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Serving Fire, Rescue & EMS Heroes Since 1973 OCTOBER 2019

Story on page 20. -Fire News photo by First Due Photography

Buchanan Valley FD Mourns the LODD of AC Walter Wagaman See Page 25.

Fire News, October 2019, Page 3

In this issue... Bridgeville Kitchen Fire Stopped Crews from Bridgeville and neighboring companies responded to a kitchen fire with extension. See story on page 6

74 Displaced by Pittsburgh 5 Alarm On August 17, 2019, Pittsburgh firefighters were dispatched to the 2000 block of De Raud Street for a building fire. See story on page 8

3 FFs Injured in North Braddock Fire On July 4, 2019, crews were dispatched to the 1500 block of Ridge Avenue in North Braddock for a house fire. See story on page 11

Total Loss of Oklahoma Bor. Historical Hotel Multiple stations battled a fire at the over-100-year-old Belvedere Hotel in Oklahoma Borough. See story on page 12

A Service for Pennsylvania Firefighters and EMS Providers Founded 1973


Fast Stop in Allentown Allentown firefighters were dispatched on August 22, 2019, for a commercial fire on Tilghman Street. See story on page 15

Tech Rope Rescue in Lewistown On July 2, 2019, Fame EMS and Lewistown Fire Department responded for a technical rescue assignment. See story on page 18

PLUS: Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 4 Up Close & Personal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 21 Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 22

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Page 4, Fire News, October 2019

From the Editor’s Desk Dennis Whittam, Editor

Revitalize Your Fire Prevention Program As a first responder, you play an integral part in the safety of your community. With the advent of social media, many citizens let you know how they feel about you with mostly positive comments and words of thanks for the jobs that you do. One of the things that all firefighters must not lose sight of is the appreciation that your community has for you. How do you give back to your community? With October upon us, it is easy to give back to the people you protect by giving them a well organized and exciting Fire Prevention Program during National Fire Prevention Week, which is observed in the United States and Canada during October. The NFPA has a great website that all of us should visit to help you organize your Fire Prevention Program. Does your department’s program have a specific goal in mind? Are you highlighting the points that can save lives? When fire is discovered in a home, every second counts when all of us have to get out of our home. Seconds can mean the difference between the residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy. Your program should reinforce why

everyone needs to have an escape plan. When you meet with your community, it is imperative that you reinforce what to do when a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector sounds or a fire occurs in the home. Reinforce how much time you have to get out. Make sure everyone who attends your fire prevention program knows who to call and what to say to the operator or dispatcher. Every year, families flock to their local firehouse to observe the many displays and programs about fire safety. I encourage departments that have a fire prevention program to spend a few minutes and write down what your goals and objectives are. One of the most important things you can teach families, is what to do when they exit a house that is on fire. Occupants must remember to close the door to a room that is on fire. This single action can save lives by containing a fire. Every year I remind myself of the fires I have responded to at my local colleges. Always keep in mind the Boland Hall fire that was in a freshman residence at Seton Hall University on January 19, 2000. Three students died and many more were injured in that blaze

which was one of the deadliest college fires in recent US history. I live near a university and have responded to several fires in the dorms that were caused by carelessness. Bring your Fire Prevention Program to your schools, colleges and senior centers. I hope you are ready to take on one of the single most important things we can do as first responders — educating your community about fire safety. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions that can save lives. Good luck with your 2019 Fire Prevention Program! …Dennis

Page 6, Fire News, October 2019

Econo Lodge Fire in West Hanover Twp. On July 4, 2019, in West Hanover Township, Company 36 and Truck 34 were dispatched to the Econo Lodge on Linglestown Road for an automatic fire alarm. The alarm company reported a possible fire in the building and reports of smoke which prompted the box be upgraded while companies were en route. Engines 35, 39, Rescue 36-1, Tankers 47, 329 and Truck 35 filled out the box. Truck 34 arrived to light smoke showing from the roof line near the lobby. The first alarm was requested and Rescue 33 was special called for manpower, as temperatures neared the 90-degree mark. Companies had fire running the walls on the first floor to the attic area around the lobby. Multiple lines were stretched and quickly knocked down the fire which was contained to the area of origin. All occupants were safely evacuated. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb

Townhouse Fire in Fairview Twp. On August 5, 2019, at 1949, units from Companies 68 and 69; and Cumberland County 10, 12, 13 and 24 were dispatched to the 300 block of Weatherstone Drive for a structure fire with possible entrapment. Engine 68-1 reported a working fire while pulling out of quarters as the fire building was directly to the south of their station. Engine 68-1 arrived at a row of four townhouses with heavy fire and smoke from side C. Fire involved the second-floor rear with extension into the attic and roof. Command 68 requested a second alarm bringing additional units to the scene for manpower. Two lines were operated and the fire was contained to the fire building with no extension and placed under control in about 30 minutes. Two occupants were displaced. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb

Bridgeville Kitchen Fire Stopped On August 23, 2019, crews from Bridgeville and neighboring companies responded to a kitchen fire with extension into a structure on Union Street. Crews brought the fire under control quickly and no injuries were reported. - Fire News photo by Ken Lager

Franklin County Barn Fire Franklin County Special Unit 44, along with CFD and other fire agencies, operated on a working barn fire recently. - Fire News photo by Shane Shifflett

