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Fire Company Sets Breakfast August 23, 2017

Geigertown Fire Company, located at 3433 Hay Creek Road, will hold an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet on Sunday, Sept. 3, from 7 to 11 a.m. Proceeds will support the fire company.

For more information, readers may call 610-286-6481, visit or like the fire company's page on Facebook.


Climbing For The Fallen August 23, 2017

A record number of people participated in the 2016 Lancaster 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. A total of 455 participants climbed the equivalent of 110 stories at the Barnstormers' stadium in memory of the 343 New York City firefighters who died when the World Trade Center towers collapsed in 2001. Event organizer Scott Yuill was encouraged by the turnout, as he always hopes to have each of the firefighters represented by a climber.

"But if 100 (people) show up, that's OK. It's not about the numbers," Yuill remarked. "It's about remembering the (firefighters) who died and the sacrifices they made. They were just doing their jobs."

This year's stair climb will be held on Sunday, Sept. 10, at the stadium, 650 N. Prince St., Lancaster. Registration will open at 8 a.m., when each participant will receive a commemorative badge containing the name and photo of a deceased firefighter. Participants will start gathering on the infield at 9 a.m. for the opening ceremony.

"Last year, we got people on the field for the welcome," Yuill said. "We played a video with the roll call (of the firefighters who died on 9/11). Whoever had that person's badge stood up. It was impactful."

This year's opening will include the roll call as well as calisthenics led by Abby (Rankin) Wood and Nancy Crawford, who are the widow and mother, respectively, of the late Keith Rankin, a local firefighter who died in the line of duty in 2011. An ensemble of music teacher Katie Wieand's students will sing the national anthem. Bagpipers will play "Amazing Grace," as well as additional melodies throughout the morning.

The climb will begin at approximately 9:20 a.m. It will pause for moments of silence at the times the towers fell: 9:59 a.m. for the south tower and 10:28 a.m. for the north tower. The event will conclude by noon, but participants will be encouraged to pace themselves as they walk up and down the stairs of the stadium.

"We stress it's not a race," Yuill said.

"It's a solemn occasion," added planning committee member Joyce Mokros.

Non-climbers are invited to watch from the stands.

"We need spectators to come out and cheer the (participants) on," said Frank Mokros, Joyce's husband and another member of the planning committee.

Last year's turnout was so far beyond expectations that bottled water ran short, but the organizers have prepared accordingly for the upcoming event. Plenty of water will be available, as two pallets of bottled water have been donated.

Donations will be accepted for participation in the stair climb, and participants are encouraged to fundraise. Last year's event brought in more than $30,000. Joyce noted that $7,500 of that total was contributed by the stadium, which raised the money in conjunction with a visit from actor and former Lancaster County resident Taylor Kinney of "Chicago Fire." According to the registration page, the stair climb benefits the counseling services unit of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), helps cover the costs for FDNY families to attend Memorial Weekend, and funds programs provided by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to support the families of the nation's fallen firefighters.

Online registration will be open until Saturday, Aug. 26. After that date, folks will need to complete their registrations at the event. Registrations and donations may be submitted by following links from Readers may visit that site for more information about the event, and they may view photos from past events by finding "Lancaster Stair Climb" on Facebook. Folks with questions may email Yuill at


Chicken Barbecue, Bake Sale Set August 23, 2017

The Linglestown Fire Company, 5901 Linglestown Road, will hold a chicken barbecue and bake sale on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. until the food is sold out.

Meals will include a half-chicken, a baked potato, a roll, and applesauce. Drive-through service will be available. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet local firefighters.

The bake sale, hosted by the Linglestown Ladies Auxiliary, will feature homemade cakes, pies, brownies, candy, and more.

Proceeds will benefit the fire company.


Fire Company Plans Breakfast July 26, 2017

Goodwill Fire Company No. 1, Station 18, 1 S. Main St., Jacobus, will host an all-you-can-eat breakfast on Sunday, Aug. 13, from 8 to 11 a.m. The cost of breakfast will include bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, pancakes, French toast, potatoes, creamed chipped beef, sausage gravy, toast, biscuits, and a variety of beverages.

The cost of the breakfast will be discounted for children ages 2 to 12, and children under age 2 may eat for free. For more information, readers may call Barb Alexander 717-428-1436.


Northwest Regional Police To Host National Night Out July 24, 2017

The Northwest Regional Police Department (NWRPD) will host its fifth annual National Night Out (NNO) event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 1, at the West Donegal Township building and grounds, located at 1 Municipal Drive, Elizabethtown. Area residents are invited to stop by to meet and interact with local police, firefighters, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, and neighbors. The free event will take place rain or shine.

