Quiet times yield to busier moments and today was no exception. The company ran four calls in just under twelve hours. Our day started at 10:24 with a fire alarm at Friends Central School which was accidental due to burnt food. At 4:25, tones dropped for Rescue 21 and Rescue 47 (King of Prussia) to assist Norristown on a building collapse. Incident notes detailed a roof collapse with possible subjects trapped. Upon arrival, responders noted there was no collapse of the roof just some bricks that fell from the chimney and non-Norristown resources were recalled. This incident marked the first dispatch of the Southeastern Montgomery County Technical Rescue Task Force servicing the municipalities of Lower Merion, Upper Merion and Norristown. Around 7:00pm, Ardmore and Bryn Mawr were investigating electrical odors throughout the Churchill Court buildings in Haverford. Upon discovering smoke in the basement and elevator shafts, Chief 25 (Hayden) assumed command and asked for the confirmed building procedures bringing Gladwyne Fire Co full company, Rescue 21 as FAST and EMS to the scene. Crews stood by for twenty minutes as a small fire was located and extinguished in a penthouse elevator control room. Our day ended with a gas odor at City and Lancaster Avenues. Crews investigating has a slight odor coming from a PECO manhole cover and underground valve. PECO was notified and continued the investigation.
Swift Water Rescue Assist
During the dinner hour, tones dropped for Rescue 21 to assist crews operating on a swift water rescue in the Schuylkill River at the Flat Rock Dam. Gladwyne Fire Company was in service with their swift water rescue team to rescue two jet skiers who went over the dam and were stranded on the rocks below. Members stood by down river with throw bags and assisted with rigging lines for rescuer safety. The company was in service for two hours. Excellent job to all responders navigating sometimes treacherous waters.
This weekend was quite busy for the folks at Penn Wynne. We split our crews on Saturday to attend both Alex's Original Lemonade Stand and Brookline Fire Company's 100th Anniversary Parade. The Stand was a successful event as always and marked the ten year since Alex's passing. It is remarkable to see the dreams of a little girl blossom into such a worthy cause. Brookline's Parade was a well attended community event. Ladder 21 stood by forming an arch with Yeadon Fire Co along the parade route. Sunday, Rescue 21 attended Narberth Ambulance's block party and touch-a-truck event. Thanks to our members for giving their time and staffing these events.
Tonight, members of the company were issued a Unit Citation for outstanding service at a vehicle rescue on February 15, 2014. The accident took place on I-76 West between Waverly Road and Conshohocken State Road in Gladwyne. The incident was complex and prolonged due to the vehicle leaving the roadway and travelling 100' down a snow covered embankment. Crews worked tirelessly with Belmont Hills Fire Co., George Clay Fire Co, Gladwyne Fire Co. to affect the rescue in very cold temperatures. Unit Citations were also issued to Belmont Hills and Gladwyne Fire Companies. Chief's commendations were presented to Township Staff, the Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Lower Merion and Narberth, George Clay Fire Co and Norfolk Southern for their assistance at this incident.
Tonight, Firefighter Mark McCauley graduated from the Montgomery County Fire Academy earning his Firefighter I Certification. Mark was also honored with the Interior Firefighter Award. Mark joined Penn Wynne early last year. In his 14 months with us, Mark earned not only his Firefighter I certification but his State Basic Vehicle Rescue Technician as well. Congratulations Mark for all the hard work and a remarkable accomplishment.
Brushing Up On Construction
Last nights drill focused on the fundamentals of lightweight building construction. Some learned a lot and others had a great refresher. Thanks to Bud Henkels of the Montgomery County Fire Academy for the great class.
