WBFD Leadership Approves New Apparatus

At the April Board of Trustees meeting, the Board approved the purchase of a replacement aerial device for the department. The department's current ladder, a 1997 Pierce 105' aerial, will be replaced with a Pierce Velocity chassis with a 105' heavy duty aerial, pump, tank and CAFS system. Anticipated completion and delivery of the truck is slated for Spring of 2016. Watch our website for more information and click on the graphic for a conceptual drawing of the new unit.



Unit Citation Issued

At the March monthly trustee's meeting, multiple members were issued a Unit Citation for saving a life on November 22, 2014. On November 22, 2014 at approximately 8:16 PM the Western Berks Fire Department along with Western Berks Ambulance were dispatched to Route 422 and Green Valley Road for a motor vehicle accident with entrapment. Additional information from the Berks County Communications Center was a single vehicle accident with a person trapped under the vehicle. Deputy Chief Zerman arrived on location and completed an assessment of the scene. Deputy Chief Zerman determined that no one was trapped underneath the vehicle. The only occupant was a restrained driver confined to the vehicle. At that time it was determined that the patient was unresponsive. The initial crew on scene performed a rapid extrication with the combi-tool and immediately initiated CPR. Engine 18-2 arrived on scene at 8:19 PM and the patient was extricated at 8:23 PM. The patient has made a full recovery. Excellent work to all involved!

The following members received a Unit Citation for this incident; Deputy Chief Bob Zerman, Captain Nevin Klahr, Lieutenant Jason Stine, Lieutenant Joey Stine, Firefighter Dave Pettis, Firefighter Robert Zerman, Firefighter Brandon Zerman, Firefighter Chris Sayers, and Firefighter John Stine



Hydrant Operations Training

With warmer weather finally showing up in Berks County, crews took to the street for our Monday night training.  Senior members reviewed hydrant operations with newer members and driver training candidates practiced laying out and pumping Engine 18-1 and Engine 18-2.  The training included hooking up to the hydrant, laying into the evolution, charging the 5 inch supply and putting a 1 ¾ attack line in-service.  We had a great turnout including many new members.



WBFD Assists at Robesonia Borough Structure Fire

On March 14th at 6:12 p.m. Company 18 received its 3rd structure fire assignment of the day. Western Berks Fire Department was sent on the mutual aid assignment to 422 South Freeman St. for a reported chimney fire. Ladder 18, Rescue 18 and Engine 18-1 responded and arrived as 1st in truck company, 3rd in engine company and 1st in rescue company. Chief 26 (Robesonia) was the first fire department staff to arrive and found a one story, single family home with heavy smoke from the roof. Ladder crews immediately went in service, opening the roof as crews made an aggressive interior attack. Engine 18-1 laid in to the scene dropping 800 feet of 5 inch supply hose before going in service, assisting Engine 26 and Engine 47 (Womelsdorf). Rescue 18 members assisted Ladder 18 with interior truck work, hooking ceilings to expose fire for the engine companies. The fire was placed under control at approximately 7:19 p.m. A total of 20 personnel turned out for the incident to operate at the fire and staff the apparatus covering our area while units were at the fire.

Pictured; FF Tyler Koehn, LT. Joe Stine, Capt. Nevin Klahr, FF Dan Stine, FF Zach Loder, FF Chris Sayers, LT. Avery Lesher, LT. Jason Stine

Missing from picture; JFF Luke Patterson, FF Mike Patterson, FF John Porter, FF Randy Bohn, FF Bobby Zerman, Deputy Chief Bob Zerman, FF Brandon Zerman, FF Allan Schaffer, JFF Issac Jones, FF Jordan Jurkowski, FP Jim Kauffman, FF John Stine.



WBFD Assists with Numerous Calls in Wyomissing Borough

On March 14th at 3:30 PM, Station 18 R.I.T. was dispatched on the structure fire assignment for 855 North Park Rd at the Wynnewood Apartments. The initial report was to check for smoke coming from the location.  Ladder 18 went responding immediately with 8 personnel.  Units arrived on location and investigated to find steam from a dryer vent.  As units were going available from Wynnewood Apartments another structure fire assignment was dispatched in Wyomissing Borough at 3:45 PM.  Companies were dispatched to 1743 Reading Blvd for reports of a kitchen fire.  Engine 36 (Shillington) arrived on location with smoke showing from the front of the structure.  Crews immediately went in service and found the fire to be out and a moderate smoke condition through the building.  Ladder 18's crew split and had 4 personnel on R.I.T. and 4 personnel assist with 1st in truck responsibilities. While the Ladder handled the calls above 8 WBFD members stood by at WBFD station 2 staffing Engine 18-2 and Utility 18-2.



WBFD Assists at Spring Township Structure Fire

On Wednesday, March 4, 2015 Ladder 18 was dispatched to 1354 West Wyomissing Court at the Lincoln Park Apartments, in Spring Township for a reported building on fire. Engine 85 (Spring Township) arrived on the scene first with heavy fire on the first and second floors of a middle of the row townhouse and immediately called for the 2nd alarm. Engine 85 went in service attacking the fire from the rear as Rescue Engine 36 (Shillington) went in service out front with Tower 79 (Wyomissing). Tower 79 and Rescue Engine 36 stretched additional hoselines and began to search the building. Ladder 18 arrived on location and immediately went in service opening up the roof, placing Ladder 18's aerial in service as well as deploying numerous ground ladders to the roof and second floor windows. Engine 18-2, Engine 18-1 and Utility 18-2 responded on the 2nd alarm and their respective crews stood by in the manpower pool until being released by command. Once released Engine 18-2 stood by in Company 85's quarters while they investigated the fire. First and Second alarm companies were able to contain the fire to townhouse of origin with minor extension to the attached homes.



Adopt-A-Hydrant Program

Fire hydrants are a critical tool used by the fire department when a fire occurs.  Being able to quickly locate and access the fire hydrant can make a significant impact on the outcome of the fire.  With over 500 hydrants located throughout the communities we serve, it is difficult to ensure that they are readily available during inclement weather such as significant snow accumulations, and keeping them free of grass, weeds, and high brush during the year.

If you have a fire hydrant on or near your property, we are asking homeowners and residents to "adopt-a-hydrant" and ensure that the following steps are taken to ensure that the hydrants are available at all times:

     - Clear a 3 foot area around the hydrant of any snow, high grass or large brush;
     - Do not block the hydrant by parking a vehicle in front of it.  Fire hydrants require a   
       15 foot clear area in each direction; and
     - If you find a hydrant that is leaking or damaged, contact the appropriate water
       company for where you live or contact the Western Berks Fire Department at
       (610) 678-1332.



Winter Fire Safety

With the cooler months upon us, now is the opportune time to check your heating devices for the upcoming winter months.  Here are a few safety tips for your home heating appliances.  More information can be found by downloading this PDF document developed by the United States Fire Administration.

Have your fireplace or wood-burning stove chimney inspected annually and cleaned if necessary, especially if it has not been used for some time.

Have your furnace inspected and maintained by a qualified specialist on an annual basis.

Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening, to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out, unwanted materials from going in, and help prevent the possibility of burns to occupants.

If you use an electric space heater, be sure not to overload the circuit and make sure to only use extension cords which have the necessary rating to carry an amp load.

Finally, if there is a fire hydrant near your home, you can help us by keeping the hydrant clear of snow so in the event it is needed, it can be located and accessed.



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