In addition to NWRPD, participants will include Rheems Fire Department, Elizabethtown Fire Department, and Northwest EMS. Police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances will be on display.

"We just want to have as many residents as possible come out to meet us and the fire and EMS personnel on a not-so-emergency basis," explained NWRPD officer Mike Shetter, who has organized the event for the past several years. "This is a time they can look at the cars and trucks and talk to us. It's more personable."

Local nonprofit organizations and community groups will host booths that will offer information about the variety of services they provide, and there will be an assortment of activities for children, such as pony rides, a bounce house, a reptile show, and an obstacle course. Several costumed characters and mascots will be strolling the premises and interacting with attendees.

A variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase, including snow cones and milkshakes.

Shetter said that last year, NWRPD's event drew approximately 1,500 to 2,000 individuals. "Every year it's getting bigger and bigger, because now people know about it," remarked Shetter. "The feedback we get every year is amazing. People are coming up to us and thanking us for what we do and telling us the event's a success for their kids and they love it."

The evening will conclude with a fireworks display.

NNO is an annual community-building event held in thousands of towns across the United States on the first Tuesday in August. According to, the campaign promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. Aside from that, the events offer an opportunity to bring police, firefighters, and EMS personnel and residents together under positive circumstances.


National Night Out Event Set July 20, 2017

Manheim National Night Out will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Manheim Community Pool, 504 E. Adele Ave., Manheim.

Attendees will enjoy a swim night with free admission, along with displays of local first responder personnel and equipment that will include Manheim Borough Police Department, Northwest EMS, Manheim Hope Fire Department, Mastersonville Fire Department, and Penryn Fire Department.


Departments Plan National Night Out Event July 20, 2017

Four police departments, along with numerous other organizations, will be represented at a National Night Out event to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 1, at Leisure Lanes Bowling and Golf Center, 3440 Columbia Ave., Lancaster. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

"It's a time to bring the public out to meet the police and firefighters," said event coordinator Sgt. Kim Geyer of the Manor Township Police Department (MTPD). "It's a good, fun night that's inexpensive," she continued, adding, "Everybody looks forward to it - participants and citizens."

Geyer has once again assembled a lengthy list of exhibitors. Police departments from Manor Township, Millersville borough, Millersville University (MU), and East Hempfield Township will be represented. MTPD will host a dunk tank - Chief Todd Graeff has agreed to take a turn in the device if other volunteers are not available - and have its latest acquisition, a 2017 Ford F-150, on display.

The F-150 replaced a Ford Explorer that had accumulated 135,000 miles.

"That's a lot of miles for a police car," Geyer explained.

The new truck will enable officers to transport bicycles and large pieces of evidence. A winch on the front will be used to remove downed tree limbs from roads and to assist in rescues.

In contrast to the other vehicles in the MTPD's fleet, which are white with red and blue lettering, the truck has "ghost lettering" that blends with the black body until hit with light.

"We wanted to do something different," Graeff said, adding that he polled the department members for ideas.

Other vehicles on display will include several from Blue Rock Fire Rescue, the Lancaster County-Wide Communications command center, and the Salvation Army's mobile food truck. While the DUI Council will not have its taxicab at the event, the organization will be represented.

A K-9 unit from East Hempfield Township is slated to perform a demonstration, and animals that work with Hope Animal-Assisted Crisis Response will meet with attendees. The Pet Pantry of Lancaster will accept donations. Geyer noted that the organization is in need of food and litter for cats.

Pilot International will offer information about Project Lifesaver, the program that enhances the tracking of individuals with cognitive challenges who are missing.

An alarm company will highlight home security problems and solutions. A local bicycle shop will host a display, and bicycle lights will be given away, thanks to a partnership between the shop and a Lancaster Bicycle Club grant received by the MTPD.

The Wilshire Hills Lions Club will run games. Geyer noted that the club also provides a facepainter, who will accept donations for the service. The funds, along with donations gathered from the dunk tank challenge, will be donated to Concerns of Police Survivors, a national organization dedicated to supporting the survivors of police officers who have been killed in the line of duty.

Reformation Lutheran Church will give out water. Additional beverages from a local producer will be available, and dipped ice cream and novelties, as well as Italian ice, salty snacks, and hot dogs, will be offered free of charge.

Music will be provided by a local radio station. MU mascot Skully is also slated to appear.

The pet-friendly National Night Out event will be held rain or shine.

For more information, readers may call Geyer at 717-299-5231.


Vendors Sought For Street Fair July 19, 2017

The Jacobus Labor Day Street Fair will take place on Monday, Sept. 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vendor spaces are available for a fee per space. To reserve a space, readers may call 717-850-6059.

