Help The Hungry

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 09:26

Philadelphia’s  92.5 WXTU is returning to the Newtown Square Fire Company from 3 to 7 p.m. on Monday, November 24.This return visit and its remote broadcast has a special focus—FOOD.   As many in the Marple and Newtown Square area are preparing for the food-feast time of Thanksgiving, many, many more will have little chance of festive-eating in their future. The Newtown Square Fire Company is assisting WXTU in replenishing the diminishing food supplies at the Regional Food Center maintained by St. Marks United Methodist Church, Broomall.  Special items that are being collected from the donations being accepted by the Newtown Square Fire Company –8 North Newtown Street Road (PA 252 near the WAWA) may include cereals, water added pancake mix, canned vegetables (no corn) and health items: toilet paper, toothpaste, bar soap, and shampoo.


Help the hungry and enjoy your own Thanksgiving is a very special way.


Safe Thanksgiving Food Prep

Monday, 17 November 2014 17:09

The Newtown Square Fire Company has observed the once former Thanksgiving holiday practices—steps that became practices through a continuation of a long list of historical practices—is being challenged in the interest of overall family safety.   The most recent safety challenge to a tradition is a focus on the main ingredient for many Thanksgiving meals—the turkey.

The first precaution begins the bird-safety process. Never thaw the bird on the kitchen counter. This simple precaution lessens the bacteria-contamination process.
The newly-proven safety suggestion deals with no longer rinsing the turkey (this process also applies to chicken) before the working with any bird.  Research has shown the washing/rinsing process is responsible for sharing the dangerous bacteria on to work surfaces, other foods and the food preparer.

In describing these changes, Chief Everlof stressed, “Grandma will be the most difficult person to unlearn the old process. She must learn: DO NOT RINSE YOUR POULTRY.  Look as the layout of the kitchen.  What has been unearthed is the finding that rinsing the bird does not eliminate the dangerous bacteria. Rinsing spreads these dangerous bacteria to all the nearby areas.’

It is the proper cooking that eliminates the bacteria.If the turkey requires any trimming or cutting, remember to use a separate cutting board and knife when working with vegetables or other eaten items.

After working with the turkey and it is on its way to being oven ready, this is the time to clean everything. This cleaning must include everything you touch while preparing food – utensils, towels, the countertop, your clothes, your body, and even the soap dispenser.

This is the time to do the most important washing, the cook’s body parts exposed to the air surrounding the bird. This water and friction process should parrot the soap and water scrubbing techniques seen on television hospital shows—aggressive and through, up above the wrists.  Don’t forget to wash the nose that itched during “bird process.”

Proper timing assures the turkey is cooked at a safe temperature. Do not depend upon the“pop-up’ device that came with the turkey. To be safe, purchase and use aquality cooking thermometer. This also may require finally purchasing a good meat thermometer. All poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees.

If it is a family tradition to cook the holiday stuffing inside the turkey, remember, it also must be cooked at this same, safe 165 degree temperature.  True safety suggestions stress cooking this tasty item outside of the bird.

Concluding this Fire Company Safety Suggestion, Chief Doug Everlof added, “Another often discussed Thanksgiving topic is how long can the Thanksgiving dinner be left out. A simple rule of food safety states keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold.”  It is doubtful many dining rooms have restaurant-style warming trays and buffet servers. After a well-planned social time at the dinnertable, it is was to begin packing up and refrigerating the leftovers within two hours.


Newtown Square’s Unpaid Professional Firefighters Still Make House Calls—Even OnThanksgiving

Thursday, 06 November 2014 11:01

The Newtown Square Fire Company cautions home chefs that November ushers in one of the more dangerous times of the year.  These dangers include food problems, cooking accidents and short cuts.

Ovens are an important contribution to the meals of the season and to the dangers of both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  In preparations for the holidays, plan the holidays’ oven cleaning well in advance of the planned holiday’s usage of the oven.

The most important precaution in cleaning an oven is the planning. After reading the instructions for the chemical oven-cleaning material, begin the cleaning after putting on protective gloves and a long sleeve shirt.  Always follow the use-instructions with no changes.

Fire Chief Doug Everlof warned, “Ventilation is an important ingredient in oven cleaning safety.  Always follow the instructions on the cleaning material. Remember, never mix cleaning materials.”

Safety practices demand avoiding the use of sharp tools to remove caked-on residue. Never allow any chemicals to make contact with the oven’s heating element or heating burner. By being patient, a wise cleaner of ovens will not rush the process.  Also include a wait of at least several hours before using the oven.

Before the cooking of the big meal, use the oven at least one time to help eliminate the normal, after-cleaning odor.

If during the holiday meal preparation, there is a cooking fire, never attempt acting like firefighters.   Avoid the temptation to put out the blaze. Keep the oven door closed and immediately call 9 1 1.

Newtown Square’s unpaid professional firefighters still make house calls—even on Thanksgiving.


