ADAMS TWP — Officials from two fire departments told the township supervisors Monday night that they had a busy year in 2012.
Both departments are supported by the township.
Curt Huffman, chief at Callery Volunteer Fire Department, said activity is ramping up.
He said the department responded to 319 calls last year and firefighters put in 9,000 hours in training, fundraising activities and meetings.
He said the department already has 2,000 hours so far this year.
“We are on pace to go well beyond what we did last year,” Huffman said.
He said one new project at the Callery fire hall this year includes preplanning for fighting fires on commercial properties.
He said the department also has scheduled 17 training classes that will be free to members.
Huffman suggested the supervisors, fire officials, emergency medical personnel and police hold quarterly meetings to ensure consistent emergency services in the township and borough.
Adams Area Fire District Chief Bill Hayes told the supervisors that his firefighters responded to 654 calls in 2012 and logged 3,000 hours of training.
He said the fire district also sold a tanker and engine for 85 percent of their value, and had another engine refurbished.
Hayes also said the fire district streamlined expenses and finished 2012 under budget. He said ther department’s membership has risen in the past three months, increasing by one or two new firefighters each month.
For 2013, Adams Area is planning the renovation of its Mars and Valencia fire halls, Hayes said.
Regarding response times, Hayes said Adams Area arrives on a call about seven minutes after dispatch. Huffman said Callery’s response time is about 9 minutes.
Like most fire departments, Callery must wait for firefighters to arrive at the fire hall to respond to a call, Huffman said.
Hayes said Adams Area is able schedule a handful of firefighters to be on-site in the living quarters at the Mars station, and plans to add more on-site firefighters this year.
Supervisor Russ Ford said the supervisors and residents respect the volunteers and the time they serve.
He asked if the fire whistles, which for years were set off at the fire hall for each call, would be reactivated.
The fire chiefs said that technology precludes the need for public fire whistles, and while some miss them, they are unnecessary.
They said the whistles remain operational in case of a community emergency.