Fire News, October 2019, Page 7

Gratz Handles Chicken Coop Blaze On August 1, 2019, the Gratz Fire Company was called out for a large chicken coop fire. Chief 27 confirmed heavy smoke showing and asked for the box to be upgraded. On scene, he found a heavily involved empty 100- x 600-foot long two-story chicken coop with heavy fire out both east and west ends. It had been undergoing cleaning in preparation for the arrival of a new batch of chickens. - Fire News photo by Seth Lasko

1 Fatality, 9 Homes Damaged in Shamokin Fire Crews worked a three-alarm fire on North Franklin Street in Shamokin on July 30, 2019. The blaze claimed the life of a 23year-old woman who was an occupant in one of nine homes damaged or destroyed. Her pet dog also perished in the fire. Firefighters from at least nine stations responded. - Fire News photo by Harry Deitz

Arnold Car Fire Arnold Stations 1 and 2 responded to vehicle fire on September 4, 2019. No injuries were reported. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

Page 8, Fire News, October 2019

74 Displaced by Pittsburgh 5 Alarm Around 1400 on August 17, 2019, Pittsburgh firefighters were dispatched to the 2000 block of De Raud Street for a building fire. Seconds after dispatch, Fire Boat 1 reported smoke showing from that area. Crews arrived to find a working fire in a multiunit apartment building and made entry. Crews had a hard time locating the fire, so a second alarm was requested. Once firefighters were able to locate the fire, it had already extended into the walls and ceiling and conditions rapidly deteriorated and a third alarm was requested. As fire conditions continued to intensify and began blowing through the roof, all firefighters were forced to evacuate the building and a fourth alarm was called. Once smoke began showing from the exposure apartment building, a fifth alarm was added. Crews worked hard and had to evacuate a second time before the fire was finally brought under control at 1735. Seventy-four residents living in 48 apartments were displaced. None of the residents were injured, but two firefighters were treated for minor injuries. Fire investigators have determined the fire was caused by a six-year-old playing with matches. No charges were pending. - Fire News photo by First Due Photography

4 RVs Destroyed in Manor Twp. Blaze On July 1, 2019, at 1753, Blue Rock Fire Rescue was dispatched to Millersville Manor Self Storage on Blue Rock Road in Manor Township for a fire at an RV storage parking area. Chief 90 requested an upgraded response, bringing additional resources and personnel to the fire. A tanker shuttle operation was also established. Tankers included; Marietta Tanker 10, New Danville Tanker 55, West Hempfield Tanker 76 and Blue Rock Fire Rescue 903. Additional equipment came from Lancaster Township Engine 66-1 and ladder towers from Roherstown and Willow Street fire companies. Four RVs and a boat were destroyed by the fire. - Fire News photo by Lt. Greg Leaman, Lancaster Township FD

Long Stretch at Wilmerding Fire, Collapse At 2051 0n September 22, 2019, fire crews were dispatched for a structure fire in the area of Marguerite Avenue in Wilmerding. A Wilmerding chief reported nothing showing and requested a better location. Turtle Creek Truck 283 advised they could see smoke and flames on a hill side above where the Wilmerding chief was. After several minutes, crews were able to locate the fire along Orient Avenue and advised dispatch of an abandoned house with heavy fire showing. The house was situated along a tight dead end road with no hydrants nearby. Several engines were able to make it down the tight street and began attacking the fire with tank water. Wilmerding’s chief requested additional units, including several tankers. It took crews some time to finally establish a water supply from both the top and bottom of the hill. Over 5000 feet of supply line was stretched from the top of the hill to the scene and over 500 feet of supply line was stretched from the bottom of the hill up a steep set of stairs. Once crews had water, a defensive attack began. Shortly after crews began attacking the fire, the home collapsed. Crews spent several hours dousing the flames before the fire was placed under control. ATVs were brought into transport firefighters to and from the scene. Additional crews were also brought in to help repack the supply lines. No one was injured and the fire was under investigation. - Fire News photo by First Due Photography

Fire News, October 2019, Page 9

Allentown 3-Alarmer

Allentown firefighters, along with mutual aid companies from Catasauqua, Greenawalds and Lower Macungie, battled a three-

alarm house fire on North Marshall Street in Allentown. - Fire News photo by Dennis Wetherhold, Jr.

Page 10, Fire News, October 2019

Fire Hard to Find in Allentown

Firefighters from the City of Allentown were dispatched to East Cedar Street for a house fire. Initial reports indicated smoke inside the house from an unknown source. Dispatched on the initial alarm were Battalion 43; Engines 13, 9 and 14; Engine 4 (RIT); and Bethlehem Ladder 2. Engine 6 became available and replaced Engine 14 on the response. Crews arrived and found smoke inside a house with no source found and began checking the exposures. It was determined that plumbing was being done in another house on East Cedar Street and that was where the fire was originating. Crews stretched handlines in to both houses and began opening up to check for hot spots in the walls and ceiling areas. A section of roof was opened up with an assist from Bethlehem Ladder 2. Crews were able to keep the fire from spreading any further and the incident was declared under control. - Fire News photo by Dennis Wetherhold, Jr.

