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    Default Was there an alarm system? Insurance?

    Blaze at Pennsylvania Station Ruins Antique Truck, Others

    RYAN LECKEY
    Story by WNEP-TV


    Volunteer firefighter's (sic) answered a 911 call at their own fire house early Monday.

    Click here to view video

    The place that stored their trucks, equipment and gear was gone in a matter of minutes. Volunteers said it was like battling a blaze at their own home.

    An electrical problem is what the Forestville fire chief believes started MOnday morning's blaze. Flames wrecked the department's garage where it stored about a million dollars worth of equipment just west of Pottsville.

    Firefighters at Forestville Volunteer Fire Department are used to getting calls in the middle of the night, but not like the one they got early Monday.

    "My heart just sank," said firefighter Shannon Dewald.

    "Everybody's just devastated," said Forestville Fire Chief Fred Meusel.

    The garage that stored their gear and their trucks went up in flames around 12:30 a.m.

    "I pulled up and it was already almost gone and it only took me a minute to get up here," Dewald added.

    As flames gutted the garage, crews grabbed whatever equipment they could out of the department's four fire trucks. Only one rig was saved.

    The vehicles ruined by flames include the department's new brush truck and one of the company's most prized possessions, its 1931 antique truck which holds a lot of memories for a lot people.

    "The fire truck, the one from 1931. Since I was a little girl Santa would come around on it," said department finance secretary Angie Wagner.

    No one was hurt in the blaze and the department's social hall next to the scorched garage was not damaged. It was in the social hall over the weekend where members held a fundraiser to help keep the department afloat.

    Now, other fire companies are coming to the rescue. They've offered equipment, support and manpower to make sure when the next fire call comes in Forestville and the surrounding communities are safe.

    If you'd like to help the Forestville Volunteer Fire Department, donations can be dropped off or mailed to First National Bank, 260 Sunbury Street, Minersville, PA. 17954.

    A state police fire marshal will try to pinpoint the exact cause of the fire.
    Wouldn't you think that a company with $1 million in equipment inside a firehouse would have it adequately protected? Before I go off, does anyone know if this place had an alarm system?
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    I am sure that most VFD's are not alarmed, or sprinkled. And most probably have close to 1 mil inside the building.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmagette View Post
    I am sure that most VFD's are not alarmed, or sprinkled. And most probably have close to 1 mil inside the building.
    You're new here. We have had this discussion for years here. You are,sadly, correct.

    To recap years of my posts, it is wrong for a FD to place most, if not all, of a municipalities emergency response assets into a building that has no alarm systems and roll the dice that nothing will happen. Having no insurance is just irresponsible.

    Seems to me that if you can afford $1 mil. worth of equipment, you have a few bucks left over for an alarm system and insurance.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    George I agree with you completely, however nowadays a mil worth of equipment is not that much. I work in a old 2 story firehouse and even with a extremely limited budget I recently did an assessment for our insurance company and found that we are nearly at a mil when you include everything.

    The chief and I have been trying our hardest for the past 2 years to get some alarm equipment donated (even from an old building) so we can protect our building. Think of some of the larger stations out there and what may be tied up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hatchmaster View Post
    George I agree with you completely, however nowadays a mil worth of equipment is not that much. I work in a old 2 story firehouse and even with a extremely limited budget I recently did an assessment for our insurance company and found that we are nearly at a mil when you include everything.

    The chief and I have been trying our hardest for the past 2 years to get some alarm equipment donated (even from an old building) so we can protect our building. Think of some of the larger stations out there and what may be tied up.
    Why does it have to be donated? Are you telling me that you can't find $1000 in that bidget to install an alarm system and have it monitored? I'll bet you could if you tried. I'll also bet that you could do it for less than $1000.

    As far as insurance, there are packages to fit every need. If you are a municipal agency, check with your local govt. to find out what you have. If you are on your own, go to an independent insurance agent and get some quotes on a package that provides not only property coverage, but liability coverage as well. You are going to be surorised at how inexpensive it can be.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Why does it have to be donated? Are you telling me that you can't find $1000 in that bidget to install an alarm system and have it monitored? I'll bet you could if you tried. I'll also bet that you could do it for less than $1000.

    As far as insurance, there are packages to fit every need. If you are a municipal agency, check with your local govt. to find out what you have. If you are on your own, go to an independent insurance agent and get some quotes on a package that provides not only property coverage, but liability coverage as well. You are going to be surorised at how inexpensive it can be.
    The problem I see is local governments have this belief that nothing is going to happen to them. My career department has a 12 million dollar annual budget. All eight fire stations have alarm systems. However the code only requires that the building be alarmed and not monitored. Our department is all about saving the taxpayers money by meeting minimum standards.
    We use ISO manning standards because they require the least. We have two person engines and one person ladder trucks. When we show up at a multi-story commercial structure fire we have two engines, one ambulance, and one ladder truck. I have seven people because that is all the ISO standard requires.

