Friday, 20 March 2015 16:31
Long gone is the opportunity of there being a White Christmas, but a recent, greatly appreciated event experienced by the Newtown Square Fire Company would have been appropriate at that holiday. As the predicted snow began to fall at a fast and steady pace in that early March snow fall, the firefighters felt it was time to exercise a purchase plan.
Now knowing if that day’s snowfall were to be the final snow of the winter, the amount of the falling snow made that day’s decisions an easy choice. Because of the large amount of the concrete leading from the fire station’s vehicle storage doors to the street, a hefty snow blower was needed. Another ingredient in this decision was the removal of the large amount of slush deposited at the end of the concreate pad by passing vehicles on southbound North Newtown Street Road (PA 252).
In keeping with a Fire Company corporate policy of making local purchases whenever possible, Captain Mike Kenny visited Carl Niemeyer at the nearby Niemeyer Corporation. Seeing the need and having a fitting snow blower available, Mr. Niemeyer surprised the Fire Company with the gift of this needed safety item.
When thanked for this community outreach, Niemeyer volunteered he was continuing a policy begun by his father. The deceased senior Niemeyer believed through cooperation of this nature, Newtown Square has had a historical image of community based activities and support. As the region was “celebrating” the first day of spring, the Newtown Square Fire Company was prepared to meet the challenge of this hoped-for final snow of the winter.
The massive snowfall falls of March were easily removed by Newtown Square Fire Company crews thanks to the snow-managing snow blower recently received as a gift from the Fire Company’s neighbor the Niemeyer Corporation. Newtown Square FireFoto
Friday, 06 March 2015 13:41
The collection of recent news reports, including police dash-board camera scenes of a home disappearing in a natural gas explosion have helped increase concerns about residential natural gas malfunctions. Following suggestions by the Newtown Square Fire Company can help eliminate the fears associated with the warning aroma of rotten eggs inside a home.
At the slightest smell of the ingredient added to natural gas as a warning effort, there are strict, yet easy-to-follow instructions for safety. Taking a cell or cordless phone, GET OUT - STAY OUT - CALL OUT from a location that is as far from the building as possible.
Before leaving the structure, avoid the temptation to turn lights either on or off. Both wall switches and lamps are a proven source of the ignition of leaking natural gas within structures;
Using the phone take out of the building, immediately call 9 1 1 and fully cooperate with the call taker or other persons at the Delaware County Emergency Dispatch Center. When outdoors, avoid starting a vehicle either in a garage or near the building.
All utilities—gas, electric, and water—can be sleeping giants. When all is well, they are necessities. When there is a problem, this is when troubles occur.
Addressing these potential dangers, Chief Doug Everlof stressed, “If there are even small concerns about gas or electric dangers, never hesitate to call for help. . Avoid life-threatening events by safely leaving the area or possible dangers and call 9 1 1.”
Friday, 06 March 2015 13:34
When Newtown Square firefighters encounter a non-working Smoke Detector, they ask “When was the battery changed? The greatest concern is finding no battery in the battery compartment in these life-saving devices.
When asked why the battery was not changed with the change of clocks, the most common response is either, “I started to do it,” “I forgot” or “I was going to do it tomorrow.”
If the occupant had installed the newer, 10-year Smoke Detector, this problem would have been avoided.
Following the recent “change-of-time,” Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof has once again stressed, “It only takes a short time to help protect lives by installing a fresh battery in the Carbon Monoxide Monitors or Smoke Detectors. Please do this today. This reminder is the idea behind the Newtown Square Fire Company’s Second Chance Club.”
Motivated by these continuing and unfortunate observations, not everyone follows the simple “change-of-time” reminders. To help everyone forgetting to change these batteries, the Newtown Square Fire Company continues to stress its “Second Chance Club.”
“Please don’t take chance with the lives of your family,” volunteered Chief Everlof. He added, “While a simple job, please make it your number one project. These devices need a power source to provide these life-saving protections. Insert new batteries in each of the home’s Carbon Monoxide Monitors and older style Smoke Detectors. Please do it now!”
Without the protection of these inexpensive and valued safety watchdogs, there may be no SECOND CHANCE.
Friday, 06 March 2015 12:56
Oven fires are a continuing concern for Newtown Square firefighters near holidays. A recent fire in an oven was a surprise. This fire dispatch was not holiday related and the size of the oven was many times that of a home oven. Saturday, February 28, mid-afternoon fire was in a commercial oven at Luigi and Giovanni. St. Albans Circle
The Newtown Square Fire Company supplied photo demonstrates several of the standard procedures practiced by the local fire fighters. The fire located in a commercial oven was extinguished using a dry-powdered, hand held fire extinguisher. While there was some powered residue, the oven was not damaged, had the more common firefighting tool—water—had been selected.
Another Fire Company practice is team work and the most primary practices are the safety of the crew members while protecting the nearby, surrounding areas near the fire area. During the final state of the fire fighter’s activities, they found a way to look for any possible fire not easily seen from the edge of the oven.
What was needed was a way to look into the recesses of the oven. There was only one way to investigate. With this fire, Lieutenant Eric Harper “went the extra mile.” To make sure there were no hidden fire remnants he “entered” the oven, head first.
