Pennsylvania News

Friday, June 14, 2019

Sharpsburg VFD upgrades station safety with federal grant

Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Department was able to make safety upgrades to the station along Main Street, thanks to a grant from the federal government. The department was selected to receive $48,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to eye air quality improvements at the fire hall. Members installed an exhaust removal system in all four bays of the station, lessening exposure to diesel fumes. “While our volunteers protect us daily, they need protection too,” Mayor Matt Rudzki said. “Exposure to diesel exhaust poses serious health risks to firefighters. The removal system will vent exhaust directly out of the fire station and not into the lungs of our firefighters.” Sharpsburg VFD members serve about 3,500 residents in the borough, along with providing mutual aid to neighboring communities. Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can con

York City Mayor: ’Just somebody’s opinion’ that poor risk analysis led to firefighter deaths

York City Mayor Michael Helfrich dismissed findings of a federal report that laid out the city fire department's failure to properly account for the risks of reentering a collapsing building that killed two firefighters in 2018. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on Monday released the 57-page report detailing the "inadequate risk vs. gain analysis" and other factors that contributed to the deaths of firefighters Ivan Flanscha and Zach Anthony. "That's just somebody's opinion," Helfrich said, adding that inspection of the area determined there was "no imminent issue" before declining to explain his own take on the report's assertion about risk analysis. Flanscha and Anthony, ages 50 and 29 respectively, died March 22, 2018, when a wall collapsed at the former Weaver Piano & Organ Co. building, which had been heavily damaged in a fire that began the previous day.
York Dispatch

At least 1 pet rescued after fire heavily damages Lower Saucon Township home

Fire caused heavy damage to a home in Lower Saucon Township, Northampton County. Emergency crews were called to the 1900 block of Springtown Hill Road around 7:30 p.m. Emergency dispatchers say they've received no reports of injuries. At least one pet was rescued from the home. A firefighter was seen giving oxygen to a cat. No word yet on what may have caused the fire.
WFMZ-TV Channel 69

6 reported injured in crash between bus and tractor-trailer in Salem Township

VIDEO: Six people were taken to area hospitals Thursday afternoon from a wreck involving two tractor-trailers, a Westmoreland County Transit Authority bus and a car at the intersection of Routes 819 and 22 in Salem Township, according to emergency responders. The male bus driver and his three wheelchair-bound passengers were among those injured when a tractor-trailer that was headed east on Route 22 struck the side of the northbound bus, Forbes Road fire Chief Bob Rosatti said. The bus was pushed into the westbound lanes, where a second tractor-trailer and a car became involved, he said. The drivers of the two westbound vehicles and the bus driver were taken by ambulance to area hospitals with were believed to be minor injuries, according to state police from the Kiski Valley station.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Narberth Ambulance needs new mass casualty unit

A decommissioned SEPTA bus which for 10 years found a second life as a rehab/mass casualty unit with Narberth Ambulance is now totally and irretrievably deceased. A electrical malfunction put a final end of service for the old warhorse and now, members of Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Lower Merion, Narberth, Conshohocken, Haverford are actively searching for a replacement. “The type of replacement unit we are looking for does not have to be new. What would be ideal is a limousine bus equipped with a handicap lift,” stated explained Albert Davey, deputy chief of Narberth Ambulance. During its decade of extracurricular special services, the unit was deployed to numerous activities, including fire incidents, nursing home evacuations, police assists, Villanova Basketball championships, The Democratic National Convention, and the Papal Visit.
Main Line Times

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Bill in Pennsylvania Statehouse would add protections for injured volunteer fire personnel

A bill in the Pennsylvania Statehouse would make sure all active-duty firefighters have access to the State Worker's Insurance Fund, being denied access to compensation from this fund is a problem some volunteer companies have faced when members got hurt on the job. Volunteer firefighters injured while fighting a fire have access to the State Worker's Insurance Fund, but that line gets blurred when they get hurt doing other jobs for the fire company. "What there was a little question about was the people that support the fire company through raising funds at their carnivals," said Jerry Ozog, Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute Executive Director. "And chicken dinners, and those type of things." Senate Bill 94, introduced by State Sen. Scott Martin, would make it clear who exactly is covered by the State Workers' Insurance Fund, also known as SWIF, when they're hurt.
WPMT-TV Fox 43

