Category Archives: Newsletter

Sponsor Spotlight: Bank of Bird-in-Hand Invests Locally

Bank of Bird-in-Hand partners with the Fire Company’s Carriage & Antique Auction by sharing the large auction tent to host a Summer Picnic Celebration for customers and shareholders. Holding the financial contribution are Fire Company members Paul Fisher and Tim Hoerner, along with Bank representatives Lori Maley and Christine Boettlin.

Even though Hand-in-Hand Fire Company has existed in the town of Bird-in-Hand for 107 years and Bank of Bird-in-Hand has been here only three-and-a-half years, they have a great partnership. Both institutions are deeply invested in this community and their goals are similar – make this a good place to live and work.
The Bank of Bird-in-Hand opened its doors for business on December 2, 2013. Area residents were proud to have the first startup bank in the United States in almost three years, and in Pennsylvania in over five years. There was much excitement as passersby on Old Philadelphia Pike watched Dr. Whitlaw and Rudy Show’s former residence and office transform into a brand new independent bank.

The Bank specializes in delivering exceptional personal service and maintains a strong focus on agriculture, small business and consumer banking. Founders of the Bank designed their organization to match the needs of the community they serve. And from the very beginning, they have concentrated their community outreach efforts locally.

In May 2014 the Bank held its first annual shareholders meeting at the Fire Hall. They plan to continue using the facility each year as long as there is adequate space since the Bank is growing.

In the fall of that year, the Bank also became an annual sponsor of the Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon Weekend. Since that time Chief Lending Officer Bill O’Brien has been cooking ribs for the community picnic following Saturday morning’s run. This year the Bank sponsored the 5K Run on Friday evening.

Bank of Bird-in-Hand’s Chief Lending Officer Bill O’Brien cooks ribs during the community picnic after the Half Marathon.

Bank of Bird-in-Hand began a new alliance with the Fire Company on June 19, 2017 by holding their first Summer Picnic Celebration for customers and shareholders on the grounds of the Fire Company’s Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction. Both organizations shared the large tent, with the Bank using space on Monday before it was filled with auction consignments to be sold on Thursday and Friday. Almost 1,000 people attended the Bank’s picnic.

The arrangement is of mutual benefit: the Bank’s picnic is conveniently close to their main office and the Fire Company’s auction enjoys a significant profit boost.

“The Fire Company is our primary sponsorship since the Bank opened,” explains Bank President and CEO Lori Maley. “They are a volunteer organization that is very connected to the community. Their fire protection is a big commitment. They protect and support us and therefore we are very happy to invest in them.”
Lori adds, “The community has embraced us as a Bank so we want to stay geographically local with our sponsorships. We have developed a very positive relationship with the Fire Company. They are great people to work with!”

Flickering Embers from the Past

Dave Haldeman and Bud Shirk were interviewed, along with Les Fazekas and Glen Siegrist, in January 2016. They are the source of many historical stories that are told in this Flickering Embers column.

Memories of Bud Shirk

For many years the Fire Company knew exactly how to deal with their water and electrical problems. They had two very skilled firefighters among their ranks, Glen Siegrist who is a plumber and Bud Shirk who was an electrician. These men lent their vocational expertise whenever there was a plumbing or electrical need at the Fire Hall.
Les Fazekas jokes, “When there was a problem that involved both water and electricity, we wondered whom we should call, Glen or Bud!” Les also explains that Bud could test electrical currents with his bare hands. He stuck his fingers into a socket to see if it was live and could touch 110 and 220 volt wires without getting shocked!
Bud shared memories about helping to clean up the hill outside of the Fire Hall and sweeping the sidewalks. He also remembered helping with a water rescue on Beechdale Road by the mill where the Mill Creek had flooded. He recalled, “We backed in with a ladder truck and took it across to the roof to bring the people out of the second story of the house.”
Bud also recounted that  “When I responded to a fire call, I didn’t know if I was going to ride home with the Fire Company or not. It was always, ‘While you’re here Shirk, can you take care of this?’ Bud was a true servant and often stayed longer than the rest of the firefighters to make sure that the electricity was safe for the people after a fire had been put out.

