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The Greenfields Fire Company is 100% volunteer and protects Bern Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. Bern Township is a 20 square mile suburban/rural township bordering the northwest side of the City of Reading. Our population served is 6900. Our Fire Station is located on Route 183 at the southwest side of the Reading Regional Airport. The Station has 5 bays. 4 front and one rear for airport access. We house 2 Engines, a Brush Truck, A Utility Pick up truck, a Fire Police Trailer, and a Command Unit. We have approximately 20 active firefighters, 3 Chief Officers, 2 Line Officers and 2 Fire Police Line Officers.

We average 375 Emergency Calls a year. Our primary response area includes residential properties and businesses such as Teleflex Medical, Direct Link Technologies(Berks 911 is located in this Bldg), Classic Harley Davidson, The Reading Regional Airport, Berks County Prison, the County Nursing Home, the Bern Township portions of Blue Marsh Lake and The Saint Joseph Medical Center. Two major highways run through our area; Pa Route 183 and US Route 222. We receive and provide Mutual Aid assistance to Mount Pleasant (30), West Reading (64), Leesport (37), Western Berks (18), the Township of Spring (85), Wyomissing (79), Goodwill of Hyde Park (10), Temple (11) and the City of Reading Fire Department (RFD). We also respond as part of the Zone 2 and 4 Tanker Task Force where we perform tanker fill site duties.


GFC Responds to a Structure Fire on Victory Circle
Thursday, May 14, 2015 10:56
-
Firefighters lead by GFC responded to the report of a possible structure fire, with entrapment, in the 1000 block of Victory Circle late Thursday morning.

Upon arrival, Chief Brian Fisher found the residence at 1030 Victory Circle had smoke emanating from the eaves and attic vents. He declared it a working fire.

E55-1 was the first engine on scene. Crews from Mt. Pleasant, Township of Spring, Temple, Bernville, Wyomissing, West Reading, Leesport, and Western Berks Ambulance arrived within minutes to assist.

Lead by nozzle man Gary Rarick, the assisting firefighters entered through the front door of the structure and found the kitchen area ablaze. The fire in the kitchen had spread to the attic area above, and firefighters from Mt. Pleasant and Wyomissing used power saws to cut holes the roof for ventilation. The fire was knocked down quickly and was totally extinguished in about 20 minutes.

The fire caused major damage to the kitchen and the roof area above it. All three floors of the residence sustained smoke damage.

Due to the lack of fire hydrants in the community, Chief Fisher called in several tankers to augment the apparatus on scene.

No one was home at the time of the fire, but 5 cats and a dog were reported to have been in the residence at the time. Firefighters were able to rescue the dog and three the cats. EMTs from Western Berks Ambulance administered oxygen to one of the rescued cats, and members of the Animal Rescue League later transported it to a veterinary hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. It expected to make a full recovery. The dog and the other two cats that were rescued were unharmed; however the remaining two cats have yet to be accounted for.

No firefighters were injured during the incident.

Fire Police from Bern and Spring Townships closed off the 1000 block of Victory Circle during the incident.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and is under investigation by the Bern Township Fire Marshal. No estimate of damage was available.

Those responding for the GFC were: Chief Brian Fisher; 2nd Assistant Chief Scott Trate; FF/EMT Amy Auker; FF Gary Rarick; Fire Police Captain Charlie Kerschner; Fire Police Sargent Jeff Allen, and Photographer Steve Spies.

Special thanks to Mohnton Engine 57, and its crew, which was dispatched to man the GFC Station during the incident.

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Upon arrival smoke could be seen emanating from the eaves and attic vents.
   Upon arrival smoke could be seen
      emanating from the eaves and attic
      vents.
FF Gary Rarick hauls one of E55-1's cross lays to the structure.
   FF Gary Rarick hauls one of E55-1's
      cross lays to the structure.
GFC Joins Reading Airport ARFF for Joint Training Session
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 14:00
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Reading Regional Airport General Manager Terry Sroka invited the GFC to join the airport’s ARFF team for a joint training session last Thursday. The goal of the session was for both crews to become comfortable working with the each other and each other’s equipment.

