During the worst of the Pandemic, many communities relied heavily on the Volunteers in their local Fire Departments. Staffing and funding continue to be challenging issues for many Departments.
The Logan Fire Company, part of the Bellefonte Fire Department, is in the process of outfitting a new Rescue Truck. It reflects the multi-tasking Firefighters do in a growing community-such as responding to Interstate highway crashes. Rob Pacella of Logan Township FD saying: “We have the additional I99, I80 ramp, a high speed interchange. We know there’s gonna be additional equipment we’ll need to take.”
The new Truck though — also with another purpose. Pacella saying: “Not only is it a purchase to protect the community, but hopefully it will increase Volunteerism.” New Volunteers are more willing to sign up at better equipped Fire Companies. All Fire Crew Members, new and old, continue to go through extensive training.
On those Interstates these days more electric powered vehicles, with new Rescue Procedures. Paul Kline, President of Logan Fire Co. saying: “The cutters need to be different, the cutting of the metal. The amount of current, electricity current in these cars would kill us. So we have to be very careful about where and how we cut. That’s where the training comes into play.”
In the past year, the Pandemic limiting many well known fundraising events for Fire Companies, yet they still need to upgrade to get new gear. Kline adding: “That’s not a want, that’s a need. There are needs we have to have to keep ourselves safe.” There are State and Federal Grants available to help buy equipment, but there are risks also, especially with long term loans. Kline saying: “Tts a liability that’s scary, because what happens if you have a bad year, like another COVID-19?”
So don’t forget to support your Local Fire Company. They too have struggled during Pandemic times.