    I agree buildings should be alarmed and monitored. I just think we should not be so hard on volunteers who are in a balancing act of what they I need more. Basic equipment or a alarm system they believe will never be needed.

    When fire is cried and danger is neigh,
    "God and the firemen" is the people's cry;
    But when 'tis out and all things righted,
    God is forgotten and the firemen slighted.
    ~Author unknown, from The Fireman's Journal, 18 Oct 1879

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    or a alarm system they believe will never be needed.
    And as we have seen many times on these forums alone....they are wrong and the systems were needed. Now, they find themselves without alarm systems and without FF equipment.

    But they saved that few hundred dollars on not getting ANY type of alarm system.



    Does anyone here teach fire prevention? Isn't part of that message to have smoke detectors and change the batteries at least twice a year? Wouldn't you think the guys that "teach" the public that stuff.....might follow their own teachings???????
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    The Station in use when I joined the VFD in 1958 was a Two Story Concrete (Yes, Concrete) Block 30x40 Foot Structure housing a 45 Mack, a 48 Mack, (Both 500 gpm Pumpers) a 55 Chevy Pickup (2x4) Brush Rig, and a 55 Cadillac Ambulance. Replacement Value - Under $100,000.00 Total. No Alarm or Protection Devices at all.

    In 1962 we moved into a New 120x50 Station with the 45 Mack, a 59 International, The Cadillac, and a 52 Dodge (4x4) Brush Rig. The station had a State of the Art Fire Detection System, a Kidde "Rate of Rise" System that was hooked to the Station Siren. In theory, a Fire in the building would trip the Siren. There was also a number of Pull Stations. Replacement Value - $250,000.00

    In 1992, we occupied our current Station, witha 1985 Spartan 1000 gpm, a 1979 Spartan 1000 gpm, a 89 Chevy 4x4 Brush Truck, a 1992 Marion Heavy Rescue, a 1992 Seagrave 105 ft Tower Ladder and a 1991 Ford Ambulance. AND the 45 Mack....... This Station is Fully Sprinklered, has Pull Stations, Smoke Detectors, and Water Flow Alarms. Roof Hatches over the Bays are on a Fusible Link System and everything is monitored by a Central Station Alarm Company. Replacement Value - $5,750,000.00

    We've been able to keep up with the times, and being in a County that has Mandated Sprinklers for all Structures since 1990 has been a big help.
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    Harve, are you sure that it wasn't just stacked stones and a fire truck that you powered with your feet? Hard to burn anything in Bedrock, isn't it?
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    And as we have seen many times on these forums alone....they are wrong and the systems were needed. Now, they find themselves without alarm systems and without FF equipment.

    But they saved that few hundred dollars on not getting ANY type of alarm system.



    Does anyone here teach fire prevention? Isn't part of that message to have smoke detectors and change the batteries at least twice a year? Wouldn't you think the guys that "teach" the public that stuff.....might follow their own teachings???????
    Wouldn't it be easier to just bang our heads on the wall?
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    What good would having smoke dectors do? No one was there I am assuming and if no one sleeps at the firehouse they would be useless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmagette View Post
    What good would having smoke dectors do? No one was there I am assuming and if no one sleeps at the firehouse they would be useless.
    Although you missed the suggestion of central station monitoring, I'll move on to another point... Does your fire department teach people to have smoke detectors in their homes? If so, you should have smoke detectors in your fire station -- based on general principle alone.

    Our station is horrible. No sprinklers in any of our daily-use areas. No alarm system to speak of. Smoke detectors are store-bought, battery operated. However, we're building a new one and I'm told we'll do a better job of practicing what we preach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmagette View Post
    What good would having smoke dectors do? No one was there I am assuming and if no one sleeps at the firehouse they would be useless.
    Your not really serious with this question....are you?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I'm happy to say that my station has the most advanced commercial alarm system in town from Notifier. It is maybe 5 years old but nothing new has been built in town since then so it is still the newest!). I replaced a very old and delapidated system, but at least there was something before that. Suffice to say, if there is a hint of a fire in our station, we'll know about it long before it is blasting out the roof. The system is connected by two redundent lines right to our dispatch center. No alarm company delays.

