pets survived the ordeal. It was interesting to see some of the Facebook comments relating to this fire. Yes, photographs are worth a thousand words. We must remember that there is a time lapse when analyzing a photograph. Video gives you a clearer understanding of what happened. There is no time-lapse looking at a single image. Example: You are walking along the beach and you see a sign that says, “No swimming!” A few feet away from you, you see a man drying off with his towel on the beach. Wow, can’t the guy read? The sign was very clear and to the point. As you continue your walk along the beach, you see a

shower on the beach. Uh oh, we now have a case for reasonable doubt. My point is that unless you are at the incident, a single photograph may not depict all of the circumstances behind the image. Photographs and video are commonplace at emergency scenes. Cameras are all over the place and can be a helpful tool in analyzing situations that occur even when we are not around to visualize the incident firsthand. In my opinion, many of the concepts of utilizing media have not changed. We are still using media to analyze emergency situations to help us get a clearer picture of what actually happened. Enjoy the photographs in Fire News, on our Facebook and Instagram social media pages, and on our website at FireNews.com. -Dennis

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Allensville Planing Mill Destroyed

Just after 2100 on December 29, 2020, a box alarm was dispatched for a reported building fire in the Allensville Planing Mill on East Main Street in western Miflin County. The building housed a wood truss manufacturing facility. Chief Fleming arrived, reported a

working fire and called a second alarm for a tanker task force. Units from five counties battled the blaze into the next morning. - Fire News photo by Pat Shoop


Steelton Duplex Fire Displaces 9

On September 20, 2020, a fire damaged a Steelton duplex displacing nine residents. Chief 88-2 (Coble) reported a two-story duplex with heavy fire in the rear. The fire was contained primarily to the rear of two units with some extension. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb

Summerdale Garage Fire

Just after midnight on November 29, 2020, Northeast Fire and Rescue arrived to find heavy fire engulfing a two-story detached garage. The garage, used as a workshop, contained paint, propane tanks, and other chemicals which exploded during the blaze. Firefighters from Squad 20 pulled three lines to extinguish the flame and prevent spread to the nearby home and shed. Also responding was Enola Fire Company, and mutual aid came from Hampden, Marysville and West Shore. - Fire News photo by Casey Saussaman

Pittsburgh Vacancy Fire

Just after 1330 on November 22, 2020, City of Pittsburgh fire crews were dispatched to a reported house fire in the 200 block of Venture Street. Arriving crews found heavy fire coming from the delta side of the vacant home with an exposure issue. A second alarm was requested as interior crews were able to knock down the bulk of the fire quickly. Crews remained on-scene for over an hour to perform overhaul. The fire was under investigation. - Fire News photo by First Due Photography

Fire News, January/February 2021, Page 7

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Westmoreland County Auto Shop Blaze On November 7, 2020, around 1600, Westmoreland County 911 received a call for a commercial structure fire in the 300 block of South Quarry Street in East Huntingdon Township in Westmoreland County. Westmoreland 911 dispatched Station 74 (East Huntingdon), Station 58 (Scottdale), Station 38 (Mt.Pleasant), Station 60 (Everson), Station 133 (Bullskin Twp.), Station 19 (Yukon), Station 178 (Connellsville Twp.) and mutual aid EMS for an auto body shop on fire. Assistant 38 confirmed a working fire in the roof area of the Alpha/Bravo side of the structure. Rescue/Pumper 38 started the fire attack. Chief 74 arrived and took command and requested a second alarm for tankers due to there being no water supply in the area. Tanker 76 (Kecksburg), Tanker

71 (Brandenville), Tanker 91 (Dry Ridge), Tanker 83 (Mutual), Tanker 181 (Dawson), Tanker 129 (New Centerville), Tanker 103 (Collinsburg), Tanker 110 (Chestnut Ridge), Tanker 1 (Madison), Tanker 35 (Trauger) and Tanker 109 (Calumet) responded. As first alarm companies contained the fire, command requested all tankers that were not on scene to cancel. - Fire News photo by Artie Osniak

Difficult Fire in West Deer Just before 0630 on December 26, 2020, West Deer Police responded to a burglar alarm activation at TNT Metals located along Frontier Drive in West Deer Township. When they arrived, they found smoke and flames coming from the large commercial structure and the fire department was dispatched. Crews were pushed back due to combustible metals that reacted to water, so a defensive attack was established by cutting large holes along the side of the building. Crews worked for several hours and several mutual aid companies were called to the scene before the fire was finally placed under control. The fire was under investigation. - Fire News photo by First Due Photography

