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




At approximately 5:15 PM, during a a tremendous thunderstorm, the Downingtown Fire Dept. was dispatched as part of the first alarm assignment for a house fire in 700 block of Marshallton-Thorndale Rd., in West Bradford Twp.

The crew from Tower 45 placed the first round of ground ladders around a barn that was converted to a three story house and then went to the third floor to check for fire extension and ventilation. The crew from Engine 46-2 assisted the crew from Rescue 38 with fire attack.

The crews from Engine 45 and Air-Light 46 remained un-committed at the scene, due to this being the fourth working house fire at the same time in Chester County during and after the storm.




The volunteers from Alert No. 1, Fame Fire Co. No. 3 of West Chester, Thorndale Fire Co. and the Wagontown Fire Co., who are some of the member companies of the Chester County Rescue Task Force participated in Paratech Rescue Strut Training.

The refresher training took place at the Chester County Public Safety Training Center and was conducted by Robert O’Donald who is a factory representative of Paratech Fire & Rescue Equipment. Mr. O’Donald travels across America and conducts Paratech Rescue Strut and Air Bag training at FDIC in Indianapolis and to many volunteer and career departments.  This was a great opportunity for the group to get some hands-on training with the tools that we have on our rescue apparatus and trailers, at the training center.




Volunteers from Alert No. 1, Lionville Fire Co. and the Fame Fire Co. No. 3 of West Chester, who are part of the Chester County Rescue Task Force participated in Emergency Boat Operations Training on April 8 and 9, 2017.  These swift water rescue teams as well as the others from our task force train in these and other technical rescue operations on a regular basis.

Below, are a few additional photos and two videos from the April training that was conducted on Susquehanna River, in Columbia, PA.  The photos and video are courtesy of Pavoncello Media Productions and WhiteCap Water Rescue Training, LLC.


Emergency Boats Ops Training – Video 2 – April 2017

Emergency Boat Ops Training – Video 1 – April 2017



Thank you again to all of our Sponsors, Golfers and Volunteers who made our Fourth Annual Alert Fire Co. No. 1 Golf Outing at the Ron Jaworski’s Downingtown Country Club another huge success.

Below, is a list of all of our 2017 Feature Sponsors, Hole Sponsors, Cart Sponsors and Door Prize Sponsors who helped make the Golf Outing a special-rewarding day. We thank you again for the support of our 100% volunteer fire company and we could not have done this annual event without your assistance.

The winning teams and the winners of the different challenges are as follows:

  • First Place Team: Team Tim Larkin Memorial with a score of 60 – Herb Mays, Bob Graham, Nick Iaquinta, Buddy Roop.
  • Second Place Team: Team Beauty and Beasts with a score of 65 – Nancy McFalls, Larry Galvin, Hank Church, Ray Walsh.
  • Third Place Team: Team Low Meadows with a score of 65 – Mike Caccavo, Paul McEvoy, Jon Wetty, Dan Styer.


  • Closest to the Pin (3rd Hole): Paul McEvoy.
  • Closest to the Pin (15th Hole): Women – Bev Brudnok, Nancy McFalls; Men – Howard Mawvy.
  • Closest to the Pin (17th Hole): Richard Orr.
  • Longest Drive, Female: Sandra Lammey
  • Longest Drive, Male: Buddy Roop

Photos of the outing will be added shortly.

We hope to see you all again next year – on May 7, 2018.

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At 12:45 PM, Tower 45 and Station 46 (Minquas Fire Co. No. 2) were dispatched as part of the First Alarm Assignment to assist Station 47 (Lionville Fire Co.) with a house fire on the 900 block of Evan Dr., Uwchlan Twp.

Chief 47 (Holmes) arrived on location with fire showing at a single family dwelling.  Chief 47 advised the crew from Engine 47-2 to deploy a 2-1/2″ attack line through the front door and for Tower 45 to set-up in front of the house.  The crew from Tower 45 (Lt. Hamilton) went to the second floor and pulled ceilings and walls for the engine companies.  All of the DFD volunteers assisted the mutual aid companies with the extensive overhaul operation.

Photos are courtesy of Nozzle Nut Photography.




Our volunteers were busy training again this weekend at two locations.  The first location was at the Chester County Public Safety Training Center in South Coatesville  Our newest member, Alex Green is currently enrolled in the Pennsylvania Dept. Health – Basic Vehicle Rescue Technician.  Upon completion of this course, Alex will have learned about topics such as vehicle rescue incident management, tools/equipment, vehicle anatomy/design, hazard control, patient access, care, and packaging; disentanglement, extrication and termination.