County Wide Decon Drill
Today, members staffed Utility and Decon 21 for the county wide hazardous materials decontamination drill at the Horsham Air Guard Station. The objective of the drill was to simulate a has mat incident with all county decon companies setup to support the county has mat team with decontamination once the incident was remediated. Secondary to that was to identify where equipment and training could be standardized. The drill was deemed a success. Penn Wynne members deconned three county technicians during the process. Thanks to those who participated. It was a great day working alongside the Montgomery County Haz Mat Team, Horsham Fire Co, Sanatoga Fire Co, Wyndmoor Fire Co and the Horsham Air Guard Unit
Header in Penn Wynne
Just after noon, tones were dropping for a shed fire on Meredith Road. County dispatch was receiving multiple calls. Engine 21 arrived to find a shed fully involved with extension to trees and a fence. The heat was so intense it melted siding on the house and plastic molding on a car near by. The shed and its contents were a total loss. Crews were in service for 45 minutes.
RESCUE ON THE EXPRESSWAY
Just after 6AM this morning the Rescue was dispatched along with Belmont Hills and George Clay Fire Companies to the westbound Schuylkill Expressway for a reported vehicle rescue. As units began to arrive on scene it was determined that a vehicle had left the roadway and had come to rest at the bottom of a ravine. Crews began to assemble equipment and come up with an incident action plan. Due to the limited access and close proximity to the river, the Gladwyne Fire Company was dispatched to assist with manpower by utilizing an access road off of Waverly Road and to have their rescue boats on standby. A coordinated rescue effort was utilized by all responders by deploying a come-a-long, stabilization struts, and low pressure air bags. Once this was in place, the air bag was inflated and cribbing was placed under the car to further support it as the sole occupant was extracted from the vehicle by members of Narberth Ambulance.
With the assistance of a specialized railroad vehicle, the patient was transported the mile down the tracks to the Gladwyne VFW where an aeromedical helicopter was waiting for transport to a local trauma center.
SNOW STORM CREW
As with many other snow storms, whenever the region gets hits with significant snow falls our members stand by in station to provide a timely response to any emergency. Here are some pictures of one such response we had to assist Narberth Ambulance so they could help a member of our community.
Please continue to stay safe this winter season, and if you live in proximity to a fire hydrant, please take the time to clear the snow around it so we can better serve you.
This morning, we were called in to assist the Merion Fire Co. of Ardmore on a vehicle fire with fuel spill. A construction truck was leaking fuel and caught fire. The truck had a auxiliary fuel tank in the rear containing diesel fuel, which also caught fire and leaked down the driveway. Special calls were made for Engine 26 (Narberth), Rescue 21 (Penn Wynne) and Rescue 22 (Belmont Hills). We assisted with deploying oil dry creating dykes to stop the flow of the gasoline and diesel mixture. The county haz mat team brought in booms, pads and additional absorbent materials to assist.
Just after lunch, the building assignment (Merion Fire Co of Ardmore and Bryn Mawr) went out for the 100 block of Sheldon Lane in Ardmore. Lower Merion Police quickly arrived and reported heavy smoke showing from a twin home. The working fire upgrade brought Penn Wynne to the scene as the Rapid Intervention Crew (RIC) and Gladwyne for an engine and air truck. Crews worked well together in the frigid temps and snow to extinguish the fire and prevent it from spreading to the adjoining twin.
Cradles to Crayons MLK Day Community Collection Site
The Penn Wynne Fire Company, in cooperation with the non-profit Cradles to Crayons, is pleased to report that our firehouse will be a collection spot for vitally-needed everyday essential items for disadvantaged children, ages 0-12. You can drop off items between 10AM and 3PM on January 20th. Please use the below listed web-links for additional information.
The Penn Wynne Civic Association in conjunction with the Penn Wynne Library Directors held a New Year's Eve at Noon Celebration today. A lecture/demonstration on the chemistry of fireworks was led by Spark Park (Montgomery Ave, Narberth) starting at 11:00 AM. That wrapped up around 11:45 when everyone moved outside for a countdown to noon with a 2014 piñata ball drop from our ladder. A fun time was had by all.
We here at the Penn Wynne - Overbrook Hills Fire Company would like to wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and Safe 2014! Thank you for your continued support.
PASSING OF CHIEF EMERITUS
The Penn Wynne - Overbrook Hills Fire Company regrets to announce the passing of Chief Emeritus Fred Kaercher. As additional information becomes available we will make it available. Please keep the Kaercher family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Yesterday, members escorted Santa throughout the district handing out cany canes to our community. We thank you for your support this year and wish you the best throughout this holiday season.