1st Assistant Chief Mahlon Auker and FF/EMT Amy Auker, in E55-1, met with the airport’s ARFF team and their three ARFF trucks for the session.

The afternoon was spent with E55-1 drawing water from one of the airport’s hydrants and supplying it to the ARFF unit’s pumpers. Later in the afternoon, the airport’s ARFF team was invited to visit the GFC Station for a tour of our facility and our apparatus.

Should a situation arise which requires the GFC to assist the airport’s ARFF Team, our fighters will be better prepared to help.

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E55-1, out of frame on the left, supplies water to RRA's ARFF-1, center, while ARFF 2 and ARFF 3 join in.
   E55-1, out of frame on the left,
      supplies water to RRA's ARFF-1, center,
      while ARFF 2 and ARFF 3 join in.
MVA on County Rd. at Hilltop Rd.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 21:46
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Greenfields Co. 55 was dispatched to assist Bern Twp. Police and Western Berks Ambulance at an MVA at the intersection of County Welfare and Hilltop Roads Tuesday evening.

Upon E55’s arrival crews found that a BMW SUV had collided with a Dodge Ram pick-up truck.

The driver and lone occupant of the pick-up complained of back pain and was transported to the hospital for evaluation. No one in the BMW was injured.

Bern Township Fire Police directed traffic around the scene while the GFC crew cleaned up debris and V&M Towing removed the vehicles. County Road was returned to service shortly before 11:00 p.m.

The cause of the accident in under investigation by the Bern Township Police.

Those responding for the GFC were: Chief Brian Fisher;1st Ast. Chief Mahlon Auker; 2nd Ast. Chief Scott Trate; FF Joe Green; FF Britni Cummings; Jr. Firefighters Dylan Matz and Dylan Heckman; Fire Police Sargent Jeff Allen, and Photographer Steve Spies.

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Fatal MVA on Fairview Drive
Monday, May 11, 2015 15:02
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Firefighters from Greenfields Co. 55, Leesport Co. 37, Mt. Pleasant Co. 30, and Schuylkill Valley EMS responded to a dispatch for an MVA with injuries  in the 1500 block of Fairview Dr. at Eva St. Monday afternoon.

While in rout E55 was notified by Co. 37 personnel that theirs, and Co. 30s services were not required and they were recalled by Chief Fisher.

Upon E55’s arrival it was found that a motorcycle and a school bus had collided head on, killing the motorcycle rider.

There were 4 children on the bus during the collision and none were injured. The driver of the school bus also was not injured, but was transported to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

Fire Police from both Bern and Spring Townships worked to direct traffic around the scene while accident investigators worked to gather data needed for reconstruction of the incident.

The bus and motorcycle were removed by V&M Towing and GFC firefighters removed debris from the scene. Normal traffic flow was resumed shortly before 7:30 p.m.

Those responding for the GFC were: Chief Brian Fisher, 1st Ast. Chief Mahlon Auker; 2nd Ast. Chief Scott Trate; FF Joe Green; FF Britni Cummings; FF/EMT Amy Auker; Jr. FF Dylan Heckman; Fire Police Capt. Charlie Kerschner; Fire Police Sargent Jeff Allen; Fire Police Officer Danny Sando; Support Unit Member Tanya Allen , and Photographer Steve Spies.



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Tractor-Trailer Snags Wires on Macarthur Road
Saturday, May 9, 2015 16:01
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Firefighters lead by GFC and assisted by those from West Reading Co. 64, and Western Berks EMTs responded to a dispatch for wires down on Macarthur Road near BARCO Industries.

Upon arrival, the crews found a tractor-trailer rig was entangled in what appeared to be a telephone and data trunk cable. The trailer had snagged the cable where it crossed Macarthur road, pulling it from its supporting pole. The two occupants of the rig were advised to remain in the rig until it could be determined that no hazardous voltages existed.  Pole numbers were relayed to Berks Dispatch who informed the utility companies.

Bern Township Fire Police closed off Macarthur Road at Rt. 183 until the utility companies could untangle the big rig.

No one was injured in the incident and the big rig was not damaged; however a disruption of telephone and power service was reported in the area.

