Pennsylvania News

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Fire Deaths in Philadelphia Are Up in 2019, So Is City’s Hiring of Firefighters

More people have died in Philadelphia fires this year than at any time since 2014, statistics show. On Wednesday, the city fire commissioner addressed the increase following the graduation ceremony of an unusually large class of new firefighters. The 121 new hires allow the department to open up stations that have been closed since the Great Recession a decade ago. Causes for the fires that led to the 32 deaths so far in 2019 include a lack of working smoke alarms, cooking mishaps, smoking and faulty electrical wiring, Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said. "I don't know that this is a trend," Thiel said in an interview Wednesday night at the graduation of the 196th class of new firefighters. "We certainly hope it's not a trend." "Tragically, some of those fire deaths are still happening in homes that don't have working smoke alarms," he added.
WCAU-TV NBC 10 Philadelphia

Related: Father, daughter make history with Philadelphia Fire Department

Jeffery and Daynese Stowe of Roxborough will be the first African-American father and daughter to actively serve as firefighters at the same time in the history of the Philadelphia Fire Department. Daynese was scheduled to graduate from the Philadelphia Fire Academy on Wednesday. The same day, Jeffery, who is the Deputy Chief Aide for the Philadelphia Fire Department, will celebrate his 30th anniversary of being a firefighter. He plans on spending on his day watching his daughter be inducted into the Philadelphia Fire Academy. “I’m so ecstatic,” said Daynese’s mother, LeAnne Hall-Stowe. “Daynese was in Class 192 three years ago and two weeks ago before graduation she was told she had to take the EMS test and she failed her first time. She didn’t give up. I’m over joyed for her. God has a plan and what’s for you is for you.”
The Philadelphia Tribune

Chester County: High school students can become certified first-responders through the Octorara program

Could you imagine graduating from high school as a hireable first-responder? That’s what the Octorara Area Career and Technical Education Homeland Security and Protective Services Academy offers to Chester County students. Students graduate with 64 total certifications in the three main fields of emergency medical services, firefighting and law enforcement. Students learn from those in the respective career fields on a daily basis. Most of the students already give back to their community by volunteering as a firefighter or EMT. “They are currently running calls now to assist the fire department or EMS,” said Lisa McNamara, director of Career and Technical Education Octorara Area School District. Several of the high school students helped to resuscitate a woman in cardiac arrest, and others have assisted at vehicle accident scenes.
Pottstown Mercury

Crews fight 3-alarm fire at Palmer Plastics in Northampton County

VIDEO: Crews are fighting flames at a business in Easton, Northampton County Wednesday afternoon. Fire crews were dispatched shortly before 5 p.m. to Palmer Plastics at the 2900 block of William Penn Highway, county dispatchers said. People are asked to avoid William Penn Highway around 25th Street, dispatchers said. Arriving crews found a piece of machinery on fire, said township Fire Chief Jim Alercia. “By the time we got a knock on the fire the fire had already made its way up the wall and into the roof line that runs from one building to the next," Alercia said. Fire crews then needed to trench cut the roof. “We are going from the peak of the roof and we have to trench to the eaves of the roof,” Alercia said.
WFMZ-TV Channel 69

Complaints continue about Snyder, Union 911 center

Complaints about equipment failure at the Central Susquehanna Regional 911 serving Snyder and Union counties are continuing several months after the system was consolidated. "I understand it's a new system and there will be bugs, but it's been six months," said Keith Martin, fire chief in McClure. Snyder County Commissioner Joe Kantz said communication "glitches" are being worked out with the help of a new communication tower in Mifflin County that should "eliminate quite a bit of the static" on emergency responders' radios in the western part of the county. Kantz said he hasn't received any calls of concern from first responders while the issues are being worked out. Martin said he didn't raise any issue with 911 Executive Director Cheryl Stiefel because of the way his complaints were handled in May when he raised issues about poor reception on volunteer firefighters pagers. "They've been promising us it would be worked out. I'm sick of hearing excuses," he said.
The Daily Item

New fee in Chambersburg’s proposed 2020 budget would add $750K for ambulance service

