Memorial Day Weekend turned out to be a busy one for the firefighters and personnel of Eastern Berks.
Friday May 22 – 97 dispatched to assist EMS in Washington Twp with an ALS Trauma – back injury after a mower rollover accident. Fire Police sent to shut down the road while crew worked.
Sunday May 24 – 97 dispatched as RIT for a possible structure fire in Boyertown
Sunday May 24 at 2321 hours – Tankers 97-1 & 2, along with Engine 97-2 (renamed from E97-1) were added to the working fire assignment for a garage fire in Hereford Twp. Tankers and crew from engine worked the fire and water supply locations, while the engine and a crew in the Utility took the hydrant behind Hereford Elementary School to supply tankers. On scene for 90 minutes. As those pieces of equipment went on location, 97 was dispatched for another structure fire in District Twp
Sunday May 24 at 2335 hours 97, 95, 19 and 21 were dispatched for what was first reported to be a fire alarm and then upgraded to smoke in a dwelling in District Twp. Apparatus from stations 1 & 2 were already committed to a garage fire in Hereford Twp, but equipment from station 3, along with mutual aid made the response to fire an exhaust fan on fire in the ceiling of a room in the residence.
Monday May 25 at 0650 hours 97, 95, Montg 65 for RIT were dispatched for a possible structure fire in Washington Twp. Chief 97 arrived to find fire on the exterior of the dwelling which was centered in mulch but had melted an aluminum downspout. Crews laddered the building to check for any extension on the roof, opened up the face board on the front of the porch, and entered the crawl space under the home to check for fire there.
Monday May 25 – 97 dispatched for a Medical Assist in District Twp
Community Volunteer Fire Department of Mahaffy, from western Pennsylvania, chose the unit to supplement its fleet. We wish them well and hope it serves them as well as it served us. Watch as the truck leaves Eastern Berks Territory for the final time.
Tuesday April 28, 2015 – Firefighters from across Berks, Montgomery and Lehigh Counties were called to Washington Twp today to assist on a house and woods fire driven by heavy winds. Originally dispatched as a smoke investigation, it was quickly discovered to be a large log home, on top of a hill, fully engulfed in flames. Those flames spread to the surrounding woods. The structure fire went to two alarms, and many additional brush units were dispatched to assist as well. While on the scene, there was another brush fire also in Washington Twp.
Firefighters were hampered not only by the strong winds, but by the very long inclined driveway which made access to the scene difficult. Additional personnel and equipment were immediately dispatched. Porta-ponds were set up on the street into which tankers dumped their water, before heading down the mountain to refill at the tanker fill site established in Bechtelsville Borough.
A very preliminary list of some of the companies responding today would include: BERKS – Eastern Berks (all three stations); Boyertown Area Fire and Rescue (all three stations); Hereford, Seisholtsville, Earl Twp, Oley, Topton, Kutztown, Lyons, ATVs from Exeter and Gibraltar, along with Bally and Boyertown Ambulances, and the Salvation Army Canteen. MONTGOMERY – Gilbertsville, New Hanover, Pennsburg, and Upper Pottsgrove ( cover assignment along with New Hanover). LEHIGH – Upper Milford Western District, and Alburtis.
MANY THANKS to all who assisted in this long difficult day. Its been a very tiring month, and all area first responders are hoping for some relief in the weeks ahead.
Here are links to three media reports:
Sunday 4/27/15 was another Sunday that Brush Fires keeps Eastern Berks busy, it started at 1439 hours when 97 units were dispatched to assist Co 19 on a working brush fire on Woodside Dr Earl Twp, while Brush 97-2, Brush 97-3 and Tanker 97-3 were responding another brush fire came in on Red Bud Lane Earl Twp, all 97 units were redirected to that call and Brush 97-2 and 3 went into service, while crews were wrapping up a call for a shed fire came in on Sandy Hill Rd Earl Twp, 97 units went to this one as well, Attack 97 also responded on this, Asst 19 reported a working shed and Brush fire, crews from all Co’s went into service on the shed fire and woods fire that was spreading uphill.
Our dept has responded to at least 2 or 3 working brush fires every Sunday this month.
The weekend of April 18 and 19 turned out to be another few days of multiple responses to intense brush fires, in addition to the usual responses for motor vehicles accidents and medical assists. It began Saturday at 1456 hours with a response to an MVA in Washington Twp – car vs motorcycle, where personnel assist in patient care. At 1842, Eastern Berks, Seisholtsville Fire and Bally Ambulance were dispatched to the report of a brush fire in District Twp. Fire personnel quickly arrived on scene to a wind driven fire racing across a knoll under power lines and threatening to extend into woods. While some slow moving brush fires can be fought with fire rakes, fire brooms, and back packs filled with water, this one was so intense, it required heavy fire lines dragged off trucks uphill through rocks and brush to attack the head of the fire. All three Eastern Berks stations and the one in Seisholtsville responded with all apparatus, but additional water and manpower was needed and requested from Hereford, Topton, and Boyertown Ambulance before we gained the upper hand. It started up again on Sunday at 1331 hours with another fire in a wooded area of Washington Twp. Crews from Eastern Berks and Boyertown Area Fire and Rescue worked for some time, before finally containing that one. This involved much work with chain saws in undergrowth and fallen timber. We had just returned to stations, when at 1540, we were alerted for a possible brush fire, again in Washington Twp. Then following that we were sent back to the the first one of the day as an unseen timber rekindled the woods. This one was quickly knocked down before it spread. It just shows how difficult these fires are to extinguish. Then on Monday we were sent for a medical assist involving an infant in District Twp and another unknown fire in Bally Borough. Its been a long and difficult April.