Multi-County Response for Elizabethville Wildland Fire On November 10, 2020, a fire brought the response of Reliance Hose Company Engine 21 and Berrysburg and Community Fire Company Attack 26. Moments later, Wiconisco Fire Company Captain 23 advised Company 21 that he was close to the area and could see a large amount of smoke in the sky. Company 21 arrived minutes later, and Chief Dill requested multiple additional units as the fire was much larger than reported. Due to the terrain, responding crews were split to the east and west of a hollow running in a more north-south direction. Crews were seen scaling the side of the

smoldering and burning hillside as well as down in the lowland trying to stop the fire from further spreading towards a large woodland tract. Upon arrival, a drone was used to provide command with an aerial view of the scene for a size up and view of where the fire was spreading. Assisting units came from Dauphin, Schuylkill, Northumberland, Perry and Cumberland counties. - Fire News photo and drone operation by Seth Lasko

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Devil’s Night Fire in South Park On October 30, 2020 (Devil’s Night), crews were dispatched for a fire in South Park. Calls quickly came in to dispatch reporting flames coming from the roof, prompting an early second-alarm upgrade. No injuries were reported. - Fire News photo by Ken Lager

New Kensington Basement Fire On December 23, 2020, at 1934, Stations 56 1-5 (New Kensington), 95-2 (Arnold) and 69 (Lower Burrell) responded to 5th Street in New Kensington for a basement fire. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

Mayday at Avalon House Fire On December 27, 2020, around 0515, Avalon firefighters responded to the 200 block of Marie Avenue in Avalon Borough for a house fire. Firefighters arrived to heavy fire on the second floor. Crews quickly made entry and began attacking the fire on the second floor when a Mayday was called. The RIT quickly went to work and the firefighter made it out of the home uninjured. Crews continued to battle the fire in frigid temperatures for several hours. The fire was under investigation. - Fire News photo by First Due Photography

Lower Allen Twp. Blaze On December 20, 2020, at 0736, Box 12-06, alerted Engine companies 12, 22 and 30, Truck 12, and Rescue 30 for a fire on Gettysburg Road in Lower Allen Township. Chief 12 reported a well involved house fire. Lower Allen Squad 12 laid a supply in from St John’s Church to Hampden Township Engine 2-30, where lines were stretched on a well involved garage that was extending to the attached dwelling. Command 12 requested the first-alarm assignment bringing Engine companies 27 and 29, Truck 29, Rescues 30 and 14, RIT 33, and Air 13 to the scene. PP&L was requested on a rush due to live power lines down. Shiremanstown Engine 22 secured a secondary hydrant from the west and supplied lines for attack. Three lines were stretched and operated in the interior before command evacuated the dwelling due to heavy fire conditions in the attic. After the visible fire was knocked down from the exterior, companies resumed interior operations chasing hot spots and flare ups. The fire started to darken down after about 30 minutes with companies remaining on scene performing extensive overhaul. All occupants were out of the house upon arrival and the house suffered heavy damage. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb


Fire News, January/February 2021, Page 11

Saves, Jumper, Collapse in Penn Township Fire On December 15, 2020, at 0950, Box 2-08 sent Company 2 (Duncannon) and Tanker 6 (Marysville) to State Road in Penn Township, just south of the Borough of Duncannon, for a building fire. Squad 2, Truck 2 and Chief 2 were informed by the Sheriff’s Department of an entrapment and a well involved structure. Chief 2 requested a second alarm bringing in mutual aid from Cumberland and Dauphin counties to a two-story mixed occupancy, with heavy fire showing from the first and second floors. Two lines were stretched on a service garage with apartments above. Two Perry County Sherriff’s deputies assisted a family and pets to escape from a second-floor apartment. Another occupant jumped from the second floor and suffered burns and critical injuries; Life Lion transported that patient. As conditions deteriorated, the building was evacuated and companies used handlines and master streams from Duncannon Truck 2 and Progress Truck 32 to knock down the fire in about 25 minutes with extensive overhaul required. Parts of the building collapsed. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb

Good Stop in Steelton Boro On December 18, 2020, at 1656, Box 501 toned for a report of a house fire on South Harrisburg Street in Steelton Borough. Units on the initial box were Company 50, Engine 91-2, Wagon 4, Tower 1, Rescues 40, 59 and 88, and Air 30. Steelton Engine 50 advised of a basement and back door on fire with an occupant possibly still inside. Based upon the additional info, Chief Brubacher, riding on Engine 50, requested the first alarm. Engine 55 and Rescues 91 and 69 made up the extra companies. Engine 50 arrived within four minutes and reported a single-story front and two-story rear with heavy smoke showing. Chief Vance assumed incident command. Engine 50 secured a hydrant and stretched a line to the front door for an interior attack and search. Tower 1 assisted with search and ventilation. A second line was stretched to the first floor. All searches were negative. The bulk of the fire was knocked down in about 10 minutes and contained to the C side of the basement. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb

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Braddock Commercial 3-Alarmer Smoke was reporting coming from all four sides of a vacant commercial structure on Library Street in Braddock. Crews upgraded the fire to a third alarm. - Fire News photo by Ken Lager

Good Stop at Row Home Fire On November 22, 2020, Junction Truck 15 arrived to find a working fire in a second-floor bedroom in Juniata Terrace. An aggressive interior attack prevented the spread of fire down the row and was contained to the one unit. - Fire News photo by Pat Shoop

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9 Displaced in Lancaster Township Fire Nine residents were displaced after an apartment building fire in the Kensington Club Apartments in Lancaster Township along Wabank Road on November 20, 2020. Lancaster Township and a mutual aid engine from Blue Rock responded. Firefighters encountered heavy fire conditions in a kitchen nook. The flames began to consume the contents of the adjoining dining room and living room when firefighters entered.Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the flames, but heavy smoke had charged a second-floor apartment above the burning apartment. Fire-retardant drywall kept the fire from extending. The fire was contained to the apartment of origin. - Fire News photo by Capt. Greg Leaman, Lancaster Township FD

Wilmington Truck and Building Fire On January 15, 2021, crews were dispatched to a truck and building fire on Maple Terrace in the City of Washington. Firefighters quickly arrived to find a well involved box truck with heavy fire showing from the front of a four-unit row home. Firefighters quickly were able to get the bulk of the fire knocked down and the fire was placed under control in about 30 minutes. The fire began in the back of a pest control truck parked in front of the structure and quickly spread, being fed by propane tanks in the back of the truck. The cause of the fire was under investigation. - Fire News photo by First Due Photography

Lewistown Fire On November 22, 2020, Lewistown Borough crews arrived to find a working fire in an apartment building. Crews discovered clothes burning near a heater. - Fire News photo by Pat Shoop

Police Rescue at Plum Fire At 1412 on January 07, 2021, Stations 235 (Logan’s Ferry Heights), 216 (Oakmont), 234 (Renton), 233 (Unity), 194 (Monroeville 4), 223 (Penn Hills), 54 (Lower Burrell), 115 (Upper Burrell), and 56-2 (New Kensington) responded to Frontenac Road in Plum for a residential structure fire with entrapment. One occupant was rescued by police as the first-due unit arrived. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

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Good Stop in Shaler Commercial Fire Late on December 13, 2020, a call was dispatched for fire on the first floor of a commercial structure on Babcock Boulevard in Shaler, north of Pittsburgh. Within two minutes, reports of fire through the roof were coming over the radio. Crews overcame water supply issues and difficult access to bring the fire under control. - Fire News photo by Ken Lager

1 Injured in Bristol Boro Fire

Firefighters from Falls, Bensalem and Bristol Township were called to the 500 block of Bath Street in Bristol Borough for a report of a three-story house on fire. Upon arrival, crews had fire showing from the top floor. One woman was rescued and transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Fire personnel were on scene for most of the night, putting out hot spots and assisting the Fire Marshal. - Fire News photo by Alex Lloyd Gross


Brush-Shed Fire in Allegheny Twp.

At 1455 on November 03, 2020, Stations 101 (Markle), 99 (Allegheny Twp.), 69 and 54 (Lower Burrell), 102 (Washington Twp.), 53 (Hyde Park), and115 (Upper Burrell), 51 (Vandergrift) responded to White Cloud Road in Allegheny Township for a brush and shed fire, which slightly damaged a trailer home. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

Good Save in Vandergrift

On January 13, 2021, at 1443, Stations 50 and 51 (Vandergrift), 200 (Parks Twp.), 53-1 and 2 (West Leechburg/Hyde Park), 49 (Oklahoma), 69 and 54 (Lower Burrell), 102 (Washington Twp.) responded to a fire which broke out in a house in Vandergrift, trapping a 12-year-old boy in an attic bedroom. Due to a very quick response and an aggressive attack, crews made their way to the attic, with fire on the floor below them, to rescue the boy, who was immediately LifeFlighted to a nearby hospital; his mother, who sustained burns trying to rescue him, was transported by ambulance. One cat was also rescued, but two cats perished. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

Nice Stops on 2 Fires: Plum Borough House Fire Valley View and Tremont As crews were operating and some being released from another fire in Tremont on November 8, 2020, another call came in for a residential structure fire in Valley View. Engine 14-10 and Chief 14 arrived with Chief 14 taking up command. On the box were units 13-10, 1315, 13-50, 13-70, 14-10, 1430, 14-70, 66-10, 04-19, 67-50, 10-10, 10-30, 58-15, Rescue 27, Ladder 20 and Ladder 58-25 along with EMS. The box was upgraded to a working fire after Ambulance 1301 arrived and confirmed the fire. Upon arrival heavy smoke was pushing from the Bravo/Charlie corner. Crews made entry and put a quick knock on the fire. - Fire News photo by Seth Lasko

