House Numbers Are Important

Friday, 28 March 2014 15:28

As darkness settle upon Newtown Square on Wednesday, March 26, a fire dispatch sending fire apparatus and crews from Newtown Square and Broomall to a residence with an address in the 600 block of Ellis Avenue. As the firefighters soon discovered finding the reported address was not a simple task.

Newtown’s Assistant Chief Joe Certo entered Ellis Avenue from its intersection with Bishop Hollow Road.   Parking at a home with a street number that would normally be next to the reported emergency address, he walked to that adjacent home.

With a validation glance at the neighboring home’s mailbox address, Certo found that house bore a house number that was out of sequence.  That address, one having a 500 number, should have been a block away.

As the apparatus was nearing, Certo ended his exploration by finding the correct address—the home that had called 9 1 1 for help. This unusual set of addresses had a home with a 500-series number sandwiched between two homes with “even” 600 numbers.

Following the departure of the fire apparatus, further investigation unearthed there were other address problems. Within this neighborhood the bulk of the home markings were lacking the suggested reflective characteristics of numbers with a height of 2 to 3 inches, as well as numbers being affixed only on one side of the street-side support or the actual mail box.

Responding fire and medical help does not always arrive in the same direction as the postal vehicle. This simple reality results in the use of numbers on “both sides of the mailbox or the supporting post.

Motivated by his discovery, Certo added, “Following the impressive heights of this year’s snow, putting the house number on the support post may not be sufficiently high to be seen in a heavy snow.”

Similar address numbering suggestions apply to homes with house-mounted mail delivery.   To be efficient, house numbers must be easily seen from the street.  A yearly review of the plantings near homes must be done to make sure these numbers can be seen from the street.

The use of appropriate yard mounted numbers can be an alternate way of making sure emergency personnel can easily find an address when time is a key element for safety.   Planning and making changes before there is an emergency is a key element for the Newtown Square firefighters.  They suggest residents adopt this same safety suggestion.


Never Hesitate to Call

Friday, 28 March 2014 15:24


Recent daytime road repair activities on Newtown Square’s westbound West Chester Pike have often slowed travel to a crawl.  The majority of these activities have been in the curbside lane.  The types of activities have been both utility based.

These activities have involved the elevated electric wiring as well as underground searches for numerous reports of suspected natural gas leaks. The searches for the source of the leaks of natural gas are time consuming. Newtown Square firefighters have training and equipment for the validation that natural gas is present. They do not have the apparatus and training to seek the source.

Recent news stories about fires and explosions have heightened the public’s concerns about this type of potential emergency. During a recent dispatch for a suspected natural gas problem, the firefighters could not document an internal source of the origin for the odor that prompted that call.

After it was determined the smell had probably drifted inside a West Chester office building, there were apologies from the occupants for their having “bothered the firefighters.”

In discussing this type of call to 9 1 1, Chief Doug Everlof stressed, this type of call did not warrant an apology. He added, “It is far safer and wiser to make a call to the Delaware County Emergency Dispatch Center when one senses a potential danger that it would be to hope ‘a problem might go away.’ Early calls for help are far better than a later call when there is a full scale emergency.”

The Newtown Square Fire Company crews stress that hesitation can unknowingly become a part of a bigger problem. A call to 9 1 1 can do more than alert fire and police of problems. In a short telephone dialogue, the caller can be given safety directions.


Call for Safety

Friday, 21 March 2014 13:23

The Newtown Square Fire Company feels the onset of spring has fostered a seasonal safety reminder.  Just as pilots file a flight plan and drivers going on a vacation use a map to plan the trip, anyone “breaking the surface of the soil” must call Pennsylvania811. Also known as Pennsylvania One Call, this organization helps prevent dangerous events caused by improper digging, as well as helping add safety to nearby homes, businesses, and neighborhoods.

The three digit number—8 1 1—has added simplicity. It is an easy number to remember and its services assure safety to both above-ground structures and underground utilities. This “one-call” service is free for residential users

In reviewing a collection of utility emergencies, Chief Doug Everlof added, “Longtime home owners may not remember what or where items are buried underground. If a recent buyer is beginning the spring outdoor activities, there is no carryover knowledge of underground utilities. These two experiences mean both of these groups would be digging blind with making this simple phone call.

By calling 8 1 1, not only are emergency avoided. The loss of the internet and entertainment cable at the digger’s home or anywhere in the neighborhood can translate to the image of being a bad neighbor. The Fire Company reminds anyone with a shovel and yard project to always call 8 1 1. In a few days, each of the underground utilities will be plotted on the yard.

