Central PA Bravest


Thursday, April 24, 2014  Harrisburg City Station 6 (Paxton) - PERMANENTLY CLOSED

Yesterday I received several emails from IAFF Local 428 President Glenn Sattizahn and Acting Chief Brian Enterline announcing the permanent closing of the Paxton Station No. 6 in Harrisburg. It will remain to be seen if it will stay closed. . .but that's for others to figure out.

My old Tower 2 partner and fellow historian Brad Myers called me that afternoon asking if I would join him at shift change. I'm glad I did. Other then the three on-duty men from Engine 6 and another injured lad, no one else showed. On my way in, I reflected on how historically significant this is. The lot at No. 336 S. Second Street has had a fire department presence on that ground for probably longer than any other location in Central Pa.

The original lot was purchased by the Paxton Fire Company No. 6 sometime in 1863. Ground was broken for the first firehouse on May 2, 1864-150 years ago. That station was occupied in January, 1865. After being severely damaged by the 1936 flood, it was razed and the present firehouse built there opening in December, 1937. At that time the Paxton Fire Co. turned the lot over to the city. Mayor Reed closed the firehouse for budgetary reasons from 1983 to 1986, then reopened it again.

I have many personal memories of the house, a awful lot of them good and a few not so. One occurred at about 5 a.m. Feb. 19, 1976, when the bedroom phone rang and my mother told me that my dad passed away quietly in the Polyclinic Hospital. Suffice it to say, there are an awful lot of stories connected with that location and one helluva lot of good paid and volunteer firemen ran from those bay doors in 150 years.

As a long time third generation Harrisburg fireman and historian I cannot fathom Harrisburg without a firehouse in the busy downtown district. Let's all hope this really isn't the end of the story.

~Dave Houseal~




Wednesday, April 23, 2014  Should Fire and Police be given NARCAN, why is it even a question is the real question!

Life should have no restrictions or boundaries, give NARCAN to ALL First-Responders. The first arriving responder can administer this drug with ease, why is it even a question, give it to Fire, EMS and POLICE!

Click the link to watch the ABC 27 News video on this subject.......





Wednesday, April 23, 2014  BECAUSE I'M THE CHIEF, THAT'S WHY........

We all have met or know a few of these guys who poison the minds of our newest generations of firefighters that will someday be representing our departments and the fire service as Lieutenants, Captains, Chiefs and Mentors........

You've heard the quotes before;

"You can wipe your ass with those certificates"

"I got more years than this whole table combined I don't need classes"

"Unless you have grey hair you don't know what you're doing"





Saturday, April 19, 2014  Stop wondering if you could hang, give them a try.....




Thursday, April 17, 2014  “Throw-Back-Thursday”


We usually do not touch on politics outside the Fire Service world but thought this would be good for today!


Miss him yet?






Wednesday, April 16, 2014  Received an image from a curious "bystander" a few hours ago concerned why first due engine companies choose not to lay supply lines time and time again in his area......

I decided to have a little fun with it, enjoy....


“You never lay your lines anymore when there’s firrreee showing. There’s no pressure like before in your in your smooth bore tips. You’re trying hard not to show it, but baby, believe me I know it!;

Chorus - You’ve lost that supply line feeling, whoa that supply line feeling, you’ve lost that supply linnneee feeling now the fire’s gone, gone, GONE! Woa wooaa woaaaaa!!!”



Sing Along!



