Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
On November 26, 1973 in afternoon hours firemen were sent to Route 533 in Pleasant Hall for a mobile home fire. A fire that started in a kitchen of an occupied mobile home caused $10,000 damage. Firefighters were on the scene 1-½ hours. The Pleasant Hall and West End Fire and Rescue companies operated at the scene.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
On November 20, 1968 at 2:20 a.m. KGD-556 sent firemen to Pinola next to the Baer Feed Supply for a journal box ablaze on a tank car. The Western Maryland Railroad dispatcher in Hagerstown, Md. contacted the Shippensburg Civil Defense room to alert them to the blaze. The tanker was uncoupled from the freight train and pushed to siding. It was never mentioned what the tank car was carrying. Damages were minor being confined to the oil soaked wicks according to WEFR Chief Crawford Wiestling. It took firemen about 30 minutes to control the stubborn blaze. The West End Fire and Rescue and Vigilant Hose companies answered the alarm of fire. The CV community ambulance also answered two calls for the day.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
While I am here I will plug my other site, Bradley Myers Photography. It is a daily photography blog that I post to four times a week for any of you that have never been there. Most of the posts are wildlife like whitetails or elk but there is the occasional fire post from Shippensburg, Harrisburg or someplace close.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
February 1978 saw another change in directors with the appointment of Jere Gonder, a retired federal firefighter, as Civil Defense Director and Communications Director for Franklin County. After Franklin County was alerted and placed on standby for possible relocation of victims from T.M.I., everyone in the Civil Defense staff worked 24 hours a day for over a week, Mr. Gonder started making plans for a new communications center in the court house. January 1980 saw another change when the new communications center became operational. The new center was equipped with a Centracom Series I Console, 7 channel (high band) Med base, single channel police base, Veritech alarm panel and several other features new to Franklin County.
The winter of 1983 was long and cold, and with the increased workload it became necessary for the county commissioners to divide the positions of Emergency Management Agency Director and Communications Director. Robert Nye was then appointed Communications Director, and he set about the task of acquiring additional equipment to streamline the operation and additional personnel to handle the ever-increasing workload. In the summer of 1986 the commissioners agreed to staff the center from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. with two full time dispatchers. One man was still on from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. In January 1987 the center was staffed 24 hours per day with two dispatchers.
Due to poor communications in the southern end of the county, the commissioners approved $130,000 to purchase a Med 10 base, township, fire channel 1 and 3 and police 1 and 3 microwaves for a tower site located at Ft. Richie. This new tower site greatly enhanced the centers capability of communicating with units in the southern and of the county especially the Blue Ridge Summit and Mercersburg areas.
In 1977 the County Commissioners went on record supporting a county wide 911 communications system, and also appointed several emergency services personnel to study a 911 system with possible implementation. The 911 communications system became the focal point of several elections and in January 1988 after Gerald Flasher was appointed Communications Director under the direction of Phil Tarquino, Emergency Management Agency Director, 911 finally looks to be in the near future for Franklin County residents.
Mr. Flasher started in January 1988 to plan and design a new communications center that would accommodate a 911 system. On September 1, 1988 all the consoles, computers and other essential equipment was moved to a temporary location in the county E.O.C. where it was home for eight months. September 1st the commissioners placed an order for a Motorola Centracom Series II console costing $180,000. At the same time a contract was awarded for $45,000 to completely remodel the communications center which increased the operational area four times what it was. Construction was started on December 1st and was completed on February 14, 1989. The installation of the new consoles started on March 28, 1989 and on May 1 the new center went on line. Some of the features of the new center were a Dictaphone call check system, upgrade internal alarm system, Com Centrics phone system with automatic dialer's, phone patch system, new alerting tones that differentiate between medical, rescue and fire emergencies. The system is computer operated and offers streamlines dispatching that is almost infallible. Although the bugs are still being worked out at this time the commissioners, Mr. Flasher, the dispatchers and the public of Franklin County have a new communications center that would make any Comm. Center Director green with envy.
Presently plans and negotiations are under way with the United Telephone Company to install and implement a 911 system in Franklin County, which has proved to be invaluable to persons in need all over the country.