Hickory Corners Vent Fire On June 4, 2019, Hickory Corners and other units were called out for a structure fire in Lower Northumberland County. County advised that a caller stated a first-floor bathroom vent fan had failed. Crews arrived and confirmed smoke in the home. After a few short minutes, crews opened up the ceiling and vented the roof finding the cause was indeed the bathroom fan. The event was confined to the fan with minor extension into some insulation and light fire damage to joists in the area of the fan. - Fire News photo by Seth Lasko

East Hanover Twp. Barn Fire Lebanon County Fire Communications dispatched companies on Box 57-5 to Crooked Road for a barn fire. Chief 57-4 advised of multiple barns, one fully involved with animals being removed. Chief 57-4 requested three additional tankers. Engine 75 arrived to find a 75- x 100-foot dairy barn with the hay loft on fire and requested another tower to the scene. Companies set up two portable ponds on the property and three fill sites to supply a 2-1/2 inch line and master streams from Tower 1 and Truck 12. Command requested additional tankers, bringing in units from Berks and Dauphin counties. Companies poured water on the barn for several hours and an excavator was brought in to expose the burning hay. The fire was contained to the barn of origin and all animals were removed safely. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb

3 FFs Injured in North Braddock Fire

On the Fourth of July 2019, fire crews were dispatched to the 1500 block of Ridge Avenue in North Braddock for a house fire. Crews found the front of a home fully involved with extension into homes on both sides. Crews went to work with an aggressive attack and a second alarm was struck. Crews worked for over an hour before the fire was finally placed under control. No one was home at the time of the fire and the residents were assisted by the American Red Cross. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries. The fire was under investigation. - Fire News photo by First Due Photography

Fire News, October 2019, Page 11

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Total Loss of Oklahoma Bor. Historical Hotel On July 23, 2019, multiple stations battled a fire at the over-100-year-old Belvedere Hotel in Oklahoma Borough. The structure had been condemned, and the brittle exterior was fully involved before the first crew arrived as 80-foot-high flames could be seen for miles. Crews battled the blaze at this historical landmark for hours. The building was a total loss. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

Hickory Corners Residential Fire On June 15, 2019, crews made quick knockdown of a residential structure fire in Lower Northumberland County on Mountain Road near Hickory Corners. Upon arrival, crews found an active fire at the rear of the home. There was some extension into the home. As crews worked to knock down the remaining hot spots, a firefighter from Pillow Fire Company could be seen assisting with a resident’s dog. A few moments later a second dog ran from the home and ran off. A lamb was also saved and relocated across the street. - Fire News photo by Seth Lasko

Annville Township Residential-Commercial Fire A morning, four-alarm fire on August 21, 2019, heavily damaged a local Lebanon County landmark and sent two firefighters to the hospital for heat exhaustion. Companies were first dispatched at 0812 on Box 58-1 to the Corvette Bar and Grille on West Main Street in Annville Township for a commercial building fire. Battalion Chief 58 of Annville’s Union Hose Company requested a second-alarm assignment while en route. On arrival, he reported smoke showing from a 2-1/2 story, unoccupied, apartmentsover-the-bar. As companies advanced lines, heavy smoke issued from side C in the kitchen area. The bulk of the fire was knocked down rather quickly but fire had extended to the upper floors. A third alarm and eventually a fourth alarm were called to assist with manpower. Command ordered everyone out of the building at 0920 hours to account for all members. The fire took over an hour to bring under control and extensive overhaul was required. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb

Page 14, Fire News, October 2019

Butler County House Fire Multi-Use Fire in Steelton

On June 30, 2019, Butler County 911 received a call for a house fire on Keasey Road in Winfield Township. Responding were Station 15 (Saxonburg), Station 10 (Herman), Station 27 (Buffalo Township), Station 36 (Sarver), Station 11 (Penn Township) and Station 45 (Saxonburg Ambulance). Engine 10 arrived to a fire on the Delta side of the structure and a minivan burning, which was pulled away from the residence. Crews went to work with two handlines and stopped the fire from extending to the rest of the residence. No injuries were reported. - Fire News photo by Artie Osniak

1 Displaced at Hummelstown Fire On June 22, 2019, Hummelstown Box 46-2 sent Company 46; Engines 47, 48 and 91-5; Tankers 47 and 59; Rescue 88; and Truck 48 to West Second Street for a reported house fire. Chief 46 reported fire in a second-floor apartment and requested the first alarm. Rescues 59, 48, Truck 88, Engine 1-1, and Air 91-2 made up the additional companies. A handline was stretched from Truck 46, knocking down a fire in the living room and hallway with no extension. The fire building was a mixed occupancy with apartments over a wood shop. Companies provided salvage to items in the woodshop. One occupant was displaced. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb

Millersburg Handles Tractor Fire

On June 16, 2019, the Millersburg Fire Company responded to a fully involved tractor fire. Engine, Attack and Tanker 20 responded. Also responding was Williamstown EMS and Fire Police 20. - Fire News photo by Seth Lasko

