Seasonal Simple Safety Steps

Monday, 12 December 2016 16:23

A good way to begin a day is with a hearty breakfast.  A staple of many morning meals is toasted bread or bagel.  Also a toaster that is reluctant to “release a piece of toasted bread becomes a dangerous safety threat.  The Newtown Square Fire Company, a 100-plus year community protection organization began it toaster safety suggestion with a simple statement, “Avoid possible life-threatening dangers and a possible dangerous fire through the simple ‘remove the danger by unplugging the toaster’.”

Newtown Square’s Fire Chief Doug Everlof added, “Far too often, there are reports of hungry toast makers trying to dislodge a piece of stubborn of bread or a bagel by using a fork, a knife or some other available metal kitchen device, all without removing the electrical danger. This is simply done by removing the appliance’s plug from the wall receptacle. Once the electrical danger is eliminated, there are several simple ways to retrieve the item being toasted.’

Using the commercially available, non-metallic tools constructed for the safe removal of jammed food items lodged in the toaster is far better than using metal eating or cooking utensils.  Always be gentle in this removal process.

Echoing his safety concerns from previously shared comments, Deputy Fire Chief George Guyer IV volunteered, “Even when a removal of food is done with an ‘unplugged toaster’ there are other dangers.  By using any rigid removal tool, the unseen, obscured heating wires can be moved from internal supports. When the toaster is used after the unrecognized, unintentional moving of the heating elements can either make unwanted alteration to pattern of the heating wires or an unwanted heating wire contact with the metal case of the toaster. “

Both events can be dangerous. The changes in the wiring patterns can result in fire. The unseen contact by any of the dislodged heating wires and the metal shell of the toasting device can result in the possibility of an electric shock or produce a fire.

Commenting on the combined activities of the holiday period, Chief Doug Everlof added, “Simple, but effective safety steps are key ingredients in both fire and injury prevention. This is the time of the year for fun and family, not for injuries or fires.  Please include safety in all of the family’s activities.”

 

Saturday Night Fire

Monday, 12 December 2016 10:45

As many residents of Newtown Square’s Larchmont neighborhood were either thinking about bedtime or watching late Saturday night television on December 10, a series of events altered lives and properties on both Northwood and Barren Road.   Calls to the Delaware County Fire Dispatch at approximately 11:16 p.m.  told of afire whose flames were visible more than a block away.

As apparatus of Newtown Square’s and Broomall’s Fire Companies approached the reported Northwood, near Dutton Drive location, their radio messages echoed the initially reported information supplied to the Delaware County 9 1 1   These initial fire ground reports added the heavily involved fire was in a building located at rear of the property,  

This on-scene report validated the initial dispatch including fire crews and apparatus from Upper Providence’s Rose Tree Fire Company and a specialty-service Rapid Intervention Crew from the Media Fire Company.  Also included were medical crews from Riddle Hospital. As these initial firefighters approached the fiercely burning structure, they found the intensity of the seemingly well-fueled fire had ignited a parked car and had begun to melt the siding of the adjacent residence.

This heat and flames from this building at the rear of the Northwood property across the property border to ignite a nearby building belonging to a Barren Road neighbor.

The amount of post-extinguishing activities, including overhaul, also included working with the Newtown Township Fire Marshal in his routine investigation. These responsibilities prompted a cooperative request for the dispatch of a ladder truck from Haverford Township’s Brookline Fire Company and a pumper from West Chester, Chester County.  While staged to respond from the Newtown Square Fire Company, they performed cover-up services for emergencies in both Newtown and Marple Townships.

 

Basic Emergency Tools

Thursday, 01 December 2016 13:39

In the event of an emergency prompted by natural events or any event that results in a family or neighborhood isolation or loss of utilities, families must be prepared to meet these challenges.  The Newtown Square Fire Company has prepared recommendations for basic survival is a basic collection of Emergency supplies.  This collection should be for a minimum, three-day emergency.

To meet the challenges of emergencies, being prepared and being calm are key ingredients in assuring safety. The most basic life-sustaining item is water.

To be basically prepared for a period of isolation, the Newtown Square Fire Company suggests a minimum of one gallon of bottled water per person per day. Deputy Fire Chief George Guyer IV has suggested using a collection of smaller, individual bottles for this life sustaining water.

Food supplies should comprise of items that do not require either cooking or refrigeration.  The nutrients are of greater importance than methods of preparations. With this concept in mind, a list of foods might include, in part, the following:

  • Canned goods (for example: meat, tuna, soup, fruit, vegetables)
  • Food bars (for example: protein, cereal, granola)
  • Infant supplies (formula, food, and diapers)

Remember to include a manual can opener.