Wednesday, April 16, 2014   
          At 0603hrs on April 16th, 2007, the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue was dispatched to 15492 Marsh Overlook for a reported single family house on fire. Three engines, one truck, two ems units, and a battalion chief responded and on arrival confirmed a working fire. Officers from Engine and Tower 512 performed a walk-a-round to find fire at the B/C corner on the exterior below a wooden deck and determined that with a vehicle in the driveway, no sign of the occupants and the time of day, the likelihood of occupancy was high and struck a second alarm.
          E512’s two man interior crew pulled a 2 ½” line and got prepared to make entry at the front door. Meanwhile, T512’s interior crew of two entered the structure at 0611hrs to find a light haze on the first floor. Taking the staircase to the second floor they found smoke three feet below the ceiling and proceeded to the Delta Quadrant towards the master bedroom.
          Once in the master bedroom, T512 officer went for the bed with a TIC and the firefighter performed a right hand search, all the while in voice contact. Instantly, the room turned black with orange flame. L512 officer yelled to the firefighter to exit the room and the firefighter acknowledged. The officer crawled out the room but got caught and fell down to the middle of the staircase were it bended. From inside the master bedroom, the firefighter yelled that he could not find the stairs as T512 officer yelled and waved his flashlight.
          During this, E512 and Rescue 510 remained at the front door, delayed due to poor pressure in the hose line. The door slammed shut, and upon opening, fire engulfed the doorway and the crews began yelling to T512. The E512 officer requested to the on scene battalion chief an emergency evacuation, also noting the stairs were burned out.
          At 0613hrs, E520 on side Delta and E510 on side Alpha were flowing lines but the wind not only hampered their attack, but also ladder placement.
The residence was now engulfed with fire and smoke with fire out the eaves on the Delta side. At the same time, R510 located T512 officer and brought him outside, were he informed of the firefighter still inside at the top of the steps. R510 issued a Mayday, that was followed a minute later by the firefighter’s Mayday.
“Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Tower 512 bucket, I’m trapped inside, I don’t know where I am, I’m somewhere in the stairwell, I need someone to come get me out!!”
          Several attempts by R510 and E512 to make the second floor at 0615hrs were futile as extreme heat pushed all crews back. A third attempt was met by the ceiling starting to collapse and flames intensifying.
          At 0619hrs, what would be the final transmission by the firefighter was made: “I need water, 512 bucket. I need water, I’m burning up in here, I need water fast!”
          At 0621hrs the Safety Officer determined another evacuation was needed due to the intensity of the fire through out the residence, and a defensive attack was issued despite companies being in rescue mode. At 0631hrs another attempt was made to gain the floor but was unsuccessful and three minutes later a 3rd alarm was struck. Crews were finally able to make the second floor at 0643hrs but due to structural collapse and high heat, access was limited. At the same time, crews were searching the basement and E513 entered side Delta and ascended a separate staircase to the second floor. Due to the conditions, two walls were breached until the master bedroom was made. With smoke dense, and the TIC being over whelmed with heat, no visual of the firefighter was made.
          At 0657hrs, the downed firefighter was located by a couch at the base of the side Alpha windows, and protected in place until the fire was out.  
          Noticing the fire, a neighbor ran to the residence to warn and remove the occupants and shelter them in his house. The fire department was not made aware of this until interior operations had commenced.
          With winds at 25mph and gusts of 48mph coming from the North West, the weather was a major concern and contributor to the incident. With conditions transforming from hazy to instant black, a window breaking to allow in the elements lead to the rapid destruction of the structure.
          Low pressure in the initial 2 ½” and 1 ¾” lines were a problem from the beginning. Even after the kinks were removed, low pressure remained delaying the attack line deployment to support and backup T512.
          While several firefighters on scene complained of their lapel microphones shorting out due to water, the victim’s radio was loud and clear during his Mayday and final transmission.
          The victim’s PASS was never heard during the incident and due to the intense heat conditions, testing was not able to be done to determine its operability. The SCBA was found to have a fully opened valve, and an empty cylinder, however it also was badly damaged and unable to be tested for operability. More than one Thermal Imagine Camera was reported by firefighters to have a solid white screen, indicating extreme temperatures beyond the camera’s capabilities.
          The fire started on the exterior, side Charlie near the B/C corner and listed as undetermined. With the fire starting on the North side of the house, the wind blowing from the North West had a direct impact.
          The 6000 square foot single family residence was two plus stories with a walk out basement, requiring ladders to reach the first floor on the Charlie side and over the 70ft wood deck that ran ¾ the length of the house. The wood frame supported vinyl siding, brick veneer on the Alpha side, and fiberglass singles.
Technician Kyle Wilson, Tower 512

Click the link for AUDIO https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=395269097160266




Monday, April 14, 2014  Monday fact of the day;

Did you know Benjamin Franklin "Benny the Jett" Rodriguez from The Sandlot is now a Fireman in the LAFD?

Apparently a squeal is coming soon.......




Year end video

Monday, April 14, 2014  Check out Swatara Township Station 49's year end video, they did a really good job!

Station 49 is in Dauphin County, PA and they have a very active live in program. Give them a call if you are interested;

Fire Chief, Shane Steel
House Phone, (717) 986-1644

You've peaked a lot of interest in the area this year Brothers and Sisters, Keep up the good work 49ers!




Monday, April 14, 2014  “Motivational-Monday”

Our helmets are sacred pieces of our firefighting ensemble. As a matter of fact they are so sacred they are even passed down to our family members after we pass. We hang them on our walls of our “fire rooms” because retired leathers mean we have worked hard and stuck with it through many battles.

This is a priceless moment caught on film showing a young man from the Progress Fire Company inspecting his first real life battle scars. Anyone that has some solid dedicated years on the job can relate to this. I know I did, it brought back reminiscent feelings and memories and if you really allow it to take you back you can even smell that distinct odor of hot / burnt gear after your first really good fire.

This image was caught by Mike Rodkey and this was the 2nd working house fire of the day for Progress Engine and Truck Company #32.

On a side note for all you fire experts and skeptics this fully involved first floor was completely contained with one line and 500 gallons of water. See what a few well trained Fireman can do??




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