At 0037 on August 18, 2019, Steelton Chief Vance reported a structure fire on North Front Street. Responding were Company 50; Engine 91-2; Wagon 4; Tower 1; Truck 32; Rescues 69, 88 and 59; and Air 30. Swatara Engine and Truck 91 just cleared a fire and were added to the box. Bressler Engine 91-2, also clearing the alarm, secured a hydrant and Engine 91 laid a second line to the rear. Crews had a second floor going in the rear of a vacant, three-story, semi-attached apartments-over-a-store. The crews from Engines 91-2 and 50 stretched initial attack lines making a good knock on the bulk of the fire. Three lines were operated keeping the bulk of the fire contained to the second floor. Companies were advised of a first-floor rear collapse into the basement and holes in the floor. All searches were negative and companies remained on the scene for an extended period with overhaul and investigation. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb

North Huntington Commercial Blaze Shortly after 1830 on September 13, 2019, firefighters were dispatched to Center Highway at Route 30 in North Huntington Township for multiple calls of a building on fire. Westmoreland Chief 57 arrived and reported multiple explosions, fire through the roof and wires down. Fire units began setting up a defensive attack from both ground and air. Command requested additional ladder trucks from Allegheny County and, shortly after, command informed of a partial collapse on the A/D corner of the building. Crews continued to battle heavy fire for over an hour before the bulk of the fire was finally knocked down. Units remained on-scene for several more hours to fully extinguish the fire. No one was injured and the fire was under investigation. - Fire News photo by First Due Photography

Fatalities at Willow Grove Plane Crash

Fire police in Willow Grove helped out police during a multi-fatality plane crash in early August. A family was killed when their plane crash landed in a residential neighborhood shortly after taking off from Northeast Philadelphia. No one else was injured. - Fire News photo by Dawn Altstatt

Fire News, October 2019, Page 15

This Seems Familiar

Fast Stop in Allentown

On August 20, 2019, Harrisburg Box 1-4 toned out at 0631 for South 14th Street in the Allison Hill neighborhood. Squad 8, Wagon 4, Tower 1, Truck 2 and Chief Bastinelli responded. Squad 8 arrived and Lieutenant Worner reported heavy fire showing from the rear and requested the first alarm at 0634 hours. Wagon 3, Rescue 69, Air 13, and Chiefs Enterline and Souder made up the first alarm assignment. A line was stretched to the first floor and made a good knockdown of the bulk of the fire. The fire involved the exterior of a three-story, vacant, semi-attached structure, and extended into both buildings. Three lines were used and the roof opened up before the fire was declared under control in about 40 minutes. On a side note, this area of is known for fire activity; there were three of the four corner-properties at 14th and Swatara that have been affected by a first-alarm fire. - Fire News photo by Jason Coleman-Cobb

Allentown firefighters were dispatched on August 22, 2019, for a commercial structure fire on Tilghman Street. Companies arrived and reported smoke showing from a mixed occupancy. Crews originally were unable to find the fire; however, while preforming a 360, fire was seen coming from the rear wall. Crews stretched an attack line and went to work. The fire was brought under control in about 15 minutes but crews remained on the scene opening up and checking for extension. - Fire News photo by Dennis Wetherhold, Jr.

Page 16, Fire News, October 2019

Crash, Entrapment and Fire MVA Crews from Allegheny Township, Markle and Lower Burrell responded to a single-vehicle accident in which a car sideswiped a tree, crossed two lanes of traffic, traveled over a woodpile into a tree and over a hillside, with entrapment ... while the vehicle was on fire. Emergency crews removed the occupant from the burning vehicle as crews worked on extinguishing the fire. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

1 Injured in MVA Crews from Burnham, Reedsville and Fame EMS handled an MVA with one person confined. Crews worked to extricate the person who was transported to a nearby hospital for injuries. - Fire News photo by Pat Shoop

MVA with Fire and Pole Down Arnold 1 and 2 respond to a single-vehicle MVA with entrapment. The vehicle also caught fire, but the person was immediately extricated. The sheared utility pole then caught on fire and within minutes, the transformer exploded. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

MVA in Lancaster Township Lancaster Township Fire Department firefighters were dispatched at 2040 on August 8, 2019, for an MVA with entrapment at Marietta Avenue and Wilson Drive in Lancaster Township. Firefighters found a car which had left the westbound lane and crashed into a large tree. Lancaster Township Rescue 66 crew stabilized the vehicle with wooden cribbing while EMS and firefighters worked to free the driver. Just as the unresponsive driver was ready to be removed from the vehicle, the driver sat straight up and became combative. This was the first use of the bumper mounted pre-connected Amkus tools since the purchase of the new Rescue 66. The driver was extricated at 2059. - Fire News photo by Lt. Greg Leaman, Lancaster Township FD

Fire News, October 2019, Page 17

Medevac for Fall Victim On June 18, 2019, Company 21 was called to assist EMS with a fall victim. Life Lion was requested and Engine 21 responded to the designated LZ location. This was the new Engine 21’s first LZ call. Rescue 21 also responded. Firefighters assisted with packaging and loading the patient aboard the helicopter. - Fire News photo by Seth Lasko

Lower Makefield MVA Firefighters from the Yardley-Makefield Fire Company and Newtown Emergency Services Department were dispatched to Rescue Box 80-41 for a dump truck versus pickup MVA at the intersection of Langhorne Yardley and Mirror Lake Roads in Lower Makefield Township. Firefighters assisted the squad in removing the patient from the pickup and packaging for transport. The Lower Makefield Township Police Department investigated the accident. - Fire News photo by Jeff Goldberg

