"On the Fire Side"

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February 2020

Greetings neighbors, happy and healthy New Year to you and yours! We’re back for another year of the “FIRESIDE” where we will focus on one of our three volunteer fire companies each month so that you can get to know us better.

The Peebles District Station 188, one of three fire departments that covers 16 square miles of the Town of McCandless, had another very busy year!

We responded to 646 fire responses for 2019 vs 579 for 2018. This was a 12% increase for fire responses alone. Additionally, you may recall we initiated QRS (Quick Response Service) within our department in 2019. QRS resulted in an additional 130 EMS responses and was only running for the last 6 months of 2019. 

This year’s breakdown of our responses are as follows: 81 fire related, 2 overpressure rupture, 254 rescue/emergency (130 QRS is part of this number), 68 hazardous condition, 32 service calls, 73 good intent, 259 false alarms, 6 severe weather and 1 special incident. That puts us at a total of 776 response calls for 2019 — what a year!

To provide the level of services that we do, we train a minimum 104 hours per year per active member with a current roster of 44 active members. This does not include additional training and/or certification that our members pursue for fire or EMS related training outside of the department. Our training consists of intra and inter departmental training with the two other McCandless units (Station 186, Highland and Station 187, Ingomar) and sometimes, other surrounding departments. During the year we also trained with McCandless EMS, police and K-9 Joy.

One such night is for our yearly self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) certification. 

During that night each department breaks up into small teams of 2-4 firefighters and those teams go through a series of drills: a blind search and rescue maze that includes crawling over and under various types of material, a wire entanglement, shimmying between small wall studs, and dropping through a mock open window. We also have an individual challenge course where we climb a flight of stairs and then quickly walk the perimeter of the room, descend the stairs, perform a controlled rope pull and lowering of a section of hose, move a commercial size tire 20ft with a sledge hammer, drag a dummy around the perimeter of a room, set a 16’ ladder, climb and descend the ladder and move another tire.  As part of this certification, we must also get fully suited up in all our gear within a set timeframe – or we must retest. In addition, we must name all the parts of the SCBA, and explain the buddy system, and air-sharing, which are critical in any fire response.    

One of our favorite community service projects is the annual Toys for Tots drive. We couldn't do this without the community support and the participation of all the local units.  Thanks to everyone who donated toys, money or time this year! 

We also trained this year with a local air ambulance helicopter so that we could practice setting up a landing zone (LZ), controlling the immediate LZ, transporting a patient and then closing-down the LZ.  To close out the year of training, we donned a complete set of fire gear, including our SCBA and we all met at the North Park Dek Hockey rink where we split into teams and played until each player ran out of air.   That was a great night!

To end 2019, we had our year end celebration where we honored several members: 

  • 25 years of service:  Robert Tunney
  • 20 years of service:  Mat Dubinett and Monica Shields
  • Five years of service: John Kuss, Lou Flores, Alex Ober, Russ Stitt
  • Firefighter of the Year: Shannon Vincent
  • Member of the Year: Lou Flores

We couldn't do what we do for our community without the assistance of the Allegheny County 911 Dispatch Services, Stations 186 and 187, other surrounding units, McCandless EMS, McCandless Police and most importantly, the love and support from our families.

Remember, we are an ALL volunteer department and we are always looking for firefighting and non-firefighting members like accountants, electricians, plumbers, wireless network administrators, etc. 

If you'd like to join our department just give us a call at 412-364-2112 or e-mail us at [email protected].

January 2020

Happy New Year from the members of the Ingomar Volunteer Fire Company Station #187. We hope you had a great holiday and enjoyed time with family and friends. 

As we jump into 2020, we would like to remind everyone of a couple of winter fire safety tips. 

  1. Please make sure when shoveling driveways and sidewalks to clear the area around fire hydrants as well. Ensuring three feet of cleared space on all sides of the hydrant saves valuable time in the case of an emergency. 
  2. Space heaters should not be used as a permanent heating source and should not be used with extension cords or surge protectors. In addition, keep the area a minimum of 3 feet around the space heater clear at all times. 
  3. Make sure to get your wood burning fireplace/chimney inspected every year and keep the fireplace clean. 

