I would like to thank my friends at the Alert Fire Co. No. 1 who volunteered to drive me around the streets of Downingtown Borough and East Caln Twp. on Engine 45, to visit with you, today.  All of the good boys and girls received a candy-cane that was handed out by my Alert Elves.

We started our travels in the West Ward of Downingtown at 9:00 AM and entered the East Ward of Downingtown in the early afternoon.  Then we covered East Caln Twp. in the mid to late afternoon.  I would like to thank the following Alert Elves who volunteered their entire day to drive me around the Good Neighbor Community.  They were Shaun Hamilton, J. D. Keen, George Monoghan, Jeff Stevens, Karl Stevens and Brett Wesson.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Santa Claus




The Downingtown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 845 and the Downingtown American Legion Post 475 hosted the Annual Memorial Parade today with the entire Downingtown Fire Dept. participating.

At the completion of the parade, a ceremony to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in battle during all of our past and current wars and conflicts was held at the Downingtown Area Veterans Memorial in Kerr Park.  As part of the ceremony, DFD Assistant Chief Glenn Heininger and Battalion Chief Joel Swisher each placed an antique speaking trumpet of flowers at the base of the World War II Memorial to honor the deceased DFD members who served our country.

We would like to pay a tribute to the following four members of the Alert Fire Co. No. 1, who paid the ultimate sacrifice during World War II.  They are Chester F. Harple, Herbert A. Kennedy, Dominick Marinelli and James Marinelli.  These four heros have their names permanently posted on a plaque inside of the Alert fire house.

Photos are courtesy of IrishEyez Photography and the Downingtown Area Veterans Memorial.




The Downingtown Fire Dept. was invited to attend a ceremony to honor first responders from Downingtown at the Williamson Masonic Lodge No. 309 F. A & M.

The event was coordinated by Coatesville Fire Dept. EMS Chief Scott Thornton, who is a member of the Williamson Lodge.  The Worshipful Master Daniel Hughes presided at the event and spoke about the similarities of Free Masons and emergency responders.  He then read the origins of where the first responder community began.  First, was the background of the fire service which then led into the EMS history and followed by the history of the modern police departments. The Worshipful Master then commented about what it takes, the dedication, the personal self-calling and the courage to be a first responder in the world today.  The Williamson Lodge emphasized and reminded us, that they fully support all of the members of the Downingtown Fire and Police Dept’s.  He encouraged the members of the lodge to stop-by or pick-up the phone and to just say thank you to the first responders for putting their lives on the line, so others may continue to be safe.

The service then concluded with a check presentation to each, the Alert Fire Co. No. 1, Minquas Fire Co. No. 2, Minquas EMS and the Downingtown Police Dept.

The Downingtown Fire Dept. would like to thank the Williamson Masonic Lodge No. 309 for inviting us to this ceremony, the donation and honoring those who serve the Good Neighbor Community.

Link to the Williamson Lodge 309 Website:

In the photo below are:  Front Row – Scott Thornton, Glenn Heininger, Bob Stevens, Vince Panetti.  Back Row – Ken Boyd, Tom Lee, Dan Hughes, Jeff Stevens.


Williamson Lodge_20May2015



Just as Tower 45 and Engine 46-1 (Minquas Fire Co. No. 2) were finishing with a ventilation operation at a third floor apartment building fire on W. Lancaster Ave., at 5:00 PM, the Downingtown Fire Dept. was dispatched for a working building fire with smoke showing in the 100 block of Wallace Ave. in the Borough.  Also, on the First Alarm were Ladder 41 (Coatesville FD), Station 47 (Lionville FC), Eng 6-1 (West Whiteland FC), Eng 5-5 (East Whiteland FC) and Eng 51-2 (First West Chester FC) as RIT.

Since Ambulance 46-3 was already returning to station from the apartment fire, they arrived on location and reported heavy smoke showing from the store on the end of the two story strip-mall shopping plaza.  Battalion Chief 46 quickly arrived on location and assumed Command, then requested a Second Alarm.  Eng 46-2 arrived within minutes of the dispatch since they were returning from the W. Lancaster Ave. fire, and they established a water supply from a hydrant across the street and deployed hand lines for the fire attack.  Rescue 45 arrived shortly after Eng 46-2 and the crew assisted with the fire attack.

