Chairman Steven Ackerman provided the perfect segue at Thursday night's Board of Supervisor's meeting for a report from the Citizens Fire Co. in the wake of Hurricane Irene.
Ackerman thanked all township emergency and public works personnel for their work during the hurricane. “Thank you very much for your dedication,” Ackerman said, just moments before , acting fire chief for the Citizens Fire Co. told the supervisors about the department’s extraordinary efforts to respond to calls on Aug. 28 and 29.
“With Hurricane Irene, we crammed about five months’ worth of calls into two days,” DeVault said, adding that reflective address signs on houses are “priceless.”
DeVault said the Citizens Fire Co. handled a total of 73 calls during about 41 hours. Calls included pumping out water from basements when the power went out and sump pumps became inoperative. Water in basements ranged from three to four inches, up to six feet.
The fire department also responded to calls about power lines sparking and being hit by trees, a tree that fell on a house, and a variety of traffic control situations.
DeVault said PPL did not notify fire departments that they were shutting down power the afternoon of Aug. 29. “State police hastily called fire police for traffic control after many near accidents on Chestnut Street at Buckeye and Ramer roads,” DeVault said.
Also, he said, the base station radio at the firehouse is obsolete and needs replacement – possibly a candidate for state or federal grant money. Walkies and radios in the officers’ personal vehicles were used in its place, along with personal cell phones.
DeVault also told the supervisors that, in the future, the ability to run traffic lights with generators would conserve personnel.
DeVault said he is the acting fire chief of Citizens Fire Co. because Chief Joseph Sherman has a broken leg.