Saturday Night Fire

Monday, 12 December 2016 10:45

As many residents of Newtown Square’s Larchmont neighborhood were either thinking about bedtime or watching late Saturday night television on December 10, a series of events altered lives and properties on both Northwood and Barren Road.   Calls to the Delaware County Fire Dispatch at approximately 11:16 p.m.  told of afire whose flames were visible more than a block away.

As apparatus of Newtown Square’s and Broomall’s Fire Companies approached the reported Northwood, near Dutton Drive location, their radio messages echoed the initially reported information supplied to the Delaware County 9 1 1   These initial fire ground reports added the heavily involved fire was in a building located at rear of the property,  

This on-scene report validated the initial dispatch including fire crews and apparatus from Upper Providence’s Rose Tree Fire Company and a specialty-service Rapid Intervention Crew from the Media Fire Company.  Also included were medical crews from Riddle Hospital. As these initial firefighters approached the fiercely burning structure, they found the intensity of the seemingly well-fueled fire had ignited a parked car and had begun to melt the siding of the adjacent residence.

This heat and flames from this building at the rear of the Northwood property across the property border to ignite a nearby building belonging to a Barren Road neighbor.

The amount of post-extinguishing activities, including overhaul, also included working with the Newtown Township Fire Marshal in his routine investigation. These responsibilities prompted a cooperative request for the dispatch of a ladder truck from Haverford Township’s Brookline Fire Company and a pumper from West Chester, Chester County.  While staged to respond from the Newtown Square Fire Company, they performed cover-up services for emergencies in both Newtown and Marple Townships.

 

Basic Emergency Tools

Thursday, 01 December 2016 13:39

In the event of an emergency prompted by natural events or any event that results in a family or neighborhood isolation or loss of utilities, families must be prepared to meet these challenges.  The Newtown Square Fire Company has prepared recommendations for basic survival is a basic collection of Emergency supplies.  This collection should be for a minimum, three-day emergency.

To meet the challenges of emergencies, being prepared and being calm are key ingredients in assuring safety. The most basic life-sustaining item is water.

To be basically prepared for a period of isolation, the Newtown Square Fire Company suggests a minimum of one gallon of bottled water per person per day. Deputy Fire Chief George Guyer IV has suggested using a collection of smaller, individual bottles for this life sustaining water.

Food supplies should comprise of items that do not require either cooking or refrigeration.  The nutrients are of greater importance than methods of preparations. With this concept in mind, a list of foods might include, in part, the following:

  • Canned goods (for example: meat, tuna, soup, fruit, vegetables)
  • Food bars (for example: protein, cereal, granola)
  • Infant supplies (formula, food, and diapers)

Remember to include a manual can opener.

First aid supplies, while not limited to the following, should include:

  • Bandages of assortment of sizes and types.
  • Antiseptic spray or antibiotic ointment
  • Aspirin and non-aspirin pain relievers
  • Family medical supplies, well labeled, and copies of prescriptions

Flashlights and extra batteries Radio with extra batteries

Cell phone extending battery and/or solar cell charger

Matches in water-proofing container and/or a lighter

Convenience Items:
Paper plates and cups, plus plastic forks, knives, and spoons
Plastic storage containers and sealable bags
Toilet paper and facial tissues

Personal care items:
Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss
Soap, antibacterial wipes
Feminine supplies

Do not forget to included ideas and supplies for the family pets.  The local firefighters remind residents to include a minimum three-day supply of pet food and adequate water for these important family companions.

 

Winter Safety

Thursday, 24 November 2016 11:45

The prolonged warmer temperatures that hint of the last days of summer or early fall can easily prompt a dangerous, seasonal neglect to the safety and efficiency of the home’s heating system.  Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof reminds residents, “A simple act of forgetfulness or procrastination because the weather is not yet “winter-like” can prove to be unhealthy and dangerous.

The longer the hesitation to arrange for a heating system checkup, the greater the risk that a scheduled, professional inspection and any necessary repairs may not be able to be accomplished before the prolonged home heating begins.   In addition to the possibility of increased operating cost, the motivation to assurance there will be no dangers of carbon monoxide leaks can all be motivators.

Chief Everlof has reminded residents, “The potential life-threats from carbon monoxide—the silent, odorless potential killer—should be the only nudge that anyone should ever require to make sure a heating system is working properly and can be dependable and safe for the current heating season.“ As a safety ‘parachute,’ Newtown Square Fire Chief added a reminder that properly installed and working CO Monitors should also be installed near each of the resident’s sleeping areas.