Memories of Dave Haldeman

Dave Haldeman’s garage was located at the corner of Route 340 and Beechdale Road close to the railroad underpass. He was in the very center of town and could get to the Fire Station quickly. This made him a vital link to the town’s safety. Before 911 and pagers, the phone number for Dave’s garage was a follow-up number when the first call at Lloyd and Miriam Weaver’s home could not be reached. When a call came to Dave, he hurried to the Fire Hall to set off the siren.
At one fire on Irishtown Road a building was burning down for a second time. Dave was working to put up a portable pump in the spring. Dave reminisced, “I was working with the pump and I felt something brushing around my neck.” At first he thought it was just a cow and he slapped it away. But instead of a cow, it was a bull!
The problem of loose animals was discussed at the next fire meeting. Mel Esh suggested that the firefighters should have an extra rope on the truck to tie up bulls!
Dave had a lot of support at home. His wife Mary was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary and kept a loaf of bread in the freezer at all times in case there was a big fire and she had to make sandwiches.
Mary explains, “When the fire siren went off, Dave left and I made calls to see if it was a bad fire and if they needed to have the auxiliary’s help. Then we went to work making sandwiches for the firefighters. Kauffman’s Fruit Farm and Market was a very big help. We got food from them.”

A Note From the Chief…

How do we define a team?  What keeps a team together?

  • Many individuals all striving toward one common goal
  • Recognizing and using diverse skills and talents for mutual benefit
  • Welcoming and valuing each individual’s contribution to the mission

All of these statements are part of the definition of a team, and I’m sure there are many more ways of saying the same thing.
The existence of a team implies the existence of values. As we consider the lives of veteran firefighters Bud Shirk, Dave Haldeman, and Rick Nields, we see that the values they embraced included compassion, cheer, and persistence. The values they helped teach today’s generation of firefighters are life values that will hopefully not be forgotten.
These three firefighters brought their wit, wisdom and skills to the fire ground and the firehouse, teaching by example and allowing themselves to be taught as well. Today we salute them and their drive to make the world around them a better place. May their life values continue far into the future.

Positions within the Fire Company: Joining hands to do the best job possible

The following article continues a series detailing various positions that our firefighters fill. From basic skills to top management, all roles are vitally important in making our Fire Company function well.  We hope these articles help community members better understand how we function as a team using everyone’s strengths within a chain of command.

President

Leading the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company on the administrative side is the president, who is also the chair of the Board of Directors. This Board consists of 12 members: president, vice president, recording secretary, financial secretary, treasurer, chief, deputy chief, assistant chief, fire police captain and three members at large.

The president and Board of Directors are responsible for making sure the Fire Company’s mission is accomplished and the vision is fulfilled. Giving direction, setting goals, and establishing a specific tone and rapport are also included in the president’s tasks.

The president is voted into office by the Fire Company membership every December and serves until a successor is found. It is important for presidents to identify leadership qualities in members and mentor others to come on board when they step out of this role.

In a nutshell, the president presides at the Board of Directors meetings on the last Tuesday of each month and Fire Membership meetings on the first Tuesday of each month. He also appoints committees and sits in on their meetings. Presently there are six committees: Nominating, Pot Pie, BBQ, Half Marathon, Administrative and Human Resources.

Overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Fire Company is a major part of the job. Firefighting is just one aspect of this organization. There are other areas requiring management and an eye for detail. The president takes care of phone calls and emails, is in touch with financial officers, serves as a spokesperson and represents the Fire Company when there are legal issues. The president also keeps track of how plans are implemented and follows through to assure projects are completed.

Working with volunteers in a nonprofit organization requires skill in leading others, motivating them to rally around a cause and to move forward on projects. It should be done in a way that avoids unpleasantness or opposition and without offending or hurting others’ feelings. It takes diplomacy to be president!