Propane Emergency Responders’ Conference
July 14-16, 2015
at Bear Creek Mountain Resort
& Conference Center,
No Cost to Attend
(attendee is responsible for overnight accommodations
and travel expenses)
June 26, 2015 on space availability
Monday April 13, 2015
“Just Another Manic Monday” was the title of a 1986 rock song by the Bangles, but it described the second Monday in a row spent fighting field, brush and woods fires in the region. It began at 1104 hours with a dispatch of 97 and 39 for a brush fire in District Township. Brush, tankers and an engine from 97 responded to that fire. Brush 19 was called in to assist as well. It continued at 1432 hours with a request from Chief 65 to assist with a brush and woods fire along Kutztown Road near Rt 663 in Upper Hanover Township in Montgomery County. Eventually three brush trucks, two tankers, an engine and the utility responded to assist. While on that call, another brush fire in the same township was reported, and apparatus including some from 97, was freed up from the previous call to work on that fire extending into a corn field near Rt 29 and Kraussdale Rd. Then at 1758, another alarm was received to assist 19 on a wood pile fire extending into the woods in Earl Township. That call sent brush trucks, tanker, engine and utility, once more. Since this was the second entire Monday in a row spent fighting brush fires, it sure seemed like Just Another Manic Monday for the volunteers of Eastern Berks Fire Department.
Monday April 6 was a VERY busy day for the firefighters of Eastern Berks as we responded to 7 calls. (This was after four alarms on Easter Sunday – the previous day)
It began at 0957 with 97, 39, and 575 responding to an ALS Medical in Hereford Twp. At 1428, New Hanover Fire requested 97 apparatus to assist on a 15 acre brush and woods fire threatening multiple dwellings in New Hanover Twp Brush, engines and tankers responded. Almost all hose was used off Tanker 97-3 and Engine 97-2. Among the companies responding to that call were New Hanover, Gilbertsville, Pennsburg, Red Hill, Eastern Berks, Boyertown, Limerick, Green Lane, Upper Frederick, Lower Frederick, Perkiomen, Trappe, Ringin Hill, Schwenksville, East Greenville, Stowe, and Harleysville. While on that assignment, at 1538, 97, 19, 58, and 525 were sent to a brush fire in Washington Twp. This one involved brush and destroyed a shed. While on that call, at 1604, 97, 58, and 525 were sent for an MVA with injuries on Rt 100 in Washington Twp. As personnel had finally returned from all of the above calls and were starting to wash hose, 97, 39, 21 and 505 were dispatched at 1842 for brush and a possible structure fire in District Twp. That one turned out to destroy two vehicles next to a house, but was kept away from the structure. As we were wrapping up from that one, 97, 58, 37 and 525 were dispatched at 1912 for a report of multiple fires burning a fields off Niantic Rd in Washington Twp. Then we were sent to an MVA with injuries in District Twp at 1949 along with 39 and 505. Finally after that was done, all apparatus returned to station 2 for washing and repacking more than a 2000 feet of 3″ and 1 3/4″ hose. Thank you to all who responded and assisted us on alarms in our first response area.
At 0437 hours on March 24, the structure response was transmitted for a dwelling fire on Franklin Street in Bechtelsville Borough. On the first alarm were apparatus from all three Eastern Berks Fire Stations, as well as all three stations of Boyertown Area Fire and Rescue. Bally Ambulance responded in addition to Pennsburg Fire as the Rapid Intervention Team.
Fire officers quickly arrived on location and found a working dwelling fire, with fire in the basement and first floor kitchen. Four propane tanks stored in the basement added to the hazards.
First in engine from Eastern Berks took the front of the house, second in engine laid 5 inch supply line up Franklin Street from Main, while Boyertown’s ladder opened the roof to vent hot gases.
An Eastern Berks tanker set up it’s porta-pond on Main Street, while truck from Boyertown drafted from that tank and sent it up the hill for fighting the fire.
A second alarm for tankers was requested, adding tankers from Hereford, Seisholtsville, Earl, New Hanover, Topton and Gilbertsville. Later two additional engines for manpower.
It was reported that the homeowner’s dog woke the resident and alerted him to the fire. They managed to evacuate safely. Investigation by the PSP Fire Marshall pointed to a basement appliance as the cause.
Eastern Berks Fire thanks all responders for their great job and rapid knockdown of difficult situation!