Thursday, May 26, 2016

Youths donating to their local fire company

I recently reported on two stories about kids donating toward organizations, including volunteer fire companies. The best part is that these kids decided by themselves to do this.

Springfield resident Ryan Natow had a birthday gift request: home-made birthday card and a dollar donation to his local fire company in Delaware County. His friends complied and gave him money at a block party for his fifth birthday party. A crew from the fire company attends such block parties. The crew from the Springfield Fire Company arrived at this block party in the Squad, unaware how much Ryan enjoyed their presence. Jason Natow, Ryan’s father, said that the kids enjoy operating the booster line from the apparatus.

Ryan and Jason visited the fire station to hand-deliver the $115 donation. Jason noted that many friends provided $5 to $20. He said they gladly donated more than they anticipated.

The men and women of the Springfield Fire Company were surprised and grateful for the generosity shown to them.

“We are thankful to Ryan for thinking of us at the Springfield Fire Company to financially help us with the services provided to our neighbors,” Battalion Chief Thomas Foran said. “We appreciate his selflessness to give back to the community, especially at such a young age.” 
Photo courtesy of the Springfield Fire Company Facebook page
Five-year-old Springfield resident Ryan Natow donated $115 to the Springfield Fire Company on May 17, 2016. Natow asked his friends and family to bring a donation for the firehouse rather than buy him birthday gifts. After he toured the firehouse, Natow posed for pictures with several of the volunteer firefighters. Pictured with Natow, from left to right, are firefighters Colin Richers, Eric Lyons and John Smith.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Outperforming yourself with the help of an instructor

I’m thankful for the opportunities at the Delaware County Emergency Services Training Center that improved my skills beyond what I imagined and equipped me as a volunteer firefighter.

We advanced a charged 2.5-inch hoseline to the second floor which proved difficult with four crew members total in full gear and SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus). A fire school instructor then challenged four of my squad members and me to advance the charged hoseline from the first floor to the third floor with 50-feet of the hoseline in the room.

When we re-established the water supply, the hoseline felt heavier in our hands. Despite any doubts, we went to work. I called it good practice, especially for a real-life scenario to make do with the amount of available crew members.

I later told that instructor that he confirmed what I thought when I signed up for fire school: it would hard, but worth doing. I wanted to do my best, especially as the training became more rigorous. Many of the instructors helped us to dig deep to give more than what we thought possible. This particular instructor’s teaching style enables students to surpass their aptitudes.
Photo credit:
Those two exhausting times we advanced the line a total of five stories were physically demanding, and it was the best way we learned. When what we tried did not work, we tried other ways and relied on each other for the team-effort. When you struggle, you learn to overcome.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Learning at a mock car crash demonstration

In the media we often report on crashes, including fatalities. In the fire service, we often see and help at crashes that people are injured or killed. Some are accidental, including weather-related accidents. Some are caused by distracted driving and some are DUI-related crashes.

Before the prom season starts, high school students witness a mock-car crash demonstration through a program that involves a rehearsed crash scene with theater actors, high school students and emergency responders that serve that community.

Photo by Ginger Rae Dunbar, Daily Local News
First-responders from the Lionville Fire Company and Uwchlan Ambulance assist at the mock car crash held at the Downingtown East High School in Uwchlan Township, Chester County. 
Main Line Health said in a news release that the mock-car crash program helps “educate young drivers in our region about the extreme danger of distracted and impaired driving.” It received a $45,000 grant from the State Farm Insurance Company to provide the program through its 10-year long partnership.

“This grant will help deliver an impactful experience that we hope will encourage healthy habits and decision making for teen drivers,” Main Line Health said, “ultimately preventing avoidable tragedies from taking place.”

Automobile crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among teenagers.