Those responding for the GFC were: 1st Ast. Chief Mahlon Auker; 2nd Ast. Chief Scott Trate; FF Joe Green; Fire Police Capt. Charlie Kerschner, and Photographer Steve Spies.

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The Big Rig snagged a cable on Macarthur Rd.
   The Big Rig snagged a cable on Macarthur
      Rd.
FF Joe Green, left, pulls E55's trash line as 2nd Ast Chief Scott Trate looks on.
   FF Joe Green, left, pulls E55's trash
      line as 2nd Ast Chief Scott Trate looks
      on.
Mission BBQ Visits the GFC Station
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 18:30
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There’s a new BBQ joint in town and it’s called Mission BBQ.  Their mission is to not only serve the best BBQ in America, but to honor those brave men and women who serve and protect our community as firefighters, police, EMS, and military personnel.  They not only “Talk the Talk” but they “Walk the Walk”.  Here’s how:

This past Wednesday, at around dinner time, Mission BBQ’s manager, August Reichardt, stopped by the GFC station with what she called a “food drop”. We called it a feast.

Inside her food cart were containers of pulled BBQ brisket, pulled BBQ chicken, sliced smoked turkey, mac and cheese, baked beans, coleslaw, and corn bread.  When we asked why, August replied that it was Mission BBQ’s way of thanking those who protect and serve our community.  This week it was GFC’s turn to receive their thanks and generosity.

Thank you, Mission BBQ!

If you want to know more about Mission BBQ in Wyomissing, click on the link to their website below.  If you want the best damn BBQ in America, stop by their restaurant.

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MISSION BBQ
MISSION BBQ, 1775 Paper Mill Rd., Wyomissing, PA
   MISSION BBQ, 1775 Paper Mill Rd.,
      Wyomissing, PA
August Reichardt, Manager of MISSION BBQ, Wyomissing.
   August Reichardt, Manager of MISSION
      BBQ, Wyomissing.
GFC Wins 1st Place Honors at Shoemakersville Parade
Sunday, May 3, 2015 
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GFC Crewmembers, equipped with buckets, rags, soap, water, and a full bottle of Windex, labored all day Saturday preparing Engine 55-1 for the Shoemakersville Lights and Sirens Parade, which was held on May 2nd, 2015.

Their efforts paid off at parade’s end when our 1991 Grumman pumper was awarded 1st place in the “BEST APPEARING and EQUIPPED ENGINE 1994 and OLDER” category.

GOOD JOB, CREW!

Congratulations to the following crewmembers: 2nd Ast. Chief Scott Trate; FF/EMT Amy Auker; FF Matt Haggard; Fire Police Officer Jeff Allen; Jr. FF Dylan Heckman; and Support Unit Member Tanya Allen.


 
Our trophy...
   Our trophy...
The Crew, left to right: Dylan Heckmann; Scott Trate; Amy Auker; Jeff Allen; Tanya Allen and Matt Haggard.
   The Crew, left to right: Dylan Heckmann;
      Scott Trate; Amy Auker; Jeff Allen;
      Tanya Allen and Matt Haggard.
GFC Welcomes its Newest Member (but not how you might think)
Thursday, April 30, 2015 12:28
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Grant Brian Fisher reported for duty to Chief Brian Fisher and wife Leslie (who did all the work) on Thursday, April 30th, at 12:28 p.m.

Grant arrived weighing in at 5 pounds, 11 ounces at a length of 18 inches.

Mother and son are doing well, but Chief Fisher, at last report, is still using a hyperventilation bag.

Congratulations to all.


 
Grant Brian Fisher
   Grant Brian Fisher
   
Home School Parenting Group Visits the GFC Station
Monday, April 27, 2015 
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Firefighters from Greenfields Co. 55 hosted our local home school parenting group who were given the “A” tour of the GFC Station.

The children were first given a welcoming fire prevention presentation by Chief Brian Fisher, which in included our ever poplar DVD Safety Smart About Fire staring the Disney Lion King characters Pumbaa the warthog and Timon the meerkat.  Afterward, the children adjourned to the Engine Bay and outdoor demonstration area for more fun activities.

