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Christmas Tree Sales Posted November 7, 2018

Middletown Volunteer Fire Department will hold its annual Christmas tree sales starting on Black Friday, Nov. 23. The sales will take place in the Grove Car Wash parking lot on East Main Street, Middletown.

On Black Friday, the sale will be open from noon to 7:30 p.m. After Black Friday, sales will occur from noon to 7:30 p.m. on weekends and from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on weeknights. Tree netting and drilling will be available.

For more information, call 717-944-1644.

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Scouts Will Hold Flag Retirement Ceremony November 2, 2018

Boy Scout Troop 58, in conjunction with Cub Scout Pack 58 and the Willow Street Fire Company, will host a flag retirement ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 6 p.m. A temporary fire pit will be set up in the field behind the fire station, 2901 Willow Street Pike, Willow Street, and folks may bring chairs to set up around it.

Scoutmaster Dave Haas explained that after a number of years without a flag retirement ceremony, the troop's charter organization, Willow Street Lions Club, last year asked the troop to resurrect the event. The group has opted to hold one on every Veterans Day and Flag Day. The upcoming event will be held at the fire station in hopes of increasing the event's visibility, Haas noted. "It's us trying to give back on that day," he said.

"This troop is part of the community of Willow Street," said deputy chief Dave Reese, explaining why the fire company had agreed to host the ceremony. "(We support) teaching the Scouts that you don't just take our nation's symbol and throw it in the trash."

United States flags cannot just be tossed on a fire. Instead, retired flags are prepared to burn by being cut apart in specific sections, and the troop members have taken care of that for all of the flags that have been donated to the group. Folks may bring worn-out flags to the ceremony, but these will be disposed of at a later time due to the preparation required.

The troop has received several nylon flags from local businesses and hundreds of small flags from area cemeteries. Some of those small flags are from the graves of veterans buried at Willow Street Mennonite Church. One of Troop 58's commitments to the community is replacing the flags at the graves every Memorial Day.

Haas estimated that the service will run for 60 to 90 minutes and will include a special part for veterans. There will be an opportunity for attendees to participate as well.

The flag retirement ceremony will be open to the public free of charge, but folks may bring nonperishable food items to the event. Scouting for Food bag drop-offs will take place on Saturday, Nov. 10, and the Scouts will return on Saturday, Nov. 17, to collect filled bags. Everything collected on Nov. 11 and 17 will be given to the food bank at Lampeter United Methodist Church. The troop is hoping to collect 3,000 pounds of canned goods, Haas said.

Boy Scout Troop 58 was chartered 78 years ago. The group meets on most Mondays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Scout house, which is located behind Willow Street United Church of Christ, 2723 Willow Street Pike North, Willow Street. Currently, there are nine boys in the troop, and they range from age 11 through 17. Cub Scout Pack 58 is open to boys and girls in kindergarten through fifth grade. Applications to join the groups will be available at the flag retirement ceremony.

For more information about the troop or the event, readers may email troop58willowstreet@gmail.com.

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Fire Company To Host Breakfast, Craft Show November 1, 2018

The members of Bart Township Fire Company, 11 Furnace Road, Quarryville, will host their second annual veterans breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 6 to 10 a.m.

"We want to show appreciation to the veterans for their service," said special division member Darlene Swisher. "They protect us and take care of us, so I think it's important that we show them respect. It's an honor to do it."

Military veterans will be admitted to the breakfast free of charge. Fees have been set for admission for all other individuals and for takeouts.

Swisher noted that the special division supports the fire company through fundraising. The group meets at the fire hall on the third Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. Guests are welcome to attend.

The proceeds from the breakfast will be used for "whatever (we) need and the upkeep of the kitchen," Swisher said. "It all goes back into the fire company."

There will be a wide variety of food served buffet-style at the meal, including sausage, bacon, ham, scrapple, chipped beef gravy, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, pancakes, pastries, juice, and coffee. Volunteers will begin cooking at 4 a.m. in order to have everything ready in time for hungry diners. Fire company member Debbie Hoover reported that more than 300 people attended last year's breakfast.

Additionally, the fire company will host a craft show on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A total of 40 vendors will sell unique items; direct sales vendors will not be part of the event. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus are slated to visit at 10 a.m.

