Position Opening - Fire Commissioner

The Western Berks Fire Department Board of Trustees is currently seeking applications for the position of Fire Commissioner.  The Fire Commissioner shall be the chief operation officer of the Fire Department and shall serve under the direction of the Board of Trustees.  The Western Berks Fire Department is a combination fire department with four fire stations serving four separate municipalities and with an annual operating budget of approximately 1 million dollars.

Qualified candidates should have served as an active member of a fire department for a minimum of 10 years.  Minimum qualifications include any combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from an accredited college or university with major course work in fire service or public administration.  Administrative experience with a combination fire department is preferred.  Candidates should have minimum certifications of Firefighter II and Fire Officer II.  Candidates should have experience in incident command and emergency management.  Candidates should have experience with fire safety training and the review and design of sprinkler systems.

The successful candidate must be able to pass a pre-employment drug screening and a criminal background check.  The successful applicant will be required to establish residency within the four service municipalities within 6 months.  Interested candidates should submit a resume with salary requirements on or before March 3, 2015 to the following address:

South Heidelberg Township
555A Mountain Home Rd.
Sinking Spring, PA 19608
ATTN:  Fire Commissioner Position



2014 Year-End Report

The Western Berks Fire Department is pleased to offer our year-end report for 2014.  With over 800 calls for service for the year, the organization witnessed record-breaking call volume for the year.  The report includes response statistics, information on department operations, training information, and much more.  Visit the "Document Library" to download a copy of the report.



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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