Included in the day’s activities were: Crawling through our Day Room, which was filled with simulated non-toxic smoke; A tour our apparatus, including a trip through the cab of Engine 55; Our most popular fun game of “knock the tennis balls off of the traffic cones with a real fire hose"; and finally, two DVDs with actual footage of GFC and Mt. Pleasant incidents and activities.

Those participating for the GFC were: Chief Brian Fisher; FF/EMT Amy Auker; FF Matt Haggard; FF Gary Rarick; Fire Police Officer Jeff Allen; Jr. FF Dylan Matz; Support Unit Member Leigh-Ann Matz; Support Unit Member Sarah Barnett; and Photographer Steve Spies.

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Chief Fisher begins the presentation.
   Chief Fisher begins the presentation.
FF/EMT Amy Auker guides the children into our smoke filled Day Room.
   FF/EMT Amy Auker guides the children
      into our smoke filled Day Room.
GFC Participates in Hawk Mountain Council’s First Responder Day at Blue Marsh Lake
Saturday, April 25, 2015 08:00
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Firefighters from Greenfields Co. 55 teamed up with those from Mt. Pleasant Co. 30 and EMTs from Western Berks Ambulance to perform a vehicle rescue demonstration during the Hawk Mountain Council’s First Responder Day at Blue Marsh Lake.

For demonstration purposes a simulated motor vehicle accident, with injuries and entrapment, between a van and a sedan was staged in the Dry Brooks Day Use Area parking lot.  Firefighters using vehicle rescue tools, including the “Jaws of Life”, proceeded to dismantle the sedan in order for EMTs to be able to stabilize and extricate the injured patients inside.  Once the patients were extricated, firefighters further demonstrated the power of the “Jaws of Life” by transforming the sedan into a convertible with no doors.

In addition to the motor vehicle rescue demonstration, attendees were given tours of Greenfields’ Engine and Car 55, and Mt. Pleasant’s Quint and Rescue 30 apparatuses.

Those participating for the GFC were: Chief Brian Fisher, FF/EMT Amy Auker, FF Britni Cummings, Jr. FF Dylan Matz, Jr. FF Dylan Heckman, Support Unit Member Leigh-Ann Matz, and Photographer Steve Spies.

Click on the Camera Icon to see more pictures, and then click on the pictures to enlarge.


 
An accident between a van and a sedan is staged in the Dry Brooks parking lot.
   An accident between a van and a sedan is
      staged in the Dry Brooks parking lot.
Rescuers start by stabilizing the vehicle with
   Rescuers start by stabilizing the
      vehicle with "Step Cribbing".
Chimney Fire on White Oak Ln.
Friday, April 24, 2015 
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GFC responded to a call for a chimney fire in the 700 block of White Oak Lane Friday evening.

Upon arrival the GFC was greeted by the home owner and given access to the residence.  The chimney fire appeared to be out and 1st Assistant Chief Mahlon Auker requested firefighters from Wyomissing Co. 79 inspect the chimney.  Wyomissing firefighters determined that the fire was indeed out and occupancy of the structure was safe.

Ast. Chief Auker released the responding crews around 21:30.

Assisting the GFC were: Bernville Co.29, Mt. Pleasant Co. 30, Western Berks Co. 18, Temple Co. 11, Leesport Co. 37, Wyomissing Co. 79, Township of Spring Co. 85, and Schuylkill Valley EMS.

Those responding for the GFC were: 1st Chief Mahlon Auker, FF Jenny Reedy, and Photographer Steve Spies.

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Upon arrival the chimney fire appeared to be out.
   Upon arrival the chimney fire appeared
      to be out.
Ast. Chief Mahlon Auker request firefighters from Co. 79 inspect the chimney.
   Ast. Chief Mahlon Auker request
      firefighters from Co. 79 inspect the
      chimney.
HAZMAT Call on Tobias Lane
Thursday, April 23, 2015 20:18
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Firefighters from Greenfields Co. 55 along with other area companies were dispatched to the report of a strong odor of propane in the 100 block of Tobias Lane.

Upon arrival GFC personnel were contacted by a homeowner who directed them to the location of an underground propane tank.