The fair will benefit the Goodwill Fire Company of Jacobus.


Hellam Township To Host National Night Out July 18, 2017

The Hellam Township Police Department will host its sixth annual National Night Out (NNO) event on Tuesday, Aug. 1, at the Barshinger soccer fields on Accomac Road off Route 462. The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m., rain or shine. Area residents are invited to stop by to meet and interact with local police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and neighbors.

In addition to the Hellam Township Police Department, participants will include the Hellam Fire, Wrightsville Fire, and Wrightsville Police departments and Susquehanna Valley EMS.

Local nonprofit organizations and community groups will host booths that will offer information about the variety of services they offer, and there will be activities for children, such as face painting, balloon twisting, a bounce house, and a bike rodeo. Free goodies including coloring books will be given out to children.

The Kreutz Creek Valley Library Center will offer a walk-a-book program and information about the Summer Reading Program. A local company will have several reptiles on hand for attendees to meet, and a sheriff from the York County Sheriff's Office will bring a canine companion along for folks to visit with. Live music performances are also planned.

Free snacks, such as fresh fruit, doughnuts, cookies, potato chips, and beverages, will be available thanks to donations by several local businesses. Hellam Recreation will have food available to purchase at a concession stand.

Hellam Township manager Corina Mann said that last year was the first time that Hellam hosted its NNO at the Barshinger soccer fields and approximately 200 people showed up. "We always get a very positive response from people (about NNO)," Mann said.

NNO is an annual community-building event held in thousands of towns across the United States on the first Tuesday in August. According to, the campaign promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. Aside from that, the events offer an opportunity to bring police, fire, and EMS personnel and residents together under positive circumstances.


Hellam Fire Company Seeks Volunteers July 12, 2017

Finding volunteer firefighters is an ongoing challenge, according to Hellam Fire Company chief Eric Strittmatter. The volunteer-run station, located at 163 E. Market St., Hallam, has approximately 30 active firefighters, but station representatives would like to find even more.

While many employers in years past were willing to accommodate volunteer firefighters who received calls while they were at work, Strittmatter said that is extremely rare today, which makes it harder for people to commit to volunteering. "Every volunteer firefighting company I know struggles to fill the daytime seats," said Strittmatter. "Fortunately, we have five or six guys who are available during the day, and most of them are retired or work second or third shift."

Volunteer opportunities are available for firefighters, drivers, auxiliary, and more. Youths ages 14 to 17 qualify to be junior firefighters.

Richard Reaver, who recently moved to the area from Frederick County, Md., has been a volunteer firefighter for 22 years. "I've always liked it, just helping people and the fact that I can put a smile on a child's face when I save their toys or animals," Reaver shared. "I always love the joy of helping people and giving back to my community."

"For me, it's the thank yous and the handshakes that make it worth it," Strittmatter said. "Sometimes we have people come and talk to us and thank us a few months later."

The time commitment when it comes to volunteering is up to the individual. "It's as much as you're willing to give," said Strittmatter. "We have some people who give a lot of time and some not as much. Every little bit helps." Training and equipment are paid for by the station.

Hellam Township and Hallam Borough are the station's two primary response areas, and it also runs calls with the Wrightsville Fire and Rescue Company. According to Strittmatter, the Hellam Fire Company responded to 460 calls in 2016.

"We've been operating at the same tax rate for fire protection since 2003," noted Strittmatter, adding that the station's call volume has gone up 125 percent since 2003. "As our expenses have grown, our income has not," Strittmatter said. This reality makes financial donations from area residents all the more important.

Individuals who are interested in making a donation or inquiring about becoming a volunteer may contact the station at 717-757-3333, email, or visit


Tomato Festival Set For July 8 And 15 June 28, 2017

Tomatoes are ripening on their vines, a sign that the season for the Washington Boro Tomato Festival has arrived. On Saturdays, July 8 and 15, the decades-old event will be held at the Washington Boro Community Park, which is located at the intersection of Penn Street (Route 999) and Water Street (Route 441). Food will be available at 4 p.m., and the festivities will run from 5 to 9 p.m. each day.

The festival is a celebration of the produce that once made Washington Boro famous, and it is a fundraiser for the support group of Blue Rock Fire Rescue. Group members and volunteers from the community will slice, sandwich, and serve up an estimated 500 pounds of Jet Star tomatoes during the festival. Additional tomatoes will be available for purchase by the pound.

Produce supplier Tyler Rohrer, co-owner of The Tomato Barn, said that his farm has 10,000 staked tomato plants, so there should be no shortage of the popular delicacy for the festival. "This is the peak of our season," Rohrer remarked. "We can usually handle the volume, no problem."

