For the past two years Doug Glick and Daniel J. Fisher have been working together on the Tanker Committee. Even though their families live less than a mile apart, the Fire Company had been their main connection…until December 31, 2013. That day Daniel J. donated a kidney to Doug and Diane’s 13-yearold daughter, Denise, as the families sat together at Hershey Medical Center.
The journey for Denise began in October 2012 with the discovery that her kidneys had lost 30 percent function. Four months later that had increased to 70 percent loss and by May 2013 the Glick family began the search for a kidney donor.
Daniel J.’s father and another friend who were kidney donors were his inspiration and with his wife Marilyn’s support, he privately began the rigorous testing at Hershey. At the end of November he surprised Doug and Diane with the news that he was a match for Denise and was willing to be a donor.
We live in a very special community full of many heartwarming stories. Daniel J. tells his story so that this heritage of caring will be passed on to our children and Denise sees it as an opportunity to raise awareness of the need for kidney and organ donors. Doug says, “The Fire Company members have been very supportive. They are a real blessing to us.”
In a positive development, the Ladies Auxiliary has joined hands with the Hand-in-Hand firefighters to work together as one organization. They have merged their Auxiliary into the Fire Company and are refocusing their energy and resources. The combined efforts of this larger group will help the Fire Company stay strong and the future of fire protection in our Bird-in-Hand community looks bright.
For 48 years the ladies, along with the assistance of the firefighters, have served delicious ham dinners twice a year. After an extended evaluation, no ham dinners are scheduled in 2014. Fundraising dinners that continue are the chicken barbecues and pot pie dinner as well as food served at the Carriage Auction and Half Marathon weekend.
“We ladies now attend the monthly fire meetings and help with the fundraisers as much as we can. We are glad to work with the Fire Company, especially in the areas of food service at the Half Marathon, Carriage Auction, and dinners.” -Ethel Miller
Thanks to the community’s generous support, 2013 was a terrific success financially for the Fire Company! Because of your generous donations and the success of our fundraising events we had a record-breaking year. After paying all of our operating expenses, we were able to set aside an additional $136,000 towards the purchase of our new Tanker.
Since our last major capital expense of a new squad and major building renovation in 2008, the Fire Company has been working very hard. Six years later all of that hard work is now paying off. For the first time in the Fire Company’s history we are purchasing a new piece of fire apparatus without a capital fundraising campaign – while at the same time remaining debt free.
The ability to make this major purchase is the result of the outstanding support of our entire community. (See chart of approximate breakdown of the fund sources for the new tanker)
In 2014 we continue to depend on your faithful donations and your attendance at our fundraising events. Your support is critical to our mission of protecting and serving our community while being good stewards of our local resources. Thank you for helping to make Bird-in-Hand a safe and wonderful place to live.
Bird-in-Hand Fire Company’s first-due response area is centered along Route 340, extending from the Eastbrook Road area on the west to North Harvest Road in Leacock Township on the east. This area is called first due, which simply means that Bird-in-Hand fire trucks are the first to be dispatched. Neighboring companies often assist us; Ronks, Witmer, and Lafayette on the west, and Ronks, Intercourse, and Gordonville on the east. These assisting fire companies are called mutual aid and are dispatched to support Bird-in-Hand volunteers whenever there is a major emergency. There is a common thread in this description of Bird-in-Hand Fire Company’s response area. It is the principle of helping. Neighboring fire companies help us and Bird-in- Hand helps them in the same way. The reason all this mutual aid happens is…. to help our neighbors.
National Penn Bank has a longstanding reputation for honesty, integrity, and performance in Bird-in-Hand and surrounding areas. Because they like to be involved with the communities they serve, they have become a Presenting Sponsor for the Bird-in-Hand Fire Company’s Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction. They are a tremendous financial supporter of this very important fundraiser, one of the major events of the year for the Fire Company.
The relationship between the Bank and Fire Company evolved over the course of a decade. In 2000, bank officials creatively dreamed up the idea of hosting an annual pig roast as a way of showing appreciation to their patrons. The first event was held under a big tent in the middle of an alfalfa field on the Smucker Homestead in the heart of Bird-in-Hand.
In the early years the pig roast was on Thursday evening before a weekend community celebration called HomeTowne Heritage Days. Heritage Days was organized by the Bird-in-Hand Corporation and underwritten by HomeTowne Heritage Bank, a division of National Penn. These Lancaster-area branches were branded as National Penn in early 2012. When the Carriage Auction moved to Bird-in- Hand in 2008 and became a fundraiser for the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company, National Penn began working closely with the Fire Company volunteers.