There was a lot to be thankful about here at Station 187 in 2019. For starters, a big thank you to our members for their continued dedication to serve and the time they give in doing so. Additionally, an even bigger thank you to the families of our members for supporting their desire to serve even when that pulls them away from the dinner table, work, weekend chores, and valuable time with their loved ones. We would also like to say thank you to the Ladies Auxiliary for the Ingomar Volunteer Fire Company. Their fundraising efforts were the primary source of capital in purchasing our newest piece of apparatus. We placed into service last month a F-250 pick-up truck, 187 Squad, equipped with tools to support the Town of McCandless in everything from vehicle accidents to structure fires. Lastly, a huge thank you to the residents of McCandless for their ongoing support of the volunteer fire service.

2019 was a busy year for us. We responded to over 400 incidents and had the privilege of participating in numerous fire prevention and community service details including community parades, McCandless Day, Halloween Parade/Open House, Toys for Tots and Santa comes to Ingomar. We are expecting another busy year in 2020 and look forward to sharing it with you through the Fire Side articles and also via our Facebook page.

November 2019

Fall is an exciting and busy season for Highland Fire Department. October is National Fire Prevention month and like many departments across the country, Highland emphasizes the education of elementary age students. Each year during fire prevention week, members of Highland spend five full days at McKnight elementary school meeting with each individual class at every grade level. It is one of the most rewarding things that we do as firefighters. We watch in awe as the students return each year having retained knowledge that may very well save the lives of their entire family. From the basics such as “stop, drop and roll,” “get out and stay out” and “get low and go,” the students also have the unique opportunity to watch how smoke travels and to climb out the window of our Fire Safety Trailer. These are memories that will last a lifetime for the children as well as the firefighters that take a week of personal vacation to train them on fire prevention. 

As well, Highland was honored to attend a Firefighter Mass at St. Alexis and a First Responder Mass at St. Catherine of Sweden’s. As part of our efforts to educate the public about our job, members of Highland and brother McCandless stations demonstrated a vehicle rescue operation in the Lowe’s parking lot in McCandless Crossing. We also had the opportunity to ride in the Breezewood Halloween Parade. Also, for those who love a good margarita or a great Mexican meal, Emiliano’s restaurant on McKnight Road is hosting a fundraiser on Thursday, November 6 with 15% of the bill benefiting Highland VFD. Please stop by and say hello. We will have one of our fire vehicles available for the kids (or adults) to check out. Also, in November, as is tradition, Highland welcomes the three year old classes from St. John’s preschool to visit our station and start their fire prevention education. 

It is a busy season with heavy involvement in the community and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Highland is honored to be part of such a supportive town as McCandless. We look forward to many future events and hope that you all have a safe and happy fall. And just a reminder, as we tell our students, change the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year. And an easy trick to remember is to change them when you change your clocks! That means now! You are the first line of defense in fire prevention. 

October 2019

Greetings Neighbors –

I certainly hope that October’s edition of the FIRE side finds you and your family well!

As you may know, October has been historically known for its National Fire Prevention week – specifically the first full week (from Saturday to Sunday) in which October 9 falls.

Fire prevention week was established to commemorate the great Chicago fire, the tragic 1871 conflagration that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2000 acres. The fire began on October 8, but continued into and did most of its damage on October 9, 1871.

According to popular legend, the fire broke out after a cow – belonging to Mrs. Catharine O’Leary – kicked over an oil lamp, first setting the barn on fire, then quickly spreading to the entire city due to heavy winds and extremely dry conditions. This cause has been legend for more than 130 years, but there was no actual proof. This was one of the major fires that changed the way that firefighters and public officials thought about fire safety and fire prevention codes.

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson issued the first national Fire Prevention day proclamation, and has been observed ever since. This is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has announced "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!" as the theme for this year's Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 6-12). This year's campaign recognizes the everyday people who motivate their households to develop and practice a home fire escape plan; these seemingly basic behaviors can have a life-saving impact.

