Fire volunteers complete training
Nineteen area volunteer fire companies added 47 newly trained firefighters to their rosters when they completed a rigorous six-month, 194-hour course and received their certificates of completion at a ceremony June 25 at Lower Macungie Community Center.
This was the fourth annual Bucks County Fire Academy course held every Sunday and Wednesday at the Allentown Fire Department Fire Academy at the Allentown Fire Department's Mack Station, 1902 Lehigh St., near the Queen City Airport.
The local course was initiated in 2011 by Lower Macungie Fire Chief Dave Nosal, in cooperation with the Bucks County Fire Academy, so training for the volunteers could be held in Lehigh County, rather than have the volunteers travel an hour-and-a-half each way, twice a week, for the Lehigh County volunteers.
The training entailed live-burn training and testing on several Saturdays during the period.
The class involved one and one half hours of firefighting skills as well as life-saving and first aid skills.
The Firefighter 1 training course also taught the volunteers how to recognize, evaluate and deal with hazardous materials incidents.
The Haz-Mat training covered events as small as an anti-freeze spill at a motor vehicle accident, to incidents as intimidating as weapons of mass destruction.
Lead instructor for the training was Justin Delong, a state-certified fire educator, as well as deputy chief of the Emmaus Fire Department. Troy Raab, of Coopersburg, also was a certified instructor for the volunteers.
Nosal said the course included: building construction; basic interior firefighting; fire behavior; forcible entry; personal safety equipment; self-contained breathing apparatus; ropes and knots; search and rescue; vehicle fire; wildland fire; hazardous materials; as well as the structural live burn sessions.
Nosal said the certification earned by the 47 candidates was portable, and those who complete the course are entered into a national database; most states recognize the certification for fire departments in their jurisdiction.
Candidates were from the following fire departments: Alburtis, Catasauqua, Cetronia, Eastern Salisbury, Emerald, Emmaus, Germansville, Greenawalds, Han-Le-Co, Lower Macungie, New Tripoli, Schnecksville, Topton, Trexlertown, Tri-Clover, Upper Macungie, Upper Saucon, Western Salisbury and Whitehall.