First aid supplies, while not limited to the following, should include:

  • Bandages of assortment of sizes and types.
  • Antiseptic spray or antibiotic ointment
  • Aspirin and non-aspirin pain relievers
  • Family medical supplies, well labeled, and copies of prescriptions

Flashlights and extra batteries Radio with extra batteries

Cell phone extending battery and/or solar cell charger

Matches in water-proofing container and/or a lighter

Convenience Items:
Paper plates and cups, plus plastic forks, knives, and spoons
Plastic storage containers and sealable bags
Toilet paper and facial tissues

Personal care items:
Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss
Soap, antibacterial wipes
Feminine supplies

Do not forget to included ideas and supplies for the family pets.  The local firefighters remind residents to include a minimum three-day supply of pet food and adequate water for these important family companions.

 

Winter Safety

Thursday, 24 November 2016 11:45

The prolonged warmer temperatures that hint of the last days of summer or early fall can easily prompt a dangerous, seasonal neglect to the safety and efficiency of the home’s heating system.  Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof reminds residents, “A simple act of forgetfulness or procrastination because the weather is not yet “winter-like” can prove to be unhealthy and dangerous.

The longer the hesitation to arrange for a heating system checkup, the greater the risk that a scheduled, professional inspection and any necessary repairs may not be able to be accomplished before the prolonged home heating begins.   In addition to the possibility of increased operating cost, the motivation to assurance there will be no dangers of carbon monoxide leaks can all be motivators.

Chief Everlof has reminded residents, “The potential life-threats from carbon monoxide—the silent, odorless potential killer—should be the only nudge that anyone should ever require to make sure a heating system is working properly and can be dependable and safe for the current heating season.“ As a safety ‘parachute,’ Newtown Square Fire Chief added a reminder that properly installed and working CO Monitors should also be installed near each of the resident’s sleeping areas.

Prevention in all the many aspects of daily living is a key element in each of the many facets of community protection that are routinely addressed by the Newtown Square Fire Company.  Each of these activities are the daily responsibilities of the firefighters and officers that are the Newtown Square Fire Company.  These dedicated neighbors are not alone in this effort. Chief Everlof added, “Safety must also be addressed by the entire community we protect.”

 

Understanding Winter Words

Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:33

As the calendar approaches the beginning of the 2016-2017 winter, television weather reports are showing the wrath of winter.  Winds and the northern region’s snows have already become a media focus. Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof volunteered, “The strength of the winds and the potential damages they may produce are topics the Fire Company wants to share with its neighbor.”

Chief Everlof stressed there are special precautions that must be followed when driving in high winds.  These guidelines include slowing down when faced with the hazards associated changes in wind speeds. They also include the elimination of all distractions, and keep both hands on the steering wheel. Additionally, savvy wind-driving skills demand staying away from trucks, buses, and any vehicles that are towing trailers.

In addition to driving suggestions, drivers must also be aware of growing standards of wind and weather communications.  Wind-based information now shares the concept of an Advisory, a Watch, and a Warning.  These wind-related standards can now join their counterparts in other weather conditions

High Wind Advisory This will be issued when winds are strong enough to cause difficulty for those outside but not likely to cause widespread damage. Advice to be continually attentive.

High Wind Warning This will be issued when damaging or life-threatening winds are currently occurring or will be occurring soon.  This is a time to take action.

High Wind Watch This will be issued when it’s possible for damaging or life-threatening winds to occur. This is a time to put into action planned steps of preparation.

Concluding this primer of storm-related concerns, Chief Doug Everlof also added observations about another series of possible wind related dangers, “Regardless of where any of us may be when a wind storm occurs, remember to be on the look-out for flying debris, downed power lines and fallen trees and branches."

 

Show Your Numbers

Friday, 24 July 2015 10:29

Just as everyone has a name, buildings—residences, businesses, and apartments—all have assigned address.  There many ways a person’s name is recorded and recognized. There is no parallel with addresses. Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof commented, “There are required methods of addresses, yet occupants or commercial owners don’t follow the Township’s standards.”

The Newtown Square Fire Company is familiar with landmarks and the names of the far too many un-numbered structures, what if another emergency service provider is providing “cover up protection?”  These visiting helpers must respond by depending upon posted address numbers.

Without adequately posted building numbers, there could be a delay in services by visiting fire or EMS.

During a daytime or nighttime tour of the streets and roads in Newtown Township there is a common, dangerous observation.  Far too many commercial, government entities, churches, recreational facilities, and homes lack appropriate addresses

A digest of the Newtown Township Codes states the minimum requirements for the building numbering standards says identifying numbers must be a minimum height of 4inches high and a minimum width of one-half inch wide.   Additionally, these numbers must contrast with their supporting background.