Prevention in all the many aspects of daily living is a key element in each of the many facets of community protection that are routinely addressed by the Newtown Square Fire Company.  Each of these activities are the daily responsibilities of the firefighters and officers that are the Newtown Square Fire Company.  These dedicated neighbors are not alone in this effort. Chief Everlof added, “Safety must also be addressed by the entire community we protect.”

 

Understanding Winter Words

Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:33

As the calendar approaches the beginning of the 2016-2017 winter, television weather reports are showing the wrath of winter.  Winds and the northern region’s snows have already become a media focus. Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof volunteered, “The strength of the winds and the potential damages they may produce are topics the Fire Company wants to share with its neighbor.”

Chief Everlof stressed there are special precautions that must be followed when driving in high winds.  These guidelines include slowing down when faced with the hazards associated changes in wind speeds. They also include the elimination of all distractions, and keep both hands on the steering wheel. Additionally, savvy wind-driving skills demand staying away from trucks, buses, and any vehicles that are towing trailers.

In addition to driving suggestions, drivers must also be aware of growing standards of wind and weather communications.  Wind-based information now shares the concept of an Advisory, a Watch, and a Warning.  These wind-related standards can now join their counterparts in other weather conditions

High Wind Advisory This will be issued when winds are strong enough to cause difficulty for those outside but not likely to cause widespread damage. Advice to be continually attentive.

High Wind Warning This will be issued when damaging or life-threatening winds are currently occurring or will be occurring soon.  This is a time to take action.

High Wind Watch This will be issued when it’s possible for damaging or life-threatening winds to occur. This is a time to put into action planned steps of preparation.

Concluding this primer of storm-related concerns, Chief Doug Everlof also added observations about another series of possible wind related dangers, “Regardless of where any of us may be when a wind storm occurs, remember to be on the look-out for flying debris, downed power lines and fallen trees and branches."

 

Show Your Numbers

Friday, 24 July 2015 10:29

Just as everyone has a name, buildings—residences, businesses, and apartments—all have assigned address.  There many ways a person’s name is recorded and recognized. There is no parallel with addresses. Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof commented, “There are required methods of addresses, yet occupants or commercial owners don’t follow the Township’s standards.”

The Newtown Square Fire Company is familiar with landmarks and the names of the far too many un-numbered structures, what if another emergency service provider is providing “cover up protection?”  These visiting helpers must respond by depending upon posted address numbers.

Without adequately posted building numbers, there could be a delay in services by visiting fire or EMS.

During a daytime or nighttime tour of the streets and roads in Newtown Township there is a common, dangerous observation.  Far too many commercial, government entities, churches, recreational facilities, and homes lack appropriate addresses

A digest of the Newtown Township Codes states the minimum requirements for the building numbering standards says identifying numbers must be a minimum height of 4inches high and a minimum width of one-half inch wide.   Additionally, these numbers must contrast with their supporting background.

In adding a collection of others suggested, Chief Doug Everlof, stressed, “The numbers are an important help to local and standards assisting emergency crews.  Their location must be easily seen from the street and numbers. Reflective numbers contribute an even greater impact”.

Also, any commercial locations having alley access are reminded to post the address on the alley entrances.  This can be help for fire fighters when their response patterns often include access to the rear of businesses as well as to the front.

Newtown Square’s Fire Chief added, “Remember to trim plants and bushes. As they grow, they can hide the numbers.  If former, existing numbers need to be replaced, please DO IT NOW.”

The rural type, post mounted, road side postal boxes, create an even greater challenge to all emergency service personnel. Because the fire, police, and EMS responders do not always travel in the same direction as the post office vehicles, the same size numbers should be posted on both sides of these rural type mail boxes.  Lacking street lig illumination, these numbers should be the reflecting type.

While many people have elected to pay the price to have an unlisted telephone number, the cost for having an unseen address could be priceless.  The Fire Company asks for the cooperation to have all properties adequately identified. “Don’t wait!  Please do this NOW,” stressed Chief Everlof.

 

Become a Volunteer

Is your daily work as satisfying as saving a life?

ImageCertainly not every fire or ambulance call results in saving a life, but each time we leave the fire station we are helping our neighbors in need. You can join this organization and show your community you care.

Joining the Newtown Square Fire Company is Easy. We meet the second Monday of each month at 7:30 PM in the front hall here at the fire house. We cover all training cost, so don't let lack of knowledge discourage you. Any questions call us at 610-356-9590 and leave a message.

Click here: Membership Application

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What if I think I don't have time or I feel that I am too busy to become a member?