A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home. Home escape plans should be practiced twice a year by all members of the household.

POST YOUR ADDRESS:

When you need help at your home or business, having an easily identifiable address can be the difference between life and death. First responders need to locate your address as quickly as possible to help you and your family or coworkers.

The Town of McCandless has an ordinance that requires your address to be posted and clearly visible from both directions of traffic. It is recommended that the numbers be a minimum of 4 inches in height and be a contrasting color to its background.

Check the Town’s ordinance “Property Address Numbering” Article 1717.

GPS is great technology, but it is not 100 percent accurate all the time, especially if someone lives back a long driveway or where there are multiple buildings along it.

September 2019

Greetings neighbors, as summer is coming to an end, this month in the FIRE SIDE, it will feature Peebles District VFC Station 188. Continuing from the May issue, we will highlight some statistics from the 1st half of 2019 and also introduce the new QRS (quick response service) program.

Peebles District has had a total of 306 fire calls from January 1st through June 30th. Which is a very busy first half of the year for our volunteers! Our company has successfully certified itself with the State Fire Commissioner’s Office to the level of 75%, which means 75% of the fire company is a certified Firefighter I or higher. This includes hundreds of hours of training per each member to have obtained this certification.

The Peebles District VFC is proud to announce that our QRS program has begun. We are now licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and have started responding to medical calls within the Town of McCandless. The purpose of the program is to respond from our fire station, located on Duncan Avenue with medically trained personnel as quickly as possible to assist McCandless-Franklin Park EMS. Most of these calls we could be arriving before the ambulance due to the location of the call or other external factors. McCandless – Franklin Park Ambulance and Peebles District QRS are dispatched at the same time. Response times are crucial with life and death situations. Peebles’ QRS unit carries all the basic life support equipment required by the Pennsylvania Department of Health for first responder calls. We will begin patient care as soon as we arrive and provide vital updates to the responding EMS crew. When the ambulance arrives, treatment will continue as a team effort.

The members of Peebles District VFC that staff our QRS unit have to be certified and licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as a First Responder, Emergency Medical Technician or as a Paramedic. All three of these positions require many hours of classroom training, field training, all while being observed and evaluated on their skills. These crews are also required to do continuing education and be recertified every few years. Peebles District is a well-trained fire Company that responds to calls within and the surrounding communities. With the new QRS program, we want to provide more services for our residents and provide the best care as possible. Many of our firefighters are dual trained in firefighting and in emergency medical services.

Last and final thought, Fire Prevention Month is quickly approaching we wanted to remind everyone of our 2nd Annual Open House on Saturday, October 12 from noon to 3 pm. Stop on by for station tours and games for the kids. You can meet the first responders that serve the Town of McCandless. Hope to see everyone there!

We are always in need for volunteers interested in giving back to our community. If you have any questions or would like to see our QRS unit, come talk to some of our QRS responders or firefighters, please feel free to stop by the station any Tuesday night around 7:00 PM. Or you can contact the Fire Marshal, Dan Stack at 412-364-0616.

Thank you – see you next month !!

August 2019

Greetings neighbors! Marshall the dalmatian and I certainly hope that you are enjoying your summer. Please remember to not give fire safety a summer vacation!

  • Ensure working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are installed inside vacation rental homes, hotels, motels, campers, and RVs.
  • Please don’t forget to check your Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms in your homes during the summer.
  • If you are going on a trip, turn off or unplug unnecessary appliances and electronics before you leave your house.
  • Never throw lit cigarettes out of a car as they have potential to ignite dry vegetation and other combustible materials.
  • Build recreation fires at least 25 feet from any structure, house, shed, barn, fence, pedestrian or recreation area, roadway or utilities.
  • Never leave the camping area without putting out the campfire.
  • To prevent injury, consider attending a public fireworks display instead of setting off your own. Children should not handle or ignite fireworks, including sparklers.

You may recall in April’s FIRE Side, Ingomar Station #187 was our featured Fire Company and they introduced you to the history of the Ingomar Volunteer Fire Company #2 name and highlighted their two different stations, the main hall located in “downtown” Ingomar and the substation located on Perry Highway on the Wexford flats. In this edition, they will showcase the fire engines and trucks that respond out of those stations.