2 Hurt in Philadelphia 2-Car Philadelphia fire crews assigned to Engine 70 were busy during an accident on the 5600 block of Castor Avenue. Two cars collided and one was pushed into an unoccupied dental office. There were two injuries reported, one in each vehicle. Police said that a driver running a red light was to blame. The injuries were said to be serious but not life threatening. - Fire News photo by Alex Lloyd Gross

Page 18, Fire News, October 2019

Tech Rope Rescue in Lewistown On July 2, 2019, Fame EMS and Lewistown Fire Department responded for a technical rescue assignment. Arriving units found a male subject had fallen down a 50-foot bank next to a creek. While EMS treated the patient the LFD set up rigging to remove the man in a Stoke’s basket. - Fire News photo by Pat Shoop

Arnold Handles Medevac LZ Duties Arnold Stations 95-1 and 2 set up a STAT MedEvac LZ for a patient with a severe spinal cord injury. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

Overdose Causes MVA Croydon Fire Company in Bristol Township worked an MVA caused by an overdose. The crash happened when two males in the vehicle were under the influence of narcotics, police said, and crashed into a parked vehicle on Bristol Pike. The driver survived, and the passenger ran from the scene. - Fire News photo by Alex Lloyd Gross

Car vs. Pole On June 1, 2019, Reliance Hose Company 21 responded to the area of the Life Team Medic 6 building for a reported truck into a pole. Medic 6 crew heard the impact and lost power. Upon going outside to investigate they found the crash. Crews found a pickup truck had struck a pole shearing it, rolled over and came to rest on its wheels. The service to the Medic 6 structure had been torn from the B side of the building. Crews assisted with debris and fluid cleanup as well as extended traffic control until the pole and utilities could be repaired. - Fire News photo by Seth Lasko

Fire News, October 2019, Page 19

Helo Crash Hanover Twp.

Hurricane Dorian Help

Crews responded to a helicopter crash recently in Hanover Township of Lehigh County. - Fire News photos by Rich Rolen and Dennis Wetherhold, Jr.

Pennsylvania Task Force 1 was deployed to Florida ahead of Hurricane Dorian. (Above): crews at their headquarters on State Road worked to load multiple trucks with equipment. They were called up for a 14-day deployment. - Fire News photo by Alex Lloyd Gross

Page 20, Fire News, October 2019

Cover Story

4 FF Rescued at Frankstown Road Gas-Fed Fire

On July 28, 2019, a gas-fueled fire destroyed a commercial property in Penn Hills. Four firefighters were injured battling the blaze which burned all night. The local gas company had a hard time finding the gas shutoff valves. - Fire News photos by Ken Lager, First Due Photography and Steve Matto

Fire News, October 2019, Page 21

Up Close & Personal Crews from Plum, Lower Burrell and New Kensington responded for an oven fire on June 13, 2019, in Plum’s Logan’s Ferry Heights section. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto Fire News photographer Ken Lager at a recent scene taking photographs. - Fire News photo by First Due Photography

On August 25, 2019, Kennywood Park celebrated First Responder Day. Firefighters from West Mifflin’s Homeville Station 293 and Duquense Annex Station 294 performed vehicle extrication demonstrations. - Fire News photo by First Due Photography

On September 20, 2019, a Monroeville firefighter removes a pet from a house fire on Airbrake Avenue in Wilmerding - Fire News photo by First Due Photography

A firefighter from the Lehigh Valley area during a firefighter combat challenge held in Palmer Township at “Palmer Days.” - Fire News photo by Rich Rolen Firefighters participating in a recent structural burn class at the Washington County Fire Academy. - Fire News photo by Tim Solobay

Page 22, Fire News, October 2019


Structural Burn Class

Recently, Cannonsburg, Muse, Houston and Chartiers Volunteer Fire Departments participated in a structural burn class at the Washington County Fire Academy. - Fire News photo by Tim Solobay

Operation Hurricane Rescue Training

The Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (PA-HART) lead Operation Hurricane, a full-scale swift water rescue training drill, at Fort Hunter on the Susquehanna River on August 15, 2019. Participating agencies and organizations included: PA Army National Guard, PA Fish and Boat Commission, PA Emergency Management Agency, PFBC Swiftwater Emergency Response Team (SWERT), Special Medical Response Team (SMRT), Rescue Fire Company (37) VRSR Type 2A, Harrisburg River Rescue (10) VRSR Type 2A, Dauphin-Middle Paxton Township FC (38), Susquehanna Township. EMS, Robinson Township VFC 1 VRSR Type 2A. PA-HART is a joint partnership between the Pennsylvania National Guard, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, PEMA and certified civilian rescue technicians. It is an aerial search and rescue team, able to assist citizens during disasters. - Fire News photos by Jillian Stewart