We know your time is valuable, but some of that time serving your community is an option you should strongly consider. Saving lives in your community is a commitment you should place high on your priorities.

Since 1916 the citizens of Newtown Square have responded to the emergency service needs of the community. It is an honor to volunteer and the rewards in terms of satisfaction are enormous. Most people considering becoming a volunteer ask certain questions about what is required. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

Do I have to live in the Newtown Square to join?

It depends on what position you are interested in. If you are a house member or auxiliary member you can live anywhere. If you are an active fire fighter, fire police officer, and you want to run from your home, you need to be within a respond-able distance (about 6 minutes). However, you may live outside the state and want to be a member. You can do this as long as you are within 6 minutes of the fire company when you are on duty.

What type of positions are open?

We have a need for the full range of emergency service positions - firefighter, engineer, fire police. In addition, we can use administrative staff to support non-emergency functions.

Is there any special training and who provides it?

We provide free training for all positions. Members are not permitted to engage in fire company activities without the proper training and supervision.

How many hours do I have to spend volunteering?

Members are expected to earn points based on hours of service over a year. A minimum number of 140 points (one point = one hour) must be earned in a year for education, support service and active service. We do prefer that members be on call to respond for at least twelve hours every week.

Do I have to be at the fire station to respond?

You will be issued a pager which will sound for you to respond to a fire or ambulance call. Therefore, you do not have to be at the fire station in order to serve.

Is emergency service work a risk?

Yes, there is some risk in emergency service activities but our number one priority is safety. We work as a team and every effort is made to ensure that members are safe at all times.

Beyond responding to fire and ambulance calls what other time is required of me?

To keep your skills sharp and learn to work with other members of the emergency service team there are monthly fire and ambulance drills. Depending on your level of responsibility there is some additional education required. Also, on the second Monday of each month the company gathers for a business meeting at 7:30pm. You are welcome to join us.

What other activities is the fire company involved in?

Our core mission is to provide emergency services to the communities we serve. We also engage in other community related activities which you are welcome to participate in if you have the time. You can also serve on the various committees that help our organization function.

I have some other questions, how do I get answers?

Call (610) 356-9590 for our voice mail box and ask for the Fire Chief or President to return your call.

How do I become a member?

Simply complete an application which can be obtained by calling (610) 356-9590 or simply complete our Web based application. Applicants will be interviewed by our Membership Committee and a background investigation will be performed by the police department.

 

Support

Dear community member,

The Newtown Square Volunteer Fire Company depends almost entirely on financial backing from the community we serve. Your annual financial support is vital to meet the cost of operations, building maintenance and vehicles. Your tax-deductible contribution helps to provide fire protection, fire police, rescue, ambulance assistance, and a host of other emergency services. Last year our volunteer members of the fire company gave more than twenty thousand hours of service to the community. That is the equivalent of ten full time employees!

Two examples of major cost items include people and vehicles. Beyond the training and equipping of volunteers, it is necessary to supplement our volunteer staff with paid firefighter/EMT's to ensure a 24 x 7 level of response.  Another key fiscal consideration is the cost of fire fighting vehicles. Sophisticated fire trucks cost in the range of $200,000 for an engine, to $1,000,000 for a ladder truck.

Clearly, the fire company must deal with the same financial challenges as other organizations. Your generosity enables the fire company to maintain our capabilities.

We are asking you to “invest” in your local volunteer fire company, so our community can continue to enjoy the best emergency services possible. Please consider us in your financial planning. Donating is easily done by clicking on the “donate button” on the left to use a credit card, or your PayPal account. If you prefer to donate by check, you may do so at any time. Our address is: Newtown Square Fire Co. #1, P.O. Box 453, Newtown Square, PA 19073-0453

If you have any questions or concerns, kindly contact us via email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Thank you,

The Officers and Volunteer Members of the Newtown Square Fire Company #1

 

 

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Run Statistics

Run Statistics

2017 Calls
2016 Total 686
2015 Total 618
2014 Total 689
2013 Total 685
2012 Total 728
2011 Total 755
2010 Total 707
2009 Total 582
2008 Total 616
2007 Total 547

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Latest Biddle's Corner

Changes in the Fire-Rescue World

As America’s lifestyles have changed, these new ways of work, transportation, recreation and play everyone has experienced new activities in safety, exercising, and living styles.  These changes have also fostered many forms of different training, education, and working practices for Newtown Square Fire and Rescue activities.

Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof commented the local fire and emergency services must learn from differing and various safety sources.  These lessons come from new changes in America’s lifestyle, play, recreational activities, and new hobby and work experiences.