Tower 45 arrived on location and set-up three stores past the store that was on fire.  The crew went to the roof, to work on a trench cut for a fire stop.  Eng 46-1 followed Tower 45 and deployed hand lines to assist Eng 46-2 with fire attack.  Ladder 41 promptly placed its aerial ladder to the roof at the rear north-west corner of the building.  Eng 5-5 laid a 5” supply line from the north side of the fire on Wallace Ave.  With the fire already moving fast through the common attic space in the plaza, the crew on the roof was removed before the trench cut could be completed.  Tower 47 was placed on the front north-east corner of the building, while the Eng 47-2 crew assisted the Eng 5-5 crew with fire attack.  Eng 6-1 laid a 5” supply line on Wallace Ave., from the south, to Eng 46-1.

The Second Alarm consisted of Station 38 (Thorndale FC), Eng 6-2 and Rescue 6, Air 52 (Goodwill Fire Co. No. 2), Ladder 53 (Fame Fire Co. No.3) and Eng 56 (Goshen FC) as the second RIT plus Amb/Medic 187 (Uwchlan Ambulance Assoc.).  Ladder 53 placed its ladder pipe in operation at the southeast corner of the building.  And, all of the crews of the Second Alarm were assigned defensive fire attack functions.

Due to most of the fire hydrants in the area of the fire building already being used, a Tanker Task Force was requested to help supplement the fire hydrant system.  The Tanker Task Force consisted of Tanker 39, Eng’s 39-1 (West Bradford FC), Tanker 52 (Goodwill Fire Co. No. 2), Eng 49-5 (East Brandywine FC) and Eng 3-5 (Paoli FC).  A second Tanker Task Force was added, consisting of Eng 39-2 (West Bradford FC), Tankers 61-1 and 61-2 (Kimberton FC), Eng 63-5 (Liberty of Spring City), Eng 33-5 (Honey Brook FC) and Tanker 25 (Longwood FC).  Then, the Third Alarm was struck for relief man power to assist with the extensive overhaul operations.  They were Eng 8-1 (Keystone Valley FD), Eng 61 (Kimberton FC) and Eng 73-1 (Ludwigs Corner FC).

The last DFD units returned to station at 3:00 AM on May 13, 2015 after ten hours of operation, at the scene.  The DFD would like to thank the area Fire Police units and volunteers for the support at the fire scene, at the multiple fire hydrant locations and the multiple tanker fill sites that were used.

We would like to thank the countless citizens, who were not affiliated any fire company that pitched-in to help move fire hoses to the side of Wallace Ave. so that additional fire trucks could get to scene.  And, those citizens who donated bottles of water and gave them to the firefighters, as well.  In addition we would like to thank Margo’s Ice Cream Parlor, Lione’s Pizza, Cocco’s Pizza, Station Taproom, Victory Brewing Co., PJ Whelihan’s, Wawa and Wegman’s Food Market for their donations of food and water for all of the Firefighters, EMS, Fire Police and Police that were at the scene.  This truly shows that we do live in the “Good Neighbor Community”.   Thanks again, to everybody who volunteered their time and service during this time of need.

Photos are courtesy of IrishEyez Photography, Dave Smiley Jr and Ed Dugan.

Ed Dugan-1NPP-IE-12NPP-IE-11NPP-IE-10-1NPP-IE-8NPP-ShamiltonNPP-IE-5NPP-IE-3NPP-IE-15NPP-IE-14NPP-IE-1NPP-IE-2DS-2DS-3DS-1234165159132128NPP-IE-18NPP-IE-28NPP-IE-29NPP-IE-27NPP-IE-17NPP-IE-19NPP-IE-22NPP-IE-25NPP-IE-23NPP-IE-26



The Alerts hosted the Second Annual Golf Outing today at the Ron Jaworski’s Downingtown Country Club in Downingtown, PA. Golfers registered and gathered for lunch at 11:30 AM, then they hit the links at 1:00 PM for the Shotgun Start. After a great afternoon on the course, everybody gathered in the club for an Awards Dinner.  We would like to thank all of our sponsors, golfers and volunteers for supporting our event and we look forward to seeing you again, next May.

Below are the results of the First, Second and Third Place finishing teams:

  • First Place (Score – 56): “Team Downingtown” – Herb Mays, Joe Avellino, Chris Scott and Jon Gruss.
  • Second Place (Score – 63): “Team Keller Williams Real Estate” – Dan Brudnok, Steve McFalls, Richard Orr and David Orr.
  • Third Place (Score – 64): “Team Chiropractic Arts & Rehab Therapeutics” – Mitch Merriam, Chris Chensee, Pat Miller and Don Kienz.