Today, members gathered to recognize and honor Harold F. Beck Jr. on the 25th Anniversary of his line of duty death. We gathered on Greenfield Avenue for a short tribute to his memory by recalling stories about Harold and the Kiddie City Fire, reciting the Firefighter's Prayer and Striking the Four Fives, an FDNY tradition of sounding bells on the passing of a firefighter. Special thanks to Chief Tom Hayden of the Merion Fire Co. of Ardmore for joining us and contributing to the ceremony.
LET US NEVER FORGET
Today marks the 25 year anniversary of the multi-alarm fire in Ardmore at the Kiddie City building. The Penn Wynne-Overbrook Hills Fire Company responded to Ardmore with numerous other companies. During the incident, one of our own went down succumbing to his injuries. Today, we remember Harold F. Beck Jr. who was a dedicated firefighter, photographer and friend. We thank you for your service to the community. Rest in peace Harold. Harold F. Beck Jr.
We will be hosting our annual Halloween Party tomorrow night, 10/30, at 7:00 PM. Please stop by for some fun with the magician Chad Juros. Prizes for great costumes and treats for all kids will be given out.
TECHNICAL RESCUE DEPLOYMENT DRILL
This evening members traveled to the Public Safety Training Campus in Conshohocken for a deployment drill as part of the Southeastern Technical Rescue Taskforce. The exercise consisted of a simulated dispatch for a confined space rescue, and members from The Fairmount of Norristown, as well as Upper Merion and Lower Merion Fire Departments were dispatched. Upon arrival, an incident action plan and incident command structure were established in order to effect the rescue. Thanks to all of the members from each department for participating, as well as the event evaluators who critiqued our capabilities.
Congratulations to Firefighters Mark McCauley and Erik Kallberg who have completed their probationary period. This evening we switched out their helmet fronts to the "Firefighter Apprentice" rank which they will have until they obtain their Firefighter 1 certification.
We would also like to say good luck to Erik as he leaves tomorrow for his freshman year in college. Before drill this evening members gathered to offer words of wisdom and advise to the lad, which like everything in the fire service turned into story time and reminiscing of days past. Good luck Erik, and we will see you during your break.
As our members were drifting off into a deep sleep after a challenging vehicle rescue drill, the pagers alerted 21 members of a house fire on Sussex Road. The dispatch notes stated there had been a fire in the kitchen which was extinguished by the home owner, however there was a smoke condition. The company arrived to find plastic melted over a stove top with soot and smoke throughout the house. Apparently one of the homeowners cats accidentally turned on the stove top melting the plastic hanging along side the oven. Members secured utilities to the stove top and ventilated the house. Narberth Ambulance responded in to check the home owner who took in a bit of smoke. Thankfully she was not transported and will be okay.
Squished Like a Bug
Tonight we were dispatched to City Ave and Cardinal for an accident with entrapment. Crews arrived to find a Volkswagon Beetle off the roadway with the driver unconscious. Rescue services were not needed however we stood by until the patient was removed from the vehicle. Units on scene were Pipeline 28, Utility 28, Rescue 21, Rescue 22, Medic 313, LM Police and a Philly Medic Unit.
Heart Pavillion Evacuation Drill
Today, members of the company spent the morning at Lankenau Hospital working with hospital officials and members of Narberth Ambulance, Lower Merion Police and various county and state agency representatives in order to affect an evacuation of the new heart pavillion as part of a sponsored drill. The exercise brought together multiple agencies working tirelessly to relocate twenty-nine patients of the new tower to a temporary hospital tent setup by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Special Medical Assistance Response Team due to a simulated failure in building services. Our members performed a variety of tasks including training hospital employees on the use of our stokes basket and reeves stretcher, assisting with the command structure managing the evolution and assiting with evacuating patients. We thank Lankenau for the invite to participate and look forward to other exciting oppotunities.