On November 28, 2020, just after 1400, firefighters were dispatched to a report of smoke coming from a home located along the 400 block of Crestview Drive in Plum Borough. Crews found a fire in the kitchen, which was quickly knocked down. Crews remained on scene for overhaul and ventilation. No injuries were reported and no one was home at the time. - Fire News photo by First Due Photography


Fire News, January/February 2021, Page 17

Cover Story

Critical Condition in Perry County

On December 15, 2020, Crews battled a two-alarm commercial building fire in Perry County with entrapment. One woman was

transported via Life Lion in critical condition. - Fire News photo by Casey Saussaman

Page 18, Fire News, January/February 2021

Kicking Off the New Year in Lower Paxton


Townhouse Fire in Wormleysburg January 12, 2021, at 2254, Cumberland County Box 2-13-11 sent Engine companies 13, 17, 20 and 30, Squads 8 and 20, Trucks 12 and 2, Rescues 14 and 69, and Air 13 to the 500 block of Kevin Court in Wormleysburg for a structure fire. Chief 131 arrived to a two-story, middle-of-the-row town home with heavy fire involving both floors. The bulk of the fire was knocked down in about 15 minutes. No fire extension was reported on the exposures. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb

On January 1, 2021, at 0534, Lower Paxton Township Box 33-5 sent Company 33 (Colonial Park) to Clarendon Street for a report of a transformer explosion. A minute later, County Fire took another call reporting a vehicle fire and added Linglestown Tanker 35 to the incident. Police reported a fully involved vehicle impinging on a house. The box was filled out by Engines 34, 35 and 32, Truck 35, and Rescue 40. Engine 34 stretched on a well involved vehicle that had extended to the garage area of a single-story, single-family dwelling. Several lines were stretched knocking the bulk of fire down in about 10 minutes and limiting further extension. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb

McKees Rocks House Fire

Collapse at Commercial Fire in Wheatfield Around 1530 on December 18, 2020, crews were dispatched to a house fire in the area of Island Avenue and Churchill Street in McKees Rocks Borough. Several units notified dispatch there was smoke showing in that area. Firefighters arrived to find a working house fire located along Camp Avenue and went to work. Crews worked for just under an hour before the fire was placed under control. The home was vacant at the time and undergoing renovations when the fire broke out. No one was injured and the cause is under investigation. - Fire News photo by First Due Photography

Harrisburg Vehicle Fire

On December 31, 2020, at 0526, Wheatfield Township Box 2-04 sent Engines 2, 9 and 8, Rescue 2, Tankers 2, 9 and 8, and Trucks 2 and 10 to Noakers Auto Body on New Bloomfield Road for a building fire. Chief 2-1 and Tanker 2 arrived to a commercial building with fire showing in the rear. A second-alarm assignment brought Engines 6 and 10, Squad 20 (RIT), Tanker 6, and Air 30. An additional three tankers were also requested above the second alarm. Engine 12 set up a fill site at a nearby industrial park. An attack line was stretched from Tanker 2. Trucks 2, 10 and 32 opened up the roof and side A. While companies were operating, a ceiling failure required members to be evacuated. The bulk of the fire was knocked down in 20 minutes and companies worked for about three hours before clearing the scene. Employees of the business removed several vehicles and equipment from the building limiting fire damage primarily to the structure. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb

At 1552 on October 25, 2020, shortly before shift change, Harrisburg City Station 2 radioed County Communications reporting a building fire at 15th and Hoerner Streets. The location was to the rear of Station 2. Box 1-2 toned sending Squad 8, Wagon 4, Trucks 2 and 32, and Chief Wise to the location. Chief Wise held the box to Squad 8, Wagon 4, and Tower 1, for a small bus fire and the side of a tractor trailer going. Two lines were operated to extinguish the fire. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb


Fire News, January/February 2021, Page 19

Jackson Twp. Garage Fire The Fisherville Fire Company responded to a garage fire in Jackson Township on November 5, 2020. Engine 216 responded and arrived on scene with Captain 216 to a fully involved detached garage behind a residence and beginning to extend. As additional crews arrived, four handlines were placed into service from Engine 216 and utilized by crew from companies 216, 21 and 29. With an aggressive attack the fire crews were able to hold back the fire from severely damaging the house. - Fire News photo by Seth Lasko

28+ Displaced in Canonsburg Firefighters responded to a structure fire in September in Canonsburg. The fast-moving blaze started from a careless smoking incident. Fire got into open spaces with no fire stops. Twenty-eight-plus residents were displaced, 18 units were damaged or destroyed, as 10 fire departments responded with four companies on standby. - Fire News photo by Tim Solobay