Bart Township Fire Company covers all of its namesake as well as parts of Eden, Sadsbury, Colerain, and Paradise townships. The all-volunteer organization, as well as its special division, is always accepting new members. Volunteering with the fire company in any capacity is appreciated.

"I wanted to give back to my community and to make it a better place," Hoover said, explaining why she joined the fire company.

To learn more about volunteering or any of the fire company's upcoming events, folks may call the station at 717-786-3348.

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Fire Safety For Children October 31, 2018

On Oct. 12, children from around the Pequea Valley School District gathered at the Kinzer Fire Company, 3521 Lincoln Highway East, Kinzers, for a time of fire safety education. The fire company has been holding the day of fire education at the station for children age 5 through seniors in high school since 2001.

According to Doug Brubaker, Kinzer Fire Company fire chief, the children come yearly during Fire Prevention Week, which in 2018 was held from Oct. 8 through 12. Brubaker said that 75 students from the Conestoga Valley Homeschoolers group visited the fire station during the morning. In the afternoon, students from four of the seven Plain community schools located within the fire company's territory visited. The fire company expects students from the other three Plain community schools to attend the 2019 event.

Brubaker said that the fire education training begins with a classroom video that discusses "stop, drop, and roll," "stay low and go," and the need for two exits in a building. The children learn about the importance of smoke detectors. They also learn about dialing 911 and the need to know their own addresses.

Outside in the fire station parking lot, Brubaker described five different stations where children could learn about safety and experience some of the activities associated with firefighting. "There is a fun station where they get to handle the hose line," said Brubaker. "We have a station where the firefighters gear up and explain what a firefighter does, and we have a smoke trailer that simulates a fire they can crawl through." In addition, Gordonville Ambulance Service was on-site to discuss the services it provides, and the Paradise Fire Company brought along boats for use in water rescues. "(The Paradise Fire Company) had 34 water rescues they were dispatched for last month," said Brubaker.

Readers who would like to learn more about the Kinzer Fire Company may visit www.kinzerfire.com.

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Fire Company Sets Breakfast October 31, 2018

Goodwill Fire Company No. 1, Station 18, 1 S. Main St., Jacobus, will offer an all-you-can-eat breakfast on Sunday, Nov. 11, from 8 to 11 a.m. Separate fees have been set for adults and for children ages 2 to 12. Children under age 2 may eat for free.

The breakfast will include bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, pancakes, French toast, potatoes, creamed chipped beef, sausage gravy, toast, and biscuits. Beverages will include coffee, tea, milk, orange juice, and chocolate milk.

The event willl support the fire company.

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Fire Company Awarded Grant October 31, 2018

Union Volunteer Fire Company in Felton has been awarded $8,388 in grant money strategically directed at local firefighting forces in communities with fewer than 10,000 residents. The grant program, offered through DCNR and paid through federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, has awarded more than $12.5 million since it began in 1982.

The funding is specifically for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires. Accordingly, grants may be used for purchasing mobile or portable radios, installing water supply equipment, wildfire prevention and mitigation work, training wildfire fighters, or converting and maintaining federal excess vehicles.

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Glen Moore Fire Company Holds Open House October 25, 2018

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Glen Moore Fire Company Holds Open House October 25, 2018

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Fire Company Sets Breakfast October 24, 2018

Geigertown Fire Company, 3433 Hay Creek Road, Robeson Township, will host an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet on Sunday, Nov. 4, from 7 to 11 a.m.

Proceeds will support the fire company. For additional details, readers may call 610-286-6481 or visit www.geigertownfireco.com. Individuals may also find the fire company on Facebook.

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Church Honors First Responders October 23, 2018

Ridgeview Mennonite Church in Gordonville hosted a banquet on Oct. 17 to honor and thank the volunteer first responders of Gordonville and Intercourse fire companies and Gordonville EMS, along with their families. The event began with a meal.

After the meal, the first responders demonstrated their skills by presenting a rescue simulation. The first responders rescued two trapped persons in a flipped van and interacted with someone playing the part of a victim's father arriving on the scene.

The event concluded with a candy drop from the high basket of a ladder truck.

