Thursday, 11 September 2014 14:47
Predicting the weather is a task that demands a combination of dedication, experience, and training. In the near future the local television weather prediction providers will offer their long range forecast for winter.
This area experienced a summer that produced some very comforting needs for air conditioning, yet there were fewer 90-degree days than in recent years. The Newtown Square Fire Company, while not weather forecaster, does have its own timely prediction.
There will be an end to the seasonal warmth of summer. Regardless of when this weather change occurs, the Newtown Square Fire Company suggests now is a good time to prepare for the chills of late autumn and winter. The home’s heating system has been on vacation and this is the time to have this important comfort-assuring part of soon-to-be daily living given an inspection, and if needed, a cold-weather tune up.
This seasonal suggestion applies to both gas- and oil-fueled heating system. Chief Doug Everlof reminds residents, “Both systems involve the burning of a fuel. Unless these comfort-producing apparatus are clean, inspected, and given any needed attention or repairs there are potential, serious dangers.”
If a home heating system malfunctions, there is the danger of fire. As the Newtown Square Fire Company begins its participation in October’s Fire Prevention programs, this is a wise time to add fire prevention and an assurance of heating for the cold weather season for the homes in Newtown Square.
The cooler nights, as well as the calendar and common sense all combine to be a motivation for the residential fire prevention activity of having a seasonal inspection of the home heating system. If this safety suggestion is ignored, the result can be uncomfortable living or an emergency visit by the Fire Company.
Your local firefighters share with weather forecasters the same characteristics of dedication, experience, and training. Any residents viewing their favorite weather reports and forecasts on cable or satellite systems and who have not yet remembered to answer the Newtown Square Fund Drive request, the firefighters suggest that a donation equal to the family’s monthly cable bill would be appreciated.
As volunteers, these firefighters do not receive the salaries the local weather providers receive. Newtown Square firefighters provide many hours of protective services each day, instead of the few minutes of daily activities done by weather information providers. While they are not salaried, these unpaid professionals freely come into homes and lives; these volunteers do so without pay.
Monday, 11 August 2014 22:10
Date: Sunday – September 28, 2014
Rain Date: Sunday – October 05, 2014
The Newtown Square Fire Company Auxiliary will hold its 68th Semi Annual Flea Market, Sunday September 28, 2014.
If you would like to be a vendor, the registration form is available on the Downloads section of our web page NSFC.org to reserve one space for $30. Or, $35 the day of. (A space is the width of two parking spots, 16 feet.)
There will be something for everyone. In addition to hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn, doughnuts, soft drinks, and a great day of treasure hunting.
All proceeds will benefit the Newtown Square Volunteer Fire Company through the efforts of the Auxiliary. The Auxiliary meets on the first Tuesday of each month.
If would like to participate in projects such as these to assist the fire company, become a member of the Auxiliary.
Thursday, 07 August 2014 17:08
This is the time of the year some residents are seriously striving to obtain a recognizable summer tan. There are dangers from the exposure to the radiation from the sun. Mrs. Lisa Migliori, formerly the Assistant Chief for EMS prior to the removal of volunteer EMS Services, is currently is an instructor in the Delaware County Community College EMT curriculum.
She has both experience and training that deals with the dangers of the summer sun. She has experienced the problems of skin damage from the over-exposure to the sun. Like others in her generation, Migliori was lacking in more-recently shared warnings about sunburn-related cancers.
Mrs. Migliori warns that with the arrival of summer, it is impossible to live within cocoon. The alternative, preventative steps include exposure restrictions and the proper use of the appropriate protective sunscreen material.
Sunscreen materials with a high SPF and a proper application and replenishment of all sunburn prevention materials combine to become helpers in the protection and cancer-prevention process. She advised, “Some people try to ‘spread their sunscreen too thinly. If less than the recommended amount is used, what may have been a high protection label number, such as an SPS 50 or greater product, is not achieving the desired level of protection. When applied too sparingly, the actual safety could be as little as a single digit amount of protection.”
Another misconception that has only recently been publicized is the topic of waterproof sunscreen products. The only guarantee for prolonged protection is to reapply sunscreen when leaving the water or when perspiring. “Again, please don’t be stingy,” advises the Newtown Square Fire Company’s retired Assistant Chief-EMS.
Following a reoccurring reminder shared by the local volunteer firefighters, “. . . . read the label” is another step in sunburn-fostered cancers. Look for the documentation that states a sunscreen product is effective for both UVA and UVB radiation reduction.
There are two areas that are often neglected in the sun-protection process. Both the lips and the eyes need safety protection. These areas of the body are often not included in the steps used provide protection from the adverse effects of solar radiation.