The week of the pig roast and Carriage Auction at the end of June is a festive time for the community of Bird-in-Hand and all of its guests. The two events are very compatible and the Bank and Fire Company work extremely well together. Being able to use the tent, electrical and water lines, and restroom facilities for more than one event makes the effort of setting up the venue in the middle of the field so much more worthwhile.
On Tuesday evening 2,000 by-invitationonly bank patrons stream into the tent for a delicious down-on-the-farm meal of pork barbecue sandwiches, baked beans, and salads topped off with traditional Lancaster County meadow tea and ice cream. The Bird-in-Hand Fire Company handles the traffic and directs cars to the fields designated for parking behind the large tent. After greeting their neighbors and enjoying their complimentary meals, patrons love to browse through the rows of antiques that have already been brought to the site for the Auction. This is great advertising for the Fire Company’s event held on Friday.
Naturally, the Fire Company needs the massive tent for the sale of carriages at the end of the week. It is a significant help to have the financial contributions of National Penn to cover the cost of the tent rental and infrastructure. Banners announcing this partnership with National Penn are displayed in highly visible areas during the Carriage Auction so that the 3,500 auction attendees know that this is a bank that cares about the community.
The Fire Company’s fundraising sale and National Penn’s pig roast are a good fit because the two events benefit both institutions. Tom Jordan, National Penn Lancaster Region President, says “We are delighted to continue our 10+ year partnership with the Hand-in- Hand Fire Company. They are a true asset to our community and we are honored to work with them again this year. As our number of customers have grown over the years, the Fire Company has stepped up to help us put on a first class customer event.”
Hand-in-Hand Fire Company members appreciate the goodwill of their friends at the bank and with National Penn’s significant financial support, they can provide better fire and safety protection in their community.
Young nineteen-year-old Steve Petersheim watched his two older firefighter brothers respond when their pagers went off at work. Because he wanted to find out what the action was all about, he joined the Fire Company in February 1999.
Since that time Steve has served as a training officer, lieutenant, captain, assistant chief and presently is the deputy chief. He values the firefighting and EMS training he has received, knowing that he might be able to save the life of a family member or friend.
Steve says, “There is great satisfaction for me to help a neighbor in need. I like working with friends in the Fire Company whom I would not have met otherwise. Because we have the support of the community both in the number of firefighters and financially, it helps to lighten the load for everybody when we all do our part.” 2013 Firefighter of the Year
The Fireman of the Year is chosen through a nomination process.
The Fire Company marked two unusual milestones at the Thanksgiving Banquet on November 20, 2013 by giving Dan Fisher Sr. his 50-year award and his son Daniel J. a 25-year award. They come from a family who enjoys serving. Dan Sr. says, “Looking back, I did it to help the community. That was what we were taught to do.”
As a child Dan Sr. took turns with his brothers going to fire meetings with his father Levi “Dutch” Fisher. In 1963 at the age of 17 he joined the firefighting ranks and since has filled most positions in the Fire Company, everything except Chief, President, and treasurer.
Two highlights have been serving on the Facilities Committee for the 2008 building addition and as general contractor along with Metzler Builders for the fundraising house. Presently Dan Sr. is a trustee.
Daniel J. followed his father’s footsteps and as a child walked to the fire hall with his dad for meetings. When he was 14 he became a Junior Fireman and two years later was on the House and Grounds Committee. Over the years he has advanced to lieutenant, captain, co-chair of the present Tanker Committee, and is currently on the Board.
The Fisher family is already working at filling their boots. Daniel J.’s children go along to fire meetings and gladly help with the dinners and the Half Marathon. Daniel J. comments, “We love the spirit of this community where we learn to share responsibilities and people do their part.”
Five years ago, as we were rethinking our financial planning, we promised to be responsible stewards with our community’s donations. We wanted to get our financial house in order and be better prepared for future major purchases. Now with your tremendous support, and without a major fundraising campaign, we paid cash for the new tanker. Mission accomplished!
Paid in Full
As our country went through a recession beginning in 2008, there was a major shift in financial foresight at our Fire Company. We discovered the virtue of patience. Instead of buying immediately and then always playing catch up, we chose to wait four years until we had saved all of the necessary funds to pay for the tanker in cash.
Stretching the Life of the Tanker
The life of our 1990 tanker has been extended by four years past its replacement year of 2010. With constant checks and meticulous maintenance, the tanker has been well maintained and has given great service. Perhaps the tanker can even find a second life in another rural community where the demands are not as great. We consider this good stewardship.