Responding from the Main Station are Engine 1, Rescue 1 and (soon to be placed in service) our brand new Squad. Engine 1, a 2011 Sutphen Monarch custom pumper, is the primary apparatus responding from the Main Hall for any fire-related incidents. Engine 1 is equipped with hose attack lines, master streams, firefighting foam, multiple cutting saws, ground ladders and various tools firefighters may need at the scene of a fire. Rescue 1 is a 1994 Seagrave/Saulsbury heavy rescue vehicle with an on-board SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) cylinder filling system, generator, light tower, and hydraulic rescue tools used for vehicle extrication. Rescue 1 is the first apparatus out of the Main Hall for vehicle accidents and other rescue operations. Rescue 1 can also be as an Incident Command Post for a large or drawn out incident. Lastly, the fire company recently purchased a Squad, a 2019 Ford F-250, through the tremendous fundraising efforts of our Ladies’ Auxiliary and with the help of a grant through the Office of the State Fire Commissioner. This vehicle is being outfitted with toolboxes and a slide out bed equipped with various firefighting tools and equipment. The new squad will be placed into service in the coming weeks and used as a support vehicle for the fire company operations. We would like to thank the members of our Ladies’ Auxiliary for their years of fundraising efforts that enabled us to purchase this vehicle.

Housed at the substation are 187 Truck, a 2004 Sutphen aerial apparatus, and Rescue 2, a 2000 Ford F-550 Super Duty with a utility body. 187 Truck is a 70-ft. aerial platform which covers a large part of the business district in the Wexford flats area. The Truck is actually a “Quint” (combination aerial truck and pumper) equipped with a pump and water tank allowing it to act as an engine and provide the necessary water and hose lines for fire attack. The Quint is the first apparatus to leave the Substation for any fire-related incidents. It is also equipped with cutting saws and other firefighting tools. Rescue 2 is a light rescue that carries specialized cutting and spreading hydraulic tools (you probably know them as the “Jaws of Life”), as well as a portable hydraulic pump. This allows our rescue technicians to conduct remote rescue operations away from the rescue truck itself. It also holds power tools, stabilization equipment, and other extrication equipment.

We are proud to serve the Ingomar community and the Town of McCandless, and are grateful for the apparatus and equipment available to us; however we need your help. The vehicles and equipment need personnel to drive and operate them. We are always looking for service-minded volunteers interested in giving back to their community. Anyone interested can contact Fire Marshal Dan Stack or visit their local station any Tuesday evening around 7 p.m.

July 2019

Greetings neighbors, this month’s feature fire company is the Highland Station #186:

Highland welcomes its four newest members: Riley Stack, Haley Bemis, Cameron Yeats and Tyler Johnston! Thank you all for your courage, service and support!

STEP UP AND JOIN YOUR VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY!

Highland 186’s volunteers have recently been focusing on vehicle rescue and some other general and advanced rescue techniques. It is imperative that we stay abreast of the evolution of the automotive industry, new lightweight materials are constantly evolving, and alternative energy vehicles are becoming more and more common! Not only do we train at the station for “BVR” (Basic Vehicle Rescue), but we are also fortunate enough to have the Allegheny County Fire Academy (ACFA) just minutes away from us in North Park off Ridge Road.

The Academy offers three levels of training for courses such as these, all of which are offered for free to volunteer firefighters. The “awareness” level teaches about stabilization and the anatomy of vehicle types, the “operations” level teaches about the tools and techniques in a hands-on environment and the “technician” level goes into depth about various advanced methods for tool use and patient extrication.

ACFA has some of the best instructors from all over Allegheny County and the knowledge and experience that they bring to the table is priceless!

At the stations we practice on donated vehicles, you may have seen a couple of them sitting outside our station on the Highland Road side of the building.

