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We welcome you to the official website of the Friendship Hook & Ladder Co. #1, Inc. in Boyertown, Pa. The website was developed to keep you, the citizens we protect, up to date with what is happening at the Fire Company. If there is anything you would like to see us add to the website simply email the administrator and we will be happy to look into adding it. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you enjoy your visit.
|Engine and Ladder Assist Gilbertsville Fire and Rescue
||March 26, 2013|
At 0757 hours Engine and Ladder 15 were dispatched to assist Montgomery County Station 67 (Gilbertsville Fire and Rescue) on a first alarm assignment for a working residential structure fire in the unit block of Oak Street in Douglass Township. A crew was at the station from a previous accident call and the engine hit the street immediately upon dispatch full crew with the ladder also full crew not far behind. Arriving on location the crew was advised to report to manpower but was immediately put to work assisting in suppression efforts of the working fire. Crews split with Captain 15 taking a line into the basement division to attack the rapidly spreading fire. Chief 15 took a crew to side "C" and advanced interior through the rear door but was quickly pushed out since the fire was consuming the attached garage and their were reports of a cutting torch being stored in the garage. Assistant 15-1 was requested by Operations to climb the main of Ladder 37 (New Hanover) and start a defensive attack using the ladder pipe and also several exterior hand lines were put in service. When a bulk of the fire was knocked down in the garage the fire had spread to the crawl space on the main section of the dwelling. Assistant 37 had a crew interior but were running low on air. When this crew exited Chief and Deputy 15 along with a firefighter from Station 67 entered and began pulling the ceiling in a second floor bedroom to access the fire. Heavy fire conditions were encountered and the access hatch was located in the second floor. The line was pulled to that location and when opened a heavy fire condition was encountered in the crawl space. Firefighters Capelletti and Burns along with a Station 37 firefighter went to roof ops and opened up a vent hole over where the interior crew under command of Chief 15 were operating. Deputy 15 was hoisted up and gained access to the crawl space backed by the firefighter from Station 67 and Chief 15 and the line was advanced to him and an aggressive attack was started on the fire conditions encountered. During this attack Operations made the decision to evacuate the building do to deteriorating conditions observed from the exterior. The attack in the crawl space was abandoned and crews exited and did a PAR check to assure everyone was accounted for. After reevaluating conditions crews again entered the structure and after an aggressive attack the bulk of the fire was knocked down. Command called for additional resources and as they arrived they were put to work extinguishing hot spots and overhaul. After the bulk of the operations were complete command released the company from the scene at 1036 hours and requested that we remain on standby at our station while they completed operations at the scene. Once they were available from the scene and back in service the company was placed available and at station at 1243 hours.
||March 15, 2013|
At 0911 hours the company was dispatched to assist Boyertown EMS with a cardiac arrest in the 100 block of West Sixth Street in the Borough. Utility 15 arrived with 5 personnel and EMS was already on location and reported no cpr efforts were going to be performed and released the company. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family. The company was available at station at 0923 hours.
||March 14, 2013|
At 1915 hours Chief and Assistant 15 were in the area of the 100 block of North Reading Avenue in the Borough and witnessed an electrical short on a utility pole. The power went out for several residences in the area. Chief 15 contacted the utility company who responded and were shown where the arcing occurred. The scene was turned over to the utility company and the Officers were available at 1923 hours.
|Passing of Long Time Member Howard "Hops" Kleinsmith
||March 14, 2013|
It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Howard "Hops" Kleinsmith. Hops served in many capacities at the Friendship Hook & Ladder most recently as Chief Engineer before his retirement. Howard continued to serve as President of the Boyertown Fireman's Relief Association until only a little over a year ago. He was an icon in the fire service of Berks County serving on numerous committees throughout his career including the training committee and the Berks County Fire Chief's Association. Howard was instrumental in the specifications and purchases of numerous apparatus over the years including the 1966 Seagraves pumper which is owned by a private individual and the 1976 Seagraves 100' Aerial Ladder which is still in active fire service in Alabama. The Friendship Hook & Ladder expresses our deepest sympathy to the Kleinsmith family.
Below is the obituary as printed in Pottstown Mercury Newspaper.
HOWARD E. KLEINSMITH JR., 85, OF BOYERTOWN Howard E. "Hops" Kleinsmith Jr., 85, of Boyertown, husband of the late Helen C. (Conrad) Kleinsmith, passed away on Tuesday, March 12, at Sanatoga Center. Born in Boyertown, he was the son of the late Howard E. Sr. and Bertha (Endy) Kleinsmith. Howard was a member of St. John Hill UCC and a lifetime member of Friendship Hook and Ladder and Keystone Fire Companies. He worked for Sugg Chevrolet as a service manager and as foremen for the Boro of Boyertown in the Public Works department. He was the past president for the PA Woodmen of the World, enjoyed fishing and loved to travel. Surviving is his son, Howard E. Kleinsmith III, husband of Phyllis, of New York; grandchildren, Audrey Schiavoni and Howard E. Kleinsmith IV, and great-grandchildren, Aaron Schiavoni and Carter Kleinsmith. A funeral service will be Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m. at Catagnus Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Inc., 1020 E. Phila. Ave., Gilbertsville. Burial will follow in Hill Church Cemetery, Boyertown. Visitation will be Friday, March 15 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and on Saturday, March 16, from 9:30 to 10 a.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Howard's name to Friendship Hook and Ladder Apparatus Fund, 10 Warwick Street, Boyertown, PA 19512 or Alzheimer's Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011. View obituaries or send condolences at www.catagnusfuneralhomes.com
|Wires Down in Douglass Twp.
