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

Follow the Message

As many workers were driving to work or when travelling later Wednesday, July 5, they learned the news telling of a preventable fatality in a Bensalem, Bucks County fire.   In the broadcast of this morning news story and carry-over coverage in the midday television and daytime news, there was a special message often heard by Delaware County residents.

The message shared by the Bensalem fire official duplicated a life-safety suggestion offered many times by Newtown Square Fire Company Chief Doug Everlof.   The life of the 39-year-old, Bucks County resident was lost in the fire because she re-entered the burning home to rescue a pet.

Chief Everlof has many times volunteered, “Please remember the important saying in any kind of fire—Get Out, Call Out, and Stay Out.

Once out of a fire area, everyone must avoid the temptation to return to a burning area.  Many lives have been lost in attempts to rescue lives of family members, friends, or pets.  It is common to learn the feared-lost people or pets will have made their way out of the building.

A companion reminder has again been shared by Chief Everlof.  He volunteered, “Whenever the above safety message is shared, always go and stay at an established, reinforced safe, special, and four-season meeting location.”

 

 
Training Displays Firefighter Rescue Skills

The targets of the ongoing training of the Newtown Square Fire Company are traditionally focused on all members of the local 100-plus year community life- and property-saving organization.  This was demonstrated by a recent educational exercise. As both a challenge for upcoming training evaluations for current students attending a current Rescue Intervention Team (RIT) training program as well as the remainder of the Newtown Square Fire Company members

The background for details about this potential, life-saving RIT process and some specifics behind the RIT-member’s skills and activities are included in an earlier feature provided by the Newtown Square Fire Company

This recent RIT training was directed by Engine Captain Chris Young. This realistic education session was held within the local fire station located on North Newtown Street Road. Every part of the exercise duplicated similar events in a typical fire, with one exception.

That single exception was the sound of a telltale, warning sound from a Personal Alert Safety System (PASS Device).  This lifesaving, alert tool is assigned to the portable breathing apparatus used by local fire fighters.  This current safety device senses when the firefighter is not able or capable of moving.  A very identifiable sound from changes both the mood of the other firefighters as well as beginning a special rescue focus by a set of firefighters—crew members of the RIT.

Captain Young replicated the blinding of the RIT members would experience in a smoke-filled area.  By covering the by covering the face masks of the combined RIT members, this team was required to do a thorough search for the source of the alerting device.

This combination of the response to an immediate alerting sound “screaming” through blinding conditions that parrot what would be experienced in a realistic search for a “downed” firefighter.  Using their individual experiences in firefighting, several investigations were used as these RIT members found a louder path to the missing sound source

Controlling their adrenaline demands, these dedicated, specially-skilled firefighters continued to move in their quest for this “missing person’s warning sound source.  This goal found the stranded pseudo firefighter, a 180-pound stuffed training dummy.  He was located under a bunk in the upper floor sleeping area of the fire station.

The successful radio message alerting the training commander of this discovery and rescue was welcomed information shared by all the attendees at the evening training.   Chief Doug Everlof added, “This location, and ‘life saving effort’ is a reward for team training and RIT efforts”