Other Prize Winners:

  • Closest To The Pin: Hole 3 – Bob Belwoar, Hole 15 – Jim Mayrides, Hole 17 – Kathy Richards.
  • Longest Drive: Gary Beideman.

All proceeds from the annual golf outing will benefit the Alert Fire Co. No. 1, directly.  Alert is 100% volunteer and a non-profit organization.  Also, please visit us on Facebook at .


  • Belfor Property Restoration – Registration
  • Metropolitan Communications, Inc. – Beverage Carts
  • Jeff D’Ambrosio Auto Group – Hole In One
  • Glick Fire Equipment Co., Inc. – Closest to the Pin
  • Tim Larkin Memorial – Closet to the Pin
  • Ron Jaworski’s Downingtown Country Club – First, Second and Third Place Team Awards


  • Swisher Plumbing
  • Eagle Investment Advisors
  • Lione’s Pizza Restaurant
  • Milanese Remodeling
  • Keystone Volunteer Insurance Group
  • Dan Brudnock – Keller Williams Realty
  • LanMark Electric
  • Roberts Automall
  • James J. Terry Funeral Home
  • EntireTech Group Websites
  • Daily Equipment Repair
  • Metropolitan Communications
  • Jeff D’Ambrosio Auto Group
  • Glick Fire Equipment Co., Inc.
  • 10-8 Emergency Vehicle Service
  • Fire Line Equipment
  • Belfor Property Restoration
  • Sherwin-Williams Paints
  • Tim Larkin Memorial


  • St. Anthony’s Restaurant
  • Downingtown Country Gifts
  • Studio 3 Frames and Gifts
  • Coffee Cup Restaurant
  • Amani’s BYOB Restaurant
  • Bakers of Buffington
  • Barra Rossa Restorante
  • Italian Village
  • Station Taproom
  • Victory Brewing Company
  • Bud-N-Bloom Boutique
  • Virginia Donnolo’s Florals & Gifts
  • LoweRiders Bikes & Boards
  • Will Anderson – State Farm Insurance
  • United Tire & Service – East Caln
  • Lou Beverage
  • Thorndale Beverage
  • Ron Jaworski’s Downingtown Country Club
  • James J. Terry Funeral Home
  • Lasko Products, Inc.
  • Golf Digest Magazine
  • Wawa Food Markets
  • Primo Hoagies
  • Wegmans Food Market
  • Green Street Grill
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Downingtown Running Co.
  • Crossroads Hotel & Bar
  • P. J. Whelihan’s Pub & Restaurant
  • Chili’s Restaurant
  • DNB First
  • Citadel Federal Credit Union
  • Warrior Custom Golf
  • The FireStore
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates
  • Philadelphia Flyers
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Golfsmith
  • Play-A-Round Golf

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This morning, volunteers of the Downingtown Fire Dept. took a vacation day from their regular jobs to participate in the Annual Pre-Prom Mock Auto Accident at the Downingtown West High School. The target audience for the event was the Junior Class of DWHS and the mock crash simulated the consequences of either texting and/or drinking and driving.

The DFD volunteers from Rescue 45 (Alert No. 1) and Engine 46-2 and EMS (Minquas Fire Company No. 2) with Uwchlan EMS  (Station 87) removed the doors from both cars and the roof of one of the cars, so that the students in the auto accident could be extricated from the two car, head-on accident.

After the patients were removed, Office Coyle of the Downingtown Police Dept. took “Crime Scene” photos and conducted an accident scene investigation. At the end of the demonstration, Brad Cosgrove (Minquas EMS) and Officer Coyle described the process of the accident extrication and answered questions of the students.

The Downingtown Fire Dept. would like to thank the Downingtown West High School for inviting us to participate in this important “live” public safety message for our young people.

The photo is courtesy of the DASD.




Congratulations to our Downingtown Fire Dept. volunteers, Dylan Seese (Alert Fire Co. No. 1) and Shannon Adamson (Minquas Fire Co. No. 2) who successfully completed the required WRER (Water Rescue & Emergency Response) training to allow them to now be a member of the Downingtown Fire Dept. Water Rescue Team.

Although, there is still more DFD training required for them to be qualified for Emergency Boat Operations, Advanced Line Systems and Ice Rescue, the WRER certification is a big accomplishment for these two volunteers, and they should be congratulated.

A job, well done Dylan and Shannon; welcome to the team. This is only the beginning of more water rescue training!



