Fire Dept. to host ‘Fire­fighter for a Day’ event

At­ten­dees will have the chance to try on gear, climb be­hind the wheel of a fire truck, and squirt a fire hose

The Southern Berks News - - FRONT PAGE - By Gil Co­hen

EX­ETER » Watch­ing too much “Chicago Fire” lately? Suf­fer­ing from fire­fighter envy? Now’s your chance to get in on the ac­tion.

On Saturday, Oct. 14, the Ex­eter Town­ship Fire Depart­ment will present its first “Fire­fighter for a Day” event.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity for res­i­dents to try on a fire­fighter’s bunker gear — in­clud­ing hel­met, jacket and boots, climb be­hind the wheel of a fire truck, honk the horn and sound the siren,” said Christo­pher Jor­dan, Ex­eter Fire Depart­ment deputy chief and chair­man of the event. “They will also have the op­por­tu­nity to hold and squirt wa­ter from fire hoses.

Dur­ing the event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., a num­ber of other fire­fight­ing ac­tiv­i­ties will be held, in­clud­ing a 911 phone call “role play” event, a “stop-drop-and-roll” demon­stra­tion, a “stay-low-and-go” de­mon-

stra­tion and a ve­hi­cle ex­tri­ca­tion, us­ing vol­un­teers from the au­di­ence as “vic­tims.”

The com­pany’s 95-foot tower lad­der will be set up out­side the sta­tion house for a demon­stra­tion of how it op­er­ates, in­clud­ing the use of the bucket at the top of the lad­der.

In pre­vi­ous years, Ex­eter Fire Depart­ment held an an­nual event at its Reiffton sta­tion but, Jor­dan pointed out, it was ba­si­cally an open house where fire­fight­ing ve­hi­cles were on dis­play and the inside of the sta­tion was open for in­spec­tion.

“This year’s event is much more struc­tured and is de­signed to give res­i­dents a hands-on op­por­tu­nity to see what firefighters do,” he said.

Most of the pro­gram ac­tiv­i­ties will be held at the Ston­ersville sta­tion at 5580 Boy­er­town Pike (Rt. 562) be­cause the Ston­ersville sta­tion, which has more space, is bet­ter suited than the Reiffton sta­tion to ac­com­mo­date the planned ac­tiv­i­ties. The one ex­cep­tion is a live fire at the depart­ment’s train­ing fa­cil­ity, a quar­ter­mile away, where firefighters will set a room on fire and ex­tin­guish the blaze.

A side ob­jec­tive of the event is to stim­u­late the in­ter­est of res­i­dents in vol­un­teer­ing for fire depart­ment mem­ber­ship, said Jor­dan.

“We fig­ured that, through these up-close demon­stra­tions, res­i­dents will have a much bet­ter idea of what we do; we hope that this may en­cour­age in­ter­ested in­di­vid­u­als to join the fire com­pany.”

Ex­eter Town­ship Fire Depart­ment is one of the busiest fire companies in Berks County, re­spond­ing to 1,100 to 1,200 emer­gency calls an­nu­ally.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Christo­pher Jor­dan at cjor­dan@ex­eter­tw­p­fire25.com

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF EX­ETER TOWN­SHIP FIRE DEPART­MENT

The Ex­eter Town­ship Fire Depart­ment is host­ing a “Fire­fighter for a Day” event on Saturday, Oct. 14.

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