Po­lice, fire­fight­er­shon­ored­for­fir­eres­cue

The Colonial - - OPINION - By Carl Rotenberg

Mem­bers of both the Lower Prov­i­dence and Up­per Prov­i­dence boards of su­per­vi­sors hon­ored 13 po­lice of­fi­cers and vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers April 16 for sav­ing the lives of seven res­i­dents while fight­ing a fire Feb. 27 at the Audubon Court Apart­ments.

Com­men­da­tions for hero­ism were pre­sented to Black Rock Fire Com­pany mem­bers in­clud­ing fire Chief Wil­liam Kasper and Capt. Daniel Miller.

Po­lice Lt. Stan­ley Tur­tle, Of­fi­cer Richard As­ton and Of­fi­cer Charles Mur­ray, all of the Lower Prov­i­dence Po­lice Depart­ment, re­ceived com­men­da­tions for hero­ism.

Distin­guished Unit Ci­ta­tions were pre­sented to Lower Prov­i­dence Fire Com­pany Deputy Fire Chief James Day­walt, fire­fighter/en­gi­neer David Mosteller, fire­fighter Adam Wil­liams and fire­fighter Joseph LoCasale.

Po­lice Sgt. James Craw­ford, Cpl. Thomas Momme, Of­fi­cer Robert Ca­ble and Of­fi­cer Cherelle Cut­ting, all of the Lower Prov­i­dence Po­lice Depart­ment, also re- ceived Distin­guished Unit Ci­ta­tions.

As­ton ar­rived one minute af­ter the fire call was re­ceived at 7:43 p.m. and at­tempted to en­ter Build­ing C, where a first-floor fire was burn­ing in an apart­ment. He was driven back by heavy fire and smoke, said Lower Prov­i­dence po­lice Chief Fran­cis Car­roll. Additional Lower Prov­i­dence po­lice of­fi­cers evac­u­ated the res­i­dents of Build­ings B and C.

The tower lad­der truck of the Black Rock Fire Com­pany ar­rived, and Kasper and Miller used a ground lad­der to res­cue four adults and three chil­dren from a third-floor bal­cony. Miller climbed to the bal­cony and al­lowed the res­i­dents to breath from his air pack in the mid­dle of heavy smoke from the fire, ac­cord­ing to the com­men­da­tion. Kasper climbed the lad­der and res­cued one child.

Mur­ray climbed the lad­der and car­ried an in­fant to the ground. As­ton climbed the lad­der and as­sisted two adults to the ground. Tur­tle res­cued a small child and as­sisted two adults to the ground.

Craw­ford, Ca­ble and Cut­ting sta­bi­lized the lad­der on the ground and re­moved the res­cued per­sons from the area of the fire.

At the same time, Day­walt, Mosteller, Wil­liams and LoCasale worked on putting the fire out in the apart­ment build­ing.

Gur­preet Singh and Shahid Moghal were both trapped with two other adults and two chil­dren dur­ing the fire.

“A neighbor came bang­ing on the door and shout­ing, ‘There’s a fire,’” Singh said. “We rushed out to the bal­cony be­cause the smoke was too thick to walk through.”

Moghal said that on the night of the fire sev­eral other fam­i­lies with chil­dren could be seen on their bal­conies as they were grabbed by fire­fight­ers on lad­ders.

In other busi­ness April 16, the Lower Prov­i­dence board au­tho­rized Town­ship Man­ager Richard Gestrich to ap­ply for a federal Depart­ment of Jus­tice bul­let­proof vest part­ner­ship pro­gram to pay for 50 per­cent of the cost for 14 new po­lice vests. The grant would pay for bul­let­proof vests pur­chased be­tween April 1 and Aug. 31, 2016.

The ap­pli­ca­tion will cover 50 per­cent of the $12,019 cost for 14 vests at $858 each, Gestrich said. The town­ship has a $4,515 bal­ance of un­spent funds from a 2013 pro­gram grant.

“A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of cur­rent vests in ser­vice will re­quire re­place­ment over the next two years,” said Car­roll in an April 8 memo to Gestrich.

“It helps sub­si­dize the costs of the po­lice vests. It is a 5050 grant,” Gestrich said. “We only have to re­place the vests at a cer­tain rate. We have about 30 po­lice of­fi­cers.”

21st Century Me­dia staff writer Brendan Wills con­trib­uted to this story.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Re­ceiv­ing com­men­da­tions for hero­ism in Lower Prov­i­dence April 16 are Black Rock Fire Com­pany mem­bers Chief Wil­liam Kasper and Capt. Daniel Miller; and Lt. Stan­ley Tur­tle, Of­fi­cer Richard As­ton and Of­fi­cer Charles Mur­ray of the Lower Prov­i­dence Town­ship Po­lice Depart­ment. Awarded Distin­guished Unit Ci­ta­tions are Deputy Fire Chief James Day­walt, fire­fighter/en­gi­neer David Mosteller, fire­fighter Adam Wil­liams, fire­fighter Joseph LoCasale, Sgt. James Craw­ford, Cpl. Thomas Momme, Of­fi­cer Robert Ca­ble and Of­fi­cer Cherelle Cut­ting. Pos­ing with them are mem­bers of the Lower Prov­i­dence and Up­per Prov­i­dence boards of su­per­vi­sors.

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