Category: Fire News

Fire and Emergency Service News

Job Opportunity – Director of Emergency Services – Part Time Position

We were notified by Jim Harmes from Fire Chief Recruiters about an open part time Director of Emergency Services position with 1-800 Board Up.

The position is based out of Gibsonia, PA.

This position is part-time, but has a great salary and a good bonus plan to go along with it.

Per Jim, the hours are very flexible, and the biggest requirement is that the individual has fun performing it.

For anyone interested, please contact Jim Harmes at 810-964-6911, or see the additional information on the attached flyer.

Please be sure to tell him you heard about the position on our site.


6 Ways To Help Your Local Fire Department

how to help your local fire department

I often get asked by people outside the fire department on how they can help out.  The majority of people I talk to are very thankful for the work their local firefighters do, and sometimes they would like to help out more.  I have created this article to help spurn some ideas that you may not of thought about on how to help your local fire department.

Read more

It’s Our Birthday! WPAFN is 14

February marked the 14th year that we have provided western Pennsylvania firefighting news.  It was originally created in February of 2003.  It has undergone a lot of changes, and even a new name (Hoopie World to WPAFN).  Please see the site history at this page link.

The creation and popularity of Facebook was the biggest contributing factor to the changes necessary not only to our site, but to many sites across the internet.  The biggest impact from Facebook by far was the ever so popular Hoopie World discussion forums were retired due to a lack of use after a while.

Eventually, Facebook was incorporated as a tool to be used with the site, and our Facebook page currently has 5.8k followers.  Click here to follow our page if you aren’t already a follower!  We also learned how to use Twitter and have a Twitter account that we use as well.

For a little birthday gift from us to you, click on this link to see what the original page looked like back in 2003!  Its missing some pictures, however for the folks that were with us back then, it will definitely bring back some memories.

Thanks again for the continues support, and I look forward to the next 14 years!

Pennsylvania State Fire Grant Awards 2016-2017

The Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner has announced the grant amounts awarded to the fire and ems departments that applied.

Department could apply for monies to pay for items in the following categories:

Facilities – Construction and/or renovation of the fire company’s or ambulance service’s facility and purchase or repair of fixtures and furnishings necessary to maintain or improve the capability of the company to provide fire, ambulance and rescue services.
Equipment – Purchase or repair of firefighting, ambulance or rescue equipment.  Includes the purchase of fuel for company vehicles.

Debt reduction – Debt reduction associated with the facility (1) or equipment (2) categories above.
Training – Training and certification of members.
Training and education materials regarding fire prevention for the general public.
Career Departments Only – Overtime costs associated with backfilling positions while fire fighters are attending training.

Below is the list broken down by county.

16-17 Grant Awards by County

911 Vonage Problem

060515-cambria-911By Fox 8 WWCP

A desperate 911 call in Ohio ends with dispatchers in Cambria County. An important lesson for anyone using an internet based phone service. A 911 call placed Thursday morning to Cambria County 911 started off like any other medical emergency call but those at 911 say this call was anything but ordinary. The woman calling for help was in Streetsboro Ohio three hours away from the Cresson Township address attached to her phone service. 911 Officials say the woman had a voice over internet protocol phone service or VOIP. The service allows users to plug a modem into a computer and have service. The problem was Cambria County 911 Dispatchers don’t have readily available information for dispatchers in Ohio. 911 Dispatchers quickly searched for a number to reach Emergency Crews for the Akron suburb and soon learned the woman had called her daughter before dialing 911 and an ambulance was on the way. Cambria County says it took 22 minutes from the time they got the call before help arrived. The woman’s service provider Vonage states in their terms of service that 911 service is different for their subscribers than that of traditional wire line or cellphone 911 calls. The VOIP provider says tells customers when signing up for service that they must verify and confirm the address they will be using the service from and that they remind customers to update their address saying 911 calls may be sent to the emergency center near the old address. Cambria County urges all VOIP users to double check the information attached to their service to ensure their call is properly directed in an emergency situation.

Read more:

Bizzarro Joins Fight to Save Volunteer Fees


Joined by volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services providers at West Lake Fire Department, state Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro today voiced his support for legislation that would exempt emergency responders from paying more than $47 in fees for state and federal background clearances.

Bizzarro discussed H.B. 1081, which would excuse volunteer and paid firefighters and EMS providers from paying the $10 state Department of Human Services child abuse clearance fee, in addition to the $10 Pennsylvania State Police criminal background clearance fee. It would also waive FBI clearance fees, totaling nearly $30, provided the emergency responders have lived in Pennsylvania for the past 10 years and have clean records.

Read more

Volunteer fire companies always searching for funding

091514-farmingtonBy Miles Layton and Steve Barrett – photo by Amanda Steen – Herald-Standard

When a fire breaks out, people expect a prompt response from the area men and women who, almost always, are volunteers that risk their lives.

But what many don’t consider is the cost to the departments, which, oftentimes, get by financially by selling hoagies, holding car washes, or spaghetti dinners, and selling tickets to gun or cash bashes.

First Assistant Chief George Matis at Republic Volunteer Fire Department in Fayette County said fundraising in these lean times is a challenge.

“It’s becoming more difficult to pay for everything, so we have to have fundraiser after fundraiser,” he said. “We have to work, work, work to get everything we need. But we have to do it to get the most professional and provide the best service that we can.”

Matis said the firefighting gear is expensive. For example, he said, one air pack, which is an essential part of firefighter’s gear, costs $8,000; special fire resistant pants and a jacket cost more than $2,300; portable radios — $1,300 to $3,500 each. Matis said a fire department can pay upwards of $500,000 for a truck.

Read more