Chambersburg's borough manager has proposed a 2020 budget with a minimal tax decrease. However, that decrease would be well more than made up by a new monthly fee for ambulance service, which is projected to provide almost $750,000 more to cover the cost of providing emergency medical service to residents. Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill presented the proposed budget for next year at a special public meeting on Tuesday. The total budget of $113,856,095 includes a general fund (which includes the police, fire, recreation and highway departments) of $16,079,970. Real estate taxes only pay for police and fire service and a 2016 recreation bond; they do not fund any other aspect of borough operations.
Chambersburg Public Opinion - Metered Site

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

York arson destroys social club building aimed at helping the city’s needy

A case of arson in York destroyed a warehouse and social club that housed two civic minded groups. And now, they are scrambling to make sure that the needy don’t suffer as the holidays draw near. “It’s pretty .... sad, sad,” said Karma, President of Dejavoo. Picking up the pieces is the mission of the day for Karma and her friends at Dejavoo. The women’s club just dumped $5,000 into renovating 201 North Sherman Street trying to continue their mission of helping the needy in the City of York. “I still have to wrap my head around all of this. I am still trying to process,” she said. “This is a bad nightmare. A bad nightmare,” said building owner Glenn Olsen. The nightmare started around 10:30 p.m. last night when someone broke down the front door and started a fire on the pool table.
CBS 21 News

Pine Township fire company faces crisis

That day almost three decades ago is indelibly etched in Pine Township Fire Company Chief Keith Muir’s memory, one that had some wondering if the department had a tomorrow. It was Jan. 31, 1991, when a fire broke out in Station 570 itself, a blaze that gutted the equipment storage room and garage and forced frantic firefighters to hastily roll the department’s five firetrucks out into the cold before they were damaged. Emotional firefighters that day vowed to rebuild, and they did. With their restored base of operations, Pine Township VFC was revived. It thrived, and in the following years enjoyed days so strong in support with “more people than we knew what to do with,” as Muir recalled this morning. Today, though, Station 570’s very existence is threatened by a trouble they wouldn’t have imagined just 10 years ago.
Indiana Gazette - Metered Site

Follow Up: Records say naked man at scene of Lehigh Township fire said he was ’possessed by a demon’

A naked, bloody man near the scene of a Lehigh Township fire Thursday night had screamed at an officer and said that he was possessed by a demon, according to court records. Firefighters and police officers were met with the bizarre scene in Northampton County. Just after 9 p.m., officers were called to the 1100 block of Quince Road for reports of a naked, bloody man jumping on someone's car, and a house fire nearby. The driver of the car told police she saw the fire and stopped to help. That's when Pammer, 24, jumped on her car, forced his way inside the car, assaulted the woman and tried to restrain her, police said. The woman was able to escape and call 911. Officers arrived to find a two-family home engulfed in flames, while a man, later identified as Zachary Pammer, was sitting naked inside a car in the middle of the road, said Lehigh Township police.
WFMZ-TV Channel 69

Crawford County Veteran’s Home Destroyed in Veterans Day Fire

A Crawford County family is literally picking up the pieces, after a Veterans Day fire destroyed their home, and nearly everything they own. One of the homeowners is a military veteran himself, Dan Proper, and he says he's grateful for all the support he's receiving following their family’s loss. Dan Proper and his wife Shelly woke up around 6:00 Monday morning to smoke filling their home, “I was woken up by my wife screaming and yelling that the house was on fire, when I had opened my eyes, there was already smoke in the house,” Proper recalled. The couple got out safely, along with their several family pets, “So I went back in to try to grab anything I could, and by that time it was already engulfed in flames,” said Proper. Proper built their home in 1997 in Oil Creek Township, just north of Titusville, and says it held 25 years worth of memories.
WICU-TV Channel 12 Erie

Dogs Rescued From Radnor Township Roof

PHOTOS: Two dogs were rescued from a rooftop in Radnor Township Tuesday evening, according to Radnor Police and firefighters. Police and the Radnor Fire Company were called to Amherst Circle for a report of two Labrador dogs on a residential roof, the fire company said. According to the Radnor Fire Company, two residents tried to get the dogs but were unable to. Firefighters then used ladders to get to the roof and were able to help the dogs and residents down to safety, the Radnor Fire Company said. No one was hurt in the incident, according to the Radnor Fire Company.
Radnor Patch

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