Festival attendees will be able to enjoy the local tomatoes in sandwiches with or without bacon. There will also be hot dogs, burgers, beef barbecue, sausage sandwiches, chicken corn soup, corn on the cob, and ice cream. A vendor will sell french fries, and there may be other options as well.

"We're trying to add Italian ice for something different," said support group vice president Brenda Miller.

While the food is the star of the festival, the event will also include carnival games, barrel train rides for children, and live music. Border Line will perform on July 8, and Flamin' Dick and the Hot Rods will play on July 15. Additionally, Blue Rock Fire Rescue will have some of its apparatus on-site for folks to familiarize themselves with, and a rescue demonstration is being planned for at least one of the nights.

The support group will also host a drawing for prizes. Opportunities to win a television, a kayak, and a hammock will be available, and 10 prizes of $100 will be awarded as well.

The proceeds from the festival will be used by the support group to supplement the operations of Blue Rock Fire Rescue (BRFR). Support group president Amos Hess said that the group hosts a yearly banquet for BRFR members, purchases apparel other than turnout gear for members, hosts a recruiting stand at National Night Out, supports BRFR's public education program, and provides refreshments for intense rescue calls. The group has also purchased accessories for items covered by BRFR's budget, and recently the group bought holders for the new radios. Hess noted that the support group has also set aside money toward BRFR's purchase of a new vehicle.

New members are always accepted by BRFR and the support group. Additionally, folks may volunteer to help at the Tomato Festival. Support group member and volunteer coordinator Carl Miller said that he will find tasks for anyone to do. Treasurer Kathy Fry noted that relief is needed each evening.

"Some of us are there all day," Brenda remarked.

Readers who would like to volunteer may call Carl at 717-684-4184 or Dick Schock at 717-872-5245.

The festival will be held rain or shine. Handicapped-accessible parking will be located on the ball diamond. General parking will occupy a field near the park.


County Receives Two Awards June 21, 2017

Chester County has received two achievement awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for programs developed by the county's Department of Emergency Services. The two programs - Care Under Fire and the Youth First Responder Career Training - picked up the accolades within NACo's Criminal Justice and Public Safety category. Both awards will be formally recognized on July 23 at NACo's annual conference and exposition in Columbus, Ohio.

"The 'Care Under Fire' program is a one-day, 10-hour training course for police officers that focuses on how and why it is crucial to provide lifesaving first aid procedures for their partners and colleagues while in the line of duty," said Bobby Kagel, Director of the Chester County Department of Emergency Services.

In the Youth First Responder Career Training Partnership, Chester County Emergency Services partners with the Octorara Area High School to present the Octorara Area Homeland Security and Protective Services Career and Technical Education program. The program prepares students to apply technical knowledge and skills required to perform entry-level duties in law enforcement, firefighting, emergency medical technician services and other safety services. The program stresses the techniques, methods and procedures specific to the areas of criminal justice and fire protection especially in emergency and disaster situations.

Nationally, the NACo awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services that counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, information technology, health, and civic engagement.


Fire Company Seeks Book Donations June 16, 2017

Craley Community Fire Company, 73 New Bridgeville Road, Craley, will accept books to be sold at the 42nd annual Craley Days event on Friday, Aug. 11, and Saturday, Aug. 12. The eighth annual book sale will benefit the fire company.

Gently used books, audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs may be dropped off at the Craley Fire Company or by calling Hollie at 717-246-8735, Bob at 717-244-5237, or Sara at 717-858-3593. No magazines or encyclopedias will be accepted. No books will be accepted after Tuesday, Aug. 1.


Fire Company Plans Booklet June 14, 2017

The Craley Fire Company is currently selling business ads for its special 42nd anniversary Craley Days booklet. First-time advertisers may contact Bob Kline at 717-244-5237 for more information, including ad prices and details about payment.

The deadline for ad placement is Monday, June 26.


Firefighters Enjoy Breakfast June 14, 2017

On April 22, the men's prayer breakfast group of the First Presbyterian Church of Strasburg hosted members of Strasburg Fire Company No. 1 as an expression of appreciation for the fire company's service. Several dozen firefighters attended.

The fire company was chartered in 1933. With an active membership of 40, the company responds to 200 calls per year; about 50 of those are structure fires, and the rest are a mix of vehicle accidents, fire police assistance, brush fires, and more. The Koch family has had four generations of firefighters serve, from one of the founders to the present. Several other families have served for 40 years or more.

The fire company is based in a well-equipped station in Strasburg, which was dedicated in 2006. The current $160,000 budget is met by municipal contributions, fund drives, and fundraising sales and breakfasts through the year.