In adding a collection of others suggested, Chief Doug Everlof, stressed, “The numbers are an important help to local and standards assisting emergency crews.  Their location must be easily seen from the street and numbers. Reflective numbers contribute an even greater impact”.

Also, any commercial locations having alley access are reminded to post the address on the alley entrances.  This can be help for fire fighters when their response patterns often include access to the rear of businesses as well as to the front.

Newtown Square’s Fire Chief added, “Remember to trim plants and bushes. As they grow, they can hide the numbers.  If former, existing numbers need to be replaced, please DO IT NOW.”

The rural type, post mounted, road side postal boxes, create an even greater challenge to all emergency service personnel. Because the fire, police, and EMS responders do not always travel in the same direction as the post office vehicles, the same size numbers should be posted on both sides of these rural type mail boxes.  Lacking street lig illumination, these numbers should be the reflecting type.

While many people have elected to pay the price to have an unlisted telephone number, the cost for having an unseen address could be priceless.  The Fire Company asks for the cooperation to have all properties adequately identified. “Don’t wait!  Please do this NOW,” stressed Chief Everlof.

 

Become a Volunteer

Is your daily work as satisfying as saving a life?

ImageCertainly not every fire or ambulance call results in saving a life, but each time we leave the fire station we are helping our neighbors in need. You can join this organization and show your community you care.

Joining the Newtown Square Fire Company is Easy. We meet the second Monday of each month at 7:30 PM in the front hall here at the fire house. We cover all training cost, so don't let lack of knowledge discourage you. Any questions call us at 610-356-9590 and leave a message.

Click here: Membership Application

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What if I think I don't have time or I feel that I am too busy to become a member?

We know your time is valuable, but some of that time serving your community is an option you should strongly consider. Saving lives in your community is a commitment you should place high on your priorities.

Since 1916 the citizens of Newtown Square have responded to the emergency service needs of the community. It is an honor to volunteer and the rewards in terms of satisfaction are enormous. Most people considering becoming a volunteer ask certain questions about what is required. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

Do I have to live in the Newtown Square to join?

It depends on what position you are interested in. If you are a house member or auxiliary member you can live anywhere. If you are an active fire fighter, fire police officer, and you want to run from your home, you need to be within a respond-able distance (about 6 minutes). However, you may live outside the state and want to be a member. You can do this as long as you are within 6 minutes of the fire company when you are on duty.

What type of positions are open?

We have a need for the full range of emergency service positions - firefighter, engineer, fire police. In addition, we can use administrative staff to support non-emergency functions.

Is there any special training and who provides it?

We provide free training for all positions. Members are not permitted to engage in fire company activities without the proper training and supervision.

How many hours do I have to spend volunteering?

Members are expected to earn points based on hours of service over a year. A minimum number of 140 points (one point = one hour) must be earned in a year for education, support service and active service. We do prefer that members be on call to respond for at least twelve hours every week.

Do I have to be at the fire station to respond?

You will be issued a pager which will sound for you to respond to a fire or ambulance call. Therefore, you do not have to be at the fire station in order to serve.

Is emergency service work a risk?

Yes, there is some risk in emergency service activities but our number one priority is safety. We work as a team and every effort is made to ensure that members are safe at all times.

Beyond responding to fire and ambulance calls what other time is required of me?

To keep your skills sharp and learn to work with other members of the emergency service team there are monthly fire and ambulance drills. Depending on your level of responsibility there is some additional education required. Also, on the second Monday of each month the company gathers for a business meeting at 7:30pm. You are welcome to join us.

What other activities is the fire company involved in?

Our core mission is to provide emergency services to the communities we serve. We also engage in other community related activities which you are welcome to participate in if you have the time. You can also serve on the various committees that help our organization function.

I have some other questions, how do I get answers?

Call (610) 356-9590 for our voice mail box and ask for the Fire Chief or President to return your call.

How do I become a member?

Simply complete an application which can be obtained by calling (610) 356-9590 or simply complete our Web based application. Applicants will be interviewed by our Membership Committee and a background investigation will be performed by the police department.

 

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Run Statistics

Run Statistics

2017 Calls
2016 Total 686
2015 Total 618
2014 Total 689
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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Latest Biddle's Corner

Saturday Night Fire

As many residents of Newtown Square’s Larchmont neighborhood were either thinking about bedtime or watching late Saturday night television on December 10, a series of events altered lives and properties on both Northwood and Barren Road.   Calls to the Delaware County Fire Dispatch at approximately 11:16 p.m.  told of afire whose flames were visible more than a block away.

