Trexlertown, Greenawalds firefighters complete training
Sixteen area volunteer fire departments added 26 firefighters to their ranks when the new firefighters completed a rigorous five-month course and received certificates of completion June 19 during a ceremony at the Lower Macungie Township Community Center.
This was the ninth annual Bucks County Fire Academy course held January to May at the Allentown Fire Department’s Mack Station, 1902 Lehigh St., near Queen City Airport.
Good Will Fire Chief Steve Oplinger, and Deputy Chief Gary Mattox attended the graduation for Anthony Levan, Justin Kennybrew, and Evan Basset.
Greenawalds Fire Department Lt. Jared Tellechea also attended the graduation for Tyler Demboski and Justin Dwyer.
The 192-hour course is held annually for area volunteers so they do not have to travel to the Bucks County Fire Academy in Doylestown, as was once the case until Lower Macungie Fire Department Chief Dave Nosal initiated the arrangement in 2009 for the Bucks County unit to come to Allentown.
Nearly 300 Lehigh County area volunteers have received the local training since the program was initiated.
The Public Safety Training unit at the Bucks County Community College provides training for first responder units in 11 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania with national and state level fire, rescue, emergency medical and hazardous materials training, and professional certification.
Firefighting skills training include building construction; basic interior firefighting skills; fire behavior; forcible entry; personal safety equipment; self-contained breathing apparatus; ropes and knots; search and rescue; vehicle fires; wild lands fires; and hazardous materials.
In addition to the 112 hours in basic firefighting, volunteers learn lifesaving and first-aid skills, and how to recognize, evaluate and deal with hazardous material incidents.
Hazardous materials training covered events as small as an antifreeze spill at a motor-vehicle accident, to incidents as intimidating as weapons of mass destruction.
Lead instructor for the training was Lt. Christopher Groller of the Allentown Fire Department.
Commencement speaker Douglas Snyder, a field supervisor with the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy, challenged the graduates to “always strive for the next level of training.
“If you get to the point where you think you know everything about firefighting it’s time to get out of the fire service,” Snyder told graduates.