Chief Everlof stressed, “Invest a few minutes to make this free call to 8 1 1, obtain this free safety service, and then begin enjoying the projects that were planned during this year’s winter.”

Click here: How 811 Works


Two "What If" Fires

Friday, 14 March 2014 18:20

The phrase “what if” used is many times when an activity does not go well. Following two recent residential fires in Newtown Square, this phrase acquired a different meaning

The first of the two “what if” emergency dispatches was a dwelling fire in the 4500 block of Florida Avenue, Newtown Square.   Responding to this near-noon, Wednesday, March fire dispatch was apparatus from Newtown Square, and through a pre-arranged discipline, a supplemental piece of fire equipment from neighboring Broomall.

If there were no one in the Florida Park residence to discover this fire in its immature state, the amount of burning would have rapidly multiplied.  The result of this “what if there were no early discovery” would have produced a fire that would have very damaging.

During the Monday evening, March 10 general business meeting of the Newtown Square Fire Company, the second of this philosophically related calls sent a predetermined, multiple fire company response to a dwelling in the 3700 block of Gradyville Road, Newtown Township.   The intensity of the blaze in the second floor of this home was also influence by that fire’s “what if.”

The advance of that evening’s dwelling fire was reduced by a construction “what if.”    That “what if” was the choice of the type of an interior door.   If a more traditional hollow type door had been chosen, there would not have been the prolonged stopping of the fire’s advance that was fostered by the installation of a solid door.

Each of the firefighting partners had specific responsibilities during this evening fire.  Newtown Square and Broomall firefighting teams made their way up to the second floor fire area. Each was looking for the source of the fire and its telltale smoke.

Edgmont crews assisted in interior and exterior operations and Upper Providence Township’s Rose Tree Fire Company put in place exterior ladders for any emergency exiting needs. The Media Fire Company was dispatched to provide the Rapid Intervention Team firefighter protection services.  Joining the firefighting crews was a   Riddle Hospital Medic Unit.

In describing these two fires, Newtown Square Deputy Chief George Guyer, IV added the following comments, “The coordination and cooperation of firefighting activities from these neighboring fire crews is a credit to each organization’s individual training and the history of working together.”



Thursday, 06 March 2014 18:13

Registration is now open: Vendors wanted!

The Newtown Square Fire Company Auxiliary will have it's 67th Semi Annual Flea Market:

DATE: Sunday – April 27, 2014                    (Rain date: May 4, 2014)

Selling Hours: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

LOCATION: Newtown Square Shopping Center
West Chester Pike (East of Route 252)
Newtown Square, PA  19073

If you would like to reserve a table, please download, complete and mail in the Registration Form found under the Flea Market section of the Downloads section to the left of the page.

INFORMATION ONLY: (610) 355-0174 - Ask for This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (610) 356-4679 - Ask for Mary Lou


Traffic Tie Up Avoided By Fire Company Activities

Sunday, 02 March 2014 20:36

A mid-day dispatch on Thursday, February 27 initially had the ingredients of challenging events on an already busy segment of West Chester Pike area near Crum Creek Road.   This dispatch, one telling of a possible extrication in the 4800 block of the Pike, sent the Newtown Square Fire Company Rescue and Fire Police along with hospital paramedics to the incident.

As the Fire Company’s rescue crews approached the accident scene they saw a car and truck located in the grassy, dividing area of West Chester Pike.  They also saw utility crews working on overhead wires above the eastbound lanes.

Upon arrival, while there were serious impact damages, an inspection quickly saw there was no need for extrication.  It was learned the passenger vehicle occupant was experiencing medical problems and upon leaving the driving area, drove up onto the medium strip.  This passenger vehicle abruptly stopped when it made contact with a stationary vehicle that was a part of the utility activities.

Following on-scene, paramedic evaluation, the injuries were provided follow up, hospital treatment.

With assistance provided by the Newtown Square Fire Company Fire Police, the traffic flow was maintained with only minimal reduced travel paces.

This accident is under routine investigation.

Photo: A cooperative effort by Fire Police, Rescue Personnel, and police was instrumental in eliminating the possible prolonged traffic congestion at a Thursday, February 27 West Chester Pike accident. (Newtown Square FireFoto©)


Lesson Can Begin at a Young Age

Sunday, 02 March 2014 19:48

The Newtown Square Fire Company endorses the concept in today’s emergency responses that the initial steps in saving lives begins with the use of 911. Through the immediate initiation of the response of Fire, Police, Rescue, or EMS, valuable time can save lives and property can be saved.

