Fire Prevention Week: Reaching Out to the Children
As they have done for nearly six decades, firefighters from Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Department took their message of fire prevention and fire safety into schools in the township’s western district to help township youngsters understand how they can help themselves stay out of harm’s way from the ravages of fire. Chief Joshua Wells and other volunteers visited Lehigh Christian Academy, Western Salisbury Elementary School, St. Thomas More School, the Swain School, Hope Church pre-school, and Lehigh Valley Hospital Day Care classes during their annual Fire Prevention Week activities to help children be fire-safe. Using a live smoke detector as a prop, Wells said every bedroom in a student's home needs to have the protection of a smoke detector. He gave each student a “homework” assignment to check to see if their bedroom had a smoke detector. Those who report back to school that they do not have a smoke detector will be provided one by the fire department. Wells cautioned against “playing with matches,” and reviewed how to use the 911 call system to seek help for a fire.
Firefighters showed the students how to “stop-drop-and-roll” if their clothes should catch fire. In each classroom firefighters transitioned from street clothes into full protective gear to demonstrate how they were still friends trying to come to the rescue, even though they might look intimidating in their “scary costumes.” In their gear, the firefighters circulated on hands and knees among the classrooms, giving “high fives” to reinforce their friendly nature. With the weather cooperating all week, firefighters were able to demonstrate the use of their engines and other firefighting gear, much to the delight of the youngsters. Firefighters utilized hose lines and deck nozzles to show the tremendous amounts of water that can be directed onto a fire.
Wells climbed up 85 feet on the department’s aerial ladder to demonstrate rope skills as he rappelled upside down from atop the extended aerial ladder. That demonstration always brings exclamations of delight from the youngsters. Speaking for all the participating volunteers, Wells said, “We look forward to these programs all year. We have as much fun teaching kids to be fire safe as they do in having us visit each October.”
See more photos of Fire Prevention Week by clicking HERE.
By Jim Marsh
Quick Fire Stop in Salisbury Township!
Firefighters from Western Salisbury, Eastern Salisbury and Emmaus were dispatched by the Lehigh County 911 Center about 3 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 6, to a reported dwelling fire at 1436 Middlesex Rd. First on the scene, WSFD Chief Joshua Wells, found a fire burning in construction debris against the front portion of the home. Firefighters from Emmaus FD, on the first arriving engine, were able to pull a hose line to quickly knock down the fire, moments before the arrival of a WSFD engine. The home is under renovation by the occupants, and consisted of aerosol cans of insulating material, with empty propane gas canisters nearby. Wells said the cause of the fire was undetermined, but was centered in the construction debris, and exploding aerosol cans alerted the occupants to the fire, which scorched the front brick wall and melted a vinyl window shutter. Wells said damage to the home was limited to the exterior by the quick stop by responding firefighters.
By Jim Marsh
Training for Quick Fire Response
Firefighters from Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Department held training exercises at Mack South Fire Academy facilities, along Lehigh Street, Allentown, on Sept 26, and at the Emmaus Fire Department training facility along Kline's Lane, Emmaus, on Oct. 3, to keep firefighter skills sharp to quickly deploy hose lines at a fire scene. Both Salisbury fire departments hold weekly training to protect lives and property in the township.
By Jim Marsh
Community Day, Another Success!
Despite temperatures hovering near 90 degrees, some 300 friends and neighbors turned out Sept. 10 at Green Acres Park to enjoy activities at Western Salisbury Fire Department’s annual community appreciation day. Dev Kannan, a long-time WSFD volunteer, now a career firefighter with the Reading Fire Department, and the Western Salisbury department’s chief engineer, has been the organizing committee chair for the event since its inception. He said he thought the heat and humidity in early September might keep folks at home, but “we found our number of visitor’s to be pretty consistent with previous years, at around 300 people.” The day included bounce games for youngsters, cotton candy, participatory games, a “Dunk the Chief” dunk tank, air brush arm art, tours of the department’s Swain Station and fire equipment, no-cost picnic food, an appearance by Lehigh Valley Health Network’s medivac helicopter, and fire safety activities in the a fire-safety trailer that has made a number of community appearances.
