During the months of September and October the Fire Company will be taking our annual census. Volunteers will go door-to-door on 26 different routes in our first due area, the area in which our company is expected to be the first to arrive on an emergency scene.
The basic information collected or confirmed includes the occupant’s name, a mailing address, phone number, number of adults and children, the township name, and emergency contact number. More detailed information asks about residents who have difficulty walking; whether the property is a residence, farm, or business; whether the occupant is the owner or a renter; if oxygen tanks are present; and the type of heating system in use and the fuel supply source. The Fire Company adds a clear description to each entry of the distance to the nearest water supply.
After all of the updates and yearly corrections are made, the results of the census are entered into a computer database and then compiled into a 200-page printed report. The 2017 report will be placed in each of our vehicles and lists every house number on every street in our community along with lifesaving information that our chief and line officers can refer to when there is an emergency. The report is alphabetized by street and the house numbers are in numerical order for quick reference.
Fire Company President Tim Hoerner comments, “Bird-in-Hand is unique among fire companies because we take the time to gather this pertinent information so that we have it at our fingertips when the need arises. The number one reason for the census is to save the lives of the occupants. Knowing how many adults and children need to be accounted for at each address is a huge help to the firefighters. A second reason is obviously for property preservation. And the Fire Company also uses the census report to communicate with community residents several times a year. It is not shared with any other organization.”
Our Fire Company protects 1400 different properties. The firefighters want to be as prepared as possible when responding to an emergency at these properties. We thank you for your cooperation when the census taker calls on you in the next weeks. Sharing your correct information with us helps us keep you safe!