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Hydrants and Snow Removal

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©

 

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.

 

Food for Life and Happiness Collected by Newtown Square Firefighters

Tuesday, 02 December 2014 16:36

This is the time of the year when thought turn to food, fellowship, and for the members of the Newtown Square Fire Company, safety.   While not taking a vacation from the importance of safety, Newtown’s firefighters became partners in a timely special focus.  Aided by the Monday, November 24, listeners to 92.5 WXTU, this audience travelled to the North Newtown Street Road fire station and brought food, food and more food.

This local County Station returned for its second visit to the western Delaware  County firefighters for this special food gathering, competitive event.  Newtown’s firefighters were challenged by a group of firefighters in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. The New Jersey firefighters began the food-collection battle with the daytime competition time period.

When the Newtown Square firefighters heard the daytime collection number—1100 food containers—they did not flinch at that number.  The local men and women were aided by two special solicitation tools.  They included the needs of neighboring Broomall’s St. Mark’s UME provides food collection and distribution services for Edgmont, Haverford, Marple, Newtown, Radnor, and Springfield Townships. Attending the on-air WXTU’s “Razz on the Radio afternoon drive time was Maria Kohler, a mother of a former Newtown Square firefighter.

The second special tool was the combination of two firefighter super-talkers, Assistant Chief Joe Certo and Captain Mike Kenny. Acting as cheerleaders, they motivated the seeming unending stream of food-bearing fire station visitors.

With the end of the 3-7 p.m. the mountains of food items, supplied by mothers, fathers, and children as well as visiting firefighters from the Broomall, Haverford Township Oakmont Fire Company, and the Yeadon Fire Company.  This mountain of food totaling more than 2400 gave the Newtown Square Fire Company enviable bragging rights.

This collection of food items will assist visitors to the St. Mark’s Emergency Food Center with nourishment and peace of mind. This mass of food was so massive, its numbers exceeded the temporary storage facilities at the Broomall church.  The excess was taken to a companion emergency food center in Chester.

These food items will aid Delaware County residents who many no assurance of food, including holiday specialties or basic diet requirements.

Newtown Square FireFoto: Four hours of a fast paced food collection and sorting and assured the promise of providing needed food for Delaware County residents which will help yield a happy group of Newtown Square Fire Fighters.  They know these 2400 items will help assure  both nourishment and a holiday happiness for others.

Newtown Square FireFoto: The crew making the listeners understand the importance of feeding the hungry take a break during Delaware County appeal aired 92.5 WXTU are  (left to right) Country's Raz and host members from the Newtown Square Fire Company, Assistant Chief Joe Certo III and Captain Mike Kenny.

 

Now is the Time for Winter Preparedness

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 12:00

As the media shares the winter ravages that have shared a new definition of the wrath of Lake Effect Snow that has visited Buffalo, New York, the Newtown Square Fire Company once again shares a weather advisory to local residents.  In a community request, Chief Doug Everlof asked, “Knowing winter is fickle, what steps have residents taken to provide them with bare, life-sustaining necessities?”

These steps should begin with the one unavoidable necessity for homes having wells and not backup form of electric power—a collection of drinkable water.  Clean, recycled gallon jugs are a simple storage method.  Spare medicines  and for those homes not having a hard-wired telephone, a dependable source of recharging cellular phones, copies of prescriptions, and a standby source of cash are all serious steps to thwarting the problems of snow-based isolation.

Chief Everlof added, “To create a single list for defeating isolation because of snow, downed trees, and other weather problems that fits the needs for everyone is impossible.  Please invest some thoughtful time and create your individual family ‘safety list. This is a good investment at avoiding some possible painful problems.”

Newtown Square firefighters warn that not every comfort can be duplicated in emergency preparedness.  This simple truth must become an ingredient in being prepared.  By ignoring true luxuries, and focusing on necessities, a list of winter-storm preparedness will not be a difficult task.

Many of today’s firefighters had their first introduction of the “Be Prepared’ concept as defined by Boy Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts. They learned this is a process that begins with thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so as to never be over taken by surprise.  Deputy Chief George Guyer IV stressed, “This concept is fitting advice for everyone . . . . all the time.”