Tim Hoerner has served in the capacity of president since 2009. He also served two earlier terms making this his 13th year as president. He states, “My favorite part o f this role is the satisfaction of working with people who have a common mindset and common goals. This allows for successful performance of our mission and the implementation of our vision. The mission is what we do on a daily basis and the vision is how we are going to be able to continue to do that.”
It is vital to the president to have competent people in the many Fire Company positions. When volunteers do their parts well and with skill and expertise, a leader benefits from all the cooperation. It is also crucial for the Fire Company to have overriding principles that are sustainable, enduring, and able to continue even when a new president is installed. Bird-in-Hand is fortunate to have both of these attributes and they help make our Company successful.

Highlights from Half Marathon Weekend on September 8 & 9, 2017

Team Shenanigans really got into the local scenery.

 

Half Marathon runners who have run our race for the past 4 years joke that they should get a horse next year to put their medals on!
“My wife (on the right) and our friend Linda running the 5K. I did the Fire Company Challenge and also got a course PR (personal record) on the half.” – Jeremy Lee Radosh (Herndon, VA)
The event grounds appear peaceful at 4:00 am Saturday, but volunteers have been up since 3:30 am to set up water stops, direct parking, begin cooking chicken, and more!
Ed & Eileen Bare enjoy a break from presenting Road Apple Awards at the Half Marathon. Runners must complete the Garden Spot Half or Full Marathon along with the Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon in the same calendar year to receive this unique award.
Community volunteers served over 1,200 people at the Friday evening Pizza & Pasta Dinner. They do an amazing job preparing food in the middle of a field!

 

Volunteer Mark Stoltzfus prepares to lead the 2 hour 30 minute pacer group at Saturday’s Half Marathon.

 

Vella Shpringa (meaning “Let’s Run”, in Pennsylvania Dutch), not for personal honor, but for community.

In Memoriam – James H. “Bud” Shirk

James H. “Bud” Shirk August 26, 1928 – April 12, 2017 Age 88

Bud was a member of the Fire Company for 42 years, beginning in 1975. His notable service was as the first official Fire Company chaplain, starting in 1977. He served in that position for over 30 years until 2010 and made an incredible impression on multiple generations of volunteers. Bud also shared his skills as an electrician with the Fire Company by giving advice and doing repairs as needed.
As an electrician with Lapp Electric for many years, his service went well beyond the community of Bird-in-Hand. He worked with disaster relief and with Habitat for Humanity in places such as the Deep South after Hurricane Katrina, West Virginia, Texas, Alaska, the Caribbean and Central America.
Bud was a long and faithful member of First Baptist Church in Lancaster. There he served as a deacon, trustee, Sunday school teacher, property committee member, and usher. Active with the American Baptist Men of PA and DE, he was named Layman of the Year in 2007.
Bud and his wife Grace lived at Lancashire Terrace Retirement Village in Neffsville. His first wife of 48 years, Katherine, passed away in 2002. They had five children, 10 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

In Memoriam – Richard L. “Rick” Nields

Richard L. “Rick” Nields May 14, 1962 – June 21, 2017 Age 55

Rick was a member of the Fire Company for 39 years, beginning in 1978 when he was 16 years old. He served as chief engineer, on the Squad Committee, and was trained and qualified to drive the engine, tanker and squad. He drove Engine 41-1 to one final call on Saturday evening June 17, four days before his heart attack.
One of Rick’s passions was driving the tanker in the Mother’s Day convoy for Make-A-Wish. He was one of the top fundraisers for this organization. He enjoyed seeing smiles on the children’s faces as he handed out firemen’s hats and coloring books, plus he always had a large stuffed animal for the child who rode with him.
Each Saturday evening there is a distribution at the Fire Hall of baked goods leftover from a market stand. After local families had chosen what they could use, Rick put the remaining food in his pickup truck and delivered it to Water Street Mission in Lancaster. Rick had a heart of compassion.
Rick began his career as an auto mechanic at Dave Haldeman’s Garage in Bird-in-Hand as a teenager. After Dave’s retirement, he worked for Jack Robinson’s Garage also in Bird-in-Hand. For the past three years he owned Rick Nields Garage, LLC in Smoketown. When he fixed minor problems on his friends’ vehicles or Fire Company vehicles, he would say, “Merry Christmas.” Rick had a generous heart.
Rick leaves his wife Betty, son Randy and daughter Jennifer. Four hundred people gathered at the Fire Hall on Sunday afternoon, June 25, to pay their respects to Rick.

