So it's not Thursday, but let's have some throwback facts anyway. The Founding Fathers helped get the American fire service on its feet!#TBT Future President George Washington was a volunteer firefighter in Alexandria, Virginia. As a member of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Company, he bought a new fire engine and gave it to the town, which was its very first. Benjamin Franklin also was a Volunteer Firefighter in his earlier years, helping to create the first fire department in Philadelphia in 1736. #active911 #presidentsday #volunteerfirefighters ... See moreSee less
This Monday’s regular training featured Detective Douglas Nothstein of the Bethlehem Police Department and his partner, K-9 Silver, the region’s new fire accelerant detection team. Silver is a graduate of the State Farm Arson Dog Program, which has graduated over 400 dogs to agencies nationwide since 1993. Silver took over for K-9 Judge and his partner, Chief Lee Laubach, both of the Allentown Fire Department, after several years of service.
Silver is a 2 1/2 year old female Labrador Retriever. State Farm’s academy acquires dogs mostly through animal shelters and guide/disability assistance programs; Silver started at the Southeastern Guide Dogs school before finding the fire service. Dogs are becoming a popular agent in arson investigations because their sense of smell is nearly 50 times more sensitive than a human’s, often even more sensitive than the machines that are expected to confirm the evidence found by the dogs. She is trained to be reward incentive, meaning once she detects an accelerant she is rewarded with a treat. Her natural lack of bias and extensive training set her at the level of an expert witness in criminal proceedings, and her findings are treated as such. That training includes recognition of more than 50 different accelerants and requires annual recertification at a three-day academy in South Carolina, along with daily drills.
She lives with Det. Nothstein and will eventually retire with him and his family, as Judge has with the Laubach family. He is not just her handler, but Det. Nothstein says, “I typically say ‘partner,’ because we’re a team.” The Bethlehem Police SUV they use is “hers,” featuring a “Hot Pop” door release system purchased by Hounds on Working Leashes (HOWLs), a local charity that also acquired the safety vest she wears. She inherited several other pieces of equipment from Judge upon his retirement, including a large bathtub used for rinsing debris and soot from her after an investigation, purchased several years ago by Woodlawn. The cost of her acquisition and training was covered by State Farm; the city of Bethlehem and its police department carry nearly zero cost for her service, relying mostly on community donations and contributions from Det. Nothstein.
For more information on the State Farm Dog Program, visit www.arsondog.org. You also can follow Silver and Det. Nothstein on Facebook and Instagram by searching for SilverArsonK9, or email them at arsonK9silver@ptd.net. They are available year-round for community service and school-age programs. Woodlawn also invites the team to our annual Open House night, held in early October. ... See moreSee less
After tonight's gas leak, crews returned to forcible entry training on the door simulator at Greenawalds' station. The device allows for training on inward- and outward-swinging doors, requiring firefighters to evaluate the hinge locations, feeling for heat indicitative of a fire in the other side, and using tools to overcome a typical locking mechanism, which is simulated by a piece of wood. Lieutenant Sommers led the class and observed as firefighters used the irons -- a Haligan tool and a flathead axe -- to complete the task. ... See moreSee less
Monday night's forcible entry training for Woodlawn was interrupted by a natural gas leak on Whitehall Avenue, near the intersection with Latta Street and the fields behind Kratzer Elementary School. UGI was on the scene with an underground leak and was beginning emergency repairs, including digging; homes in the area were being evaluated by fire personnel for inside gas levels. Woodlawn is currently at the scene assisting Greenawalds (incident is in their area), along with Cetronia. Fire police from all three stations are securing the scene from traffic through this busy neighborhood. Please avoid the area. ... See moreSee less
UPDATE: Scene is about to be turned over to UGI and their traffic control personnel. Homes in the area all checked out safe. At this time, Whitehall Avenue remains closed between Huckleberry Road and Girard Avenue.
Woodlawn Fire Department is proud to announce that our own Assistant Chief Barry Search has been named a 2019 inductee to the Parkland School District’s Distinguished Alumni Wall of Honor. This award is presented to graduates of the district that have gone on to shape their communities and excel in their professions.
Assistant Chief Search has been a dedicated volunteer with our department for over 40 years. Through steadfast dedication he has remained a courageous leader among his peers and a humble mentor to all around him.
As a science and biology teacher with Parkland School District, Assistant Chief Search was integral in creating the Science of Firefighting course. This class introduces high school students to emergency services while maintaining a rich educational structure and strengthening respect for volunteerism in the community.
Along with his achievements as an assistant chief and teacher, Barry has been a long-time coach with Parkland athletics. He has served countless athletes with priceless coaching and guidance. Currently, Barry is still active with Parkland’s football and softball programs.
From all of the fire team, congratulations Barry and thank you! ... See moreSee less
Just before 15:00hrs, Cascade 3292 was dispatched with Station 25 (Trexlertown) for a mobile home fire. Crews assisted on the scene and provided air services before being released around 16:30hrs. Photo from Nester Video Production. ... See moreSee less
The cold snap in our region hasn't slowed calls for Woodlawn. After a few EMS assists during Tuesday's snow, crews were called just before 11pm to the 3300 block of Winchester Road for a dwelling fire. First arriving crews found fire on the second floor and an attached garage. Both 200ft crosslay lines and the 300ft rear preconnected line were deployed from Engine 3212 to make the attack, followed by extensive overhaul. The assignment was held to a first alarm plus special call for engines, assisted by Cetronia, Greenawalds, Tri-Clover, Western Salisbury's ladder and Egypt's RIT (Rapid Intervention Team); Western Salisbury also staffed an engine at Woodlawn's station to cover additional calls in the township. Cetronia Ambulance responded with a medic and rehab unit, and South Whitehall Fire Police secured the area from traffic and onlookers. Fire Marshal Frantz is investigating and crews cleared the scene around 2am.
At 7:50am, Woodlawn was requested for Cascade 3292, and later Tanker 3221, to a second alarm dwelling fire on Cemetary Road in the Friedens section of Washington Township, just south of Slatington. Crews refilled cylinders and assisted in suppression activities alongside several other companies from Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon and Schuylkill counties. Whitehall Fire Department Engine 3911 and 3711 moved up to Woodlawn's station to cover calls in South Whitehall. Engine 3911 handled one ems run. As of this posting, crews remain at the scene and the fire is not yet under control. Pictures from Nester Video Productions. ... See moreSee less
Just after 05:30hrs, Station 32 was dispatched to a commercial fire alarm in the 1200 block of Springhouse Road.
Arriving units were advised of a smoke condition on the first floor and the incident was upgraded to a structure fire bringing Western Salisbury Volunteer Fire Company-Truck 3131 and RIT from Whitehall Fire Department Engine 3912.
Truck 331 positioned on the bravo side and set up. Engine 3212 also positioned on the bravo side securing a water supply and deployed a 300” attack line. Engine 1111 staged and sent there crew to assist. Ladder 3131 positioned on the alpha side and deployed ground ladders.
After further investigation, crews found a seized motor on the first floor vestibule and ventilated. Crews were released around 07:00hrs. Engine 2611 also responded ... See moreSee less
It's a little tight around the engine house tonight, as Woodlawn has personnel staffing the station during tonight's snow. Fire Police 3252 and Jittney 3293 are in the bay to keep them out of the ice, and ready to respond promptly as needed. At this moment, Cascade 3292 is responding with five members to Lower Macungie for a reported building fire. Despite the reduced forecast, Woodlawn encourages you to stay safe tonight: don't drive unless absolutely necessary, use caution with your heating sources, and be prepared if ice causes power disruptions later on. ... See moreSee less