A wet garment is not a guarantee of the desired protection. Only recently there has been the development of lightweight outer clothing that provides the blocking of the unwanted rays. Again, follow the Newtown Square Fire Company’s safety reminder and ‘read the label.’
While the body needs vitamin D, there must also be a dose of safety when obtaining this vitamin from the sun. While the sun is an available source of this vitamin, this solar source also produces forms of radiation that are identified with cancer.
This is the time of the year when far too many people augment their tan by moving to tanning booths. This source of radiation is once more being viewed as a dangerous alternative to spray or cream-based skin color changes that resemble a tan.
Proper use of the properly rated sunscreens, avoiding the high radiation times of the day, and heeding the smart, common sense warnings all go a long way in the prevention of sun-related cancers. EMS Instructor Migliori openly warned, “The tanned skin of today can easily turn into a severe, possibly life-threating problem in the future. Heed and read the labels and also include a dose of common sense when out in the sun.”
The research about the relationship between radiation and skin cancer continues. While no longer providing emergency health care, the Newtown Square Fire Company continues to share health-safety concerns and steps of prevention.
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 18:23
If asked about the differences between the winter- and summer-weather, Newtown Square area residents will begin a long list of these differences. Fire Chief Doug Everlof offered an observation, “At the first news of possible severe winter weather possibilities, area people trek to the food stores for perceived necessities in case they are unable to do normal activities.”
Continuing his observation, Newtown Square’s fire chief added, “In the summer, when learning of the approach of possible damaging weather the same residents traditionally do nothing. Instead, for many, the common practice is waiting to view the televised damage stories from the New Jersey shore.”
This area of Delaware County has been spared the devastation experienced by the Jersey shore during repetitive seasonal storms. Because of our location, this area has have been spared from a yearly testing of our individual and neighborhood storm preparedness. Many people have forgotten severe storm damages that have made their way into this part of Pennsylvania.
The result of only the rare, seriously damaging storms is an unfortunately exhibited complacency that endangers lives and property. If hurricane winds and rain were to “visit” our area, this lack of preparation could be crippling and add to the total effects of such a storm.
Chief Everlof reminded residents the preventive steps practiced by experienced storm survivors include planned food and water reserves. He explained, “By neglecting to follow the storm-watchers advice, there will be challenges to the comforts and safety of daily living. Residents must assemble these simple, but special storm resources.”
Without communications, there is a loss in establishing ways of being informed of approaching storm activities, as well as not being able to keep informed of post-storm evacuation and survival statements. One form of being informed is provided through enrollment in Newtown Township’s Code Red alert process, Registration in this activity begins by visiting https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/3BA007D8B218 These warnings includes a selection of delivery methods—including TDD TTY and Text Messages (standard text messaging rates apply), and e-mail messaging. Enrolled residents can receive both EMERGENCY and GENERAL notifications.
Battery-powered radio, with extra batteries, or hand-cranked radios can be a welcomed source of information in any emergency. The entire family must be made aware of the location and the use of this communication tool. Also have several flashlights with batteries and a loud whistle available.
Storm-downed trees with hidden electric lines embedded in the road-blocking branches or full trees can result in neighborhoods being held captive until utility crews can remove the potentially fatal electrocution hazard. Chief Everlof cited that in previous, less-than-hurricane type storms, this type of damage has isolated neighborhoods from travel out of or into their homes.
Both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have long practiced the slogan, “Be Prepared.” Families should echo this idea by having a stockpile of food items that do not require cooking or cooling. If canned goods, remember to have a hand-powered can opener. Most importantly is a companion collection of water in homes. Filled, clean gallon containers can become an emergency water supply.
The key ingredients of being “storm-ready” include preplanning and preparations, being calm and creative, and adaptive to unexpected conditions.
Commenting on storm preparedness, Chief Doug Everlof stressed, “Avoid the comments of ‘I should have planned for a storm’ by beginning today. This can be a total family project.”
Friday, 01 August 2014 18:41
Motivated by recent periods of nature’s fireworks, the Newtown Square Fire Company has echoed the NOAA safety slogan, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Following this message adds impact to the knowledge that no place outdoors is safe when thunderstorms and lightning are nearby. Chief Doug Everlof stressed, “A forgotten lightning fact stresses the lightning dangers can exist as far as 10 miles from the storm.”
One well-known fact states being indoors is far safer than outdoors, yet there continues to be indoor lightning dangers. For example, avoid using corded telephones and any device that is connected to electricity or plumbing, such as faucets, sinks, and baths. The dangers of lightning can follow wires and plumbing. Never remain on a porch if there is lightning.
When indoors, avoid windows, doors, and lying or leaning on interior concrete surfaces; the natural moisture in concrete becomes a possible “carrier” for lightning.