 

Help The Hungry

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 09:26

Philadelphia’s  92.5 WXTU is returning to the Newtown Square Fire Company from 3 to 7 p.m. on Monday, November 24.This return visit and its remote broadcast has a special focus—FOOD.   As many in the Marple and Newtown Square area are preparing for the food-feast time of Thanksgiving, many, many more will have little chance of festive-eating in their future. The Newtown Square Fire Company is assisting WXTU in replenishing the diminishing food supplies at the Regional Food Center maintained by St. Marks United Methodist Church, Broomall.  Special items that are being collected from the donations being accepted by the Newtown Square Fire Company –8 North Newtown Street Road (PA 252 near the WAWA) may include cereals, water added pancake mix, canned vegetables (no corn) and health items: toilet paper, toothpaste, bar soap, and shampoo.

 

Help the hungry and enjoy your own Thanksgiving is a very special way.

 

Safe Thanksgiving Food Prep

Monday, 17 November 2014 17:09

The Newtown Square Fire Company has observed the once former Thanksgiving holiday practices—steps that became practices through a continuation of a long list of historical practices—is being challenged in the interest of overall family safety.   The most recent safety challenge to a tradition is a focus on the main ingredient for many Thanksgiving meals—the turkey.

The first precaution begins the bird-safety process. Never thaw the bird on the kitchen counter. This simple precaution lessens the bacteria-contamination process.
The newly-proven safety suggestion deals with no longer rinsing the turkey (this process also applies to chicken) before the working with any bird.  Research has shown the washing/rinsing process is responsible for sharing the dangerous bacteria on to work surfaces, other foods and the food preparer.

In describing these changes, Chief Everlof stressed, “Grandma will be the most difficult person to unlearn the old process. She must learn: DO NOT RINSE YOUR POULTRY.  Look as the layout of the kitchen.  What has been unearthed is the finding that rinsing the bird does not eliminate the dangerous bacteria. Rinsing spreads these dangerous bacteria to all the nearby areas.’

It is the proper cooking that eliminates the bacteria.If the turkey requires any trimming or cutting, remember to use a separate cutting board and knife when working with vegetables or other eaten items.

After working with the turkey and it is on its way to being oven ready, this is the time to clean everything. This cleaning must include everything you touch while preparing food – utensils, towels, the countertop, your clothes, your body, and even the soap dispenser.

This is the time to do the most important washing, the cook’s body parts exposed to the air surrounding the bird. This water and friction process should parrot the soap and water scrubbing techniques seen on television hospital shows—aggressive and through, up above the wrists.  Don’t forget to wash the nose that itched during “bird process.”

Proper timing assures the turkey is cooked at a safe temperature. Do not depend upon the“pop-up’ device that came with the turkey. To be safe, purchase and use aquality cooking thermometer. This also may require finally purchasing a good meat thermometer. All poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees.

If it is a family tradition to cook the holiday stuffing inside the turkey, remember, it also must be cooked at this same, safe 165 degree temperature.  True safety suggestions stress cooking this tasty item outside of the bird.

Concluding this Fire Company Safety Suggestion, Chief Doug Everlof added, “Another often discussed Thanksgiving topic is how long can the Thanksgiving dinner be left out. A simple rule of food safety states keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold.”  It is doubtful many dining rooms have restaurant-style warming trays and buffet servers. After a well-planned social time at the dinnertable, it is was to begin packing up and refrigerating the leftovers within two hours.

 

Newtown Square’s Unpaid Professional Firefighters Still Make House Calls—Even OnThanksgiving

Thursday, 06 November 2014 11:01

The Newtown Square Fire Company cautions home chefs that November ushers in one of the more dangerous times of the year.  These dangers include food problems, cooking accidents and short cuts.

Ovens are an important contribution to the meals of the season and to the dangers of both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  In preparations for the holidays, plan the holidays’ oven cleaning well in advance of the planned holiday’s usage of the oven.

The most important precaution in cleaning an oven is the planning. After reading the instructions for the chemical oven-cleaning material, begin the cleaning after putting on protective gloves and a long sleeve shirt.  Always follow the use-instructions with no changes.

Fire Chief Doug Everlof warned, “Ventilation is an important ingredient in oven cleaning safety.  Always follow the instructions on the cleaning material. Remember, never mix cleaning materials.”

Safety practices demand avoiding the use of sharp tools to remove caked-on residue. Never allow any chemicals to make contact with the oven’s heating element or heating burner. By being patient, a wise cleaner of ovens will not rush the process.  Also include a wait of at least several hours before using the oven.

Before the cooking of the big meal, use the oven at least one time to help eliminate the normal, after-cleaning odor.

If during the holiday meal preparation, there is a cooking fire, never attempt acting like firefighters.   Avoid the temptation to put out the blaze. Keep the oven door closed and immediately call 9 1 1.

Newtown Square’s unpaid professional firefighters still make house calls—even on Thanksgiving.

 

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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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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

Editor:

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