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