Battalion 3 and Firefighters from Battalion 1 completed their annual SCBA Qualification on Wed night. Crews were able to demonstrate both basic and advanced SCBA skills. 



January FF (Crew) of the Month

 January FF (Crew) of the Month Congratulations to the crew from Engine 1033 on being nominated and voted January Crew of the Month. Engine 1033's crew was the first due company on an apartment fire with heavy smoke showing from Div A on Blackwood Barnsboro Rd in early January. The crew, under the command of Lt Tim Weyand, laid a supple into the job, advanced an 1 3/4 attack line, and quickly knocked the fire down containing it to the kitchen of the involved unit. Crew members included:

FF John Godish

Lt Tim Weyand

FF Matt Laudenslager

FF Mark Alessandrini

FF Joe Brown

Great job guys!!!





The Washington Township Fire Department was dispatched Wednesday evening February 4th, at 8:05 PM for a report of a dwelling fire at 13 Longbow Drive with multiple explosions and fire coming from the garage and roof. The initial fire apparatus responded at 8:07 PM and Battalion Chief Joe Mason arrived on location at 8:10 PM reporting a heavy fire condition coming from the attached garage area. Firefighters initially deployed a large hose stream for the primary dwelling on fire and another hose stream for the house next door which had all of its exterior siding melting off. It was initially unknown if anyone was home at the time of the fire requiring firefighters to conduct intensive searches inside of the dwelling. By 8:26 PM, it was confirmed that all residents were accounted for and were not in the dwelling. All firefighters were ordered out of the building as the structural integrity had been seriously compromised by the fire at this point. The fire was placed under control at approximately 9:05 PM. 58 firefighters from the Washington Township Fire Department responded with 12 pieces of fire apparatus and they were assisted on the scene by Washington Township Ambulance and the Washington Township Police Department. During the height of the fire, fire apparatus from Williamstown, Glassboro, and Pitman protected the township. The last fire department unit left the scene at 2:26 AM. The origin and cause of the fire is under investigation by the WTFD’s Fire Investigation Unit and is being assisted by the Gloucester County Fire Marshal’s office. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries and the residents of the dwelling are staying with family members.

Contact Chief John Hoffman for further information.




By Meteorologist Kate Bilo   See video here

WASHINGTON TWP., N.J., (CBS) — As temperatures plunge tonight, you might think those icy ponds are frozen solid and safe. Don’t be fooled. As Eyewitness Weather meteorologist Kate Bilo found out when she joined a local fire department for ice rescue training, ice that looks solid can be a death trap.

Ten minutes. That’s how long you have after falling through the ice, before your muscles fail and you drown. That’s why I’m in a frigid pond, learning how rescuers from the Washington Township Fire Department save victims. Using specialized suits complete with ice picks, they practice, tethering themselves to shore, using equipment like a sled or a noodle sling.

This is just a drill, but it could happen at any time. Just Thursday in New York, a boy was trapped on an icy river, until rescuers reached him with a ladder.

“We were worried if he moved at all the ice was so thin, it would put out and he’d be sucked down the river,” said FDNY firefighter Chris Harkinish.

In 2012, home video caught the scene as multiple people rushed to help a sledder who fell into a California lake, only to fall in themselves. They got out, but it’s exactly the wrong thing to do.

“You end up being another victim with the person that’s out there,” explained Chief John Hoffman of the Washington Township Fire Department.

In 2007 in Mount Laurel, a boy fell through the ice while trying to help someone else. Firefighter Patrick Sharkey was one of the rescuers. He nearly became a victim himself once when his dog fell into an icy lake.

“My heart sank, and I knew that she was in serious trouble because of the training and background I have,” Sharkey said. He called 911, got into the icy water, but couldn’t reach her.

“We’re in the business to help and save people, and now I’m the victim, and I gotta rely on someone else to do the hero work,” Sharkey said. “I put a lot of people at risk.”

Sharkey was able to get out, and firefighters rescued his dog.

Back at the rescue scene with Washington Township Fire, it’s my turn to beat the clock and rescue a “victim.”

I tell him, “Come onto the ice shelf! Can you make it over? Keep your hands up, we’re coming.”

I put the noodle sling around the “victim” and try to wrap the Velcro strap. “All right, it’s my first time!”

Now that we’re both tethered, I get in the water behind him, lift him up, and we’re pulled safely to shore.

If you fall through the ice, experts say put your arms and hands on the ice shelf, and kick as hard as you can. They told me once you are on the ice, don’t stand up. Roll away from the hole to spread your weight.

Getting out was hard. But I’m finally out of the water, off the ice, and safe.

The rescuers told me, the majority of their calls are about someone trying to rescue an *animal* and getting in trouble. They say don’t risk it. Just call 911. No ice is safe ice.



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