1 Dead, 1 Rescued in Harrisburg Fire On January 17, 2021, at approximately 1650, crews were dispatched for a fire with reported entrapment on the second floor of a North 15th Street residence in Harrisburg City. An injured person was removed from second floor balcony via a Stokes basket. A deceased person was located on the first floor. - Fire News photo by Jillian Stewart

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Gas Instead of Brake Hits Car, Fence and Structure One senior driver was shaken up when she hit the gas instead of the brake, slammed through a fence and into a parked car. That parked car was then pushed against a building, which did not sustain serious structural damage. Fire crews held the job on Krewstown Road in Philadelphia to the engine and medic units. The senior was transported with minor injuries. - Fire News photo by Alex Lloyd Gross

Bensalem Truck vs. Car MVA No life-threatening injuries were reported when a Fed-Ex truck slammed into a guard rail, and came down on top of a car. This wreck in Bensalem happened on I-95 just north of Woodhaven Road. Cornwells Fire Company went in service with tools to free the driver who was briefly trapped. - Fire News photo by Alex Lloyd Gross

Fatality at Croydon MVA Fire crews from Croydon worked to free a driver after his out-ofcontrol car struck a pole. The driver was briefly trapped, and was pronounced dead from his injuries. Officers from the Bristol Township Fire Police were called to close busy Route 13 intermittently, while police investigated. - Fire News photo by Alex Lloyd Gross

Explosion at Arconic Mill Products in Manheim Twp. One person was taken to a hospital after an explosion involving molten metal at Arconic Mill Products on Manheim Pike in Manheim Township on December 19, 2020. The explosion happened shortly before 1345. Manheim Township firefighters evacuated the building and searched the building for any extension. Arconic Mill Products manufactures “a range of highly-differentiated aluminum sheet, plate and extruded products for aerospace, automotive, commercial transportation, brazing and industrial markets,� according to its website. The explosion happened in one of the kilns. The cause of the explosion had yet to be determined. - Fire News photo by Captain Greg Leaman, Lancaster Twp. FD

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Gratz MVA

On November 16, 2020, Gratz Fire Company 27 responded for an MVA at the “square” in Gratz. Rescue 27, Fire Police 27 and EMS from Medic 6, and Pennsylvania State Police assisted on scene. Crews arrived to find an SUV versus tractor trailer. - Fire News photo by Seth Lasko

New Kensington MVA

At 1431 on November 11, 2020, Station 56 - 2, 4 and 5 (New Kensington) responded to Route 366 in New Kensington for a single-vehicle MVA. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

New Year’s Day DUI in Lancaster Township

The 900 block of Columbia Avenue was closed on New Year’s Day when a small SUV struck a utility pole. The impact sheared the pole at its base causing a transformer on the pole to fall to the roadway. Manheim Township Police placed the driver of the car into their custody after a field sobriety test. - Fire News photo by Captain Greg Leaman; Lancaster Township FD


Arnold 2-Car

On December 27, 2020, at 1334, Stations 95 1 and 2 (Arnold) responded to Freeport Road at Drey Street in Arnold for a twovehicle MVA. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

Bensalem into the Woods …the Hard Way

Firefighters from Bensalem were dispatched to a single-car MVA on Bristol Pike near Street Road in Bensalem. They arrived to find a single vehicle had driven through a chain link fence and into some trees. A rescue company was called for a roof removal. The rescue took about 15 minutes and one patient was transported by medics to a local hospital. - Fire News photo by Alex Lloyd Gross

Car Into House in Lancaster Township

An early morning wake up call for Lancaster Township Fire Department volunteers who were dispatched at 0252 for a reported vehicle into a house on Rosedale Avenue in the village of Bausman on December 31, 2020. The driver disappeared before police and first responders arrived. The car appeared to have hit the residence but was stopped by a guide wire from a new replacement utility pole that the car narrowly missed. The guide wire became entangled in the engine compartment of the vehicle stopping the forward progression of car from penetrating the house. - Fire News photo by Captain Greg Leaman; Lancaster Township FD


Fire News, January/February 2021, Page 23


Bethel Park Trains

The Bethel Park Fire Department had the opportunity to train using some demo tools from 1st Out Specialty Vehicles and Equipment and a door prop from 1-800- BOARDUP. Crews worked

on those stations through a thunderstorm and a call for assistance in their industrial park. Lots of hard work by all the crews. - Fire News photo by Ken Lager

Page 24, Fire News, January/February 2021


Up Close and Personal Firefighter Christopher Osniak of the Scottdale Fire Department deploying an additional attack line at a commercial structure fire on November 7, 2020. - Fire News photo by Artie Osniak