The following is an article from WhiteCap Water Rescue Training, LLC:

Rescue Members Complete Water Rescue Training

This weekend April 11-12, 2015, the Kennett Fire Company hosted Water Rescue & Emergency Response training. Kennett Fire Company, Station 24 is located in the borough of Kennett Square, Chester County, PA. This training is the Operations Level of water rescue training. WhiteCap Water Rescue Training (WWRT) provided the training. The following instructors from WhiteCap Water Rescue Training lead this training session Alex Myers, Scott Davis, Kenny McCardell and Todd A. Stahl. WWRT was assisted by Technician Level members Jeff Stevens, Alert Fire Company-Downingtown; Bryan Franks, Avondale Fire Company and Steve Shelton, Kennett Fire Company

This 16-hour course includes many valuable swift water rescue techniques. The course provides the base on which all other PA Fish & Boat Commission courses are built. Using both classroom, indoor pool and practical hands-on training, Water Rescue & Emergency Response covers planning, medical considerations, rescue equipment, self-rescue and shore-based rescue techniques. This course meets or exceeds NFPA 1670 Operations Level Guidelines.

The lecture part of the training was held at Station 24, Kennett Fire Company training room, with the indoor pool session taking place at the Lionville YMCA. The moving water session of the training was held on the Schuylkill River, Montgomery County.

There were 22 students participated in this WRER Training. WRER students hailed from: Kennett Fire Company, Lincoln Fire Company-Montgomery County, Fame Fire Company-West Chester, Alert and Minquas Fire Companies-Downingtown, Po-Mar-Lin Fire Company, Avondale Fire Company and Friendship Fire Company Dive Team-Phoenixville. Chris Plumley, Chief of the Kennett Fire Company scheduled and coordinated this training.

The water flow on the Schuylkill River was measured at 2,410 cfs. Water temperature was 44 degrees. The weather on this day started out with a cool 37 degrees, eventually warming with sunny skies and 68 degrees.

Students attending, successfully completed the indoor pool session, passed their Written and Practical Exams for WRER. An excellent group of students to work with. All students were properly outfitted and inspected their gear prior to arriving at the site. Upon starting the training, the students performed a site assessment and identified all hazards, shoreline conditions and water dynamics. A fantastic job by all! We at WhiteCap Water Rescue Training are impressed by how the students performed.

WhiteCap Water Rescue Training would like to thank Kennett Fire Company for hosting this WRER Training. A huge thank you for the dedication and professionalism by this group of students.

For more information on water rescue training and or rescue equipment visit us at…/contact Todd

Follow us on Facebook; WhiteCap Water Rescue Training and also available on Instagram; WhiteCap




Shortly before 2:00 PM, Rescue 45 was dispatched to assist Station 39 (West Bradford Fire Co.) as the second due rescue company at an auto accident with entrapment at Broad Run and Shadyside Rd’s., West Bradford Twp.

The crew from Rescue 45 (Lt. Stevens) assisted the Rescue 39 team with extrication and patient removal from the four door sedan.  Ambulance 37-2 (Modena Fire Co.) transported the male patient to the hospital.

Photos are courtesy of IrishEyez Photography.




Just before 3:00 PM Brush 45 (Lt. Hamilton), Brush 5 (East Whiteland Fire Co.) and Brush 6 (West Whiteland Fire Co.) were dispatched to assist Station 47 (Lionville Fire Co.) with a large woods and brush to the rear of the homes on Stoughton Circle in Uwchlan Twp.

Later in the evening, as just about every brush truck in Chester County was either returning or still out fighting brush fires, Brush 45 (Lt. K. Stevens) was requested to assist Station 49 (East Brandywine Fire Co.) and Station 48 (Glen Moore Fire Co.) with a woods fire on Crawford Rd. in East Brandywine Twp.  The crews were back at station and called-it-a-night at 10:15 PM.

Photo is courtesy of Lionville Fire Co.

Alert Minquas Fire Companies-Alert Minquas-0029Courtesy of Lionville Fire Co.




At 1:35 PM, Rescue 45 was dispatched to assist Station 49 (East Brandywine Fire Co.) and Engine 48-1 (Glen Moore Fire Co.), as the second due rescue for an auto accident with entrapment.  The accident occurred on Rt. 322 at Corner Ketch Rd., East Brandywine Twp.

Rescue 45 (Asst. Chief Ashbee) assisted the group already on location with stabilization, the extrication and patient removal.

All photos are courtesy of the East Brandywine Fire Co.




