January 2019 26 30 30 68 50 204
February 2019 32 25 19 41 32 149
March 2019 29 27 19 47 43 165
April 2019 28 41 36 53 57 215
May 2019 28 27 27 52 38 172
June 2019 27 17 34 41 48 167
July 2019 33 29 36 51 51 200
August 2019 25 19 17 47 47 155
September 2019 29 28 20 54 45 176
October 2019 35 36 26 66 64 227
November 2019 42 25 25 69 51 212
December 2019 32 37 28 49 53 199
2019 Totals 366 341 317 638 579 2241

January 2020 36 25 17 53 30 161
February 2020 28 26 33 52 43 182
March 2020 27 28 19 39 40 153
April 2020 30 22 20 40 32 144
May 2020 15 16 23 40 36 130
June 2020 25 22 13 42 30 132
July 2020 26 30 28 64 53 201
August 2020 26 25 21 44 47 163
September 2020 32 30 26 52 43 183
October 2020 37 24 25 55 53 194
November 2020 39 18 26 33 42 158
December 2020 30 20 22 43 52 167
2020 Totals 351 286 273 557 501 1968

January 2021 33 29 22 42 51 177
February 2021 29 26 31 57 34 177
March 2021 40 32 35 68 47 222
April 2021 25 19 25 49 35 153
May 2021 39 30 20 61 52 202
June 2021 49 39 24 47 43 202
July 2021 32 28 33 59 39 191
August 2021 37 35 26 44 59 201
September 2021 43 45 34 59 56 237
October 2021 32 29 41 49 63 214
November 2021
December 2021
2021 Totals

Tools of the Trade

An important fire service tool is the Air Monitor (AM). AM’s can be single or multi-gas devices. The AM at right has a five-sensor configuration to detect certain toxicity and flammability levels. A common sensor used in AM’s detects Carbon Monoxide (CO) which is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas produced by fossil fuel burning equipment / appliances such as gas or oil furnaces. High CO levels can be fatal.

AM’s also evaluate Oxygen (O2) in the air. It will alarm when deficient or enriched O2 levels are detected. Another sensor is for the common toxic gas; hydrogen sulfide (aka: Sewer Gas). This gas can desensitize a persons ability to smell. At certain levels a person unknowingly my be exposed to harmful levels. A fourth common sensor is used to evaluate flammable atmospheres from a leaking gas such as natural gas, propane or from other refined products. A fifth sensor is to detect toxic Hydrogen Cyanide. This gas is a combustion by-product that can linger in a building well after a fire has been extinguished. Special training is needed to operate as well interpret AM readings. AM’s are important tools in protecting citizens and firefighters. 

Duty Buggy / Command

Yes that is correct, Duty Buggy. This is a common Lancaster County reference to a Command Vehicle. This vehicle is used by the fire department Duty Officer to respond to emergencies in and manage an incident from. Duty Buggies are equipped with special Communications Equipment for the Incident Commander (IC) to direct operations. Duty Buggies typically carry Command Boards so the IC can track resources, monitor and document incident progression and maintain accountability of operating personnel. Many fire departments use a sport utility vehicle or pick-up truck as a Duty Buggy. Duty Buggies also commonly carry Preplans of facilities that illustrate building floor plans and identify utility shut-offs and other hazardous circumstances. Duty Buggies may also carry special reference resources on Hazardous Materials. Some duty buggies carry Air Monitors to assess atmospheres for investigations. purposes other than transporting the Duty Officer.

Engine Company

An Engine, also commonly called a pumper, is a kind of fire tuck purposed to extinguish fires. Engines are equipped with a pump that can deliver more than 1,500 gallons of water per minute. They carry a water tank for small fires (500-1,000 gallons) and carry special types and sizes of hoses.

Supply Line (aka: Large Diameter Hose—LDH) is hose used to transport water from a fire hydrant to the Engine. Water from the hydrant is then pumped by the Engine to Hand Lines ( aka: Attack Lines) which are smaller more maneuverable hoses that firefighters use to extinguish a fire.

Engines carry 800 feet or more of Supply Line to reach remote hydrants or to stretch back long driveways. A common Supply Line diameter is 5 inches. Hand Line lengths typically range from 200-400 feet and are commonly 1.75 inches in diameter. Some Hand Line lengths and diameters are larger. 

A Traffic Unit is a specially equipped vehicle to provide Access Control around an emergency incident. Traffic Units are staffed by sworn Fire Police Officers who maintain control of traffic and pedestrians at and near emergency incidents. This is necessary to protect civilians, motorists and emergency service personnel.

Traffic Units carry traffic control devices that must meet specifications as outlined in the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The MUTCD prescribes minimum criteria for the use and deployment of advanced warning and control zone equipment, such as signs, barricades and traffic cones.