In Memoriam – David G. “Dave” Haldeman

David G. “Dave” Haldeman September 3, 1919 – March 22, 2017 Age 97

Dave was a member of the Fire Company for 69 years, beginning in 1948. He served as Hand-in-Hand’s 6th chief for 20 years from 1952-1971. Other positions he held were president from 1978-1981, vice president, board director, Zone-4 delegate, Lancaster County Firemen’s Association delegate, Pennsylvania State delegate, and Community Safety and Fire Prevention Committee.
Dave attended almost every fire meeting and he and his wife Mary could be counted on to help with Fire Company activities and any need in the community. He owned and operated Dave Haldeman’s Garage in Bird-in-Hand for 33 years where he did car maintenance, small engine repair, fixed lawn mowers, pumped gas, and provided a place for the community to gather.
His community involvements touched many. A member of the Paradise Rotary Club, he had 58 years of perfect attendance. He was a charter member of the East Lampeter Park and volunteered with the Boy Scouts until he was 94. As a member of Conestoga Church of the Brethren, he served as choir member, Sunday school teacher, deacon, and administrative board member.
Dave and Mary retired to Brethren Village in Lititz. They have three children, Edward, Sara, and Sandra, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Sponsor Spotlight: Bank of Bird-in-Hand Invests Locally

Bank of Bird-in-Hand partners with the Fire Company’s Carriage & Antique Auction by sharing the large auction tent to host a Summer Picnic Celebration for customers and shareholders. Holding the financial contribution are Fire Company members Paul Fisher and Tim Hoerner, along with Bank representatives Lori Maley and Christine Boettlin.

Even though Hand-in-Hand Fire Company has existed in the town of Bird-in-Hand for 107 years and Bank of Bird-in-Hand has been here only three-and-a-half years, they have a great partnership. Both institutions are deeply invested in this community and their goals are similar – make this a good place to live and work.
The Bank of Bird-in-Hand opened its doors for business on December 2, 2013. Area residents were proud to have the first startup bank in the United States in almost three years, and in Pennsylvania in over five years. There was much excitement as passersby on Old Philadelphia Pike watched Dr. Whitlaw and Rudy Show’s former residence and office transform into a brand new independent bank.
The Bank specializes in delivering exceptional personal service and maintains a strong focus on agriculture, small business and consumer banking. Founders of the Bank designed their organization to match the needs of the community they serve. And from the very beginning, they have concentrated their community outreach efforts locally.
In May 2014 the Bank held its first annual shareholders meeting at the Fire Hall. They plan to continue using the facility each year as long as there is adequate space since the Bank is growing.
In the fall of that year, the Bank also became an annual sponsor of the Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon Weekend. Since that time Chief Lending Officer Bill O’Brien has been cooking ribs for the community picnic following Saturday morning’s run. This year the Bank sponsored the 5K Run on Friday evening.

Bank of Bird-in-Hand’s Chief Lending Officer Bill O’Brien cooks ribs during the community picnic after the Half Marathon.

Bank of Bird-in-Hand began a new alliance with the Fire Company on June 19, 2017 by holding their first Summer Picnic Celebration for customers and shareholders on the grounds of the Fire Company’s Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction. Both organizations shared the large tent, with the Bank using space on Monday before it was filled with auction consignments to be sold on Thursday and Friday. Almost 1,000 people attended the Bank’s picnic.
The arrangement is of mutual benefit: the Bank’s picnic is conveniently close to their main office and the Fire Company’s auction enjoys a significant profit boost.
“The Fire Company is our primary sponsorship since the Bank opened,” explains Bank President and CEO Lori Maley. “They are a volunteer organization that is very connected to the community. Their fire protection is a big commitment. They protect and support us and therefore we are very happy to invest in them.”
Lori adds, “The community has embraced us as a Bank so we want to stay geographically local with our sponsorships. We have developed a very positive relationship with the Fire Company. They are great people to work with!”