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.”


Outdoor Safety School

Friday, 17 October 2014 12:30

For many years, the Newtown Square Fire Company Fire Prevention Week activities have continued to grow.  Depending on the schedules of the area schools, what was once a week-long series of educational presentations has grown to two and sometimes three weeks of safety training.  On many school visits, weather permitting, these lessons taught outdoors.

This past week’s visit to Saint Anastasia School used the parking lot behind the building for a classroom.  Before Lieutenant Bill Rankin began his student-participation style training, a yearly ritual was performed.  Using the Fire Company’s aerial ladder, several firefighters went up onto the lower-level flat roof.  In a short time, a year’s collection of differing balls came raining down to an unoccupied part of the parking area.

Officer Rankin and the supporting firefighters were impressed with both the student’s fire safety knowledge and their behavior.  After the visits, the firefighters discussed, “Was It the school- and family instilled-discipline that helped in the student’s interests in fire safety?’

The Newtown Square Fire Company continues to see the value of their form of family education through the messages brought home by the family’s school age members. Lieutenant Rankin stresses, “The practice of “Stop, Drop, and Roll” works equally well for a parent as well as it does for their children.  This is a valuable ‘take-home’ message that is taught to their parents by the family’s children.”

Newtown Square FireFoto: Newtown Square Firefighter Dan Baker acquaints St. Anastasia students with what a rescuing fire crew rescuer looks like.  A preview of the face-covering mask and other protective gear helps eliminate fear of being awakened by a firefighter wearing protective equipment that can have an out-of-this-world image.


WXTU 92.5 Is Coming to The FIrehouse

Monday, 13 October 2014 11:31

Join Doc, Andie and Crockett of WXTU 92.5 at Newtown Square Fire Company while they broadcast live for Fire Prevention Month! There will be some giveaways plus FREE batteries so you can make sure that your smoke alarms are updated! They will be out from 6-10am so come and join the fun!


Be Ready For Keeping Warm

Friday, 03 October 2014 10:12

With the probable lessening of the roller coaster temperatures and the seasonal approaching of cooler temperatures, it is time to think warm.  Two important sources of “feeling warm,” the home’s heating system and area-space heaters should be given serious prevention attention.

For the home heating system, either natural or propane gas or oil must be inspected and labeled as being safe and efficient.  To assure proper and uninterrupted warmth, inspection and any warranted service by heating professional is the best fire prevention and preparation for winter’s heating demands.

Previously-used space heaters must be seasonally inspected and updated   If there are any doubts about their safety, replace an unsafe older unit. All current heaters must has have a tip-over shut off.

When asked about heater-selection safety, Chief Doug Everlof remarked, “Always look for the familiar Underwriter certification and symbol. In a similar precaution, Newtown Square’s fire chief, added, “Avoid the use of extension cords for electric heaters and before using a wall receptacle, make sure the chosen outlet can safely supply the needed electricity.”

The use of kerosene heaters has lessened, but one precaution should never be forgotten.  Never use a fuel container that previously has been used for any other type of liquid fuel.  The incorrect mixture can be fatal because of a fire or an explosion.  Any usual odors, such as smoke, or even a hint of a fire must prompt leaving the danger and immediate call  9 1 1.

In an ongoing safety reminder, the Newtown Square Fire Company stresses, “If there is any emergency, remember to ‘Get Out,’ Call Out,’ and ‘Stay Out.


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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

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11-04-2014 19:30 - 21:30
Auxiliary Meeting

11-10-2014 19:30 - 21:30
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12-02-2014 19:30 - 21:30
Auxiliary Meeting

12-08-2014 19:30 - 21:30
Company Meeting

01-06-2015 19:30 - 21:30
Auxiliary Meeting

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