    It would be completely irresponsibe of us to store several million dollars worth of equipment in a firehouse with NO fire alarm. Doesn't anything about that seem a little wierd to people?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Guys I was not saying that a firehouse should not have smoke dectors. I was stating that in the case of this fire it would have done no good unless they were hooked to a monitored alarm system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    And as we have seen many times on these forums alone....they are wrong and the systems were needed. Now, they find themselves without alarm systems and without FF equipment.

    But they saved that few hundred dollars on not getting ANY type of alarm system.



    Does anyone here teach fire prevention? Isn't part of that message to have smoke detectors and change the batteries at least twice a year? Wouldn't you think the guys that "teach" the public that stuff.....might follow their own teachings???????
    You would think so!...

    When fire is cried and danger is neigh,
    "God and the firemen" is the people's cry;
    But when 'tis out and all things righted,
    God is forgotten and the firemen slighted.
    ~Author unknown, from The Fireman's Journal, 18 Oct 1879

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmagette View Post
    What good would having smoke dectors do? No one was there I am assuming and if no one sleeps at the firehouse they would be useless.
    This is a valid statement to a point.
    My fire station has an alarm system that cost a $1000.00 or maybe even more. Itís not monitored. Should a fire break out while were all out of the station. There would be no one to hear that the alarm. If it wasn't for the sprinkler system the building could burn to the ground and no one would know until when back to the station.

    The system only serves a purpose when station is occupied.
    Last edited by cubbie; 10-29-2008 at 02:56 PM.

    When fire is cried and danger is neigh,
    "God and the firemen" is the people's cry;
    But when 'tis out and all things righted,
    God is forgotten and the firemen slighted.
    ~Author unknown, from The Fireman's Journal, 18 Oct 1879

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    No fire alarm, but the vehicles, the gear inside them and the building is covered by insurance. I don't know about the bunker gear and the gym equipment, but that's a minor part. Our social hall and office is acutally next door and also covered by insurance, so they won't both go up in smoke.

    We have a burglary alarm, I'm sure a fire will set of the infrared detectors
    It's a little controversial about the lack of fire alarm or sprinklers, but budget is tight and every penny spent is spent on things we need to save life, property and the enviroment. We could use a lot of things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bum291 View Post
    No fire alarm, but the vehicles, the gear inside them and the building is covered by insurance. I don't know about the bunker gear and the gym equipment, but that's a minor part. Our social hall and office is acutally next door and also covered by insurance, so they won't both go up in smoke.

    We have a burglary alarm, I'm sure a fire will set of the infrared detectors
    It's a little controversial about the lack of fire alarm or sprinklers, but budget is tight and every penny spent is spent on things we need to save life, property and the enviroment. We could use a lot of things.
    Not sure if you are understanding this right. Yes, all fire departments are insured, or should be anyway. That isn't the point. The point is that all fire stations need a sprinkler system monitored by an alarm company. At the very least, an alarm system that is monitored.
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    Oh, i think i understood it pretty well.

    The point? I could read insurance in the very topic of this thread. I'd say that insurance is an absolute requirement. With it, you can fix a firehouse that was devastated by other reasons as well, say a semi-truck lost the road and went trough the wall.

    We have a long list of things that we need and could use, fire alarm or sprinklers are quite far down the list, and retrofitting sprinklers to the building would be quite costly. We recently purchased a brand new Rosenbauer Fox 3, we badly needed that one. No money for alarms and sprinklers.

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    No one is objecting to the need for resources, however readers begin to split hairs and miss the principle of George Wendt's post. If the national fire service preaches home fire prevention, fire safety in the school and workplace and so on, then why not take those same steps and use them in the quarters, regardless of staffing or department type? Insurance is good, but it does not alert your members to an odor of smoke in the apparatus bay, and it does not alert members - or other companies - to a fire alarm in your quarters.

    It would be far better, especially in these economic times, to have to rebuild a kitchen or other room, instead of a whole department, building, rigs, equipment and PPE, all from the ground up. Charity can only get us so far. And, we haven't begun to look at the aspect of accountability towards the municipality they protect, from the department's administration. Certainly our elected officials and citizens would expect the fire department to be the one building safe from fire.

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    George,
    What did you do? You even have the webteam on your side now!! What's next, Capt Bobby and lil' bob?

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    Quote Originally Posted by michfire View Post
    George,
    What did you do? You even have the webteam on your side now!! What's next, Capt Bobby and lil' bob?
    I can't write much. I am hiding under the dining room table. I figure Armagedon is due to start in about 15 minutes.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Maybe there is one of those "relationships" blooming that NJ is so famous for?!?

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