The next course also at CCPSTC, was attended by our Fire Police Officers Pat and Carmen Semenza.  They are enrolled in a new course that is titled Introduction to the Fire Service for the Fire Police.  This course is designed to introduce Fire Police to basic information including an overview of the fire service, fire service organization, firefighter safety, personal protective equipment, tools, emergency lighting and backing apparatus safely.

The third course for the weekend was the final and practical exam for new Driver Trainee John Follett and and Lt. Karl Stevens that attended the Montgomery County Fire Academy with Engine 45 for the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy – Pump Operations I and II.  This course provides the firefighter with an introduction to basic pump construction and theory as well as operating techniques. Emphasis is placed on getting water to the pump, getting water from the pump for hose streams, and prevention of common mistakes in pump operations. In addition, they learned about  friction loss, supply of standpipe and sprinkler systems, relay pumping, master streams, foam proportioners and elevated master streams.

Our volunteers are always eager and willing to learn something new or just sharpen their skills.  The DFD Officers would to thank our volunteers for taking time from their weekend to make themselves better at protecting our community.

Editors Note:  If you look close at one of the photos below, you will see our Engine 45 and an Engine from the Flourtown Fire Co. (Montgomery County) pumping with each other.  What is special about this photo is that past DFD Chief Bill Wilmot grew up and was a Junior Firefighter in Flourtown.  He then moved to Downingtown with his family and was a long-time member of Alert, in addition to his son Jeff becoming a member of Minquas in the 1970′s and 80′s.  During the class this weekend the youngest member of the Wilmot family of Flourtown had the opportunity to pump to her great-uncles fire company pumper.




April 8th and 9th was a busy weekend for the Alert No.1 volunteers.  Generally, every Spring and Fall are full of training events for emergency personnel to participate in.  And, this Spring is no different for some of our members that will be in training classes every weekend in April, so that we are better prepared to serve our citizens.

One of the training classes was hosted at the Alert firehouse in Downingtown this weekend.  The hosted class was the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission – Emergency Boat Operations and Rescue training.  Students attending this training represented the Chester County Rescue Task Force from Alert, Lionville Fire Co. and Fame Fire Co. No. 3 of West Chester.

The classroom portion of this training was held in the Alert training room with the boat and motor maintenance was shown and explained in their apparatus room on Saturday.  Practical hands on skills were demonstrated by the instructors and performed by the students on the Susquehanna River at Columbia on Sunday.  This training was conducted by WhiteCap Water Rescue Training, LLC.

Two other Alert volunteers participated in the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy – Pumper Operations I and II course.  This training took place at the Montgomery County Fire School in Consohocken with the students learning the proper techniques of pumping hand lines in addition to suburban and rural water supply.

Last but not least, our newest member of two months, jumped in with both feet and is enrolled in the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health – Basic Vehicle Rescue Technician training at the Chester County Public Safety Training Center in South Coatesville.  Upon completion of the BVRT class, he will have learn the basics of vehicle stabilization using several different methods and tools, patient extrication using manual and hydraulic powered tools and scene safety.

Our training never stops and our current volunteers are eager to learn new skills.

Boat Ops photos are courtesy of Pavoncello Media Productions, and WhiteCap Water Rescue.





Alert volunteers who are also members of the Chester County Rescue Task Force participated in a Grain Bin Rescue Awareness class taught by Dave Hill of the Penn State Extension Service Ag Rescue.

Other Task Force members attending the class were from Station 25 (Longwood Fire Co.) and Station 53 (Fame Fire Co. No. 3).  The team met at Null’s Towing in Cochranville for the class. After a classroom session discussing features and differences of grain bins and silos, the crews traveled to two area farms in Cochranville to look at a 36,000 bushel grain bin and its various features.  The team then entered another grain bin and walked on grain while discussing features and entrapment dangers.  Back at Null’s Towing, each person had the opportunity to become “victim” and become entrapped in grain while others used the coffer dam and auger to “rescue” the victim.

One would wonder why our volunteers would participate in Grain Bin Training when we sadly do not have any farms in the Borough of Downingtown or East Caln Twp. (our first-due area)?  However, we do have several Grain Bin type of structures in Downingtown, at Pepperidge Farm, Victory Brewing Co. and Hanson Quarry.  In addition, we never know when we will be called for any type of industrial and/or agricultural type of a rescue in our surrounding communities.