As stated yesterday this article is reprinted exactly as it appeared in the CVVFA convention book in 1989. I did not check to verify the facts. Eventually I should pull the books from 1989 to present and update this entry to the present. As with the photographs sent to me if anyone out there would like to type an article to be posted on this site just do so and send it to me, when a day comes around that I have nothing to post I would be more than happy to post it. Also if anyone out there has anything to add to this please leave it in the comment sections, there is a few of you out there that were around for this and have a first hand account that could shed some more light on the subject.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
In 1955 the Borough of Chambersburg saw a need for some type of communications between the apparatus on the scene of an emergency and a central dispatch center that was manned 24 hours per day. At this time the Borough purchased 10 single channel mobile radios and 5 portables for use by the fire department. The base station was placed in police headquarters where it was answered by the on duty officers, who would also call additional apparatus if needed. Then in 1957 after several confrontations with the police and fire department, a central dispatch center was established at the Junior Hose and Truck Company in Chambersburg, where a countywide fire phone was installed.
This center was manned by paid apparatus drivers from the Chambersburg Fire Department and volunteers from the Juniors. Even after this base was installed and operational most emergency calls still went to the individual fire stations.
In 1968 several county wide fire department officers, State Police, the sheriff and township supervisors felt that a central county wide communications center was needed in Franklin County. At this time negotiations were started with the County Commissioners and in January 1970 the Communications Center, under the direction of Crawford Wiestling went on line. The center was operational 24 hours per day, with three dispatchers working eight-hour shifts. The center had a two-channel low band radio for the 16 county fire companies, and a single channel low band radio for the 5 police departments. This system operated off of a 50-foot tower, which was located behind the courthouse, and after proving very ineffective was moved atop a water tank on Reservoir Hill in Chambersburg.
In 1970 after funding was secured from the county commissioners, the Penna. Civil Defense Agency, land was donated by a local businessman and a 60 foot tower was installed on the North mountain, eight miles north west of town. Even though there were still some spots in the county inaccessible to communications, this tower was a great advancement for the county. Also at this time due to a significant increase in radio traffic, a second channel was installed for the fire service, which was used for fire ground communications.
The summer of 1971 saw Tom Hawthorne take over the reins as the Civil Defense Director for Franklin County. As with the proceeding 3 years the next 4 years saw the communications center expand and improve to provide better service to the citizens of Franklin County. Due to several problems with communications in the county, a new 00 foot tower was installed on the north mountain, and at the same time radios were placed in the emergency rooms of both Chambersburg and Waynesboro Hospitals, for communications with incoming ambulances.
With the inception of the air medical service in Vietnam, it was decided that heliports were needed at the hospitals. Mr. Hawthorne had all materials donated by local businessmen, and the labor donated by C. D, 1ST Battalion, 103rd Armor Division of the Penna. National Guard, and the Mechanics Steam Fire Engine and Hose Co. No. 1 of Waynesboro. The National Guard constructed one for the Chambersburg Hospital and the Mechanics constructed one for the Waynesboro Hospital. At this time the air service was provided by the Pa. State Police based in Harrisburg. Also in the summer of 1971 the 15 townships in Franklin County were linked to the Communications Center via the airwaves, which over the last 18 years has proved to be a very valuable asset many times over.
To be continued.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
A resolution authorizing a contract with the Gamewell Company for the installation of a fire alarm system in Chambersburg was passed by Borough Council October 3, 1904, and approved by the Burgess October 12, 1904.
This system was installed in 1904 and 1905, when eleven fire alarm boxes were placed at the following locations:
No. 123 at Second and Grant Streets
No. 124 at Philadelphia Avenue and Vine Streets
No. 23 at Third and Market Streets
No. 24 at Fifth and Market Streets
No. 25 at Memorial Square
No. 32 at Main and Washington Streets
No. 33 at Lincoln (now Derbyshire) and Fairground Avenue
No. 34 at Main and South Streets
No. 35 at Third and Washington Streets
No. 42 at Market and Hood Streets
No. 43 at Market and Federal Streets
Additional fire alarm boxes have been placed year to year in other locations until today (1944) there are sixty alarm boxes in the city. When the alarm system was first installed, there were indicators locating the box numbers in the Cumberland Valley and Good Will houses.
The first alarm of fire over the Gamewell system came in at 1:05 p.m. July 1, 1905, form Box No. 43. The fire was in a double house owned by Christian Burkhart and located in Gas Alley (now Burkhart Avenue).
The alarm was turned in by Preston B. White. Coming down the hill, the Friendship and Good Will reels traveled too fast, almost causing serious injury to several firemen. The Good Wills ran into a pole at Brant’s Hotel (now location of Mill’s Filling Station (1944)) and a man at the tongue had a narrow escape. After the fire was over, someone sent in a false alarm from Box 42 at Brant’s Hotel.
The following was taken from Backward Glances written by Philip Bietsch II in 1944. I will be using this book for more upcoming articles. Does anyone know when the boxes were removed from Chambersburg? I do not know if I have that information in my files.