The McCandless fire companies are always looking for vehicles to train on. If you would like to donate an old or inoperable car, we would gladly come and get it! Please contact the Fire Marshal or stop by the station any Tuesday evening 6:30 – 7 pm to discuss! A letter will be given to you for a tax deduction.

Tips to remember if you are in a vehicle accident:

  • Remain calm
  • Check for injuries
  • Move the vehicle from the travel lane(s) if possible
  • Make sure your vehicle is in park and turned off
  • Turn on 4-way flashers
  • Only exit the vehicle when you are sure it is safe to do so

June 2019

Hello neighbors — I hope you and yours are doing well!

This month’s edition of the FIRE Side I want to focus on the importance of the value of our volunteer firefighters that serve your community.

You may of seen signs pop up throughout the community in an effort to recruit more volunteers — both firefighters as well as non-firefighters. 

Some residents of the Town are unaware that your fire and rescue service is made up of a 100% volunteer department. These dedicated men and women give hundreds of hours every year protecting our properties and protecting our neighbor’s lives answering the 700-plus calls for service each year as well as the ongoing and continuous training to keep our skills sharp and learn the most up to date skills of the trade.

We have a very solid corps of firefighters and non-firefighters — but our numbers of active volunteers have started to dwindle.

You may have heard of the large fire that occurred at the Durham Court Apartments on Tuesday April 10, 2019. That incident required a large amount of manpower to control the large blaze and required the assistance of 22 outside fire companies from area municipalities. The fire was successfully extinguished and no injuries occurred. But the message that needs to be relayed is that there is a need for more dedicated volunteers to help serve your neighbors and the community.

If you are interested in volunteering (or just want more information), contact the office of McCandless Fire Marshal Dan Stack at 412-364-0616 Ext. 128 or [email protected].

May 2019

Greetings my neighbors and Happy Spring to you and yours!

This month in the FIRE Side we will introduce to you the Peebles District Station 188 as our featured fire company.

Also – please take the utmost caution when firing up the grill for the first time this year! Please check to be sure your grill is still in good working condition and has been cleaned properly and please check all the gas lines for leaks.

In the 1940's, The Town of McCandless was a rural farmland community. Because it was such a sparsely populated area, only 2 fire companies were needed.

With the increasing residential growth and anticipated commercial expansion, a third fire company was needed. This new company would work with her sister companies, Highland and Ingomar, to provide fire service to McCandless. The Sisters of Divine Providence granted a lease for land to the company. On April 26, 1944, Allegheny County granted a charter and the Peebles District Volunteer Fire Company was created. 

The property that the company was located on was leased for one dollar per year for 99 years from The Sisters of Divine Providence. It had a single barn on site which housed the fire equipment. For several years the company responded to calls without a fire truck. A trailer was purchased to transport the fire equipment. It waited in the barn until needed, and when there was a fire call, it was attached to the back of one of the members' vehicles and towed to the scene. The trailer served as the company's first fire apparatus. 

During the late 1940's the company acquired its first vehicle: a white delivery truck from the Joseph Horne Company, which was later painted red. In 1948 the company received a used 1948 Ford, which had previously served as a World War II vehicle. In 1953, the company purchased a brand-new fire truck, a 1953 Mack. The purchasing of the vehicle, instead of acquiring it, exemplified a positive direction for the company. 

With the continued growth of the community, the company had out-grown the barn. In 1960 a fire hall was constructed with a large meeting room, a kitchen, and two bays to house the trucks and equipment. This is the building you see today. The only notable change to the structure was in 1966 when a third bay was added to the structure. The training building was erected behind the hall in 1990. 

During the early 2000's the members realized that the community was growing quicker than the department and an equipment upgrade was in order. In 2007, a water rescue trailer was purchased in order to provide water rescue services in North Park and in surrounding communities. In 2010, the department added a Polaris Ranger ATV to the fleet to add to our rescue capabilities. In 2013, the company designed and purchased a state-of-the-art Pierce Arrow XT Rescue Engine. In 2017 a Pierce Enforcer Ascendant aerial truck was purchased to provide fire protection to our quickly growing commercial areas. 