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Retiring Chair Plans Her Last Potpie Sale October 20, 2018

Dawn Mokros-Rathgeb has set a record for longest-standing chair in a volunteer position at East Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company, serving for a decade as the ways and means committee chair. In that position, she has been responsible for organizing and running the organization's fundraising events.

"Everybody thinks being part of a fire company is all about fires. It's not," Mokros-Rathgeb said. "For the past 10 years, I have been able to give back to the fire company and the community without going on any fire calls."

While Mokros-Rathgeb chose to serve behind the scenes, her replacement, Kiersten Yocum, opted to go in another direction. Yocum joined the fire company last year and became a member of the fire police and the organization's secretary. She is now training to be a firefighter. Yocum lives on the edge of the borough and decided to sign up after seeing a "Why Not You?" advertisement in the Merchandiser.

"I was looking for a volunteer opportunity," Yocum explained. "I didn't know what I was doing, but they've been showing me what to do."

Volunteers are needed to help the fire company run smoothly and to protect community resources. There are a wide range of capacities in which folks may serve.

"Volunteering with the fire company isn't just putting out fires," Yocum remarked. "We desperately need people on the administrative side."

Yocum will officially become chair of the ways and means committee at the start of 2019. Mokros-Rathgeb's final event in that position will be the fall potpie takeout sale, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until the food is sold out. Folks must come to the fire station, 6076 Pine St., East Petersburg, to buy quarts of the savory favorite. Customers are encouraged to bring boxes or sturdy bags if they plan to purchase large quantities of potpie. The doors will not open before 9 a.m., and potpie will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

"People know they have to get here early," commented fire company vice president and ways and means committee member Frank Mokros.

Volunteers will begin cooking at 4 a.m. on Nov. 3. Three batches of beef potpie and 13 of chicken potpie are slated to be made. That is an increase of two chicken batches, approximately 220 quarts, from the sale in February, which sold out entirely. The entrees are made from scratch and cooked in two industrial kettles.

As volunteers prepare for the fundraiser, Mokros-Rathgeb is hoping that Nov. 3 will be a dry day.

"Humidity can affect dough," Mokros-Rathgeb said. "The weather can be a factor. It can be tricky; people don't realize it."

Folks are invited to come out to the potpie takeout event and bid farewell to Mokros-Rathgeb and make Yocum's acquaintance.

"And fill out a volunteer form," Yocum said.

As Yocum looks toward beginning her tenure, she said that she plans to keep the fundraising calendar the same as it has been in previous years, but she would like to eventually add a summer event. The twice-yearly potpie sales are slated to continue as well.

For more information about the fire company, readers may call the station at 717-569-5035, visit www.epfc23.com, or find East Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company on Facebook and Twitter.

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Fire Company Receives Funds October 19, 2018

Campbelltown Volunteer Fire Company in Palmyra was recently granted $3,492 in new funding. The grant is part of $646,891 distributed throughout the state to help rural community volunteer fire companies guard against the threat of wildfires in the state's forests and other undeveloped areas.

The funds are to be used for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires. Grants may be used for purchasing mobile or portable radios, installing water supply equipment, preventing and mitigating wildfires, training wildfire fighters, or converting and maintaining federal excess vehicles.

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Bazaar To Support Fire Company October 16, 2018

A Christmas bazaar will be held at Kinzer Fire Hall, 3521 Lincoln Highway East, Kinzers, on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The bazaar will feature signs, jewelry, clothes, books, decor, soaps, candles, blacksmith goods, horseshoe art, desserts, candies, makeup, canvas paintings, gourds and crocheted items.

The event is being hosted by Chapel Hill Forge. Vendor fees, along with proceeds from food sales, will benefit the fire company.

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Organizations Offer Flu Shots, Health Screenings October 15, 2018

The Union Fire Company No. 1 of Oxford offered flu shots and wellness screenings at no cost during downtown Oxford's First Friday on Oct. 5.

Flu shots were provided by representatives of the Chester County Health Department. Insured community members brought their identification cards, and those without insurance were still able to receive a flu shot at no cost. Children as young as 6 months received the vaccine.

