New Tripoli, Weisenberg 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.
New Tripoli Fire Company Capt. Ryan Williams, Chief Peter Christ and Lt. Kyle Watson attended the graduation for Phillip Hobel and Josh Dietrich.
According to information provided by Williams, both Hobel and Dietrich spent three days a week attending the Buck County Firefighter 1 Fire Academy between Jan. 3 to the end of May, while also attending high school during the day.
“Going through 192 hours on intense training from, HazMat, CPR, Firefighter 1 National Certification, these two now have become a huge asset to our department now that they have completed the academy and continuously strive to better their education and training of the fire service,” Williams emailed The Press. “Here at New Tripoli Fire Company training is something that comes as the second most important thing, first being our brotherhood and making our families one family.
“Our leadership and fellow members continue to guide one another to better their education and skills of what may be seen on the street.
“Our training is endless and can be tough, but with the brotherhood we have no one does it alone.”
Recognized by instructors as the most outstanding student in the course was Jeffrey Broadhurst, of the Weisenberg Volunteer Fire Department.
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.