Three Alert No. 1 Rescue Technicians (Dylan Seese, Brett Wesson and Jeff Stevens), along with other members of the Chester County Rescue Task Force from the Fame Fire Co. No. 3 (Jim Leon) and the Wagontown Fire Co. (David Stein, Matt Stein and John Yearsly) took part in training and certification of the NASAR (National Assoc. For Search And Rescue) Land SARTECH (Search And Rescue Technician) Level III and II training over the past two weeks.

The training and certification was conducted by our Chester County K-9 Search and Rescue Task Force member Craig Snyder.  Other groups that took part in the training were K-9 Speacialist from PACSAR, DELSAR and Middle Creek SAR Teams.  The training took place at the Chester County Public Safety Training Center, the Fivepointville Ambulance Assn. and Brubaker Park in East Earl Twp. with the certification in the French Creek State Park.

IMG_0455IMG_0456IMG_0454IMG_0452IMG_0457IMG_0473IMG_0475IMG_0476IMG_0480IMG_0477Fire Tower



Recently, some of the officers of the Downingtown Fire Dept. traveled to New York City to get trained and pick-up the new Firehouse Innovations Corp. ( ) “Multi-Force” Forcible Entry Door Systems Prop.  Firehouse Innovations and the Mulit-Force Door System were created by Mike Perrone, who is a 32 year member of the FDNY and is currently with Ladder 175 in Brooklyn, NY.  The DFD team spent several hours with Mike, in his driveway, learning new techniques in forcible entry, on our new prop, from a an expert that does this everyday!

This new door prop is a valuable training tool for the volunteers of the DFD and it allows us to do much-needed forcible entry training in a safe and controlled environment, whenever we want to do it, right here in Downingtown.  In the past, we would only be able to conduct live forcible entry training on acquired abandon, generally unsafe, structures, within Downingtown Borough or East Caln Twp.  And, we do not find many abandon structures structures in our neighborhoods, therefore we do not get many opportunities do have live training within our first-due district!

The following is information from the Firehouse Innovations website about the door system:  This patented door system provides the ability to force left or right-handed, opening in or opening out doors, metal or wood jambs.  All on the same door system.  You can even use angle iron on the door to simulate high security apartment doors.

This door allows you to use the gapping method and conventional forcible entry methods on opening-in metal jams (like on apartment doors).  Hydra-Rams & Rabbit Tools can also be used.

Opening-out forcible entry on metal jambs can also be used (like on commercial buildings or bulkhead doors).  Also, you can use the spiking method on the wood jamb simulator (like on private dwelling doors). 

In addition, the door is used every year to train over 300 firefighters at Fire Engineering’s FDIC HOT (Hands-On Training) Forcible Entry Class in Indiana.”



And, we would like to thank the Board of Supervisors of East Caln Twp. who purchased the new door system for the Downingtown Fire Dept., from the Fire Safety Fund.  The money that is in the East Caln Twp. Fire Safety Fund is paid by the commercial properties, within the township for use by the Downingtown Fire Dept., for items that are necessary for training, operations and the safety of our volunteers.  Thank you again East Caln Twp. for being proactive in establishing the fund and allowing the department to purchase these types of state-of-the-art tools.




The Downingtown Fire Dept. celebrated the accomplishments of 2014 at the 58th Annual DFD Banquet.  The guests enjoyed a buffet dinner at the Downingtown Country Club with the awards presentation and followed by dancing and socializing.

The following Alert No. 1 members received recognition for their volunteer service during 2014:

  • Bob Siter – Firefighter of the Year
  • Andy Follett – Fire Police of the Year
  • Josh Tatham – Meritorious Service and 10 Years of Active Service
  • Patrick Butler – 15 Years of Active Service
  • Pete Duca - 15 Years of Active Service
  • Jonathan Keen - 15 Years of Active Service
  • Phil Moore - 15 Years of Active Service
  • Pat Butler - 45 Years of Active Service
  • Bob Stevens - 55 Years of Active Service
  • Jim McGowan - 35 Years of Social Member – Life Membership
  • Jason Cary – Outgoing Trustee (now Vice President)
  • Susan Schoellkopf – Outgoing Financial Secretary (now Treasurer)
  • Donna Abel – Outgoing Treasurer
  • Jeff Stevens – Outgoing Vice President (now President)
  • Pat Butler – Outgoing President


We would like to thank the Lafayette Fire Co. (Lancaster County), Christiana Fire Co. (New Castle, DE) and the Amity Fire Co. (Berks County) for standing-by and running the calls for the DFD while we were out-of-service.