Drafting and Water Supply Training Lancaster Township Fire Department conducted drafting and water supply training Monday August 19, 2019. Training was conducted along the bank of the Conestoga River under the Highland Avenue Bridge at South Prince Street in Southern Lancaster Township. Training covered rural water supply basics which provided experience for pump operators, tower ladder operators and water flow knowledge for the firefighters. Deputy Chief Glenn Usdin explained the drafting theory at Lancaster Township Engine 66-1 along with the needed appliances including hard sleeve suction hose and floating dock strainer for the hard sleeves. He also stressed the need for crews to be ready and equipped to problem solve unexpected issues that arise. The assembled crew hand-dragged an LDH supply line to Lancaster Township Truck 66, which. Deputy Chief Glenn Usdin explained nozzle tip function and flow rate requirements. - Fire News photo by Lt. Greg Leaman, Lancaster Township FFD

Rope 3 Class at Allegheny Fire Academy Vertical access is important in many aspects of fire and rescue. On July 13, 2019, Allegheny County Fire Academy students practiced pick-offs at the tower with “Working the Rescue� instructors. - Fire News photo by Ken Lager

Fire News, October 2019, Page 23

Allensville Fire Company Parade The Annual Allensville Fire Company parade was in full swing on July 20, 2019. The 1936 ALF is always a crowd pleaser. - Fire News photo by Pat Shoop

Western PA Fireman’s Convention Battle of the Barrel Arnold was the home of the Western Pennsylvania Fireman’s Association Convention and on August 10, 2019, they had their annual Battle of the Barrel. Hometown team 95-1 was the runner up, and Kittanning was the winner for the second year in a row. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

Page 24, Fire News, October 2019

Palmer Days in Lehigh Valley Recently, firefighters from the Lehigh Valley area challenged themselves in a firefighter combat challenge held in Palmer Township at “Palmer Days.” - Fire News photo by Rich Rolen

Lancaster Twp. FD Helps Brothers from NY Lancaster Township Deputy Glenn Usdin noticed a call for help from a fire department on a Facebook page hosted by The Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus of America. Ernie Bilko, Captain of the West Haverstraw (NY) Volunteer Hose Company 2 (WHFD) posted a request on July 15, 2019, looking for a contact or fire department in Lancaster where they could wash their apparatus before a funeral detail on July 17 for their retired chief who lived in the Lancaster area. Lancaster Township Fire Department (LTFD) hosted brothers from West Haverstraw (NY) Volunteer Hose Company 2 who traveled to Lancaster to attend the funeral of their Chief Bruce A. Carver, 63, of Lititz. LTFD housed their 1965 Mack and their Sutphen pumper overnight at LTFD South Station. The next morning, LTFD firefighters assisted the WHFD members

clean and wash their engines. The apparatus was dressed in preparation for the funeral. Retired Chief Craver’s casket was transported from the Groff’s Funeral Home in Lancaster City to the cemetery aboard the 1965 Mack. LTFD presented the WHFD firefighters with LTFD apparel and keepsakes before they departed. WHFD thanked LTFD for their overwhelming hospitality paying respect to the highest tradition of the fire service brotherhood. O’Sullivan Tree and Equipment Co. hauled WHFD’s 1965 beloved Mack on a flatbed trailer to Lancaster for the funeral. July 20, 1965, exactly 54 years on the Saturday of the funeral, marked 54 years to the day their beloved 1965 Mack was delivered. It is also 18th to last B Model ever made. A very special and fitting tribute to retired Chief Bruce Carver. - Fire News photo by Lt. Greg Leaman

Plum Picture Day The four stations in Murrysville — Sardis 78, White Valley 64, Murrysville 20, and Export 22 — gathered for pictures of all of their emergency vehicles, including Murrysville Medic One and the Murrysville Police. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

Western PA Fireman’s Association Parade in Arnold - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

Fire News, October 2019, Page 25


Buchanan Valley’s Walter Wagaman

Approximately 150 pieces of apparatus and nearly 1,000 people attended the LODD funeral service of Assistant Chief Walter Wagaman of the Buchanan Valley Fire Department. Wagaman was 46-years old and a 32-year veteran of the Adams County Emergency Services. Wagaman succumbed to a severe head injury that occurred on August 2, 2019, from an accident while responding to another emergency. Wagaman was known for his willingness to give back to the commu-

nity and did so one last time by donating his organs. “There is no greater hero, and big shoes left to fill,” said Fire Chief Mike Spielman. Life Lion Medevac Helicopter who transported Wagaman the night of the accident paid their last respects above the detail by providing a flyover. - Fire News photos by Steve Roth

Page 26, Fire News, October 2019

Western PA Fireman’s Association Awards Banquet A gathering of chiefs at the Western Pennsylvania Fireman’s Association Awards Banquet. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

Ped Hit by Car Firefighters in Bensalem, tended to a woman who was struck by a car on Street Road. Her injuries were said to be serious but not life threatening. Township Crew 222 and Station 28 handled the call. - Fire News photo by Alex Lloyd Gross

Schuykill County Firefighters Parade

Multiple agencies gathered for the Schuykill County Firefighters Convention parade in Tamaqua on August 24, 2019. - Fire News photo by Steve Lenz

