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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Emergency Groups Receive Funds June 7, 2017

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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 www.invisiblefence.com/O2.

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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.

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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.

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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 www.pow-miafamilies.org, 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 glenmooreum@verizon.net.

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

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Volunteers Sought For Fire Departments May 12, 2017

In honor of Mother's Day, which was on May 14, the Lancaster County Fire Chiefs Association (LCFCA) wants to give special recognition to the local moms who gear up and get on the fire truck, provide emergency medical help to the sick or injured, or search for the missing. The LCFCA also invites more moms to join the group of dedicated volunteers or learn more at www.becomeafirefighter.org.

Middle Creek Search and Rescue volunteer and former second assistant chief Tiffany Yorgensen, who has been a volunteer since 2008 and whose husband, Phillip, also volunteers, is the mom of five: Katie, 12; Olivia, 10; Jacob, 5; Violet, 3; and Samuel, 1. She notes that her experience raising children has taught her that each situation must be handled uniquely.

Nissa Stoltzfus, a volunteer EMT with Gordonville Fire and EMS and mom to Makayla, 21; Maranda, 20; Madalynne, 17; and Reuben, 15, joined four years ago, fulfilling a dream she had for nearly two decades. Now, she has become "Station Mom" to many of the 20-somethings she serves with.

The volunteering moms of Lancaster also say the skills they have learned through volunteering have aided them in caring for their own families. In addition to emergency response, volunteers regularly spend time training.

The moms' involvement has introduced their children to their volunteer work. Yorgensen noted that her two oldest children are looking forward to volunteering. Lancaster Township Fire Department Lieutenant and Fire Prevention program coordinator Jen Miller, who also works as a Lancaster 911 Center dispatcher, noted that her son, Calvin, nearly 10 years old, watches the trainings. Calvin added that he is looking forward to "fighting fires, going to the firehouses, and getting to wear the gear" in four years, when he is old enough to be a junior firefighter.

Columbia Borough Fire Department firefighter/EMT Leslie Fritz first volunteered at age 14 with Vigilant Fire Company, where her parents both volunteered. She transferred to Susquehanna Fire Company - which after a merger became her current company - at age 18. While she has focused more on non-emergency roles since the birth of her children - 23-year-old Kyle, 20-year-old Lauren, and 13-year-old Krystal - she is an active member of the Risk Watch Committee, and she teaches fire safety and prevention and bicycle safety, conducts car seat checks, and works at health fairs.

Fritz, a licensed practical nurse at Columbia Regional Medical Center, has also kept her EMT certification current and runs practice drills alongside her husband, Mark, a Columbia Borough firefighter and department president. Kyle and Lauren are now both volunteers as well.

"Growing up with a mom who was a firefighter was pretty awesome," said Kyle, who became a junior firefighter at age 14. "Watching her respond to calls influenced me to become a firefighter."

Krystal helps at fundraising events and other fire company functions. When she turns 14 in November, she notes that she plans to follow her siblings, parents, uncle, grandparents, and great-grandfather into the fire service by joining the Columbia Borough Fire Company.

Lancaster County's 67 volunteer fire companies and search-and-rescue squads seek more volunteers. Earlier this year, the association launched a multi-pronged recruitment campaign with the theme "Put Out the Fire; Ignite the Passion to Protect Lancaster County" to address the shortage.

Firefighters, EMTs, search-and-rescue team members, and fire police are all needed, along with non-emergency volunteers who help with fire prevention and safety instruction, fundraising and other events, do administrative work, and complete vehicle and station maintenance. Many departments offer junior memberships to teenagers.

To volunteer or learn more, readers may visit www.becomeafirefighter.org, email lancastercountyfirechiefs@gmail.com, or call 888-914-JOIN.

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