Over the past 75 years, Peebles District Volunteer Fire Department has grown into the organization you see today. It is still the strong and valuable part of the community it was in 1944, but with a new and different approach to fire fighting. We have grown into a technologically advanced company with just under 40 active firefighting members. Although we have dramatically changed since the 1940's, Peebles District Volunteer Fire Company still answers the same siren and provides the necessary fire and rescue services to those in need. 

The heat is still on! “Step-up!” Get involved, and be rewarded in the knowledge that you will be part of an elite crew that provides a vital service to the Town and its residents. We hope to see you someday. For more information on the fire stations or becoming a volunteer firefighter, call Daniel Stack, Fire Marshal for the Town of McCandless at 412-364-0616.

April 2019

Greetings Neighbors – and Happy Spring!

We’re back as promised for volume III of our monthly installment of the FIRE side, to help you get to know your fire service.

You may recall from volume II we introduced you to the Highland Fire Company, As you may know, the Town of McCandless is divided into 3 fire districts. This month’s feature Fire Company is the Ingomar Station #187.

During Ingomar’s earliest days, there was no organized fire service to protect the community; in times of emergency, whatever residents were at hand would do whatever they could to render aid. There is no record of any disastrous fires wiping out large portions of the town during this formative period, but as new construction of homes and businesses continued, it became clear that some form of firefighting service would be required.

The first organized chartered volunteer fire service to bear the name “Ingomar” was established in 1922 with the founding of the Ingomar Volunteer Fire Company #1, which is now known as the Franklin Park Volunteer Fire Company #1; as the “postal neighborhood” of Ingomar comprises of areas of both McCandless and Franklin Park.

Our portion of McCandless Township obtained its own “official” fire department in 1927, when the Ingomar Volunteer Fire Company #2 was chartered. We retain that designation to this day, although there is no longer an Ingomar #1 (now Franklin Park #1). Some residents of the McCandless/Ingomar community had functioned as an uncharted firefighting organization several years prior to 1927, but their equipment was very limited. Records from that period indicate that the first piece of firefighting equipment was a 40-gallon chemical tank, which did not move under its own power; it had to be towed by horses, personal automobiles, or by a member of the company!

Over the years, Ingomar #2 has operated out of three different fire stations in downtown Ingomar. The first fire hall was located in the building that now houses Ingomar Beer. In the mid-1950s, the station was relocated to its current location behind the beer distributor. As McCandless continued to grow, we built a second fire station (aka the “Substation”) in the 1980s to help serve the northern part of the township. In 2011, the station located in downtown Ingomar was torn down and rebuilt to support all the needs of a fire department in modern times.

Although times certainly have changed since our inception, one need remains the same; we rely on volunteers to provide fire department services. Our current volunteers come from a wide range of skill sets including tradesmen, engineers, technologist and attorneys. Everyone brings a different strength to the organization and makes the fire company and the community better for everyone. Are you ready to join the team and help write our future chapters of history

One other quick thing …

With warmer weather here, and most of us suffering from cabin fever – we just cant wait to get out into our yards to begin the spring clean-up of all the branches, sticks and leaves.

A gentle reminder that one cannot burn yard waste in order to dispose of it. Please utilize your Yard waste trash bins provide to you by your trash hauler, or begin a compost pile.

A recreational fire is allowed if an “Open Burn “permit is secured. Also – a recreational fire is allowed without a permit if an outdoor fire place is used along with a lid to secure any potential airborne sparks / ashes.

Please refer to the Town’s Open Burning Regulations.

March 2019

Greetings neighbors, we’re back as promised for volume II of our monthly installment of "On the Fire Side" to help you get to know your Volunteer Fire Service.

As you may know, the Town of McCandless is divided into 3 fire districts. This month's feature fire company is Highland Station #186.

The Highland Volunteer Fire Department has come a long way since it was founded in March of 1927 and that evolution is largely thanks to the members of the McCandless community that have stepped up to volunteer, to aid their friends and neighbors, and have been willing to learn and try something new. It can be a daunting feeling approaching an organization of people and wanting to participate in the assistance they provide, but the men and women of Station 186 make it easy to feel at home and welcome new volunteers with open arms.

