History of Station 12 Continued -
1996 - 2008
In 1996 a devastating flood occurred in the Susquehanna Valley. Once again, CTVFC was called to many areas of the County to assist with the rescue of trapped people due to rising flood waters. We nearly lost three of our divers along the Lycoming Creek when the jet head sucked a large pine branch into the impeller, thus limiting the ability of the boat to move in the raging waters. It was repaired later that day after we were able to get it out of the water. During rescues late that night, our jet engine on the boat jammed again with ice and stranded two CTVFC members in the flood waters. A US Army “Chinook” helicopter retrieved them from the water and the boat was finally recovered by our divers two days later. The decision was then made to remove the jet drive and replace it with a propeller driven engine.
In 1996 the Company took possession of the first hydraulic rescue tools ever owned by them. An Amkus extrication system consisting of the Gas powered hydraulic pump with two sets of hoses, a 28 inch spreader, an “O” cutter, and the accessory chain kits were delivered and placed into service. Over the years, an electric powered hydraulic pump capable of running two tools at once was added. We have also included two hydraulic rams and a combination cutter/spreader to our extrication arsenal.
On January 17 1997, CTVFC members were dispatched to what would be considered one of the worst alarms one could ever receive, a structure fire was reported at the fire station. With the help of neighboring fire companies, the fire was contained to the social hall area of the fire station. Once again, Hulsizer’s Chevrolet came to the rescue of the Company and allowed us to house our apparatus in their garage for the weekend. We were able to save all of our apparatus. The members worked diligently to close off the damaged area and to restore heat and power to the building. We are very proud of the fact that WE WERE NEVER OUT OF SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY during this period. In fact, we held bingo in the building the next Saturday night.
After the fire, a committee was formed to explore the reconstruction of the fire station. After much thought and exploration, it was determined that the old building could not be restored and brought into compliance with the building codes or the Pa Dept. of Labor and Industry standards that needed to be met. By May of 1998, the new building was turned over to the membership and it has served our community and the Company well.
1998 was the first year for the annual Beatlesfest fundraiser with CTVFC. This event has grown over the years to become a great fund raiser for the Company
In 1999, the Company approached the Clinton Township Supervisors about increasing the dedicated fire tax in the Township to provide additional funding for the Company. This was quite controversial in the community with a small but vocal group, led by members of a neighboring fire company, who were opposed to the idea. Initially, the matter was defeated, but then it was eventually approved and the Fire Tax was established at 1 mill thus providing approximately $70,000 per year at that time, to the Company. The fire tax cost the typical homeowner $1.00 per every thousand dollars of assessed value of their home. In 1999 the average assessed value was $62,500 in Clinton Township and each homeowner paid $62.50 per year to support the Fire Company. This did NOT eliminate our need to raise funds on our own to provide the services that we do.
In 2002, CTVFC purchased a used Sutphen 100 foot Tower truck from the City of Longview, Texas. The truck was completely refurbished and placed into service. This is the first truck of its kind in the Company and it has become an invaluable asset to our Company. In the past, we relied on this type of apparatus coming great distances to provide assistance to us.
On July 28, 2002, CTVFC placed its first ever ambulance into service to serve the Township of Clinton. This was done for a myriad of reasons but first and foremost was to be able to provide a much needed service to our residents in a cost effective way that ensured that no one would ever need to worry about the cost of an ambulance trip. Within the first year of service, we expanded our primary response area to include the Townships of Brady and Washington in Lycoming County.
In 2003, the single worst “loss of life” vehicle accident in Lycoming County occurred in Clinton Township on Route 15 South of the Penn DOT Stockpile. It involved a van full of Chinese educators that lost control, went down an embankment, and struck a tree. 7 men were killed instantly. With the help of our State Representative and the News Media, CTVFC fought Penn DOT to improve safety on this stretch of roadway by installing guide rails along the road.
In 2004, we received a Federal Fire Act Grant in the amount of $128,000 that was used to replace all of our SCBA or breathing air masks. It also provided for us to have 20 of these units instead of the 11 that we previously had. This gave us more firemen available to go into dangerous atmospheres to fight fire and perform rescues than ever before. We also purchased 30 complete sets of firefighting gear for the members with the newest type available. Before this, we had three or four different types and colors of gear for the members to wear. The grant also provided us with 30 new portable radios. This allowed us to provide every member with a portable radio which effectively improved the overall safety of the members working at incidents by ensuring that everyone could communicate with each other in an emergency.
In 2004, a second ambulance was purchased to meet the ever increasing demands upon our service.
In 2005, the present Tanker truck was donated to the Company by the supervisors of Brady Township to replace our aging 1973 Tanker. The “new” tanker was manufactured by Mountain High Equipment in Walla Walla Washington at a cost of $62,000. President Ron Winder and Chief Todd Winder flew to Washington State and drove the truck across the country. The members installed the lights, siren, and equipment saving additional costs. We cannot thank the Brady Township Supervisors enough for this piece of equipment. It has made a significant impact on our ability to fight fires in areas not served by fire hydrants. Those Supervisors were, Timothy Bower, Ray LaForme, and “Jake” Masser.
A building renovation was started this year. We closed in one of the engine bays and added a training and conference room on the ground floor. This gives us a dedicated space for officer meetings, EMS trainings, and can be used by small groups in the community for meetings. The second floor portion was constructed into a bunk room with 6 beds for firemen to use in the event that severe storms or flooding events require us to man our station for long periods of time. The original meeting room was converted into office space to be shared by the administrative officers and the fire chiefs. Previously, there were no offices in the new building. We also constructed an EMS room that contains all of our EMS supplies and provides a space for ambulance crews to perform their record keeping tasks. All of this was made possible through a grant and the labor was performed by members of the Company.
In 2006 a wheelchair van was purchased to provide this type of transport service to those that need it. This unit is also used to transport supplies, manpower, and equipment to training or incidents whenever it is needed.
In 2007, CTVFC with the help of a grant purchased an Oxygen generator and refilling station for the ambulance service’s use. This machine generates medical grade Oxygen and has the ability to fill cylinders at a high pressure. This machine allows us to refill our Oxygen cylinders at the fire station without the need to transport them to a dealer and pay for costs associated with filling the cylinders. Due to this purchase, we were also able to provide Oxygen to the Washington Twp. Fire Company for their use in the Quick Response Service Vehicle that responds to medical emergencies and vehicle accidents. We provide Oxygen to the Montgomery Area School District for use by the school nurse’s office. We provide Oxygen to the Lycoming County Resource Management (Landfill) Safety Team and the Safety Team at Construction Specialties Corporation in Clinton Twp. All of this is at no charge to the recipients.
We found ourselves out of room in our kitchen to provide food preparation and storage space when we cater banquets and dinners. An addition was built onto the fire station at the rear to house a larger kitchen. This was a 24 by 50 foot addition that was built primarily by the members, yet again saving money.
With the assistance of yet another grant, we were able to purchase a trailer and named it our Special Response Unit. This trailer carries specialized equipment that is used to clean up hazardous material spills and various other duties. This equipment is not used very frequently and it made sense to put it into a trailer that could be used when needed to alleviate the congestion in compartments on the other apparatus.
2008 is upon us and again we are in the early process of forming a committee to replace two of our trucks. Our Rescue and Utility truck are overflowing and need to be replaced with one efficient piece of equipment.
We are confident that this and all other challenges that face us will be met with the same courage and conviction that has sustained us since the beginning. We will continue to grow and meet the demands placed upon us by those in the communities that we serve.