Monthly Archives: August 2014

Financial Support is Vital

Did you know that over 70% of the general funding of our 100% volunteer fire company comes from your donations and support of our fundraising efforts?

2013fundraisingAt Bird-in-Hand we have a long tradition of relying on our local residents and businesses for the financial support needed to remain a vibrant and active volunteer fire company. Over the years their involvement has provided the great creativity and teamwork needed to successfully protect our growing community.

We feel that this broad-based community involvement benefits our area in many ways. First, it minimizes the tax burden for all of us. Second, it keeps us accountable and in tune with what our community expects from their fire company. Third, it allows us to engage the many talented individuals and businesses in our first due area and provides lots of volunteer opportunities for everyone. And finally, we believe it strengthens the fabric of our community as neighbors work with neighbors, hand-in-hand for a common cause.

Thank you for your tremendous support of the Fire Company!

On Teamwork

A Note From the Chief…

Many people think of their local fire company as somewhat glamorous. Flashing lights, sirens, shiny red fire trucks, and expensive equipment all contribute to this perception. While this is positive, the roots of a successful fire company go much deeper and are anchored in teamwork and a desire to help our neighbors.

On July 12, we responded to a local motel for a fire that had gotten a good headstart and was threatening the entire building. The fire had spread to the roof and was fed by a south wind, and as is typical for an exterior fire, was moving quite quickly.

Many hours of training paid off in this situation. Knowing what to do and how to do it was important: putting foam solution on the visible fire; reading the smoke to determine the seat of the fire; searching the building for civilians unable to get out; ventilating the building to prevent more smoke damage; managing the dozens of firefighters who responded; and setting up a high gallonage water supply.

The teamwork we saw that day is not just present among Bird-in-Hand fire crews – it is also regional. Bird-in-Hand was assisted by well-trained crews from Ronks, Witmer, Lafayette, Gordonville, Intercourse, and others. Several dozen firefighters from our communities carried out these firefighting skills together that day to bring a positive conclusion to a negative event.

Written by Chief Lonnie Kauffman

Help Needed to Replace Town Sign

Dan Fisher Sr. and John Smucker are spearheading an effort to replace the missing Keystone Marker at the west end of town. The tradition of using the blue and gold keystone to mark the entrance to towns, rivers, and trails is unique to Pennsylvania. They are called “gateway guardians” and are considered a remarkable treasure in our state.

The goal is to raise the required $1,000 to replace the marker. Please send your contributions to Keystone Marker Trust, c/o Bird-in-Hand Corporation, 2727 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505. Checks should be made out to Keystone Marker Trust. Thank you for your help!

Your donations are needed to help replace the Keystone Marker on this empty pole west of Bird-in-Hand.
This Bird-in-Hand sign is featured on the Keystone Marker Trust’s website along with other unique town names.


Town Cleanup is a Strong Bird-in-Hand Tradition

The annual Town Cleanup Day in Bird-in-Hand was held on Saturday, May 31. The crews typically start at 6 am when traffic is not heavy. When there is a good turnout, the project takes 1½ hours.
Nineteen workers and two fire police were on hand in 2014. This is an event where young and old work together. Ages ranged from 13 to 68. Two crews worked on the south and north sides of the Old Philadelphia Pike.
The starting place is at the Fire Hall and the crews work their way through town to Maple Avenue. They make sure the railroad underpass, stairways, and sidewalks are clean for another year and enjoy coffee and doughnuts at the Fire Hall when they are finished.
Town Cleanup Day was started as a Boy Scout’s project with a few community people helping him. The first year three dump truck loads were hauled away because, except for six inches at the edge, the sidewalks were covered with grass and weeds. The cleanup was a big part of the preparation for the 250th Anniversary of Bird-in-Hand in 1984.


SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT: Local Businesses are Generous with Food Donations

We are appreciative of the local businesses that support us by donating food for our fundraising meals. This is a creative way to involve more people in the ongoing mission of our Fire Company. We enjoy working together with these businesses to raise finances to keep quality fire protection in our community.