Depending on the incident location, multiple Traffic Units may be necessary. With the highly traveled roadways, limited access highways and highly populated areas, Traffic Units are an important Special Service of the fire department. Traffic Units are frequently requested to assist at non-emergency events as well, such as at parades, carnivals and other public events. Both the East Petersburg and West Hempfield fire companies maintain a Traffic Unit.

Rescue Company

A Rescue is a kind of fire tuck that carries a wide array of specialized tools to rescue victims from various circumstances such as being trapped in a car after an accident; trapped in machinery at a workplace; stranded by high-water from flooding; or other environmental rescue situation.

Rescues carry many types of Hydraulic and Pneumatic (air operated) equipment to cut, disentangle and lift. The most common hydraulic reference is the ‘Jaws Of Life’ which is a rescue tool brand. They carry a large assortment of stabilization equipment including Cribbing and Struts. Other specialized equipment includes low and high pressure Air Bags. Rescues are equipped with a large assortment of Rope Rescue equipment for below and above grade technical recue situations.

The diversity of the Hempfield Area requires its rescue companies to be ready for any situation.   

Special Services Air/Light Unit

Special Services encompass a wide array of fire and rescue aspects to sustain fire ground operations, support investigations and engage in extraordinary situations.

Mountville Fire Company operates Air 7 which is a multi-faceted Special Service unit. The side of the unit reads Air, Power and Light which refers to its large Air Compressor, high powered Generator and special lighting, including a Light Tower. The Air Compressor is used to refill air cylinders worn by firefighters. The Generator provides extra power for fire crews to engage in salvage and overhaul operations. The Light Tower illuminates incident scenes to assess an incident scene and support investigations.

Air 7 is a great asset considering the residential, industrial, transportation and infrastructure hazards in the Hempfield area.  

Special Services - Ultra Terrain Vehicle

Special Services encompass a wide array of fire and rescue aspects to sustain fire ground operations, support investigations and engage in extraordinary situations.

West Hempfield Fire & Rescue Company operates Special Unit 76 which is a multi-tasked Ultra Terrain Vehicle (UTV). It is a six-seat vehicle that can be used to Transport personnel throughout a large incident scene as well as support Emergency Medical and Fire Suppression operations.

The Hempfield area has many popular recreational areas that are highly used by novice and experienced hikers who periodically sustain a medical emergency (broken bone from a fall or something more life-threatening). They often occur deep in the trails and are unreachable by conventional vehicles. Treatment can be delayed if crews have to hike back challenging trails. The UTV is equipped with a special backboard bracket to transport injured hikers.

The UTV is transported in a trailer that it towed by a fire company utility vehicle.

Tanker Company

A Tanker is a kind of fire tuck purposed to transport large quantities of water to locations that do not have built-in water infrastructure such as fire hydrants. The water tank capacity of Tankers in Lancaster County range from 1,800 gallons to 4,000 gallons.

Tankers are equipped with a pump to initiate fire attack or supply an Engine Company with water. Tankers are often used in rural settings where there are no hydrants. Tankers are also useful in other areas such as a water source for fires on limited access highways, brush fires, as well as a back-up contingency in hydrant-equipped areas that may experience a water main break or other malfunction. Tankers are equipped with a special pool called a Porta-Tank in which a Tanker will empty its water into to supply an engine while the tanker gets refilled. Tankers carry other equipment to support water supply.

Thermal Imaging Camera

An important fire service tool is the Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC). It is a valuable life-saving and property conservation instrument. A TIC locates heat signatures which enables firefighters to locate (the body heat of) victims in smoke-filled rooms. This can save valuable time searching rooms for victims.

A TIC is also valuable in locating hidden hot spots or a fire extending into void areas behind walls and above ceilings. Without a TIC, firefighters may have to tear down entire walls or pull down ceilings to locate extending fire. A TIC may prevent added damages by ’seeing’ the location of hot spots enabling firefighters to overhaul only the affected area.

A TIC also serves other purposes. For certain gas leaks, a TIC may identify the heat differential of expanding gases into the atmosphere. It can also aid in evaluating the level of product in a container.

Special training to use a TIC is necessary but as noted above, is a very important fire service tool. 

Truck Company

A Truck, commonly called a Hook & Ladder in children’s books, is a kind of fire tuck purposed to initiate many fire ground tasks including forcible entry, search and rescue, ventilation and extinguishing fires from an elevated position. There are many types of aerial Trucks including straight ladders, platforms (equipped with a bucket) and articulating (like a cherry picker). Each has specific operational capabilities and typically range in heights of 55 to 110 feet.

Trucks carry a large assortment of Ground Ladders to reach parts and sides of buildings that the aerial device cannot. Trucks carry specialized Saws to cut through various materials like wood, metal and concrete. Trucks also carry a wide assortment of forcible entry hand tools, such as the Irons or Marriage, which is a two-tool compliment (axe and haligan bar) used to force entry through doors and walls. Trucks also carry various ventilation fans to remove smoke.