Monday nights at the Greenfield Fire Co. are normally set aside for training. This Monday night, however, turned into the real thing when a dispatch went out for “all hands on deck”.
Sometime before 18:00 a brush fire had started on Mt. Penn somewhere in the area behind the Reading High School. Arriving crews from Reading Fire quickly determined that their resources were going to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the blaze. Dry and windy conditions were causing the fire to spread rapidly and a call for reinforcements was issued.
The fire could be seen from the parking lot of the GFC Fire Station, and our firefighters were anxiously awaiting their dispatch. It came at 19:39. What started out as an evening of training became a night of practical experience in forestry fire fighting that lasted into the pre-dawn hours of the next day.
Every piece of apparatus the GFC owns was put into service for the call. E55, E55-1 and Brush 55 did pumping duties and supplied almost 700 ft. of 1.75 inch hose. U55 and C55 delivered firefighters for manpower along with fire police for traffic control. A total of 17 of GFC’s personnel joined the estimated 150 firefighters dispatched from companies throughout the County to contain the blaze.
Firefighters battled the fire in wind chill conditions reported to be in the mid-20s and finally brought it under control around 03:00. The GFC crew was released shortly thereafter,
An estimated 50 acres of woodland area on Mt. Penn were reportedly consumed by the fire. No structures were reported to have been damaged.
The cause of the fire is being investigated by District Fire Wardens.
Special thanks are in order for Mohnton Co. 57 for staffing our Station while the majority of our crew members and all of our apparatus were at the fire. Also, many thanks to Support Member Leigh-Ann Mats and Dave Steffey for having hot food ready for the crew upon their return.
Photos courtesy of The Reading Eagle and Jeremy Drey
Those joining the foray for the GFC were:
Chief Brian Fisher
Asst. Chief / Fire Police Capt. Terry Royce
Firefighter / Chief Engineer Eric Thrush
FFs Billy Pagan, Scott Trate, Jenny Reedy, Dylan Heckman, and Joe Stoudt
Prob. FF Dylan Noll
Jr. FFs Dylan Matz, Eli Pagan, and Victoria Calleja
Fire Police Lt. Jeff Allen
Fire Police Sargent Donny Sando
Fire Police officer Gary Pinsonnault
Support Members Jordan Miller and Leigh-Ann Matz