If going inside during a thunderstorm is not immediately possible, there are outdoor safety steps. Remain calm, and without hesitation get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water and leave elevated areas such as hills. Never seek shelter under a tree or a cliff or other natural overhangs.
Chief Everlof stressed, “One fact is so obvious that this safety suggestion may be forgotten, ‘Stay away from objects that conduct electricity such as barbed wire fences, power lines and their supporting towers, and windmills.’ Careful thinking can be a lifesaver.”
Golfers and others that cannot make their way to safety must avoid the temptation to lie flat on the ground. This once-popular suggestion places the heart near the ground and in the path of any lightning. The current safety suggestion states being “on all fours” is the way to avoid serious body damage if struck by lightning.
If in a metal-roofed vehicle, this protecting shell and the electrical insolation of the tires, dictates staying there. This same mandate is also important if any kind of wire makes contact with the vehicle. Newtown Square’s Fire Chief added, “This is a good time to use a cell phone and call 9 1 1. Describe your observations and follow all suggestions these trained helpers share.”
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 20:15
Cooking outdoors adds some good memories and tastes. In the same thought, Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof quickly added, "This seasonal food prep also has some very serious dangers." He stressed there are risks in both the method of cooking charcoal and gas as well as where the cooking takes place.
The first suggestion for safe charcoal cooking states these "old standby" cooking methods must only be used outdoors. Chief Everlof added, "The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Never in garage; this is an invitation to a fire, as well as illness from carbon monoxide. Also, keep children and pets away from the cooking area."
By lining the container with aluminum foil, there is a better reflection of the heat onto the items being cooked. At the end of the cooking and the briquettes are safely able to be discarded, this foil becomes a tool for disposal.
Before beginning the cooking as well as at the end of the outdoor meal preparations there are some simple safety steps. Begin with the removal of any grease or fat that may have accumulated on the cooking surfaces.
The common practice of starting charcoal cooking often begins with the use of a starting fluid. After a liberal application, let the fluid soak in. "After starting this cooking fire, NEVER add any additional fluid. A flame can race up the fluid stream and ignite the fluid in the container in an explosive-like flash," stressed Newtown Square's chief.
There are also electric charcoal starters. While they do not use a flame to ignite the charcoal, they have their own risks. Be sure to use an extension cord intended for outdoor use as well as having the proper rating.
When the cooking is done, the need for safety practices is far from finished. The seemingly safe, used briquettes hide their burning potential. Do not consider their disposal until there has been time and several applications of water.Then add even more time. When safe, wrap the briquettes in the foil lining the bottom of the device. The proper disposal includes the depositing of the spent charcoal in a mandatory metal container.
Charcoal cooking continues to be a favorite for many outdoor meal preparations. Chief Everlof reminds summer chefs that safety and fire prevention must be an ingredient in any cooking. If there is fire or if someone is injured, never hesitate to make the first response to either of these events is a callto 9 1 1.
Friday, 25 July 2014 12:13
A darkening sky in the early evening of Wednesday, July 23 soon began to live up to weather forecasts. As the rain began to fall and the combined cloud to cloud and cloud to ground lightning ushered in the local storm, there was a change in the focus of Newtown Square fighters. This new concentration was a 7:50 p.m. fire dispatch in the Newtown Towers Apartments, 3400 West Chester Pike, which altered the attention of firefighters from Newtown Square and other neighboring fire companies.
That alert message reported smoke on the first floor of the middle of three, six story residential structures. The “high life-risk” potential at this size of living area sent additional apparatus from the Broomall, Rose Tree, and Radnor fire companies for any needed rescue and firefighting. Following Newtown Square Fire Company standard safety procedures, crews from the Media Fire Company were dispatch as the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT).
After this evening emergency, Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof explained the importance of an RIT, “If there were to be any emergency that prevents the rescuers from finishing their activities, this special collection of firefighters is there to ‘rescue the rescuers.’ “
As the apparatus was approaching the location of the reported fire, Chief Everlof radioed a message citing they should be prepared to do an evacuation. This precautionary message was quickly reversed when Chief Everlof entered the living unit and saw the smoke was diminishing.
If an evacuation were to have been required, the heavy rain could have made that potentially risky. The combination of experience and a prompt, accurate evaluation proved to provide the proper action.
Aiding in that evaluation was the source of the threatening smoke--forgotten items in an oven during what appears to have been a meal preparation. Quick reporting of this threatening condition and an accurate response and evaluation by firefighters kept any risks to occupants to a minimum.
Chief Everlof commented, “As this call turned out, what could have developed into a serious event was quickly corrected. Also, the help from our responding partners was appreciated.”
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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|