April 11, 2008 – Fire Officer I Certification
On April, 7 firefighters from the City of Pottsville received their results from the Fire Officer I certification that was held at Station 10. We would like to say congratulations to all the firefighters who passed successfully.
Fire Departments from Tamaqua, Orwigsburg, Ryan Township, and Mahanoy Plane also had firefighters complete the certification.
March 29, 2008
In a step to increase firefighter safety, Station 60 has installed the soon to be NFPA required chevron striping on the rear of Rescue 63. As seen from the pictures, it greatly increased visibility of the back of the apparatus. Photos by: Z. Rist – Sta. 60
City Fire Department installs Duty Officers
BY SARAH HERBERT-HANNICK
Seven new positions are expected to be added to the Pottsville Fire Department. At its May 14 meeting, City Council will likely pass an ordinance adding duty officers for the fire department. Fire Chief Todd March said duty officers will be appointed to serve in a capacity similar to that of an assistant chief. He said the duty officers will take command on a Wednesday and finish on a Thursday. Those days were chosen to make the trade-off of the second fire vehicle to the assistant chief easier when the weekend arrives, March said. The city currently has one full-time chief and four part-time assistant chiefs. March’s position is locked in until he chooses to resign. The assistant chiefs serve four-year terms and are chosen from the city’s eight companies on a rotating basis. “Each of the eight fire companies in Pottsville had the chance to nominate one person, either a captain or a lieutenant, one of their line officers,” March said. “Two companies didn’t nominate anybody.” The city received only seven applications, March said. “There were six companies that put either a captain or a lieutenant up. Then there was one that also nominated a past assistant chief. We put on whoever applied.” These line officers will only cover two nights a week, Wednesday and Thursday nights, March said. “And they’ll rotate every seven weeks,” he said. The duty officer must have experience, although there isn’t a specific amount of experience documented in the ordinance. March said this qualification is at his discretion. “This position will help line officers in the companies that aspire to assistant chief some day,” March said. The position also benefits firefighters in other ways. Kevin Sibbett, a lieutenant for American Hose Company, has been recommended as a duty officer. “The nice thing about this position is those of us who can’t be assistant chief have the opportunity to work and help out at a different level,” Sibbett said. Due to weekend obligations, Sibbett said he can’t serve as an assistant chief. “It’s really going to benefit the fire company,” Sibbett said. March said the duty officers will help simplify the command structure at fire scenes. Unlike the role of chief or assistant chief, duty officers aren’t paid. “It’s hard keeping the volunteers because of the amount of training required,” March said. March said former assistant chiefs are eligible to become duty officers. March said there are roughly 1,200 members listed for all of the companies in the city, but only 100 are active enough that they regularly respond to calls.
©The REPUBLICAN & Herald 2007
Good Intent’s 1929 Ahrens Fox Arrives Back Home..
The Fox was delivered to Pottsville by rail on Sunday afternoon, October 6, 1929. A factory rep from Ahrens Fox, George L. Wood, supervised the unloading and testing of the engine. It was housed in the firehouse for the first time on Monday evening, October 7, 1929. It arrived just in time for the Fire Prevention Week “Apparatus Inspection” in downtown Pottsville on Friday evening October 11. The apparatus inspection was essentially a parade down Centre St. The Fox replaced the Good Intent’s 1910 Robinson 700 gpm Triple Combination Pumper – the first piece of motorized fire apparatus in the City. The Humane received their 1929 Buffalo hose & booster truck around the same time that the Good Intent’s Fox was delivered.
I’m not sure of the engine’s first run as our records are incomplete from that time period. I do know that its first working fire was on November 7, 1929. Box 614 was pulled at 12:20 hrs for a fire at 738-740 Water St. Damage was over $2,000. Children playing with matches set fire to dried leaves and paper between the homes. The fire spread to the weatherboards and started to take off on the exterior of both buildings. Stevenson was Fire Chief at the time.
The last working fire that the Fox pumped was on March 18, 1957. It could be said that it was a light workout for the rig as it didn’t even have to be moved from quarters. A female employee of the Trudy Shoppe at 5 N. 2nd St. discovered fire in the rear stock room. She ran next door to the Good Intent where members pulled booster lines and called for the box. Box 14 sounded at 15:05 hrs. The store sold children’s clothing. Both of the Good Intent’s Ahrens Fox engines pumped from quarters and a supply line (2.5″) was run to the hydrant in front of the firehouse. The fire was marked under control at 15:42. Damage to the store and the apartments above totaled $13,171.65.
The last call for the Fox was on March 18, 1957 for a false alarm from Box 51 at 18:50 hrs.
The last time the Fox pumped was on June 9, 1957 during training at York Farm.
It’s interesting that the company referred to the engines as the “Little Truck” (1937 500 gpm Ahrens Fox) and the “Big Truck” (1929 1000gpm Ahrens Fox piston pump) in the fire log. During the early 40’s someone – perhaps the Foreman or Chief Engineer – tried to formalize the fire response records a little. They referred to the rigs as “Truck #1” (I believe that was the ’37) and “Truck #2” (the ’29). That evidently didn’t last long as there are only a couple of calls in that particular format.
The Fox was sold and left the Good Intent on Saturday November 2, 1957. It returned on Tuesday September 27, 2005.
Article by: Mike Glore Sta. 10
November 13, 2004 – Fire Fighter II Certification Test
Nine Firefighters from the City of Pottsville tested for FFII Certification at the Schuylkill County Fire grounds in Frackville. We would like to say Congratulations to all the Firefighters who passed successfully.
June 12, 2004 – Fire Fighter I Certification Test
21 Firefighters from the City of Pottsville tested for FFI Certification at the Schuylkill County Fire grounds in Frackville. This was a closed session for the PFD, and the first FFI Certification for the Schuylkill County Fire school. We would like to say Congratulations to all the Firefighters who passed successfully.
Please note there are many other FF I, FF II & even some FF III throught the city.
These are just the ones who got certified this year…