The men's prayer breakfast group meets every Thursday at 6:30 a.m. in the fellowship hall at the church, 101 S. Decatur St., Strasburg, and all are welcome to attend.


Emergency Groups Receive Funds June 7, 2017


Fire Responders Receive Donation June 7, 2017

Local first responders recently received donations of pet oxygen mask kits from Invisible Fence of Southern PA. The White Rose Ambulance Company received four kits, and Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services received seven kits. The masks will allow firefighters and EMS staff to give oxygen to pets who are suffering from smoke inhalation when they are rescued from fires.

The donation is part of Project Breathe, which was established with the goal of equipping every fire station in America and Canada with pet oxygen masks. More than 18,200 pet oxygen masks have been donated through the program. Fire personnel may make requests for their own departments at


Fire Company Sets Meat Drawing May 31, 2017

Union Fire and Hose Company No. 1, 30 E. Canal St., Dover, will hold a meat drawing on Friday, June 9. Doors will open at 5 p.m., dinner will be served at 6 p.m., and the drawing will start at 7 p.m. Meat prizes will be from a Wellsville business.

The service project for the month is to collect items for the Ronald McDonald House in Hershey, which provides free housing for families with children admitted at or getting outpatient treatment at Hershey Medical Center. Items needed are canned foods, nonperishable food items, paper products, laundry detergent, fabric softener, cleaning products, greeting cards and postage stamps, phone cards, and gift cards for grocery and department stores. For more information, readers may contact Elaine Kroft at 717-292-1392.

The next meat drawing will be on Friday, July 14.

Additionally, the fire company will hold a public supper on Saturday, June 24, at 3:30 p.m. Baked turkey pie and boiled beef potpie will be available to eat on-site or for carryout.


Goodwill Fire Company Plans Breakfast May 31, 2017

Goodwill Fire Company No. 1, Station 18, 1 S. Main St., Jacobus, will host an all-you-can-eat breakfast on Sunday, June 11, from 8 to 11 a.m. The cost of breakfast will include bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, pancakes, french toast, potatoes, creamed chipped beef, sausage gravy, toast, biscuits, and a variety of beverages.

The cost of breakfast will be discounted for children ages 2 to 12, and children under age 2 may eat for free. Proceeds will benefit the fire company. For more details, readers may call Barb Alexander at 717-428-1436.


Fire Company Honors Local Hero May 31, 2017

Members of the Glen Moore Fire Company recently presented a Citizen Hero Award to 91-year-old Jesse Davies for coming to the aid of an injured motorist, potentially helping to save his life.

Fire Chief Mike King presented the award during the Sunday service on May 28 at Glen Moore United Methodist Church, where Davies is a member.

"On Dec. 17, 2016, we were dispatched to an automobile accident on Springton Road in Wallace Township around 9:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Jesse was on the scene (before we arrived)," King explained. "At (age) 91, Jesse climbed down a 30-foot embankment. When our engine crew arrived, the car was upside down and Jesse was helping the gentleman out of the vehicle."

King said that after helping the motorist, Davies continued to church as he does every Sunday. "He brushed his clothes off and said, 'I have to get to church,'" King recalled.

King added that the motorist was not severely injured and survived the one-vehicle crash.

Davies, who resides at Freedom Village in West Brandywine, will be 92 in July. He has no background in emergency services, but he is a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

Davies was unaware that he would be receiving the award at church, and he accepted the honor humbly from the members of the fire company. "I am not worthy to be among such men and women who do many more things every single day, not just once," he said.

Members of the Downingtown VFW were also on hand for the presentation.

The award ceremony to honor Davies was part of the church's Memorial Day observance. The service featured patriotic hymns such as "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," "A Mighty Fortress" and "America the Beautiful."

There was also a Missing Man Table set up in the church sanctuary to represent Americans who were or are missing in action from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

According to, the tablecloth on the Missing Man Table is white, symbolizing purity, and the red rose on the table represents family members and friends who are waiting for the return of their loved one. The table also includes a slice of lemon, representing bitterness, and salt, symbolizing tears.

Pastor Ralph Caine delivered a special message during the service about self-sacrifice titled "No Greater Love."

"Millions of Americans celebrate Memorial Day with picnics and parties. That's a good thing when families and friends get together, (but) Memorial Day is not a celebration," he stated. "It is a day of remembrance."

Glen Moore United Methodist Church is located at 1920 Creek Road (Route 282), Glenmoore. The Sunday service is held at 10 a.m. For more information, readers may call 610-942-2324 or email

Glen Moore Fire Company is currently seeking volunteer firefighters. More information about volunteer opportunities is available at

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