In June 1955 a committee was appointed to design a Seal for the State Association and a Badge that would be recognized statewide. The final sketch was selected as the official seal and the official badge of the Pennsylvania State Police Association. The only difference between the seal and the police badge was made by removing the words "Deo Volente" (God willing) from the seal and inserting the words "Fire Police" for the badge. Incorporated in the badge and seal is the spirit in which the Association was founded.
The triangle signifies man's dependence on a Supreme Being and the completion of the firefighting organizations of Pennsylvania, the Firemen, the Fire Chiefs and the Fire Police.
On the outer half of the triangle are the words - "Fidelity" - "Protection" and "Assistance". Directly below the triangle are the words "Deo Volente". This part of the triangle has a significant meaning to all Fire Police, namely - "God willing they will be faithful to their association and give protection and assistance to their fellow man." In the circle around the triangle are the words "Servants of Brotherhood." This signifies that the Fire Police have volunteered their service to their fellow man in time of need. Whether it be time, money or their life, if necessary. In the center of the triangle is the year the Association was incorporated in Lancaster County, 1949.
PENNSYLVANIA FIRE POLICE ASSOCIATION
P.O. Box 586, Effort, PA 18330
Phone 717 329-6118
A Pennsylvania Special Fire Police Officer is a member of a volunteer fire company empowered by the municipality to handle emergency situations throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
We are trained to address those situations and difficulties the public faces in encountering them.
We are the face of the volunteer fire company. When a resident arrives on the scene in a panic as their home and belongings are being destroyed by flames, we are the compassionate face that directs them to the scene to learn the extent of their loss.
We make a safe path for apparatus arriving on a scene.
We welcome the men and women of the media as they attempt to do their jobs. We allow them to do so in a limited area for their safety and the safety of the fire fighters on the scene.
We welcome the Red Cross and provides a safe place for them to work.
We assist the utility worker in making a scene safe for all those present.
We direct motorists around the scene of an accident or explains to them the reason for the delay. As best as we can, we provide information on alternate routes, recognizing that many people do not respond well to a change in their plans.
We assist the Emergency Medical Technicians in working without interference, and in departing the scene to obtain necessary treatment for victims.
We provide safe clearance around a helicopter landing zone so no one is injured by flying debris or a possible landing accident.
We protect the public from a police incident where there may be live fire.
We assist the public in evacuation and clearance of a hazardous material incident.
We are the face that the friend or relative of an accident victim sees as they approach with apprehension for their loved ones. We calm them and provide a safe place to park. We walk them to command to assist them in dealing with the tragedy.
We help the police officer move a wrecker into position, control a crime scene, and identify possible arson suspects in a suspicious fire scene.
We observe an impaired motorist and within our limited authority, detain that motorist until a police officer is available to address any motor vehicle code infraction.
We are dedicated, trained and prepared to solve any problem we face.
We are the public relations arm of the fire company, dealing with the public, sharing what information we can, assuring them that fire fighters know their job, and providing a safe experience for the fire fighters, EMTs, Media, victims, and the public.
Jack Urling, Revised 2013
Everywhere we look, we find the number of people volunteering is dropping. Not just in the Fire Police, but also in the Fire Departments, ambulances and even little league coaching and scouts.
What incentives do we offer to attract people to become Fire Police? Across Pennsylvania, the same concerns are raised - Fire Police are treated poorly. Fire Companies balk at buying the equipment we need - our favorite story is the FD that spent $2200. on murals for their tanker commemorating 9-11 only to turn around and deny a $1500 arrow board for their donated Traffic Unit. or anther FD that spec'd the chrome wheel inserts for their new Engine at an $1800 cost, moments after denying $600 for the Fire Police to purchase cones - especially when they had NONE that were 28" or reflective.
What's really surprising is all of the "it costs money to equip a firefighter" charts available (google it). When you total the signs, cones, barricades, etc needed to stock a FD, the cost is just under $9000. Yet, according to the firefighter equipment charts, it costs anywhere from $8600 to $14000 to equip one firefighter. Not asking anything away here, but the Fire Commissioner's annual grant is more than $9000, so there is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE why each FD has denied FPO's the tools to do their job....
Don't even get us started on vehicles! We've never seen a cop told to use his own car for patrolling. We've never seen an EMT told to take a sick person to the hospital in their own car. Firefighter's don's have to bring their own ladders, water, or hoses to fight fires. Even the township guy putting up new street signs doesn't use his own vehicle. So why are we using our own cars??? Especially with the price of gas these days!
We've let ourselves get walked on, because our generation grew up sacrificing for everyone else. Our parents or grandparents went through the Great Depression and we learned directly how bad things could be. We learned the value of saving "for a rainy day". We used our own cars and bought our own equipment because we had the sense of community that has vanished over the past three decades. Now it's expected of us to be in the background and be quiet, while others plot fancy new fire trucks with chrome wheels and a multi-color murals. We never learned to say "enough is enough)".
Of course we have no guidance. The motto of the Pennsylvania Fire Police Association should be "Status quo's the way to go!" as they have done absolutely nothing for us over the last twenty years. NO wonder their memberships declining! This organization thinks recipes are more important for their Newspaper then articles about how the laws are changing! We're talking about an organization that fought having a website, and doesn't want to expand the site or put relevant material on it! They have NO voice in Harrisburg, and numerous times dropped the ball on new regs, rules and Legislation. In all fairness, more has actually come out of this group in the past few years, so hope springs!
So, who can do our job? We're aging so fast that we'll be too old in 10 years to hobble out of the way of traffic.
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