Firefighters to Raze Defunct Cabins In Training Exercise

Firefighters to Raze Defunct Cabins In Training Exercise
Pike County Dispatch, Thursday, July 5, 2018
by Wayne Witkowski

DINGMANS FERRY – Delaware Township’s Volunteer Fire Company will come to the rescue of the township.  But this time, it will involve starting fires.

The fire company has offered to raze six different cabins at Akenac Park as part of a simulated firefighting drill exercise, either as part of a Tuesday drill exercise or on a Sunday morning.

Supervisors unanimously passed the motion at last week’s meeting, stipulating that specifics on the dates will be arranged between the fire company, Roadmaster Vince Flatt and the township.  The motion included, after input from Assistant Township Alternate Solicitor Robert Bernathy sitting in for Thomas Farley, requirements that the properties be secured with warning signage of possible dangers for intruders and to present insurance and works compensation coverage for the project to the township.

The subject drew lengthy discussion during the workshop before the meeting and during the regular session among supervisors and Interim Emergency Management Coordinator George Beodeker and fire company members Michael Cairns and Sean Hughes, the assistant chief.  Work is expected to begin soon.

The fire company offered to help when the township could not find anyone willing to remove the cabins and re-use some of the discarded materials.

Unlike the statewide shortage of volunteers, Cairns said sever new volunteers have joined the fire company.  “We’re really building membership,” Cairns said.  Cairns, who heads firefighter training, said three members have completed 180 hours of advanced Firefighter I Training.  That training can qualify them for salaried positions with larger city departments if they choose or need to take that route.

Firefighters will select one cabin at a time, likely on a monthly basis, ignite it and then practice drills to contain and extinguish the fire.

“We’re looking to go separately through each building to take full advantage for practical training skills.  This will greatly benefit our guys,” Beodeker said.  “It would be impossible for us to have (created) this for training.  Modern standards are too strict for that.”

Cairns said he recently went on a training program in Indianapolis with details that he is passing onto members.  “It included going to a structure fire and salvage techniques.  There are only certain ways to do this and this real world scenario of things such as cutting through a shingled roof would be phenomenal for our members.”

Board of Supervisors Chairman John Henderson recommended the fire company use this as a public relations exercise to the public so people can see from a safe distance how firefighters handle emergencies.

“I think it will be really neat to show what these guys do, but the sooner we get this done, the better,” said Henderson, commending the work of the fire company.

“We’ll work with whatever you give us,” said Hughes.  “You don’t get this opportunity very often.  This will also be great training for our fire police.”


Also at the meeting, the board appointed five members to the revived Recreation Board in separate motions including Melanie Palma, Jason Ganly, Melissa Llewellyn, Mary Faust and Rebecca Kochovos.  Beodeker suggested the new Rec Board could meet in the empty building across from the municipal building that was updated 12 year ago and once used by the fire company.  “It does not require much work and to put it to some use would be worth it,” Beodeker said.

The board read a letter from Leonard Glamann that he was stepping down from the township’s Planning Commission.  Supervisors praised Glamann’s latest service as chairman of the commission, and vice chairman Ron Hough will assume those duties as board members decide on the next chairman.

“He (Glamann) just said at the last meeting that it’s time.  There are no real issues,” Hough said.  “He said he wasn’t going to do that (step down) until the SALDO (subdivision and land ordinance) is done.”

An extensively reworked version of the SALDO will be presented in a public hearing at 7:15pm during the next meeting on July 11 and put to vote.

The board approved a motion for that date and time at last week’s meeting.

The board also tabled a motion to advertise for a public hearing on Medical Marijuana Amendments to township zoning Ordinance 110 and Ordinance 901 Definitions.