Thursday, January 24, 2013
The freezing northeast weather created the perfect storm of what would turn out to be a very busy fire service week in Montgomery County, PA. It included a mix of broken domestic water and fire sprinkler pipes, various rescues, and of course many fires, several of which were destructive and deadly. In the end, the county suffered four separate fatal fire incidents with several of them requiring movement of KPVFC units. Of interest during the week was the work that our good friends from the Norriton Fire Engine Co. (NFEC – Station 61) were dealt. The NFEC dealt with two working dwelling fires within 24 hours, one on Wednesday the 23rd and the other on Thursday the 24th. Both fires were during the overnight hours which taxed the volunteers to their limits.
On Thursday afternoon KPVFC Chief Jim Gallagher and Norristown Fire Chief Tom O’Donnell decided they wanted to help our brothers & sisters at NFEC. The chiefs felt we needed to help NFEC get their equipment cleaned and restored, which meant we would provide service coverage in an effort to let the Norriton volunteers get some much needed rest. It was decided that Norristown would staff a Truck Company & the KPVFC would staff a Squad Company starting at 6:00pm at station 61.
The crews received a very warm welcome from Norriton Fire Chief Jim Staufenberg. They were briefed and provided the necessary “run book” with their district maps and immediately went to work cleaning and storing hose along with other equipment that was left to thaw out during the day. The crews checked apparatus readiness and assisted members getting their protective gear in service. Once the chores were completed the firefighters were treated to a much needed meal courtesy of Chief O’Donnell and everyone settled down to watch the Philadelphia Flyers defeat the New York Rangers. The KPVFC & NFD crews completed their coverage at 6:00am Friday morning and service was turned back over to NFEC.
Although we sent only a handful of members to Station 61, Chief Gallagher thanked all of the KPVFC members who stepped up to go there as well as the other members that assured our units were still covered for King of Prussia. The crews also received a heartfelt thank you from Chief Staufenberg as well as the members of the Norriton Fire Engine Company.