The wellness screenings were provided by La Comunidad Hispana (LCH). LCH medical assistants were available to check community members' pulse, sugar levels, and blood pressure, as well as to check heights and weights to determine body mass index (BMI). Community members had opportunities to chat individually with an LCH provider. LCH certified nurse practitioner Deb Moyers provided the consults during the event.

During the event, 185 flu shots were administered and 18 health screenings were provided. EMS manager John Poole said that organizers plan to offer the screenings at the fire station again next year during the October 2019 First Friday.

Anyone who would like to get a flu shot may attend one of the Chester County Health Department's flu shot events at locations throughout the county. For more information, readers may visit www.chesco.org/flu.

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Fire Company Honors Local Hero October 15, 2018

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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Fire Company Receives Donation October 12, 2018

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Grants Will Aid Fire District October 12, 2018

Millersville University's Dr. Duane Hagelgans, associate professor of emergency management, was awarded two grants by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the Blue Rock Regional Fire District. The grants total nearly $500,000 and will be allocated to acquire new equipment, recruit new members, and retain firefighters for Blue Rock's all-volunteer fire company.

The first grant, the American Firefighter Grant, worth $329,000, will be used to replace Blue Rock's outdated self-contained breathing apparatus. The self-contained breathing apparatus allows the volunteer firefighters to enter hazardous environments for both life-saving and firefighting operations.

The second grant is a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant from FEMA worth $129,000. The SAFER grant will be used to retain members and increase recruitment efforts among the Blue Rock volunteer firefighters. The grant will help with initiatives to recruit new volunteers, while also providing incentives to retain current volunteers.

For more than 30 years, Hagelgans has been involved in emergency services. After retiring from the City of Lancaster, Bureau of Fire in 2011, he became the fire commissioner for Blue Rock Regional Fire District, which protects Millersville borough and the surrounding Manor Township. He is also currently the emergency management coordinator of the regional emergency management zone in Millersville Borough and Manor Township.

Hagelgans holds an associate degree in fire science technology from Harrisburg Area Community College, a bachelor's degree in occupational safety from Millersville University, and a juris doctorate degree from Widener University School of Law. He teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in emergency management at Millersville through the Center for Disaster Research and Education.

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Fire Company To Observe Halloween October 11, 2018

Linglestown Fire Company will be out and about on Trick-or-Treat Night on Thursday, Oct. 25, to pass out treats to children.

While traveling around the area, the firefighters will strive to ensure the children celebrating Halloween are having a safe and fun night.

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Fire Company Sets Open House October 11, 2018

Longwood Fire Company, 1001 E. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, will hold its 16th annual open house on Sunday, Oct. 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The community is invited to attend the event to meet the firefighters and become familiar with the fire company, which has been serving the local area for nearly 100 years. The family-friendly event is free.

According to Longwood Fire Chief A. J. McCarthy, the open house will be connected to this year's Fire Prevention Week theme, "Look. Listen. Learn. Be Aware - Fire Can Happen Anywhere." Residents will be able to tour the firehouse, talk with Longwood's fire and EMS members, and get an up-close look at the company's firefighting and other life-saving equipment.

Food and beverages will be served at the firehouse, and an auction will take place. A new addition to this year's event will be a food truck selling barbecue.

Christiana Cares - Lifenet Helicopter is scheduled to make a landing, weather permitting. Also, information will be distributed by members of the Kennett Township Police Department and other community organizations.

A Kids' Corner will offer a number of activities, including face painting. Also, Longwood will hand out complimentary fire hats and badge stickers to youngsters.

Longwood Fire Company has served the communities of Kennett, East Marlborough, Pennsbury, and Pocopson townships since 1921. It provides fire and rescue and emergency medical services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information, readers may visit www.longwoodfireco.com.

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Fire Company Plans Open House October 3, 2018

A fire prevention open house will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Union Fire and Hose Company No. 1 station, 30 E. Canal St., Dover. Demonstrations, fire truck rides and refreshments will be provided.

On Friday, Oct. 12, a meat drawing will be held at the station. Doors will open at 5 p.m., dinner will begin at 6 p.m. and the drawings will begin at 7 p.m. As a service project, the fire company will be collecting new toys for children in need in the area. For more information, readers may call Elaine at 717-292-1392 or Cathy at 717-873-0385. The next meat drawing will be held on Friday, Nov. 9.

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