Fire Destroys Backdraft Sports Bar, Apartments in Wayne County

VIDEO: A fire destroyed a business and two apartments in Wayne County. It happened around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday at Backdraft Sports Bar & Grill on the Hamlin Highway. Smoking wreckage was all that remained of the business near Hamlin just a few hours later. "I was like 'Oh my God,' it's gone I mean there's nothing left to it. It's gutted totally," said Sandra Faulkner of Lake Township. The business was closed when an employee finishing up inside said he saw an orange glow from the patio area. He tried to fight the flames with a fire extinguisher, but that did not help. Two people living in two apartments on the second floor above the fire got out safely. Fire officials said crews responded within minutes and knew immediately the fire was massive. "We saw a glow in the sky as we came through Hamlin Corners, we knew we were going to be engaging a large fire," said Fire Chief Steve Price of Hamlin Fire and Rescue.
WNEP-TV Newswatch 16

Springfield Fire Company announces celebration of 100th year in service

This time next year will be special for the township's first responders. Members of the Springfield Fire Company attended the township meeting on Tuesday night to announce a celebration of their 100th year in service. Robert Smythe Sr., chairman of the 100th Anniversary Committee for the fire company, announced that on June 9, 1920, the Springfield Township chartered its first and only fire company. On June 9, 2020, the Springfield Fire Company will have been in service for 100 years. “For 100 years, members of our fire company have been standing guard, sacrificing their personal time and safety to protect the people and property of Springfield Township,” Smythe said. “Though the names and faces of our members may have changed over the last century, their dedication to this community and the traditions they have instilled remain constant.”
Delaware County Daily Times

Fire Forces Six People from Double-Block Home in Luzerne County

VIDEO: Six people were forced from their home early Wednesday morning after a double-block home caught fire near Hazleton. It happened on Hollywood Boulevard in Hazle Township just before 2 a.m. Fire crews said it all started with a vehicle fire and spread to the double-block home. A man inside woke his sleeping family and neighbors. "Thank God to my neighbor who woke me up, they knocked on my wall really fast," said Leslie Lugo of Hazle Township, who escaped the fire. Fire officials said everyone made it out safely -- the couple living on one side, a couple, their baby and young son on the other side, too. In total, six people and their pets all OK after a scary situation. "It's great that everybody got out safe and somebody smelled the smoke and had the chance to get out," said neighbor Ed Hayes. The vehicle is a total loss and the duplex badly damaged.
WNEP-TV Newswatch 16

Local fire companies help Gregg Township save hundreds of thousands of dollars

The Gregg Township Volunteer Fire Department was given a donated water pumper to help them have the equipment they need, to save lives. But it wasn't the first donation they were given. In January, Gregg Township firefighters were at a fire, trying get water from their wasn't working. Scott Breon, Chief for the Gregg Township Volunteer Fire Company says they took it in to be repaired. Port Matilda donated their water pumper to Gregg Township, but when firefighters practiced using it, there was an accident. "They were pumping water and the truck actually managed to get itself into gear, and it ran away from the guys outside trying to pump," Breon, said. "Luckily no one was injured, it did some damage to a utility pole and it tore the door off of our newly donated engine." Still, without a pumper Gregg Township had to use a special unit which only held 300 gallons of water, instead of the 1,000 they needed. That's when Nittany Valley Volunteer Fire Department donated their pumper, free of charge.

Alpha Fire Company resuscitate a cat in Ferguson Township house fire

Multiple crews responded to a kitchen fire in a house on Butternut Street in Ferguson Township. Alpha Fire Company, along with Ferguson Township police and other emergency personnel responded to a call of a kitchen fire at 9 am this morning. Officials say there were able to put the fire out within 19 minutes, and no damage was done to the outside of the house. The kitchen was completely destroyed. No injuries were reported but fire crews had to resuscitate a cat that remained in the house during the fire. With the help of new animal oxygen mask from the Bellefonte Moose Lodge, firefighters were able to successfully resuscitate the cat. The cat is doing well now.

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