Thanks to Penn State Extension Service for a very informative class and thanks also to Null’s Towing for hosting this training class.

Some of these photos are courtesy of the Fame Fire Co. No. 3.




The Alert Fire Co. No. 1 will be hosting the Fourth Annual Alert Fire Co. No. 1 Golf Outing, on Monday, May 8, 2017 at Ron Jaworski’s Downingtown Country Club. There are several different opportunities for you or your business to join with us for this special event.  We are asking you to help us this year, by partnering with us and either being a sponsor or registering to play in the golf outing.

In the Information Packet, you will find several different Sponsor Levels to choose from. As one of our sponsors, you will have your name or business prominently displayed on our golf outing website ( ), our Facebook page and signage during the golf outing. In addition to the Sponsor Levels, we will gladly accept items that can be given away to our golfers as door prizes and raffles at the awards dinner and at registration. You can also register to golf in the outing on our golf outing website at .

Thank you for considering to golf in the outing, become a sponsors or a prize donation. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.  We hope to see you on May 8, 2017.  Registration deadline is May 2, 2017.

Alert Golf Outing Posting-2017-Website



At 3:50 PM, Tower 45, Engine 46-2 and MICU 46 of the Downingtown Fire Dept. were dispatched on the First Alarm Assignment to assist Station 49 (East Brandywine Fire Co.) with a house fire on Dilworth Rd., East Brandywine Twp.  Chief 49 (J. Edwards) arrived on location to find a historic farm house that is over 200 years old with a working fire in the attic and the roof.

The crew from Tower 45 (Lt. K. Stevens) assisted with ground ladders while the crew from Engine 46-2 assisted with overhaul.

Photos are courtesy of IrishEyez Photography.




At 12:11 AM, Engine 45 was dispatched as the Third-Due Engine Co. to assist Station 38 (Thorndale Fire Co.) on the initial alarm for an apartment building fire at the The Preserve at Milltown on Meadowlake Drive in Caln Twp.

Assistant Chief 38 (D. Taylor) arrived on location with smoke showing from the second floor.  The crew from Engine 38 advanced an 1-3/4″ hand-line to the second floor to begin the fire attack.  Engine 49-5 (East Brandywine Fire Co.) arrived next and supplied Engine 38 with their tank water, while the crew preformed search and rescue.  Engine 45 (Ass’t Chief J. Stevens) reverse laid 500′ of 5″ supply line from Engine 49-5 to a fire hydrant, while the crew advanced a back-up attack hand-line to the second floor apartment in the front of the building.

Battalion Chief 45 (Trego) was assigned an Operations Sector in the rear of the building while the crew from Engine 46-2 (Capt. Boyd) advanced an 1-3/4″ hand-line into the second floor exposure apartment in the rear of the building. Rescue 38 supplied Engine 46-2 from an additional fire hydrant in the complex.

After the fire was extinguished, all of the crews from the first and second alarms worked together with the salvage and overhaul operation.  Engine 45 was back at station and available at 4:30 AM.

The photos are courtesy of IrishEyez Photography.




The Downingtown Fire Dept. celebrated the accomplishments of 2016 at the 60th Annual DFD Banquet.  The guests enjoyed a buffet dinner at the St. Anthony’s Lodge Banquet Hall with the awards presentation and followed by dancing and socializing.

The following Alert No. 1 members received recognition for their volunteer service during 2016:

  • Jeff Griffiths – Firefighter of the Year
  • Debbi Follett – Fire Police of the Year
  • Josh Tatham – Meritorious Service
  • John Follett – Meritorious Service
  • Anthony Bensinger – Active Life Member (20 Years of Service)
  • John Carbo – Social Life Member (35 Years of Service)
  • Rich Rissel – Social Life Member (35 Years of Service)
  • Don Daily – 25 Years of Active Service
  • Chris Keen - 25 Years of Active Service
  • Kevin Larkin - 25 Years of Active Service
  • Carol Nelms - 25 Years of Active Service
  • Shane Colburn - 15 Years of Active Service
  • Jason Cary – 5 Years of Active Service
  • Allan Cunningham – 5 Years of Active Service
  • Kevin Johnson - 5 Years of Active Service
  • Mike McCarraher - 5 Years of Active Service
  • James Mostyn IV - 5 Years of Active Service

We would like to thank the Honey Brook Fire Co. (Rescue 33) and the West Whiteland Fire Co. (Tower 6) for standing-by at our station during the banquet.

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