||March 12, 2013|
At 1003 hours Engine 15 and Engine 16 were dispatched to Farmington Ave and Greshville Road for a report of wires down. The Engines arrived and determined that the wire was not an electrical service cable but phone lines. Lt. 16-1 had command and recalled the assignment.
|Structure Response in the Borough
||December 13, 2012|
At 2248 hours the high life hazard structure response was sent to the Boyertown Inn in the unit block of South Reading Ave in the Borough. Caller reports seeing a fire on the roof at the front of the building. Assistant 15 arrived on location and reported a working fire on the alpha side of the structure. Engine 16 and Engine 15 arrived and crews entered and encountered a smoke condition on the fourth floor in the area of the fire escape exit. The building was evacuated and lines were stretched up the four floors. Montgomery Ladder 37 arrived (due to Ladder 15 being out of service) and set up the main to to the roof. Crews had to open up the roof and ceiling and floors on the third and fourth floors in the area to access the spreading fire. Additional units arrived and were staged and a manpower pool was setup. Crews rotated to access the fire and wet it down. After an extensive overhaul the fire was placed under control and the companies were placed available at station at 0254 hours.
|Fire Company Announces Plan to Consolidate Fire Services
||December 12, 2012|
Three Fire Companies in southeast Berks County have been working on consolidating resources into forming one new Fire Company. The meetings began several years ago with the discussions between the Friendship Hook and Ladder Co., the Keystone Steam Fire Engine Co. both located in the Borough of Boyertown, and the Liberty Fire Co. located in Colebrookdale Twp. The consolidation efforts began as a result of State Resolution SR60 of 2005 which addresses the volunteer firefighting within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Locally the Officers of the three Fire Companies have seen a dramatic increase in call volume and training requirements while also seeing a dramatic decrease in funds during fund raising efforts and also the number of volunteer hours available.
The three individual companies began holding monthly meetings between the Apparatus Crew Officers to develop a better working relationship. Shortly after that monthly training sessions were begun and have continued ever since. As a result of the success of the meetings and training, discussions began about the potential of merging the apparatus crews and joining forces to create a new Fire Company out of the three existing. Liberty Fire Company Fire Chief Lloyd Wary commented “Since we are already meeting, training, and running calls together, why not consolidate and be a stronger Fire Company.” A Steering Committee was officially formed and the concept was taken back to the governing bodies of all three Fire Companies for approval. One of the big questions that arose was if the three existing fire companies would remain. After consulting with a representative from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) it was realized that all three existing social organizations should and will stay in operation and support the new firefighting organization that is being developed. After that process was complete and approval was granted the committee began the daunting task of developing the new organization. Steering Committee members are required to give updates on the progress at the monthly meeting of each of the three Fire Companies. Friendship Fire Chief Charles Neubauer said “It only makes sense to consolidate the three Fire Companies into one. We are competing for the same people and the same dollars, not only against each other but with all the non-profit organizations.”
After many meetings a list of potential names was distributed to all the firefighters from all three legacy companies and the new organization was voted to be called the Boyertown Area Fire and Rescue (BAFR). Along with the new name the Committee applied for and received from the Berks County 911 Advisory Committee the use of Berks County Station 95. The organization will be responsible to provide fire and rescue services to the entire municipalities of the Borough of Boyertown, Colebrookdale Township, and the northern half of Douglass Township all located in Berks County. We will also maintain mutual aid to surrounding municipalities and fire companies as requested. The Managers from the three Municipalities have also been contacted about the project and support the concept and the BAFR will be setting up a formal presentation for these municipalities in the first quarter of 2013. The Steering Committee also developed proposed by-laws for the administrative section of the BAFR. Committee members then developed a list of names of persons not directly related to any of the three legacy Fire Companies and these people were contacted and a meeting and presentation was done to this group and a commitment was received from all the individuals to serve on the Administrative Board of Directors. The first meeting of this Board is scheduled for December of 2012 to organize.
By consolidating the three legacy apparatus committees it will enhance the delivery of service to the communities served by reducing the overhead and sharing personnel, equipment, and training which will result in reducing the costs required to operate the new fire company. The goal is to reduce the number of apparatus required but still maintain quality fire protection. The Steering Committee is currently looking at which apparatus will be required, replaced, or retired. Keystone Fire Chief Dave Eisenhard states “By combining the apparatus, it is evident that we can reduce the fleet and save money.”
The Steering Committee continues to move forward with developing the consolidation of the three individual Fire Companies in to one. A mid-2014 date is targeted for start-up of the Boyertown Area Fire and Rescue as a new Fire Company. Steering Committee Chairman and Colebrookdale Township Fire Marshall Dave Shainline said “The citizens and communities will not see an interruption of service as we move forward. What they will see is a stronger more efficient operation while maintaining the professional firefighting they have been accustomed to acquiring.” An email address has been developed if anyone has further questions or would like to possibly become involved in the new organization.
The e-mail address is: email@example.com
|Ladder 15 has Special Response in the Borough
||December 08, 2012|
Chief 15 received a phone call from the most prominent person in the world, Santa Clause.He was asked if we could take Santa into Boyertown on the back of Ladder 15 since there was no snow and Santa wanted to rest the Reindeer for December 24th. It was an honor for us to be asked by the North Pole and were escorted by the Boyertown Police and a group of Elf Dancers to the children waiting to sit on his lap and tell him their wish list for Christmas. It was our pleasure being able to take on this monumental task and hope we get the same call next year.
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