Captain Billy pagan and FF Jenny Reedy inspected the location of the tank, and using hazardous gas detecting equipment were unable to detect any leaking gas. The odor of propane had disappeared by the time fire crews arrived, and the source of the odor could not be determined.

Those responding for the GFC were: 1st Assistant Chief Mahlon Auker, Captain Billy Pagan, FF Jenny Reedy, Jr. FF Eli Pagan, and Photographer Steve Spies.


 
FF Jenny Reedy, left, and Capt. Billy Pagan check for the presence of leaking propane.
   FF Jenny Reedy, left, and Capt. Billy
      Pagan check for the presence of leaking
      propane.
   
“Little Lamb” Preschool Visits the GFC Station
Thursday, April 23, 2015 09:30
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Children and parents from the Little Lamb Preschool at Epler’s Church were treated to a fire prevention presentation at the Greenfields Fire Station Thursday.

When the class arrived they were assembled in the Station’s Day Room for the presentation, which was conducted by Chief Fisher and FF Gary Rarick, who is also the pastor at Epler’s Church.  After the formal presentation, the class adjourned to the station’s engine bay for a tour of the fire apparatus and a group picture.

Those assisting Chief Fisher and FF Rarick were: FF/EMT Amy Auker, Jr. FF Dylan Matz, and Support Members Leigh-Anne Matz and Sarah Barnett.

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The children assembled in the station's day room for the fire prevention presentation.
   The children assembled in the station's
      day room for the fire prevention
      presentation.
GFC Thwarts Possible Structure Fire on Fairview Dr.
Monday, April 20, 2015 08:00
-
Firefighters from Greenfields Co. 55 were dispatched to an automatic fire alarm in the 1500 black of Fairview Drive Monday morning.

Upon arrival Companies from Leesport 37 and Temple 11 were already on scene, and the sound of alarms going off inside the residence could be heard.  A neighbor informed the crews that the couple who live in the residence were usually home at this time.  After a 360 of the structure had been performed, and because no one was answering the door, Chief Fisher ordered a forced entry into the structure.

When crews entered the structure they were met with the acrid odor of burning plastic, along with smoke showing.  Upon further inspection no one was found to be home, and a shattered coffee pot was found on the kitchen stove with its burner on high.  There was suet on the stove’s backsplash and the backsplash was warm to the touch, but there was no extension beyond that.  There was also minor smoke damage in the kitchen area.

It was later discovered that the couple who live in the residence had left early for a Dr.’s appointment and had neglected to turn off the stove’s burner.  Had it not been for the homes monitored fire alarm system and the quick thorough action of the fire crews on scene, this situation may have progressed into a full blown structure fire.

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The shattered coffee pot.
   The shattered coffee pot.
Burner left on hi.
   Burner left on hi.
Structure Fire in Muhlenberg Twp.
Monday, March 30, 2015 08:50
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Firefighters from Greenfields Co. 55 were dispatched to Muhlenberg Township to assist Goodwill Co. 10 with a structure fire in the 200 block of Jefferson St., just a few blocks away from Goodwill’s Station.

Upon arrival, GFC personnel reported to the manpower pool.  Shortly thereafter GFC Engine 55 was relocated to provide manpower at Goodwill Station 10, along with Blandon Co. 12, West Reading Co. 64 and Wyomissing Co. 79.  GFC Engine 55 was released shortly before 11:00 a.m.

Bern Township Fire Police assisted with traffic control in the area.  Fire police shut down sections of Madison Ave. and Jefferson St. during the incident.

The fire started in the resident’s kitchen, and rapidly spread through first and seconds floors causing extensive damage to the structure. No one was injured in the incident.

The source of the fire is under investigation.

Those responding for the GFC were: Chief Brian Fisher; FF Matt Haggard; Fire Police Captain Charlie Kerschner; Fire Police Officer Jeff Allen, and Photographer Steve Spies.

Click on the Camera Icon below to see more pictures, and then click on the pictures to enlarge.


 
Photo by FF/EMT Amy Auker. The fire started in the kitchen area and spread through the first and second floors.
   Photo by FF/EMT Amy Auker. The fire
      started in the kitchen area and spread
      through the first and second floors.
   
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