Chicken Pot Pie Dinner

Saturday AFTER Presidents’ Day

  • Weavertown Coach – chicks
  • Lancaster Ag Products – feed for the chickens
  • Lester Lapp Family – raising the chickens
  • David Petersheim & Leroy Miller Families – chicken processing
  • Oasis – butter, deep freeze & storage of chicken
  • Gideon Stoltzfus – potatoes
  • Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop – dinner rolls, dough supplies
  • Four Seasons Produce – fresh produce
  • Turkey Hill Dairy – generous discount on drinks & ice cream
Chicken BBQ

Memorial Day Saturday & Labor Day Saturday

  • Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop – dinner rolls
  • Turkey Hill Dairy – generous discount on drinks & ice cream
  • E.K. Bare & Sons – potato chips
Carriage Auction Food Tent & Haystack Dinner

Last Thursday & Friday in June

  • Stoltzfus Meats & Deli – chili, apple maple sausage grillers for breakfast sandwiches
  • Four Seasons Produce – fresh fruit & vegetables
  • Oasis – organic cheese and cottage cheese, milk for the homemade ice cream and fresh dairy products
  • Miller’s Smorgasbord – pulled pork
  • E.K. Bare & Sons – potato chips
  • JM Lapp Plumbing – bottled water
  • Turkey Hill – generous discount on drinks & ice cream
Half Marathon Weekend

Friday & Saturday after Labor Day

  • Ettline Foods – pizza and pasta
  • Shady Lane Curtains – chicken barbecue
  • Stoltzfus Meats & Deli – hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage
  • JM Lapp Plumbing – bottled water
  • Good N Plenty – whoopie pies
  • Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Cafe – cookies & whoopie pies
  • Kauffman’s Fruit Farm – cold storage throughout year, refrigerator trucks for events, generous discount on cake supplies, meats/cheeses/rolls for sandwiches served at large fires to crews

**Please know that we did our best to include all major food sponsors in this listing. However, if we inadvertently missed someone, contact Paul Fisher 717.380.1109 and we will include you in our next newsletter.

We encourage local people to patronize these businesses and thank them for their support of the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company. By their generosity, they are making a difference in our local community.
We also honor and thank the volunteers from our community who are very generous with their time. They serve by baking pies, whoopie pies and cakes; working shifts in the food tent; serving guests and clearing tables; preparing food and barbecuing chicken; manning the kitchen; washing dishes and cleaning up; and making sure that those who attend our dinners are comfortable and well fed.

It takes a team of workers and contributors to make our fundraising dinners successful!

A New Home for Our Old Tanker

After 24 years of faithful service, the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company sold the 1990 Tanker to the Vermontville Fire Department in Vermontville, Michigan, a town 30 miles southwest of Lansing. The tanker was so well maintained over the years that the Fire Company was able to recoup one-third of its original 1990 purchase price.

Vermontville’s old tanker, which was made from an airport fuel truck, was replaced in July with our 1990 Tanker.

On July 26 the tanker was driven 600 miles to its new home in Michigan. There the Fire Department will shorten the front bumper so that it fits into their fire station. They plan to use it as a nurse tanker for the next 10-20 years. One of the last times it was used by Hand-in-Hand was at the July 12 fire at the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn.img227

Pedestrians: Stop, Look & Listen

pedestriansChildren learn by doing, so make a game out of these scenarios with your family by setting up a pretend road in your home or yard. Repetition is key to making these points second nature, so practicing over and over is a good thing!

  • Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk off the road facing traffic (on the LEFT) so that you can see any cars that are heading your direction.
  • Cross the street only at intersections or marked crosswalks. Always stop, look, and listen.
  • If there is a car parked where you are crossing, look to see if there is a driver in the car. Carefully walk to the edge of the car and then stop, look, and listen.
  • While crossing, continue to look for cars. Always walk across the street. Do not run.
  • When walking at night or even dusk, wear a reflective vest.
  • Never run into the street to catch a ball or an animal.
  • Before you cross a street where cars may be waiting, like at an intersection or crosswalk, look at the drivers. If the drivers are looking at you, then walk across quickly and DON’T STOP in the middle of street. Driver and pedestrian eye contact lets you know that the driver sees you.

Steps to Training as a Firefighter

As part of a firefighter scavenger hunt training, Jacob Stoltzfus, Mike Burkholder & Dave Lane find a FDC (fire department connection) for a building’s sprinkler system.