As apparatus of Newtown Square’s and Broomall’s Fire Companies approached the reported Northwood, near Dutton Drive location, their radio messages echoed the initially reported information supplied to the Delaware County 9 1 1   These initial fire ground reports added the heavily involved fire was in a building located at rear of the property,  

This on-scene report validated the initial dispatch including fire crews and apparatus from Upper Providence’s Rose Tree Fire Company and a specialty-service Rapid Intervention Crew from the Media Fire Company.  Also included were medical crews from Riddle Hospital. As these initial firefighters approached the fiercely burning structure, they found the intensity of the seemingly well-fueled fire had ignited a parked car and had begun to melt the siding of the adjacent residence.

This heat and flames from this building at the rear of the Northwood property across the property border to ignite a nearby building belonging to a Barren Road neighbor.

The amount of post-extinguishing activities, including overhaul, also included working with the Newtown Township Fire Marshal in his routine investigation. These responsibilities prompted a cooperative request for the dispatch of a ladder truck from Haverford Township’s Brookline Fire Company and a pumper from West Chester, Chester County.  While staged to respond from the Newtown Square Fire Company, they performed cover-up services for emergencies in both Newtown and Marple Townships.

 
Shelter-in-Place Option

A collection of events has prompted Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof to share some emergency suggestions were prompted by recent events.  He began by saying, “Many followers of both recent television and radio news may have been introduced to a form of emergency response that is growing in effectiveness and acceptance. “


The event Chief Everlof was citing was a collection of Monday, November 28, mid-morning events that occurred on the sprawling Columbus, Ohio campus of The Ohio State University. A forced vehicle accident resulting in pedestrian injuries followed eight stabbings by what was described as a “butcher knife,” became responsible for a growing response to community emergencies—Sheltering-In-Place.


Ohio State University students returned to the Columbus campus following a Thanksgiving exodus and those students who experienced the emotions of the Saturday, November 26 double-overtime, 30-27 victory over arch rival University of Michigan returned to the campus with an academic mission. With the upcoming, mid-December final exams for the school’s Autumn Semester, OSU students were well focused until a collection of student injuries at a 9:52 a.m. campus incident.


The sound of gunshots on campus spawned University official to declare a Shelter-In-Place statement.   As has become favored, a well-advised practice for academic installations, this safety-practice incorporates seeking safety within the nearby, normally occupied structure.   This concept contrasts with the relocation to a possible remote, large evacuation site.


Shelter-In Place—often also known as a “lockdown”—is being viewed as an increasing effective way to address emergencies.  Joining in a Newtown Square Fire Company endorsement of the wisdom as this being a possible emergency response, are county, state, and federal organizations. Having the means to keep informed becomes a key ingredient in decision-making by person who may need instructions.  The use of cell phone communications—both voice and text, interior building communications, and the local electronic media all become important ingredients in the selection of safety choices.


Newtown Square’s fire chief explained, “National evaluation states there are instances where it can be wise to seek safety within the building you already occupy, rather than to evacuate the area or seek a community emergency shelter.”


Included in a list of risks are those that includes chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants.  This class of risks can be an accidental or an intentional release. If this class of dangers is known, people at risk should select a small, interior room, with no or few windows, and taking refuge there.


Sheltering in Place involves closing all household doors, windows and vents and taking immediate shelter in a readily accessible location that puts as much physical protection and indoor air and/or radiation shielding-mass between individuals and the outside hazardous.  This may include a basement or centrally located medium to small room.


If the emergency involves a school, a secured classroom is often a wise choice.  As was shown in recent television news, the fortress collection of chairs and tables barricading the room’s door became what appeared to be a sturdy defense.


In another type of emergency—one involving air contamination or radiation dangers—wise safety steps may include making the fortress as airtight as possible by shutting off all ventilation/HVAC systems. Additional protection can be achieved by a creative sealing the shelter's doors and windows from all outside air contaminants with damp towels, or if available, plastic sheeting and adhesive tape.


National analysis has shown Shelter-In-Place effectiveness has been evaluated by experts and it has been shown that proper sealing can make a substantial difference to a normal home shelter.  It has been found to be at least twice as effective against a host of airborne substances when compared against simply staying inside and not implementing some form protection the military, “Shelter-in-Place" is comparable to "buttoning up" and has proved life-saving in certain nuclear fallout instances.


A key ingredient that has general backing is the concept to Run from the Danger, Hide from the source of the risk, and if confronted and if there is alternative—Fight for your life and those of others