Because his investigation was in a confined space where there remained oxygen-displacing, post combustion gases, Lieutenant Harper removed the air tank from his back and wearing the mask he was able to complete the final inspection from within the oven. With his supply of compressed air being supplied by the air hose still connected to tank, Harper quickly and safely finished his oven inspection.
This post-extinguishing effort, while not being a specific concept taught in fire training, demonstrated experience and creative thinking are important skills. Throughout the afternoon activities, it was evident safety is an ongoing practice shared by Newtown Square Fire Company and other well-trained fire companies.
The traditional oven fires involve home ovens and holiday meals. A different oven fire summoned the Newtown Square Fire Company to a St. Albans Circle Deli. This sizable oven is used for sizable baking needs. Shown is Lieutenant Eric Harper and his crew are searching for any hidden fire. Because of the location, Harper continues to use his Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, while the compressed air tank is being held by a colleague. Newtown Square FireFoto/Certo
Friday, 20 February 2015 16:19
While there is a regional stress for an increase in fire prevention because of an escalation in dwelling fires, the Newtown Square Fire Company was spared the torture of fighting fires in the near-record setting low temperatures. However, on Friday morning, February 20, the Newtown Fire Company had an emergency that demonstrated their mastery of rescue and vehicle-extrication skills in torturing temperatures.
The accident scene, the 100 block of Bryn Mawr Avenue, between West Chester Pike and Brookside, prompted the response of the Newtown rescue personnel and the Fire Company Ladder. Because of the position and condition of the car that had sustained extensive damage as it hit a tree and the weather conditions of near record-setting low temperatures, a companion rescue was summoned from neighboring Broomall.
As the patient was being evaluated, rescue personnel began the safety steps of stabilizing the vehicle. This procedure assures there will be no movement of the vehicle, both while initiating the disassembly of portions of the vehicle and the removal of the driver. This stabilization assures there will be no additional injuries that may occur if the vehicle were to move. To access the driver, doors and a segment of the roof were removed.
Aided by the Riddle Hospital crew staffing the Newtown Township Ambulance, the injured driver was carefully removed and prepared for hospital transport.
Deputy Chief George Guyer praised the firefighters from Newtown Square and Broomall for their efficient and profession effort in weather where the temperature was approaching 10 degrees. The temperature was as similarly hampering as the mangled metal the entrapped the injured driver.
Saturday, 31 January 2015 23:43
The unusual, yet less demanding winter weather of this winter has nevertheless been a favorite of the electronic news providers in this area. In fact, in an attempt, one provider has once again provided the weather activities with names for the winter’s threats.
Armed with a Monday night, January 26 news topic of winter winds, some Newtown Square residents having only electric alarm clocks may not have gotten out of bed at the planned time on Tuesday morning. A series of events on Newtown’s Bryn Mawr Avenue did HOWEVER provide an unexpected wake up call for members of the Newtown Square Fire Company.
The approximate 3 a.m. radio pager dispatch told of a vehicle accident in the 100 block of the popular connecting road between Newtown Township and Radnor. Not only was a vehicle unable to move, there was also a fire and downed utility wires.
One result of this accident was a prolonged power outage of portions of the nearby area. It also resulted in a closure of Bryn Mawr Avenue for some time. In this middle-of-the night series of events, there was some mystery how the driver apparently was able to self-extricate. In addition to this, a fire engulfed the nearby vegetation.
As in many Newtown Square Fire Company responses, the last personnel and apparatus to leave this area were the Fire Company’s Fire Police. In addition to their responsibilities of protecting the firefighters and their apparatus from intruders at the emergency location, they must prove to be very skilled diplomats.
In their diplomatic activities, they must dissuade both the curious and the anxious drivers and occasional walkers that where they want to travel is dangerous. As one seasoned Fire Police member of the Newtown Square Fire Company shared, “These impatient people don’t seem to believe us .Our job is protection and the pay isn’t”.
Friday, 23 January 2015 21:41
Each winter, the normal competitive weather forecasting done by the area television stations does not escape the interests of the officers and members of the Newtown Square Fire Company. Many winter lifestyle changes focus on increase utility bills and possible seasonal inconveniences. For the local Fire Company members there is a safety concern that these community protectors hopes is shared by the township residents.
With water continuing as the most available and effective tool for extinguishing a fire, a snow-buried fire hydrant is a negative influence. Addressing this seasonal concern, Chief Doug Everlof stresses, “Removing a large ‘working area’ from around the neighborhood fire hydrant becomes a true, potential life- and property-saving community effort. Please don’t think a neighbor will remove the snow. This simple task benefits everyone.”
Removing the snow not only helps in locating a hidden hydrant, the removal of sufficient snow from the general area around the hydrant provides the firefighters with room to connect the water-supplying hoses between the hydrant and the fire apparatus.
Several times in winter snows, a thoughtful Goshen Road resident went one step beyond the necessary hydrant snow removal. Shoved into the unusually high amount of snow was a red flag attached to a long pole. That creative communications was greatly appreciated by the Newtown Square firefighters.
By removing sufficient snow, residents are helping their family as well as the families of the entire neighborhood.
This winter scene demonstrates the greatly appreciated method of removing snow than can hide a fire hydrant. This snow removal pattern provides a working area for the hose that connects to the fire apparatus. Newtown Square FireFoto©
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Latest Biddle's Corner
|Serious Accident and Challenging Temperatures|
|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.