Central PA Bravest


Monday, May 12, 2014 

Today around 1730 hours units from the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire and Tower 32 (Progress) were dispatched to Box 1-5, Cameron and Hanna for a commercial building fire. As units were from the Bureau of Fire were getting on the road they noticed a huge column and fire visible from a ways out. The first alarm assignment was dropped prior to arrival of any units and first arriving units found a fully involved one story auto body shop extending into an attached warehouse.


Lower Allen Truck 12 and Tower 32 set up on the north side of the building, Harrisburg Tower 1 took the south side and Truck 34 took the west side of the building. Supply line closed the major intersection of Cameron and Paxton at rush hour and multiple engine companies supplied the numerous master streams and trucks.


The fire was defensive on arrival and for most of the duration; units are currently still working this 3rd alarm job.  

Additional images at http://www.capitalcityfirephotos.com/Other-1/51214-Harrisburg-PA-S-Cameron/40243782_Tt2vNN#!i=3241522085&k=fWPg9CR






Monday, May 12, 2014  “Motivational-Monday”

Here are two examples of “WINNING” a supply line challenge for your Monday motivation.

The dual 3” lines were done in the 30-2 box of Penbrook, Dauphin County. This working house fire was on George Street in 1991.

The 5” over the car was done in the 32-1 box of Progress, Dauphin County. This working house fire was at 104 Shell Street in 1990.

Engine Chauffeurs set the tone for the success of the entire call and sometimes thinking outside the box is part of this equation!





Sunday, May 11, 2014  Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mothers out there!

I would like to give my wife Beth some well-deserved attention because she puts up with all the time I dedicate to this site and the Fire Service in general!

She is a full time…

• Scheduler
• Chef
• Teacher
• Therapist
• Equestrienne
• Maid
• Banker
• Wife
• Chauffeur
• Coach
• Advocate
• Laundress

Thanks for being the best Mom that our children could ever have. Happy Mother’s Day Beth!




Sunday, May 11, 2014  Looks like banquet season is upon us and there was no “Opera Non Verbus” about this group shot. The Ladies of Paxtonia Tiller House #34 have clearly turned up the heat at this year’s banquet!

Give these lovely ladies of Paxtonia Fire Station 34 a “LIKE” for supporting their men year in and year out!

“Behind every great Fireman there is a strong Woman”




Saturday, May 10, 2014  Most of the Brotherhood of Fire has already heard about the loss of Brother Garrett Greene. If you haven’t, Brother Garrett tragically lost his life this past Thursday when a vehicle pulled into the path of his motorcycle. Garrett was a member of the Kentland Volunteer Fire Company and also a Career Firefighter in Montgomery County, MD at Station 25.

I had the pleasure of working with Garrett in EVOC-B (Engine Driver) class. Garrett was full of character, life, had a passion for the fire service and was just plain hilarious. Garrett spoke of his son constantly; he thought the world of that little boy and his Mommy! He could not say enough about that little boy, he was also set in his ways that he was going to take off on Christmas Day for his first Christmas. He made mention his Dad was not there for his and come hell or high water he was going to be there for his sons, no matter what!

I just wanted to say a few words about Brother Greene and share them on my site; Garrett left an impression on me. That impression was family first; he was a true family man. I added this picture of his son I found holding his helmet. It was all I could do to not cry at the site of this powerful image!

My condolences go out to his family, friends and co-workers.

Rest Easy Brother Greene you’ll be missed by many!





Saturday, May 10, 2014  Honestly, how many of you out there have been HAD?!?!?!





Friday, May 9, 2014  About that time machine, yeah send me to this era with the answers to the FDNY exam! 




Friday, May 9, 2014  TRUST US WHEN WE SAY.....

To most of us firefighting is more than a job, it is a passion, it is a calling and it then becomes a way of life. This craft called firefighting is even passed along in our families from generation to generation.

Trust us when we say; I know it is inherently dangerous, I chose to do this; I know the risks, I signed the application.

No matter what “they” try and push down our throats “they” cannot make this job safe, it is what it is. Fires are burning hotter and faster than ever, the smoke and chemicals are far more dangerous. With that being said, we still have to go inside, rescue victims and put the fire out.

Please, do not intervene with the profession we chose to do, we were taught that life is our number one priority and we knew that when we swore to protect. We also know our life in some cases would not come first!

We are that families last hope as they stand frantic in their front yard wondering if they will ever see their child again.