We all had a first day with station 186. I’ll bet that even Jim Hough would raise a smile with a story from 1959 when he was a rookie to share with Matt Ceresa, whose first practice was late in 2018. Admiration, support and respect for all our members is a way of life for us. Station 186 is a family of volunteers, and we would like to cordially invite you to join our family in service of your community!

The good folks of McCandless should also know that the fire service isn’t what it used to be, we are not all brutes that smash doors in with axes (Although sometimes it helps to have a few guys or girls like this around!). Science and technology are large driving factors in the modern fire service:

  • We use mobile display terminals (MDT’s) in our apparatus with GPS technology, and even have a hydrant layer over the map telling us where all the fireplugs are within our community.
  • We use thermal imaging cameras to see heat in places that are invisible to the naked eye
  • We utilize air testers that will give us accurate levels of Carbon Monoxide or other potentially lethal gases
  • We train on fire dynamics and its associated chemical reactions to have a better understanding of fire and be better prepared to combat and prevent it

DID YOU KNOW:

  • We are ALL volunteers, EVERY ONE of the firefighters in your community
  • Allegheny County offers student financial aid for volunteer firefighters through CCAC
  • All firefighters receive all the necessary equipment and training provided to them at no cost
  • We require volunteers for a wide variety of support services such as vehicle mechanics, building maintenance, technology and social media, finance, public relations, letter writing, public education and fund raising

The ball is in your court, McCandless! Help us make our community stronger, more connected and a safer place to live by volunteering, please help us to give a little back!

Please contact your local fire department for more information.


February 2019

Greetings my fellow neighbors and happy and safe 2019 to you and yours.

Allow me to introduce to you a new monthly installment for 2019 from the Town of McCandless entitled “On the FIRE Side” where we will feature information about our Volunteer Fire Service, safety tips and information, and how YOU can help us and your community.

Pictured above (along with the logos for McCandless Fire Rescue Service and the three fire companies) is Marshall — he’s the Town’s unofficial mascot that loves children and visiting the schools to teach the kids about fire safety! You might see more of Marshall in the following months …

The Town of McCandless is protected from fire and rescue emergencies by a 100% volunteer staff (which means that we are not compensated monetarily) that runs an average of 700 calls for service annually. The Town’s fire protection has three fire companies and four stations located throughout the Town.

It is very important for the young men and woman to join the fire companies, so that the youth is kept within the fire service. This way the “tricks of the trade,” techniques and traditions can be passed along to the new generation. The Town of McCandless has started a program called “Project Step-Up,” which is to create a new generation of fire service volunteers. Over the past few years, the number of fire and rescue calls has increased drastically, while the number of new recruits has actually decreased. Volunteer firefighters are in short supply. We are here urging the public to “Step-Up” and help your community as a firefighter, or non-firefighter. Non-firefighters are in demand as well, the fire companies need someone to help type letters, help with the fund-drive, balancing checkbooks, property and vehicle maintenance, and fire prevention details for the public.

When someone joins one of the 3 fire companies – we offer a “signing bonus” to you with free training – anywhere from basic to advanced firefighting skills, various rescue certifications such as vehicle rescue, rope and water rescue, emergency medical training, hazardous materials training. A full physical exam after the required probation and fire academy classes. If you qualify – FREE college tuition through CCAC and the FireVest program. Recently added to our recruitment and retention program is a local tax credit at the end of the year.

As a reward for their duties the Town of McCandless sponsors a number of appreciation events every year such as a golf outing for the volunteers. They also treat the families of the volunteers to a Kennywood day or Pirate baseball game, and at the end of the year, there is an appreciation dinner banquet to show the volunteers that they are very important to our community.

The heat is still on! “Step-up.” Get involved, and be rewarded in the knowledge that you will be part of an elite crew that provides a vital service to the Town and its residents. We hope to see you someday. For more information on the fire stations or becoming a volunteer firefighter, call Daniel Stack, Fire Marshal for the Town of McCandless, at 412-364-0616.