Children are an often ignored source of possible help in emergencies. Yet, as frequently documented in news stories, children can do well in times of stress.

When should a child be taught how to call for help? Some experts say when a child knows their home address and has shown an interest in the home’s phone, it is time to begin 911 training.

Calls made from a traditional telephone automatically provide address information. Calls from phones using the Internet may not have this data available. This is why knowing the address is important.

With help, children can be easily taught to be calm and be cooperative with the 911 Call Taker. Children should be instructed to not hang up until they are told to do so. A common practice has the 911 Call Taker maintaining the phone conversation until the arrival of the emergency responders. Children want to know someone is coming to help them.

Children should be taught to speak clearly. When nervous, young callers have a tendency to mumble. By stressing the importance of being heard and understood, there will be a better dialogue. Listening by a child is very important. If the young caller has question, they should have no hesitation to as the Call Taker to repeat.

Fire Chief Everlof reminds parents to stress the importance of not making things up. If the child doesn’t know the answer to a question, this should be shared with the Call Taker.

Practice make perfect. Having children practice on an unplugged phone with the parent playing the role of the Call Taker is good training. Children like “make believe” and the satisfaction of doing well through repetition produces good results.

Knowing when to call is also important. Teaching the basic concepts of an adult not waking up, any fire or an intruder in the home are good examples of “when to call 911.” As a child grows, the family dialogue about reporting emergencies can also grow.

The Newtown Square Fire Company members join with Chief Everlof in recognizing the benefits of a well-schooled child in reporting emergencies. Start today. Tomorrow may be the day this new skill is needed.


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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

04-27-2014 09:00 - 16:00

04-28-2014 19:30 - 22:30
Work Night

05-04-2014 09:00 - 16:00
Rain Date for Flea Market

05-05-2014 19:30 - 22:30
Drill - Engine Co. Ops - Lt. Harper

05-06-2014 19:30 - 21:30
Auxiliary Meeting

Latest Biddle's Corner

Chimney Fires

Neighbors in the 3500 block of Goshen Road unexpectedly saw a parade of fire apparatus arriving several days prior to the scheduled, annual Santa ride through their community.  This collection of crews and apparatus was a response to chimney fire.

In all chimney fires with a path of the chimney’s flue reaching from the normal first floor fireplace up to the roof area, there exists a large potential area for fires. Any possible fractures in the inner fire flue create the potential for extended fires in all areas along this upward area from the fireplace up to the roof.

This potential of possible burning in the many areas adjacent to the path of chimney prompted a dispatch for additional, neighboring fire companies. Upon arrival, the Newtown firefighter found heavy smoke inside the dwelling.  Using the Thermal Imaging Camera the interior firefighters found several potential regions with higher than normal radiant heat signatures. By making two small inspection holes in each of these areas on the first floor, they were pleased to find no fire.

Once the interior crew had finished their sealing of the fireplace opening, a standard aide in preventing any soon-to-be dislodged debris from entering the living area, the crew on the roof began their effort to remove any additional materials that could burn.  Using a collection of extending rods and the attached chimney brush, they were removing the combustible accumulation of creosote that occurs from the use of fireplace.

Before leaving the home, the Newtown Square firefighters performed a one last act.  Using an extendable mirror, they did an upward inspection looking up from the fireplace to the roof. As these crews let the home, they took with them the runner they had placed on the floor when they entered the residence.

Beneficial Tradition Continues

The Newtown Square Fire Company is continuing a mutually beneficial tradition.  Located at  8 North Newtown Street Road (PA 252), the firefighters are selling Christmas as special fund raiser.

These Christmas Trees were harvested on Thanksgiving week from a nearby Berks County tree farm.  This supply of carefully selected trees was chosen to match the style of homes within the community.

An important criterion was the height of the trees.   With market pricing beginning at $45, trees were chosen to fit comfortably in normal ceiling heights as well as taller trees that will complement the many high Newtown Square area ceilings.

In selecting the tree supplier, firefighter Zack Conan volunteered they are all trees that were chosen were selected to become a quality additionto the community’s homes

The core hours of this sale are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  There will be hours later than the evening time; available crew members will also be at the Fire Station when they are performing a work detail, meetings, and training.

An additional benefit that-accompanies this Fund Raising event is the continuation of the free local delivery provided by the firefighters.