LOCK HAVEN - The city fire department has earned a second-place award from the Central District Volunteer Firemen's Association for its fire prevention programs.
The award includes $150 which will be used to buy materials for fire prevention education in local schools, according to City Councilman Steve Stevenson who presented a plaque and banner signifying the award at council's Monday evening meeting.
The association covers 23 counties.
Norm Wolfrom, right, Citizen’s Hose Co. fire chief, shows City Council some of the differences in the old air packs, as modeled by George McKinney, left, and the new ones the city purchased. Christian Reeder, center, wears one of the new Scott air packs.
WENDY STIVER/THE EXPRESS
Lock Haven firefighters are in schools today presenting programs for Fire Prevention Week, although the department is active in fire prevention education year-round, according to Stevenson, who is a member of the department.
Norm Wolfrom, chief of Citizen's Hose Co., also lead a demonstration with one of the new Scott air packs the city purchased for the department. Firefighter Christian Reeder wore a new air pack and firefighter George McKinney donned an old one for the demonstration.
The new packs hold more air, yet have smaller tanks. Each comes with a better air mask, uses more advanced technology and includes the ability to connect another person to the life-saving air.
Each fire station also has a handset that can pick up individual packs from 50 to 60 yards away, as Wolfrom and Reeder demonstrated, so that if a firefighter is "down," as Wolfrom said, he can be located quickly.
The bottles for the air packs must be rehydrated every five years and replaced every 15 years, council heard.
One of the reasons the city upgraded its air packs is that it could no longer purchase bottles for its old units.
As the presentation wound down, tones sounded and the firefighters jogged to their vehicles to respond.
"When we had the parade for the tower truck, the fire department had to leave their own parade to answer a call," Mayor Richard P. Vilello Jr. said, "And now they are responding to a fire in Mill Hall."
He noted that many of the local firefighters volunteered to help with the Megatransect this past Saturday, an endurance walk-race over Bald Eagle Mountain.
"Whenever anyone needs a volunteer, someone is sure to step up," he said of the fire department. "I can't think of a better time to thank them. I just wish they were here to hear it."