Ahhh… Spring! As we look forward to the warmer temperatures and all the fresh new things that come with, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on last year’s Fire Department activities.
Our annual carnival and parade was blessed with great weather and ended up being our most successful event ever! Folks like you came out in droves to support us and there are not enough words that will convey how much we appreciate you.
Many community events filled our schedule like the Township Community Day, our own Glow-ball golf tournament, the Blackhawk PTO’s Boo Thru Halloween celebration, and our greatly successful “Open House” held at our station, as well as the community open house held by the Beaver Falls Fire Department at Beaver Falls High School.
We participated in Chippewa’s first ever “Christmas in Chippewa” at Wright Fields where kids of all ages were able to come to our tent and make s’mores. We even had our antique Jeep decorated and on display. Many folks took selfies and used the Jeep as a backdrop for family pictures.
Our Santa Stops were fun and festive as were the Christmas parades that we attended in Beaver and Beaver Falls.
We had several members teach fire prevention at local preschools and church organizations.
We even emptied our station’s apparatus bay and sponsored a championship caliber corn hole tournament.
We attended all these events and many more, in addition to our trainings and emergency responses. It goes to show that our service reaches far beyond just putting out fires.
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to three members last year that served us so proudly:
- Lt. Sam Stadterman of the Patterson Heights VFD started his fire career with us here in Chippewa
- Lt. Charlie Ellefson, who loved this department so much
- Chief Robert Beatty, Ret., who instilled pride in every member he commanded
The contributions these members have made will never be forgotten.
At our annual banquet, Jaye Graham officially announced that he was stepping down after over 23 years in his role as Chief. It is the end of an era—one that signifies many changes that are coming our way.
With so much history behind us, we look forward with anticipation to big steps forward the department will make in the coming years.
Currently, we have upgraded all our radios, purchased all new breathing apparatus and protective fire gear, as well as truck mounted iPads. We also purchased new rescue tools to replace some that were nearly twenty years old.
We have several members actively pursuing additional training such as Essentials of Firefighting, Emergency Medical Responder, Firefighter I and Firefighter II certifications, and many others.
The old scale house building has been torn down and replaced with a larger, more suitable storage building and soon our storage shed will also be replaced. Storage has long been an issue in our cramped and aging station, and we can’t thank the township officials enough for making these improvements.
Moving forward, plans will have to be made to start replacing our three larger trucks that are approaching twenty years and the goal is to one day serve out of a new fire station—one that can stand up to the demands of the ever-changing fire service and will last for years to come.
Yes, spring is a time of rebirth. A time to open the doors, get outside, and shake off those winter doldrums. In the fire service, that means that we will be continuously updating our training as well as researching new and innovative ways to do our job better, faster, and safer.
It is hard to imagine, but this year marks 95 years since the Chippewa Township Volunteer Fire Department was established. We have come such a long way and will continue to do so!
Our community and those around us are growing and changing faster than ever. We are challenged to meet those changes head on, and it is our top priority to provide the best possible emergency response that we can.
We hope as the weather turns mild that we can all get out, relax, and enjoy the many amenities that our township has to offer. When you see us out and about, feel free to say hello. Remember, each and every one of our members are volunteers, giving back to their community in a unique and very important way. Your acknowledgment and support mean the world to us!
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook or on our website, www.chippewafire.org. We look forward to serving you in 2022!