On the morning of Saturday 10/6/12 C-Shift was dispatched to a reported Chimmney Fire in the 15600 Block of Jackson Rd. Upon arrival units initally found nothing showing, but upon a 360 check of the residence, the outside wooden chimmney box was found to be on fire above the roof line. Squad 2161 under the direction of Acting Officer Brian Reppert quickly deployed a handline along with a 24′ ladder and a roof ladder and quickly controlled the fire. The incident was commanded by Battalion Chief Al Kirsits. PTFD units received Mutual Aid from SWCFT Engine 2042.
Penn Township Fire Department will officially launch its brand-new 24/7 transporting paramedic ambulance service on Monday, October 1, 2012.
The fire department has actually had a paramedic on duty 24/7 in a Suburban response vehicle since June of this year. With this change alone, we have documented at least three cases of Penn Paramedic intervention which has been instrumental in the saving of three lives.
The addition of a transporting paramedic ambulance marks an entirely new height in service to the citizens of Penn Township. We fully expect that response times to emergencies, and the level of care offered to our citizens will be second-to-none. The service will be headed up by veteran paramedics with a combined on-the-street experience of nearly 70 years.
The paramedic ambulance is a natural progression as the Penn Township area continues to grow, and the demand for professional EMS services has skyrocketed over the past three decades. Penn Fire first began studying this issue about six years ago. The need was determined for such a service then, but funding was not available. Under the leadership of Chief John VanBruaene, funding was secured for the 2012 budget year, and talks continue with surrounding agencies in an effort to form a permanent “fire territory.”
Chief VanBruaene and the entire staff wish to thank the South Bend Fire Department and the many paramedics who have served faithfully at our Station #2 on McKinley Highway for the past 15 years. The vision of the St. Joseph County Commissioners to implement a 911-only paramedic service in the summer of 1996 has doubtless saved many lives.
It does appear the current county-based paramedic transport service has run its course for Penn Township, and it is now time for the Township to be responsible for its own nearly 1,500 emergency incidents each year, more than 80% of which are of an EMS nature. Creating this service also allows the township to capture revenue currently being lost to county coffers through ambulance transport fees, and return that money to the township, to cover the cost of the ambulance service, which in-turn, places two more firefighter/paramedics at emergency scenes every day. It is a simple win-win.
At the same time, we also expect that the paramedic ambulance formerly stationed at the McKinley firehouse will be re-assigned elsewhere in the county, allowing a grand total of all paramedic ambulances and paramedic response cars in the county to number 15 on duty each day. St. Joseph County residents will be better protected than at any time before.
On Friday September 28th, 2012 the Penn Twp. FD had the honor of hosting Chief Billy Goldfeder from www.FirefighterCloseCalls.com for his Firefghters Scared Straight Presentation. Chief Goldfeder spoke to our members for over three hours on the importance of Firefighter Safety and how we can prevent Line of Duty Deaths and Firefighter Injuries. Thanks for the wonderful class by Chief Goldfeder!
Throughout the month of September, all Penn Firefighters will be receiving Low Angle Rescue Training using the new CMC Multi-Purpose Device. Each year Penn Firefighters responding to one or two low angle rescues along the St. Joseph Valley Parkwaym the Elm Road School Sledding Hill or along the banks of the St. Joseph River. The PTFD brought in Capt. Don Wise of the Niles (MI) Fire Department to conduct this training for its members. The MPD is a new piece of rope hardware which makes the rigging, lowering and raising during a rescue much easier for any firefighter to set-up. Here are some photos from the drill.
All Penn Township Fire Officers this week completed the Blue Card Command Certification Simulation Lab. This class was 24 hours of simulation based training, after all the students had completed a 50 hour online training course. More information about the Blue Card program is below or can be found at www.BlueCardCommand.com
The Blue Card Command Certification Program is a state of the art training and certification system that teaches Company and Command Officers how to standardize local incident operations across their organization. The program uses a combination of online and in-class simulation training which results in an Incident Commander solution that finally addresses local Hazard Zone operations.
The training is based entirely on retired Fire Chief Alan Brunacini’s Fire Command and Command Safety Textbooks which have been used globally in the Fire Service for over 30 years. The Blue Card Incident Commander Training and Certification Program are designed to manage local, NIMS Type 4 and 5 incidents. These 2 Incident Types account for more than 99 percent of a department’s incident activity. Until the advent of Blue Card, there has not been a curriculum or standard for an Incident Commander to manage a local, Type 4 and 5 Hazard Zone.