What do you want to be when you grow up? When eager children think of shiny red engines racing through the streets with sirens sounding, thick hoses gushing with water, Dalmatian dogs, and long, long ladders with lots of steps, their answer is…a firefighter!

There are many steps up the firefighting ladder to becoming a firefighter. But the children are correct; it is a noble goal and a rewarding way to serve your neighbors.

Hand-in-Hand Fire Company welcomes members of our Bird-in-Hand community to consider joining us as firefighters or support staff. As we talk to potential members, we determine their expectations and then look at their skills. We offer a step-by-step training program that gives new firefighters the knowledge and confidence they need to be a part of an excellent team.

Follow Bob White Through Trainingbobwhite

Meet “Bob White,” a Bird-in-Hand native son, who is 14 years old. Even though people of all ages are needed in our organization and joining the Fire Company as an adult is definitely an option, we will follow Bob through his training to become an active firefighter at Hand-in-Hand.
Childhood: Bob’s family has always been active in the Fire Company. He has helped with fundraising dinners, the Carriage Auction, and the Half Marathon and as a very little boy, has fallen asleep at meetings he attended with his parents.


Age 14-15: He begins to attend trainings, but does not respond to fire calls. The company trainings are twice a month on the third Tuesday and fourth Monday.

Age 16-17: This is a special step! Bob is ready to train as a Junior Firefighter. He responds to fires, but does no interior firefighting, plus there are some equipment restrictions for him.

Age 18: Upon turning 18, Bob can be voted in as firefighter if he has been training for at least six months and completed the required checklist.

Junior Firefighter Training

Bob has a set of guidelines to follow that have been developed for the Junior Firefighters at Bird-in-Hand. They are very basic, but also very important to give him a solid foundation. In this step of his training he is learning to…img344

  • don turnout gear properly till it becomes second nature
  • locate equipment on apparatus
  • maintain self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) & change cylinders
  • set up lighting properly
  • pack hose on apparatus properly so that it deploys quickly
  • understand the accountability system and the importance of working together as a team under the direction of an officer.

Active Firefighter Training

As an able-bodied 18-year-old Bob steps beyond the basics and begins advanced training. He will always have the opportunity of continuing basic required training as well as participating in trainings with other companies and classes at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center. The company trainings that Bob attends along with 10-30 other firefighters include lots of hands-on learning. They are organized by Lyndon Beiler, Training Officer, and taught by Hand-in-Hand officers who have expertise in certain areas of firefighting. In order to take the next step and join the roster as Active Firefighter, Bob needs to…

  • don turnout gear in one minute and SCBA in one minute
  • demonstrate nurse tanker setup and operation, which involves getting water supply from other tankersimg358
  • understand how to set up a fill site, which involves taking water from a creek or pond
  • lay supply hose line from engine and hook up to engine and tanker using wyes (appliances)
  • demonstrate proper hand line advancement and application using smaller hoses
  • understand Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS) and its benefits
  • understand the radio system; the technology is being updated countywide
  • demonstrate proper ladder placement in secure places, such as a rescue from a window
  • demonstrate operations of fans for ventilation and saws for cutting into a building
  • ventilate vertically (roof), horizontally (doors & windows), and trench cut (large commercial building in the roof)img362
  • understand signs of rollover, flashover, and backdraft, which are specific situations that can happen during a fire
  • complete National Incident Management System 700 (NIMS)
  • identify confined space equipment, which is on the squad for rescues in tight spaces
  • display common sense and know limits and boundaries


After passing all 14 of these steps, Bob is recommended to Chief Lonnie Kauffman. The Chief surveys all officers and then takes Bob’s name to the Board of Directors. They in turn present his name to the general members who vote.

Congratulations to Bob! He has been approved as an active firefighter! One more required training that Bob will have to take within a year of his approval is HAZMAT (hazardous materials) certification.

Since Hand-in-Hand highly recommends advanced training in areas such as knots and rigging, map books, preplans for commercial buildings, rapid intervention team operations, and four modules of essentials and more levels of NIMS, Bob can continue to fine tune his firefighting skills as he serves his community.img360bobwhite4