New Mechanicsburg Volunteer Fire Department Organized Representatives from the two Mechanicsburg volunteer fire companies that serve Mechanicsburg Borough in Cumberland County jointly announced they were starting a new chapter in their history. The new Mechanicsburg Volunteer Fire Department was formed to improve public safety services and create a stronger volunteer fire-rescue service to serve the Borough of Mechanicsburg and surrounding communities. “Fire and emergency services are a vital public service that communities across Pennsylvania rely on daily,” Mechanicsburg resident Ben Ried, Interim Chair of the Board of Directors said. “This new fire company will not only better manage long-term costs to the taxpayers but for the first time will deliver a truly unified service working closely with the Borough.” Volunteer firefighters from both companies agreed, following the initial meeting of the department. “At a time when volunteer firefighters are

facing challenges and shortages, the formation of the Mechanicsburg Volunteer Fire Department will protect the residents of Mechanicsburg and surrounding communities moving forward,” said Citizens Fire and Rescue Board member Bob Weaver. “The new organization will go miles in strengthening emergency services in the region,” said Ron Trace, President of Washington Fire Company. The new Mechanicsburg Volunteer Fire Department will result in a stronger and more efficient organization due to the consolidation of administrative and operational functions. The consolidated company will have approximately 50 active volunteer members operating out of two fire stations and will continue the same coverage areas focusing on providing service to Mechanicsburg Borough and surrounding communities. - Fire News story courtesy of Nate Wardle

Fire News, October 2019, Page 27

Central District Fireman’s Convention The 127th Central District Fireman’s Convention was held August 15 through 17, 2019, hosted by the Clymer Fire Company. Pictured is the Lewistown Fire Department competing in the pumping contest. - Fire News photo by Pat Shoop

Northmoreland Park National Night Out National Night Out at Northmoreland Park provided the public with handson demonstrations from all emergency services. Fire trucks, police cars, ambulances and medic units, and a Stat MedEvac helicopter were just some of the attractions. Allegheny Township Station 99 demonstrated how a stove fire can happen, and the dos and don’ts of how to extinguish the fire. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

EMS Compassion for Baby After DUI Crash in Lancaster Township Pictured is Lancaster EMS EMT Kat Hutcheson of Lancaster EMS. Holding the baby is Lancaster EMS Paramedic Vickie Martin. Lancaster Township Fire Department was dispatched for an MVA on Columbia Avenue. The 911 caller stated there may be three injuries, including an infant. They also reported the roadway blocked. Three patients were evaluated by Lancaster EMS crew but did not require medical treatment. A three-month old baby girl was a passenger in one of the vehicles. The infant was in a child safety seat and was not injured. A Lancaster Township Fire Department squad drove to the infant’s mother’s home and brought her to the accident scene. Police charged a 28-year-old Lancaster man with driving under the influence, endangering the welfare of children, and a summary traffic offense. Immediately after impact, police say, the driver handed the child to a person at the scene of the accident and walked off, going into a nearby restaurant. Police said the driver was exhibiting signs of impairment, and admitted to being a methadone user. He was also driving without insurance on a suspended license, in a vehicle displaying the incorrect registration tag. - Fire News photo by Lt. Greg Leaman, Lancaster Township FD

Page 28, Fire News, October 2019

Hyde Park Blessing of New Apparatus On July 27, 2019, Station 53 in Hyde Park held a Blessing of the Truck Ceremony for their new engine. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

First Responder Day in Kennywood Park On August 25, 2019, Kennywood Park celebrated First Responder Day allowing firefighters, EMS, police and other emergency responders free admission to the park and discounted admission to their family members. Several units were on display in the park from Circleville, Lincoln Boro, Homeville and an Allegheny County SWAT Unit vehicle. Also participating were Edgewood Police Department, McKeesport Police K-9 unit and Lincoln Boro VFRC K-9 Search and Rescue team. Firefighters from West Mifflin department’s Homeville Station 293 and Duquense Annex Station 294 performed two vehicle extrication demonstrations during the day. - Fire News photo by First Due Photography

Saliba Sworn in as New Kensington Chief On July 1, 2019, New Kensington Assistant Chief Edward C. Saliba was sworn in by Mayor Tom Guzzo as New Kensington’s new Fire Chief. Saliba was unanimously appointed to succeed his father as the city’s fire chief. The elder Saliba died June 26 at the age of 89, and served as Chief for 41 years. - Fire News photo by Steve Matto

Mon Valley Fire Muster On August 4, 2019, antique and current apparatus showed off their drafting and pumping abilities from the Monongahela River. - Fire News photo by Ken Lager

Fire News, October 2019, Page 29

Allison Returned to Active Status in the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire

New Chief Logan Volunteer Fire Department Organized

Chief Brian Enterline of the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire announced that Allison Hook and Ladder Company 2 is recognized as an Active and Participating member of the fire department. In a letter to the Company, Chief Enterline advised he had notified Harrisburg Mayor Papenfuse, the Harrisburg Firemen’s Relief Association, fellow active volunteer companies, Mount Pleasant 8, Camp Curtin 13 as well as the Office of Auditor General and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. The recognition comes after years of work to restore company membership and to recruit certified volunteer firefighters to assist the city in fire suppression as well as fire prevention activities. In the early 1980s a number of the once-16 volunteer fire companies were deactivated by city government for various reasons mostly linked to inactivity. Allison which was chartered on January 16, 1906, lost its home when the city moved equipment to the, then new, Station 2. The members of Allison maintained a dream of returning to active status and under the leadership of President Barry Buskey, rebuilt the company as they worked to rebuild the Allison firehouse. Allison firefighters will respond from Station 2. The Allison firehouse remains the company’s official home just as it has since 1909 when the building was dedicated. In his letter of reinstatement Chief Enterline wrote the following: “It is with great pleasure that I congratulate you on your hard work and dedication to once again being active in the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire. The Harrisburg Bureau of Fire has a long and rich history steeped in pride and tradition. I trust your company motto “We Kick For Our Rights” will continue to drive the great work your company will perform.”