An appearance by Balloons the Clown, an annual draw at the community day, brought youngsters and parents flocking to the park pavilion. New this year was a “Dunk the Chief” dunk tank that drew a continuous line of youngsters wanting to send Fire Chief Joshua Wells into the tank. The Lehigh Valley Health Network’s medivac helicopter pulled young and old alike away from the games and food to watch the chopper land and open its doors for inspecting. Seeing the myriad of firefighters in uniform at the various activities, one first-time visitor was heard to ask a fire station neighbor, “How many firemen work here?” The answer, “They are all volunteers,” brought a look of astonishment from the visitor. For the volunteers it was a day to show community appreciation, and for friends and neighbors, a chance for good family fun despite the weather.
By Jim Marsh
New Brush 31-61 Put into Service
Photo Credit: Jim Marsh
A new brush fire fighting vehicle was put into service by the Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company on June 18. The new truck, on a 2016 Ford Chassis, replaces a 1988 GMC vehicle that served firefighters for almost 30 years. Brush 31-61 is equipped with a full compliment of wild land firefighting tools. The truck also carries a 250 gallon skid pump unit with a booster line, whip line, forestry hose, and even an 1 3/4" attack line for small car fires in parking decks. WSFD looks forward to using this truck to serve the people of Salisbury Township and surrounding areas. A more detailed description of the vehicle can be found on our apparatus page.
WSFD Assists with Dwelling Fire in Emmaus Borough
Photo Credit: Jim Marsh
Shortly after 23:00 hours on Jun 3, 2016 Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company was dispatched as part of the second alarm box to a dwelling fire in Emmaus Borough. Engine 31-12 arrived on scene as the third due engine and helped to stretch a secondary attack line. Crews worked for over an hour to get the fire under control. All three primary suppression pieces from Station 31, engines 31-11 and 31-12, as well as truck 31-31 , responded to the scene as well as chief 31-01. Over eight different fire companies responded to provide mutual aid at this incident. Several firefighters sustained minor injuries. More photos and videos can be found HERE, at Nester Video Production's Facebook Page and on Newsworking's Website.
Station 31 Responds to South Mall
Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company, Emmaus Fire Department, Cetronia Fire Department and Eastern Salisbury Fire Department, Eastern Salisbury Fire Police, Emmaus Ambulance Corps and Salisbury Police Department personnel responded shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon, May 8, to a report of smoke in the structure at the Payless Shoe store at the South Mall, 3300 Lehigh Street. The source of the smoke was traced to a malfunction in a rooftop air conditioning unit. Firefighters used fans to disperse the smoke and were on the scene for about an hour.
Visitors to the Junior League of the Lehigh Valley’s 5th annual Trucks & More event Saturday, April 30, at the Allentown Fairgrounds line up for a chance to sit in the Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company’s aerial truck and pretend to be firefighters. The event, sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Health Network, provided an opportunity for children to explore heavy equipment and meet the people who build, protect and serve the community. Large trucks, construction equipment, police SWAT and emergency vehicles, and a Lehigh Valley Health evac helicopter, were on display for an up-close look that would not otherwise be possible in real-world working circumstances.
WSFD Responds to Assist ESFD with 3 Alarm Fire
(Left: 31-01 Vehicle and Engine 31-11 on scene. Center: Engine 31-11 relay pumping to supply attack lines. Right: The fully involved structure pre-arrival)
At 9:25 AM on April 25th, Western Salisbury FD Station 31 along with Eastern Salisbury Station 20 and Fountain Hill Station 34 were dispatched to the area of 1784 Elinor St., in Salisbury Township, for a reported dwelling fire. Salisbury Township Police Department units quickly arrived on location updating responding fire units that it was a well-involved dwelling fire. As crews arrived on location, they learned that the occupant had gotten out of the residence with the two family dogs.
WSFD Engines 31-11 and 31-12 both responded to the incident. Engine 31-11 was the third arriving unit on location and began a relay pumping operation to boost the water supply up a steep hill to the scene. WSFD crews assisted in initial fire suppression on location. The building was fully involved upon arrival and crews operated on the exterior of the structure only. Brush 31-61 also responded to assist with fire that was spreading to a heavily wooded area behind the scene. WSFD Firefighters remained on location throughout the incident and assisted in extensive salvage and overhaul operations as well as assisting the Lehigh County Special Operations Team with containing chemical run-off from the fire. Station 31 crews were released just prior to 1 in the afternoon. Photos above are courtesy of WFMZ 69 News and WSFD Members.
Interested in joining the Western Salisbury family? Print out an application from our "Join Us" page and fill it out. Then stop by, any Monday night, between 6:30 and 7:00pm and drop the application off!