A few years ago, Assistant Chief Anthony Molchany stepped down as an officer due to he and his wife Colleen purchasing a house in King of Prussia. Anthony's passion for firefighting drove him to join King of Prussia Volunteer Fire Company. We were pleased to find out that last Friday, Anthony was appointed Lieutenant 47-2. Congratulations Anthony on rising to be an officer again. You did well for us and we are confident you will do well for King of Prussia.
TOWNSHIP WIDE HIGH-RISE FIRE
Late in the afternoon, Stations 28 (Union) and 22 (Belmont Hills) were dispatched to a building fire at Bala Plaza One on St. Asaph's Road. Due to the number of calls, County fire dispatch automatically dispatched the "Working Fire" procedure and an additional ladder (Engine 26, Ladder 26, Engine 24 (FAST) and Air 24. Upon arrival, Assistant 28 requested an additional ladder and FAST team bringing Ladder 21 and Rescue 21 to the scene. Soon after, the General Alarm was sounded bringing all township fire companies into the scene. Upon arrival, Ladder 21 placed the aerial ladder in service to the roof as the rescue's team stood by on the 6th floor in case a firefighter got hurt or trapped. As the fire was placed under control, we were released from current duties and reassigned to the 6th floor (Division 6) to ensure the fire did not spread to any offices and the smoke was clearing out. Great job to all involved in this resource intensive fire. Thanks to Llanerch Fire Company for providing an engine to cover our district.
21 Renews its Participating Status
Today we received word from the Office of the State Fire Commissioner that our application to renew our Participating Department status was accepted and approved. Penn Wynne Fire Company will continue to be recognized as having 75% of the active brigade certified as fire professionals in accordance with nationally recognized and sanctioned Professional Qualification standards. This renewal emphasizes our brigades dedication to training and certification.
The Penn Wynne Fire Company is please to report that we have renewal our Department of Health certification as a Quick Response Service (QRS). This means that our Engine and Rescue contain a specific amount and type of medical equipment and are able to respond to and provide emergency medical services to patients pending the arrival of the pre-hospital personnel of an ambulance service.
THE DONUT MAN STOPS BY
Today the Krispy Kreme Cruiser visited our station delivering tasty treats as part of their Hero Appreciation program. Thanks Krispy Kreme and we wish you luck with your new Havertown store.
RESCUE COVERS THE FAIRMOUNT
This evening Rescue 21 traveled to the Boro of Norristown to cover Rescue 27 as their members attended their annual banquet. We were accompanied by King of Prussia's Tower 47. The 17 hour cover resulted in four calls for service: a culinary mishap, fumes in the home, a residential lock out, and a fire alarm. We hope the members of The Fairmount had a fantastic evening celebrating their accomplishments for the past year.
DECON GOES TO COLLEGE
Around 3:30PM today Engine, Utility, and Decon 21 responded to Villanova University for a chemical spill in the science building. Crews arrived and were briefed by the uniformed command of fire, EMS, and Montgomery County HazMat officials, as well as representatives of Villanova University. Crews established a technical decontamination corridor comprised of our Zumro shower and rehabilitation tent for those students and staff that were affected by this incident.
The Penn Wynne-Overbrook Hills Fire Company will mark the 18th Annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, Monday, January 21, by serving as a collection point for vitally needed everyday items for children, aged 0-12, living in poverty in the five-county southeastern Pennsylvania area.
The collection is in support of Cradles to Crayons’ (www.cradlestocrayons.org) year-round program to provide these essential items to disadvantaged children, free of charge, by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need.
Area residents are asked to bring new and nearly new infants’ and children’s clothing, warm coats, hats, shoes, boots, gloves, newborn baby items, baby safety equipment, toys, books and school supplies to the Penn Wynne Fire Company at 1440 Manoa Road, Wynnewood, PA 19096. The firehouse site will be staffed by Cradles to Crayons’ volunteers from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, January 21.
Donations can also be made at other locations throughout the region. For locations of other sites and details on what Cradles to Crayons can accept, go to cradlestocrayons.org. For further information please contact Jeff Baxter at 215-836-0958 Ext. 210 or by email at email@example.com