Representatives from two volunteer fire companies that serve Derry Township in Mifflin County jointly announced they are starting a new chapter in their history. The new Chief Logan Volunteer Fire Department was formed to improve public safety services and create a stronger volunteer fire-rescue service to serve the Derry Township and surrounding communities. “Volunteers from both organizations overwhelming agreed this was seen as the best path forward for the residents of Derry Township, surrounding communities and members of both organizations.” Clair William, President of East Derry Fire Company said. Bill Fike, Chief of Highland Park Hose Company commented, “With the recruiting challenges facing volunteer fire departments across the state we believe this merger will help in the short term with recruiting new members, retaining current members and strengthen our ability to provide emergency services in the future.” Marc Chesney, Assistant Chief, East Derry Fire Company, said, “This merger just makes sense, it enables us to eliminate the duplication of officers, administrative functions and puts us in a much better position to manage the future.” Brian Fleegal, President of the Highland Park Hose Company agreed. “While there are no immediate plans for the fire companies to merge into one building, the newly formed Chief Logan Volunteer Fire Department will be in a much better position to plan for the future needs of our members and the citizens we serve,” he said. The new Chief Logan Volunteer Fire Department will have approximately 30 active volunteer members operating out of two fire stations, and respond to over an estimated 275 calls for service a year. - Fire News photo courtesy of Ed Mann

Page 30, Fire News, October 2019


The dates for Firehouse Expo 2020 have been set for July 21 to 25, 2020, at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tennesee. This will mark the fifth year the conference will be held in Nashville. Local partners are very supportive of Firehouse Expo and its move to a July date. Endeavor Business Media has restructured and bolstered its events team in recent months in order to better meet the needs of its exhibitors and attendees. Significant investment in the educational program, operations, marketing and sales resources, as well as the addition of proven and experienced leaders in those areas, will help Firehouse meet its goals to grow the event and create an excellent customer experience for attendees and exhibitors alike. As part of the event’s growth, the exhibit hall will continue to evolve, including the addition of more educational sessions directly from the manufacturers, whose equipment attendees use to protect and serve their communities every day. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with the manufacturers, and see and experience their equipment, products and services as they explore more than 80,000square feet of displays during the three-day tradeshow. Firehouse Expo brings together a community of career and volunteer firefighters to exchange information, learn life-saving techniques and see first-hand the latest equipment, tools and resources. Firehouse Expo 2019 will be held October 8-12 at the Music City Center. Next year, Firehouse Expo 2020 will be held July 2125, at the Music City Center.

GENNARO ANNOUNCES NEW FIREJEWELRY.COM WEBSITE The NEW website by Gennaro Jewelers has arrived with a great deal of “buzz” in the firefighting /EMS community! Celebrating their 95th year in business, Gennaro Jewelers has created an exciting new website featuring the very best in fireman rings, pendants, Maltese crosses, St. Florian medals, Chief’s rings, Captain’s rings and so much more! America’s largest first responder manufacturer, sells direct to the firefighting community. Featuring Sterling Silver charms (that fit ladies Pandora bracelets) to unique designs in lady firefighter rings … each ring is carefully handmade in the United States by old-world expert craftsmen. Gennaro Jewelers unique rings have been created by an awardwinning jewelry designer and created to feature your proud membership in an elite group …firefighting! welcomes custom watches and ring designs. Designers are on the premises to create special awards and anniversary gifts. Visit the NEW website: or e-mail questions or ideas to


A 9/11 POEM: THE BRAVE FDNY It’s that time of year when I post the poem I wrote after 9/11. I was lost for words and couldn’t believe what my eyes had seen, and this is what I came up with 18 years ago. - Ryan Klambara, Clifton Heights (PA) FC The Brave FDNY There’s a group of brave men that reside in black That’ve seen the worst, but still take no slack They are the brothers from FDNY, New York’s bravest spirit's will never die. September 11th was the exact date When so many of these men met their fate. They entered the towers like they have always done, With a 100 pounds of equipment that felt like a ton. They sprung into action to reach the fire And to save innocent lives, their never-ending desire As they were climbing, the worst took place For the first time they had fear on their face The towers came down with magnificent power This was FDNY’s most tragic hour. This disaster just made them much more stronger And made them want this job much longer They are the bravest and will always be Watch the news and TV it’s easy to see. Please don’t sob, And take your loved one’s hand and remember these brave men and UNITED WE STAND.

Fire News, October 2019, Page 31

Profile for Fire News

Fire News Pennsylvania October 2019 edition  

A publication serving Pennsylvania's Fire, Rescue & EMS Heroes.

Fire News Pennsylvania October 2019 edition  

A publication serving Pennsylvania's Fire, Rescue & EMS Heroes.

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