I can remember spring nights as a kid, thrusting the window open, face plastered to the screen listening to the sirens of the fire trucks racing down Progress Avenue. I used to also run through three back yards to reach a perfect vantage point so I could watch them fly by. I thought it was the coolest thing, EVER!

I can remember chasing that smoke as a kid and finally finding it in an apartment complex, watching the guys come out all dirty, listening to the saws screaming on the roof. Wow, this was too cool, so cool I was late for dinner and got in huge trouble. I can still hear my parents, “That is not your concern; your concern is to be on time for dinner.” They didn’t get it, there was a fire Mom and Dad!?!

I can remember finding a burnt out house, it was right next to a cool spot where we used to ride our bikes down some big hills behind the old Weiss Market on Progress Avenue. I don’t know what it was but that fresh house fire smell was electric to me. I must have ridden by a dozen times just looking at this burnt out house.

I can remember rounding that corner on my bike; wow there they were parked in the parking lot of the firehouse. They were way to cool, shiny, red and white and lined up perfect.

I worked on a farm on my summer vacations; a guy named Mark was working with me. He got talking and told me he was a volunteer firefighter. “Say what, anyone can do that I asked.” That was it, I have had enough I was going to go find out if I could do this too!

I finally worked up enough nerve to ask a guy named “Smoothy” washing his Honda Civic if I could get an application; he asked me how old he was and the rest was history. I had two weeks until I was 16, the meeting night fell on my 16th birthday 9/9/1990. The Chief, Dick Cray had a “meeting” with and I will never forget him saying “Son, we fight fires from the inside here”, my heart was now racing with excitement and all I can think is wow this is amazing!

I was now a Junior Firefighter at the Progress Fire Company. I had no idea that this firehouse was the place to be in Central PA for its aggressive interior firefighting nor did I care. I just knew I wanted to ride that apparatus and go inside burning buildings! Wow, I was in the right place for that…

It was an amazing, challenging and rewarding tour; I got to meet and become further inspired in the world of fire by live-ins from all over the state. How is this inspiring you might ask? Well, this is what makes the atmosphere at Progress and other strong live-in firehouses contagious. Live-Ins and “transplant-members” who moved to the area to run at a specific firehouse come there for one reason and one reason only; TO BE A FIREMAN! These kinds of members are also inspired, inspired enough to move out of the comfort zone of their parents’ home at a young age of 18. They did this to further their firefighting skills and experience and go to college for the same. These kinds of members are beyond just wanting to help out; they have passion and want to do this the rest of their lives. “Birds of a feather flock Together”

It had its highs it had its lows too, most of your great friends would up and move home, some never even told you, they were just gone the next day. Firefighters would come and go and until you learned to not become too attached to your new friends cause they “were just going to be here and gone”, it sucked.

I recently had a realization of this when live-ins from generations past all gathered at Station 32 to show their respects to the late Jermome “Tweet” Brady, a “transplant-member” full of passion for the fire service I might add. As I was leaving to walk home I noticed all the different live-in “classes” doing their group shots. I got the feeling I was just that “neighborhood kid who was always around” and it was a lonely yet enlightened walk home; there aren’t many of us who are just from the neighborhood that volunteered at the Progress Fire Company.

The attached picture is of Ben Gevers and me at my first live burn in the summer of 1993. Ben is also a Progress native and was a huge mentor to me in the world of aggressive interior firefighting.

As I get ready to put my house on the market and move to the country I sit here and reminisce. Growing up down the street from the Progress Fire Company in Dauphin County, PA was a wild ride to say the least;

a full house of Mack fire apparatus, 2nd alarm truck company to a ghetto city, being first arriving to almost every fire we were dispatched to, acquired structure burns on a regular basis, live-in friends, animal house parties, a maze like basement to take your high school girlfriends, first ever all volunteer firefighter combat challenge team, going home to live-ins houses and party with their friends, a private bar right behind the firehouse, seeing the company grow to the point almost everyone you talk to knows “Truck 32” and being able to have served this company as a Junior, Firefighter, Fireman,  LT, Capt and Assistant Chief………PRICELESS!





Thursday, May 8, 2014  “The Engine Chauffeur”

Whether it’s the reverse, forward or split if you left room for the truck you’ve done your job and the bucket heads can now make their hit!




Search for news stories :

Select Year Select Month
Select Category Enter Keyword