Dangers At The Curbside

Friday, 24 October 2014 10:26

From time to time, there will appear at curbside two types of dangerous discarded household items. To the unknowing, these items appear to be innocent. The Newtown Square Fire Company warns that television sets and box-type computer monitors have multiple dangers.  In addition to the chemical contamination-environmental concerns, the local firefighters warn of specific dangers associated with the design of the picture tube or the display device on the older style of computer monitors.

Chief Doug Everlof explained this common, often unrecognized danger is caused by a single common characteristic.  Each of these household items contains a glass type bottle. The content of these bottles is ‘nothing.’  That ‘nothing’ is a vacuum.  Newtown Square’s fire chief, defined this danger, “When these glass bottles are subjected to one of several impacts, this vacuum bottle implodes.”

With an implosion, where air rushes in to fill this vacuum, there is an instant explosion type reaction.  This violent force can project palm sized chunks of glass as far as 50 feet. In addition to the dangers of flying glass, the implosion-explosion process produces an impressive amount of noise.

As the older television sets and computer monitors are being replaced with the non-bottle, flat screen devices, these no-longer need items make their way to the curb for trash pickup.  This practice is not environmentally safe, but the implosion dangers are immediate. The bigger the device, the greater the implosion dangers.

The local firefighters stress if these items are placed at curbside for pick up, always place the viewing area toward the ground.  This helps in eliminating the dangers of a life-threatening or injury-producing results of the unsuspected implosion. Chief Everlof stressed, “A few seconds invested in the placement of these discarded items help prevent serious dangers.”

Newtown Square FireFoto: As this television set was initially placed at curb side, a local firefighter stopped and advised the safer street-side practice was to place the exposed face of the glass picture tube “face down” The cooperative neighbor followed this safety practice to avoided the dangers of an implosion.


Drive Time Accident

Friday, 24 October 2014 10:14

As the morning drive time on Wednesday, October 22 was nearing completion, the intersection of Goshen Road and Aronimink Drive became the focus of fire and EMS units and rerouting of the traffic.   This car and a van accident resulted with sufficient impact to result in the van being off the road in the grassy area.

Rescue personnel from Newtown Square and Broomall were dispatched to the accident scene.

The driver of the van was able to leave the front of that vehicle.  There was an occupant in the rear passenger area. The Newtown Square firefighters extricated the trapped person by using their hydraulic rescue tool to quickly force open the door.

The extricated passenger and the driver of the second vehicle, a sedan, were transported to local hospitals for evaluation by a Riddle Hospital EMS unit and the Newtown Township Medical Unit.

Any accident occurring at drive time on a well-travelled road can result in a potential. Long-duration traffic problem.  This problem was avoided through the cooperative activities of the Newtown Square Fire Police vehicle and its crew and the companion unit from Broomall.


The Newtown Square Fire Company Looked Good On The Radio

Friday, 24 October 2014 09:59

On Thursday, October 16, the combination of well-planned exhibitions by members of the Newtown Square Fire Company and the talented descriptive talents of WXTU 92.5’s morning drive time broadcasting team a challenge. The broadcast team of Doc, Andie, and Crockett provided regional radio listeners with accurate verbal images of the realism of fires and the challenges faced by firefighters.

These exhibitions included a tour through the simulated smoke in that is common in building fires. Additionally, a “manufactured’ vehicle fire produced the flames, heat, and smoke that are the traditional events in vehicle fires.

The 6-10 a.m., visit to Newtown Square Fire Station was a part of a series of Wednesday visits to fire stations in the listening area of Philadelphia’s Country station.  During this Fire Prevention themed visit, the broadcast team and their support staff provided giveaways plus FREE Smoke Detector batteries. Station representatives said this visit is a part of 92.5 XTU’s program to make sure that Smoke Detectors are prepared to provide their lifesaving protection

The Newtown Square Fire Company and its members were proud they were selected to be partners in this unusual, yet successful Fire Prevention program.

Newtown Square FireFoto: Using a donated, unoccupied van, the Newtown Square firefighters demonstrated how they extinguish a fully involved vehicle fire.  The broadcasters from 92.5 XTU were surprised by the fast pace the fire consumed the van, as well as the heat and smoke this fire produced. Equally impressive were the skills exhibited by the firefighters.


Halloween Safety

Sunday, 19 October 2014 20:39

This is the time of the year when of the pace of the remainder of the year’s events seems to dramatically increase. The Newtown Square Fire Company advices the community that the one common ingredient of all events is the need for increased safety. This vigil begins with the nearest event, Halloween. This children-oriented event has focuses on sweet treats and the challenge for having the “best costume.”

Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof has offered an invitation to start making safe choices for both give-away treats and the choice of safe costumes.

The goal of finding the best identity-hiding apparel often neglects the need to assure good sight and the elimination of possible injuries from tripping and falling.

When purchasing costumes, there is one common concept that is ignored. That safety guideline stresses the material used in the construction of the costume. Look for flame retardant materials. If a made-at-home costume becomes the choice for Halloween, search for fabrics carrying a label that identifies the material has been treated with fire retardants.