These life- and property-protecting services must learn from differing and various safety sources.  These lessons come from firefighting history, reviews from current events, and advances of fire-science. Also, safety has come from discoveries of stranded citizens or trapped firefighters, as well as general firefighting advance.

Before: In the 1950 era, the common footwear worn by firefighters was very like the continuing and current wader boots worm by stream-wading people fishing.  The legs and feet were kept dry.  One early advance in this era of footwear and several later generations of footwear used in fires was an insert that prevented foot puncturing piercings of the sole of the boot.

Current: The modern footwear is both supportive and protective. It appearance may look like a builder type boots, but their design and construction provides both a modern form of a sturdy method of walking on various types of construction and debris as well as general safety.

Before: In that same era, the firefighting gear was more like a rain coat and with some later changes, there were vest-like inserts that helped become a warming help in after-fire, winter temperatures.

Current: Today protective outer wear used by firefighters is a very distant cousin of that used in the mid last century.  No longer is the firefighting outerwear “just like a raincoat.” Its construction is the product of modern science.  Through extensive research, both the fabric used and its weaving pattern found in ‘bunker coats,’ the name of the top, outer wear used in fighting fires, is resistant to burning.

Some modern firefighting gear also has incorporated another fabric which permits the firefighter to crawl on floors to escape from the heat and fire in a firefighting area.  This near-floor posture is used by searching firefighters as they look for stranded occupants, as well as fighting fires.

The interior of today’s firefighting gear has insulation that remains in place both summer and winter.  In the summer, this insulation helps prevent the firefighter from being over-heated in fires.

Before: Early methods of firefighting would not encourage long exposures to the smoke and combustible gases in an interior building fire.  The earliest form of purging smoke particle was done by filter-type devices.  As the firefighter breathed, his inhaled air passed through cartridges that attempted to “capture” the unwanted smoke particles.

These devices were replaced with a device that had applications in coal mine and US Navy fires. The exhaled air and its moisture were captured in rubberized containers.  This moist air aided in the generation of breathable oxygen that sustained life for the user.

Current: Larger, lighter canisters of compressed air (filtered air, not oxygen) stored in back-borne devices replaced the chemical devices. With local, air storage master bottles and their use in the easy refilling of emptied, fire ground-emptied air bottles can be refilled. This provides firefighters with better sources of potable breathable air. Firefighting history, reviews from current events, and advances of fire-science safety has come from discoveries of stranded citizens or trapped firefighters, as well as general firefighting advance.

By having available this bottled-aided, extended air source and the time spent in fire ground rehabilitation, firefighters are much safer than even a few years ago. In explaining the contents of these breathing bottles, Newtown Square’s Chief Everlof stressed, “These bottles are filled with filtered air, not oxygen as some people think.  As this air leaves the pressurized containers, this air is somewhat cooled. This is also a benefit.”

 
Easter Emergency

As many families may have been preparing for their Easter dinner, a collection of area residents had their day’s activities change.  This alteration was prompted by fire dispatch for an emergency at the SAP-America facility on West Chester Pike. The weekend area surrounding this picturesque property at 3999 West Chester Pike in Newtown Square soon became a magnet for arriving emergency providers.

The firm’s security personnel became aware of a very notable aroma within the modern, multiple story structure.  Their telephone call to the Delaware County 9 1 1 Center began responses by Delaware and Chester County apparatus and firefighters.

With the anticipation of a sizable collection of fire, EMS, and other support apparatus, the first instruction by Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof was to have all incoming apparatus enter onto the road adjacent to the SAP-America property.  This selection prevented an unnecessary buildup of fire apparatus on West Chester Pike.

Chief Everlof went to the SAP-America property and met the firm’s security personnel. Everlof then established his command force on loading area that was near the air contaminated structure.

Deputy Chief George Guyer, IV went into the structure and began assigning fire crews and overseeing the search of to specific areas of investigation. Aided by their Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) the multiple floors were examined during this Holiday Sunday.

As the interior fire crews made their deep-interior searches, there were some concerns about both a potential loss of dependable linking of all the firefighters as well as occupying a common regional fire communications frequency.  While the structure included the three well-constructed floors, choice of localized radio channel was a wise selection.

The task of doing a thorough search was completed, yet no specific, documented source of the telltale aroma could be found in either the initially tagged data center. section of the total interior of this facility, the repeating radio system was bypassed and the mobile and crew-used portable radio began their search by a direct, on-property “only” radio arrangement.

When no source of the original aroma, Newtown Square Fire Company Chief Doug Everlof and the SAP-America security personnel abandoned the group search. The structure was returned to the local operators.