At the March 6 township council meeting, members of Lower Saucon Fire Rescue presented their annual report for 2018.
According to Chief Ty Johnson, Lower Saucon Fire Rescue members dedicated more than 4,050 hours responding to calls, training, and performing equipment and station maintenance last year. The department also continues to succeed despite the number of volunteers in the state decreasing from 300,000 to 50,000 in recent years. Chief Johnson praised the support of the township, especially when they release public works employees who are dually trained as firefighters to respond to calls.
Recently, the Se-Wy-Co and Southeastern Fire companies officially completed a merger to become Lower Saucon Fire Rescue. The departments and their volunteers offer a combined 150 years of service, demonstrating their devotion to the community. Lower Saucon Fire Rescue emphasizes integrity, teamwork, courage, compassion and diversity in its mission to save lives and protect property.
The annual report also congratulates Eric Billimoria as the Firefighter of the Year.
Billimoria responded to more than 300 emergency calls and completed several additional certification courses in addition to weekly training. He went above and beyond for the department, all while graduating cum laude from Lafayette College with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Lower Saucon Fire Rescue responded to 664 calls for service, a small increase from 2017. The most notable incidents in 2018 included structure fires, extended duration auto extrication, and the successful evacuation and water rescue of nearly 50 people in emergency flash flooding.
While 430 calls for service were in the department’s primary service area, Lower Saucon Fire Rescue takes pride in their well-balanced mutual aid system with other local departments. They responded to 234 mutual aid requests and received aid 228 times.
The department also listed its top 10 responders in 2018: Robert Gearhart, Doug Palenchar, Scott Krycia, Kyle Mertl, Eric Billimoria, Ty Johnson, Bryan Evans, James Rayner, David Kemmerer and Robert Buki.
Members of the department train every Monday night, beginning at 7 p.m. Eighty-nine percent of them are Firefighter 1 certified. Some members have also completed additional courses and certifications, such as Hazmat Operations, First Aid and CPR.
Lower Saucon Fire Rescue also prides itself on its community education and involvement. The department participated in 28 community events in 2018, including Saucon Valley School District Fire Safety Day, Saucon Valley Community Day, the 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb and various Touch-a-Truck, Open House and Saucon Valley High School athletic events.
Lower Saucon Fire Rescue is located at 3621 Old Philadelphia Pike and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, via their website LowerSauconFire.org or by calling 610-694-0761, or 911 in an emergency.