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.


Marple Fire October 1, 2014

Friday, 03 October 2014 09:59

An approximate, 1 p.m. on Wednesday, October 1, area firefighters and selected fire apparatus were alerted to respond to a dwelling fire in the 700 block of Cedar Grove  Road, in Marple Township.   As the firefighters were responding, Marple Police advised this was a sizable structure fire.

As Newtown Square Fire Chief Doug Everlof approached  the dwelling, he advised the Delaware County Fire Dispatch Center of  his observations—heavy smoke and  large amount of fire that had forced their way out of two first floor windows. This first report and other radio message from Chief Everlof helped in accurately informing the incoming crews and apparatus and providing them with instructions.  As an example of the professional planning employed by the local fire officers, this daytime fire response consisted of selected apparatus from specific, predetermined communities by the Broomall Company.

Chief Everlof explained, “Responding units were selected to meet the demands of daytime residential fire for a stone and frame, two-story home. “These combined fire crews and their individual apparatus were drawn from Broomall and Newtown Square as well as Haverford Township’s Manoa Fire Company, and Upper Darby Township’s Garrettford-Drexel Hill Fire Company.

As the first piece of fire apparatus, Newtown Square’s Aerial Ladder, was nearing the fire location, Chief Everlof advised the crew to connect to the nearby fire Hydrant. To the unknowing, it may have seemed unusual for a ladder to assume the traditional role of a pumper.  After the fire, Chief Everlof was asked why the unusual use of a ladder. Newtown Square’s fire chief explained this ladder was design to include a meaningful pump and onboard water

Water from hand-held attack lines was used by both Broomall’s and Newtown Square’s ladders crews each entered the burning structure.  Newtown Square’s mission was to   make an interior search, looking for any trapped occupants. This action was prompted by an initial report from the Marple Township Police. There was was no certainty all of the occupants were out of the building.

As the search for occupants was being done, the interior crew from Broomall was beginning to stop the advance of the interior fire.  This crew was also prepared to protect and, if needed, aid in any evacuation activities.  Finding no occupants, the Newtown Square firefighters joined in the interior firefighting.

The combination of building construction and what was felt to be prolonged burn time before discovery, fire crews were also busy on second floor of the stone and frame home.   Following safe firefighting practices, ladders were placed to the windows on the second floor. This safety practice assures there is an emergency escape path, if needed.

To address the demands on firefighters who worked at demanding pace that saw this fire being placed under control in approximately 30 minutes, the Marple Ambulance Corps was at the fire scene to assume the hydration of the firefighters and to evaluate and if needed, treat any injured firefighters.

Because of the amount of pre-noticed burn, the firefighters were required to do extensive searching for areas of hidden burning. As this activity was being done, Chief Everlof praised all of the firefighters. Fortunately the Garrettford-Drexel Hill Fire Company, who was summoned to provide any needed Rapid Intervention had any firefighters had become trapped or injured, were not needed in this role. They volunteered to assist in the laborious ladder work to seek and extinguish any hidden burning.

Newtown Chief Doug Everlof praised the professional extinguishing and overhaul activities.   He volunteered, ”This total team effort of crews who worked extremely hard was a credit to the training provided by their individual fire companies.  This was a smoothly operating, team effort. “

The traffic approaching from both directions on Cedar Grove Road was detoured by the Newtown Square and Broomall Fire Police.  With no vehicular traffic around the fire scene, this helps in eliminating any car accidents or injuries to fire crews working in the streets.

Fire crews and apparatus from two nearby fire companies actively work with firefighters from Broomall and Newtown Square to extinguish a serious fire in a home in the 700 block of Cedar Grove Road, Marple on Monday afternoon, October 1.   Seen are the exterior activities on the second floor while addition firefighters are also working on the interior. Newtown Square FireFoto©



FOUND: Gold Wedding Ring

Monday, 29 September 2014 20:23

FOUND: Turned in by one of our vendors, a gold wedding ring found at our Flea Market Sunday September 28. If you can identify it, please send an email to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



Friday, 26 September 2014 20:41

The Newtown Square Fire Company is making available easy-to-follow set of steps to make a safety tool that helps eliminate the dangers of attempting to remove a stubborn piece of toast or an oversized bagel that has become wedged inside an electric toaster.  The warnings included in a recently prepared Safety Warning instructed readers to avoid the temptation to use any metal or other hard plastic item for removal of any wedged item.

If the area kitchen supply providers do not market a Removal Tong, there is an alternative source. Create your own Removal Tong. This will aid in making your very own and save your fingers, avoiding the dangers of working with electric wires.

Most of the supplies you will need for this build at home set of Safety Tongs can be found around the house or found at a Craft Supply Store.

After viewing the picture, below, the simple, easy to construct tongs can become a part of a safe kitchen.

The finished product

Supplies needed:

large craft sticks (the fat ones!),

wooden clothespins,

markers and craft glue

Construction Steps

1. Assemble the sticks, wooden clothespins and craft glue

2. Glue the craft stick to the clothespin with the end of the clothespin (the part you squeeze) to the ends of the craft stick.  Any young helpers can contribute to the Safety Tongs by adding art to the craft sticks.

3 This project is so simple, no difficult steps or procedures are needed.   Why not make several.



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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

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

11-10-2014 19:30 - 21:30
Company Meeting

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