Philadelphia CAT Units The Philadelphia Fire Department is now equipped to handle pet emergencies, with their CAT (Community Action Teams) Units. These trucks roll to residential fires where an animal might be missing or displaced. The specially trained firemen will help find the animal, and reunite it with the owners. Other duties of the CAT team are helping human fire victims with other services. There are three CAT units in the city and they are manned 24/7. - Fire News photo by Alex Lloyd Gross

Santa in Upper Arnold On December 15 and 16, 2020, Station 95-2 (Arnold) toured Upper Arnold with Santa. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto


Fire News, January/February 2021, Page 25

Last of Their Kind Two of the remaining Grumman Aerialcats in the Pittsburgh area got together for a photoshoot recently. Thanks to Pleasant Hills and West Mifflin fire departments for putting this together. - Fire News photo by Ken Lager

Christmas Ride with Santa Station 216 (Oakmont) drove Santa around town on November 21, 2020. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

New Rescue for Eastern Salisbury Recently, members of the Eastern Salisbury Fire Company took delivery of a new rescue truck. Members can be seen pushing the new Rescue 20-41 into quarters. - Fire News photo by Rich Rolen

Page 26, Fire News, January/February 2021


Lancaster County Firemen’s Association Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Lancaster County Firemen’s Association celebrated its 100th anniversary on June 21, 2020. The event was postponed several times from June 6 on the hopes the restriction on large public gatherings would be lifted. The association was organized in Manheim on June 17, 1921, with 11 fire companies. The annual convention book, which showcases all Lancaster

County fire departments was still produced, but took until December 10, 2020 to be printed. After the final design of the book was completed, LCFA decided to merge the convention book with the PA Fireman magazine that is printed and mailed monthly. The 16-month journey of the 2021 convention book began shortly after the 99th convention in June of 2019. Book designer LCFA Convention Chairman and Lancaster Township Fire Department Captain Greg Leaman chronicles the 100-year history of the association in the book. The book contains 14 historial pages covering the origin of LCFA, Manheim Fire, LCFA Fire School, Fire Expo, Fire Safety Trailer and a list of the 99 past convention hosts. All 52 LODDs are chronicled in the book. All Lancaster County fire companies are featured with their histories, an apparatus photo and company

Keeping the Flame

Rescue Hose Co. of Greencastle Museum. - Fire News photo by Shane Shifflett

patch. The book totals 192 pages Half of the advertisement revenue is given to the convention host, Manheim Fire Company. The ad solicitation company retains the other half. The 52 LODD names are often published but no information of how they died in the of line duty can be found. Leaman researched each of the deaths using newspaper articles dating back to 1870. All line of duty deaths are now memorialized in the convention book for future reference. The 192-page perfect-bound book was printed at Lancaster County Firemen’s Association’s print shop. A book of this proportion is made possible only by the generous cooperation of the advertisers, who each year show their appreciation of the work of the volunteer firemen of Lancaster

County, by subscribing to space of this publication. On sober reflection, it may be apparent that returns in actual money value to the advertiser, do not warrant the investment. Yet the advertiser realizes that the volunteer firemen are always ready to aid them and their community at the crucial moment, and this is one way to show their appreciation. But let the firemen and their friends in turn be appreciative. Reciprocate wherever possible. There is not a single firm or business represented in this book that is not worthy of your patronage. Due to a shift in fire department culture and lack of interest, this book is sadly the last convention book that will be produced. - Fire News photo by Captain Greg Leaman, Lancaster Twp. FD

Shop with the Heroes

The following organizations participated in the Shop with the Heroes event at the Harrison Township Walmart: Harvest Baptist Church, Stations 169 (Harrison Hills), 168 (Hilltop Hose), 167 (Citizens Hose), 281 (Eureka), 102 (Washington Twp.), 69 (Lower Burrell), 56-3 (New Kensington), Harrison Twp. Police Department, Penn Hills Police Department, U.S. Army, U.S. Marines - Fire News photo by Steve Matto


Fire News, January/February 2021, Page 27

New Chief Elected in Lancaster Twp. New fire chief battled 10 years of paperwork, pandemic and cancer to build new fire station in 2021. Steve Roy was elected by the membership of the Lancaster Township Fire Department as the third fire chief of Lancaster Township Fire Department on December 1, 2020, at their monthly business meeting. After 10 years of relentless pursuit to build a consolidated fire station, Roy announced on October 13, 2020, funding was approved and construction of the new fire station will begin in March 2021 with completion by year’s end. The new station construction will be funded in part by a loan from the Community Facilities Loan & Grant Program for Pennsylvania rural communities. A federal agency, the USDA Rural Development’s mission is to improve the quality of life in rural America through financing various projects serving populations under 20,000. The balance of funding will come from a capital building savings/investment fund provided by a generous donation by Lancaster Township resident Gil Long, capital fund drive resident solicitation and the sale of the two current fire stations. The new station will combine the two