In a practice of the sensitive example of safety- based diplomacy; parents should include adult guidance, while at the same time, giving the child some input in the costume selection.

Kids Costume Tips

Stay away from items that can cause a fall. Avoided features such as high heels or dangling parts of the costume. Both can promote falls and injuries that will mar an otherwise fun time.

Only costume-carried props made of a flexible form of plastic are safe. The use of non-bending, rigid swords or other costume parts are invitations to injuries.

Unless the costume has big enough eye holes that permit sight without having to constantly adjust the mask, create eye holes that are larger. If this new eye opening creates a complaint from the wearer, consider the use of costume ‘greasepaint’ to cover potentially exposed skin.

Candles are never safe. Carrying a flashlight is a safety tool. Purchase and install reflector safety strips and give the holiday beggar a light stick for increased visibility.


In addressing the topic of costumes, Chief Everlof added a simple, but practical suggestion, “If you have more than one child, save costumes from this and past years for family reuse or for an exchange with friends. The simple addition of an extra accessory or other minor changes can create a whole new look in future years.”


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Run Statistics

Run Statistics

2013 Calls
January: 61
February: 43
March: 48
April: 44
May: 66
June: 55
July: 61
August: 55
September: 50
October: 52
November: 60
December: 77
2013 Total 685
2012 Total 728
2011 Total 755
2010 Total 707
2009 Total 582
2008 Total 616
2007 Total 547

Upcoming Events

Latest Biddle's Corner

In An Emergency, Follow The Rules

Recently, area firefighters were welcoming the news of lives being saved by a residential Smoke Detector in Pennsylvania home. Hearing this news as it was being shared by the media, Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof commented, “Good news has finally become news.”

This good news was sadly replaced by a Philadelphia fire in a collection of row homes that that resulted in the loss of four young lives and forced eight families from their residences. While there were strong emotions from the neighborhood, the investigation centered on these deaths and the fire continues.

Documentation demonstrated the response of fire apparatus was timely. What is being unearthed is there appears to have been a delay in the first call to Philadelphia’s 9 1 1 Dispatch Center. The good intention of trying to extinguish a fire far too large for non-skilled efforts gave this small, initial fire an almost explosive head start.

A simple guideline from Chief Everlof can prove to be a life- and property saving suggestion. He shared, “The first step in any suspected emergency must be a call to 9 1 1. If a person collapsed or is found unconscious, make the call for help first, then initiate CPR, if needed. If there is either a threat of a fire, or an actual blaze, first call for help via 9 1 1. Then, if safe try to extinguish the fire. Never endanger yourself in trying to put out a fire.”

A simple rule that follows Chief Everlof’s meaningful suggestion is the following, “Always call for help before trying to provide help. Remember 9 1 1 is your best friend. Unless you are totally sure a call to 9 1 1 has been made, your call may prove to either be the first call or a call with additional, meaningful details.

Letter to the Editior: Fund Drive Solicitation


Following a recent Sunday worship service I was asked about the validity of a request for funds from an out-of-the-area telephone-based organization that was claiming to be collecting funds for “your local fire department.”  This well-meaning personal query has once more generated serious concerns within the staff of the Newtown Square Fire Company.

Telephone solicitation has never been a form of funding used by the local volunteers-unpaid professionals during their nearly century of service. The total funding of the Fire Company is provided by people we protect.  In simple terms, the anemic public and commercial/ professional response to the Newtown Square Fire Company’s current funding drive is generating serious concerns this year.

It appears from dialogue with newer Newtown Township residents they do not understand that the staff for their firefighting and rescue services train and serve as volunteers.  Volunteerism should not be seen as a “second-class” operation.

This form of dedicated community protection and other forms of volunteer is totally misunderstood in other parts of the world. These cultures can’t understand why tax funding and total salaried fire protection is not the standard.  With the anemic response to the 2014 Fund Drive, are there similar thoughts here in Newtown Square?

Just as residents in this historic community within William Penn’s New World dream must maintain their “home,” so must the Newtown Square Fire Company.  This organization’s aging structure houses a collection of very necessary life- and property saving apparatus.

There are similarities between individual’s vehicles and the Fire Company’s specialized vehicles.  Yours and ours are both well-served by preventive maintenance and repairs. Eventually, replacement.  When replacement costs are compared, the prices of firefighting apparatus are far greater.  Fire Apparatus have greater responsibilities, demands, functions, and complexities; these demands mean greater costs.

All of the requirements of your fire protection require funds. These funds only come from the annual funding appeals. The insufficient 2014 Fund Drive response endangers the life of the physical assets of the Newtown Square Fire Company. Also at risk is the training and education that guarantees professionalism. This professional identity is the foundation of the protection provided by the near-century community protection.

For our neighbors who have forgotten to fund the Newtown Square Fire Company your generous donation can be sent to the Fire Company’s processing area at PO Box 333 c/o Bryn Mawr Trust Bryn Mawr PA 19010.

Your support is needed to assure the protection of lives and property;

Yours in service,

L James Biddle, CLU

Serving since 1986