Lancaster Township Fire Department’s 1945era fire stations, one in the Village of Bausman and the second in Hamilton Park next to the Lancaster Township office building. Both properties were purchased by the Lancaster Township Board of Supervisors. The new station will be built along Millersville Pike at the intersection of Charles Road and Millersville Pike next to the Lancaster Township Community Park. Lancaster Township Fire Department mailed their first capital donation request in November. The mailing was delayed due to the global pandemic, business lock downs and the downturn in the economy. Chief Roy’s pursuit came with many challenges and changes, both professional and personal. Roy’s employer, Select Security, was purchased by Brinks Home Security on December 16. Roy is the Director of Acquisition Integration and Technology Systems. Roy was diagnosed with cancer in 2020. Caught at an early stage, immediate treatment provided a positive improvement. Treatment in January will force him into isolation for six weeks as he recovers. He will miss the first month and a half as the newly elected chief of Lancaster Township Fire Department. Roy plans to attend meetings and communicate via Zoom conference calls during his sixweek isolation period. A computer has been

installed in the fire station meeting room to broadcast the Zoom conference calls. Roy announced his new officer corp during a Zoom meeting of the monthly Lancaster Township Fire Department business meeting. Fire Chief: Steve Roy; Deputy Chief: Ron Comfort, Jr.; First Assistant Chief/Officer Development: Glenn Usdin; Second Assistant Chief/Training: Chad Slover; Third Assistant Chief/Covering Chiefs & Mentor: Mike Pickard; Captain/Fleet/ Chauffeurs: Mike Adams; Captain Operations/Training: Tom Royer; Captain Administrative Services: Greg Leaman; Truck Co Lieutenant /Mentor: Chris Mosso; and Engine Co Lieutenant: Mel Reyes. Support Services: Engineer Truck: Gene Gallagher; Engineer Engine 3: Tyler Weiler; Engineer Rescue: Mark Clare; Engineer Support Vehicle/Equipment: Andrew Foster; FF/Medical Officer: Nate Cramer; Air Officer: Mel Reyes; Fire Prevention Officer: Jen Miller Fire Police: Fire Police Chief Emeritus: Ron Comfort, Sr.; Fire Police Captain: Rod Warner, Jr.; Fire Police Lieutenant: Lori Jones; Fire Police Lieutenant 2; John Jones; Fire Police Sergeant 1: Jason Beiler; and Fire Police Sergeant 2: Carl Jones. - Fire News photo by Captain Greg Leaman, Lancaster Twp FD

Page 28, Fire News, January/February 2021



Conestoga’s Jere F. Goretzke, Jr.

With very sad hearts, Conestoga Fire Company shared the news of the passing of one of their members, Lieutenant Jere Goretzke, Jr., on October 16, 2020. Jere had been in the fire service for many years. He was a member of the New Danville Fire Company before joining Conestoga. Jere was an integral part of the company whether he was on a truck for a call, teaching kids about fire safety (which was probably his favorite job) or helping out at any of the fundraisers. A celebration of life service was held at the Conestoga Fire Company on November 8, 2020 with Pastor Mike Sigman officiating. Visitation was held from 1400 to 1600. Lancaster Township Truck 66 and Willow Street Truck formed an arch in front of the Conestoga fire station. An over-sized American flag was suspended between the buckets. Jere F. Goretzke, Jr., 53, lost his battle with cancer, after 11 years, having survived brain surgery and five CyberKnife procedures.

Jere was the chairperson of the fund drive, and taught fire prevention to pre-school and elementary students. He enjoyed being a first responder in the fire service since he was 16 and was a member of West End Ambulance Association. - Fire News photo by Captain Greg Leaman, Lancaster Twp. FD

Dauntless’ Mike Lieb

Mike “Lumpy” Lieb was laid to rest on January 9, 2021. Mike was a 49-year member of the Dauntless Fire Company Ebensburg, holding many positions over the years from Captain to Fire Chief. He was the current Fire Police Captain. Mike was also known

state wide for his collection of antique fire apparatus. He currently owned 2 ALF pumpers and an ALF tiller ladder truck. Mike was one of the most truly friendly men you could ever find. May he rest in peace. - Fire News photo by Pat Shoop


Fire News, January/February 2021, Page 29

It’sNew toTHEM Sponsored by Command Apparatus

BETHPAGE ENGINE 905 "Pride of Plainedge" 1998 Seagrave 1500 GPM single stage pump , 500 Gallon Water Tank , 40 Gallon Foam Tank. Served the residents of Bethpage from 1998- 2019 . The rig now belongs to the Harwood Fire Company located in Hazel Township Pennsylvania.

2001 EMERGENCY ONE Former West Niles Fire Company purchased by Damascus Arkansas 2001 Emergency One 1250 gpm with 1000 gallon tank.

2000 KME 95' AERIAL TOWER 2000 KME 95' aerial tower from East Norwich NY sold to Waterbury VT.




We are looking forward to our new monthly feature

Sold by Command Apparatus

“It’s New to THEM”

AFTER Sold by Command Apparatus

To have your department’s apparatus featured here please call Barbara Connolly

631-776-1853 barbara@firenews.com

Page 30, Fire News, January/February 2021


SVI TRUCKS V-P OF SALES, BOB SORENSEN, ANNOUNCES JANUARY RETIREMENT; PROMOTES JOEL KONECKY TO V-P; ADDS ADAMS AS NEW WESTERN SALES MANAGER SVI Trucks is officially announcing the retirement of Bob Sorensen, the company’s Vice-President of Sales. After 35 years with SVI Trucks, one of the nation’s leading custom fire apparatus manufacturers, Sorensen will retire on January 27, 2021. Joel Konecky, currently SVI’s Western Regional Sales Manager, will be promoted to VP of Sales, and in anticipation of his move, SVI Trucks has hired Jay Adams to fulfill western sales.

ence but the exact same relationships to the table. And not only that, Ron Weinmeister will continue to oversee all truck sales and operations, so I fully believe the team is ready to take SVI to the next level.”



On January 27, Sorensen will not only celebrate his retirement, but his 35th anniversary with the company. Sorensen began working at SVI Trucks drawing rescue trucks, which became instrumental in custom truck sales. Eventually, Sorensen transitioned into a sales manager role, holding the VP Sales title for 25 years. In 2003, Sorensen became a joint owner of Super Vacuum Manufacturing, the parent company of SVI Trucks and the family owned and operated business. Sorensen will retain ownership duties in retirement. “I will be forever grateful to Erv Weinmeister for providing me with the opportunity to work here,” Sorensen said. “My family and I have been blessed to watch SVI Trucks grow, both in business and our dealer network. When I transitioned into sales, we were producing roughly 10 trucks a year, and we probably only had 10 dealers then. Now, we build 40 to 50 trucks a year, and we have 35 dealers. This growth is truly a testament to not only our apparatus line but to the many great relationships built over the last several decades. In the end, I feel confident knowing I will pass the torch onto Joel, who not only brings leadership and experi-

Joel Konecky joined SVI Trucks in April 2020, bringing 30 years of volunteer firefighting experience and 17 years of fire truck sales from Smeal Fire Apparatus and Spartan Motors to his original western regional role and now to the VP Sales role. Konecky also has a firm grasp on the internal workings of engineering, production, purchasing and overall, satisfied customers. “When we hired Joel, we were excited because he brought a wealth of knowledge to SVI Trucks that is hard to match. Not only has he helped countless departments navigate the truck building process, but his drive to develop internal processes also struck a chord with us,” Sorensen said. Konecky will make the full transition to the VP Sales role on January 27. Konecky can be reached via e-mail at joelk@svitrucks.com or via cell phone at 402-443-9659.

Meanwhile, in sales, Adams has represented multiple brands, including Ferrara and Seagrave, throughout the southeast. “I’m eager to work with Joel to expand the many great relationships he has in the western region,” Adams said. “But more than anything, I’m excited to represent the SVI Trucks brand. I’ve been a fan of this company for 20 years before I ever thought about working here. Not only is SVI the best truck manufacturer in the industry, but the company is family owned, and they care a lot about their employees and customers.” Adams prides himself in his Lean Six Sigma Black Belt designation, championing for lean, high-quality manufacturing standards wherever he works. “Any process in a factory can be defined, measured, analyzed, implemented and controlled to create a standard that meets and exceeds the needs of the mission-critical industries we serve, and it’s also important to take the waste of material, time, engineering and effort to deliver on the timelines and budgets of our customers.” Adams also sat on the Scott Safety advisory council, serving as the voice of the customer. “At SVI Trucks, I hope to continue to be the voice of my customers,” Adams said. Adams can be reached at jaya@svitrucks.com or via cell phone at 970-617-0984.


In anticipation for Sorensen’s retirement and Konecky’s promotion, SVI Trucks hired Jay Adams, who brings 25 years of firefighting experience and 12 years of fire apparatus sales to his new western sales role. A former firefighter with the Charlotte Fire Department with a Bachelor’s in Fire Science, Adams retired from the department in July of 2019 as acting Battalion Chief / Captain with expertise in extrication, technical rescue and live burn training.

To meet SVI Trucks full sales team, visit svitrucks.com/our-sales-team.


Fire News, January/February 2021, Page 31

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