While he was in Council chambers during last Wednesday’s (January 22) Sunbury Village Council meeting stumping Council members to locate a new weather-warning siren at the West Cherry Street BST&G Fire District Station House, BST&G Chief Jeff Wilson presented a brief overview of his department’s 2013 performance.
First, Wilson noted that during 2013 BST&G took delivery of its new $865,000 Rosenbauer Ladder Truck, L-351, paid for with cash and a $600,000-plus FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant. Wilson emphasized that the fire district holds the truck’s title, free and clear.
During 2013 BST&G firefighters responded to 905 calls, down slightly from 919 calls in 2012. Wilson said 503 of those calls were for medic assistance. The station’s reaction time averaged 1 minute and 37 seconds to get out the door; the average response time was 5 minutes and 34 seconds — well under the National Fire Protection Association’s 6-minute standard.
“The technical demands of firefighting have gone up,” Wilson said. “In 2013 we sent four firefighters through a technical rescue program; another four will go through the program in 2014.”
Wilson also said the fire district came in $103,000 under budget during 2013.
“We watch every dollar that comes through our department,” Wilson said. “We will continue to watch area growth and respond to that growth.”
Wilson noted that BST&G is not a full-time fire department, but does keep four firefighters on board 24 hours every day using part-time staff.
“We always have a minimum of one paramedic on duty, typically two, and sometimes three,” Wilson said. “Over one-half of our roster are paramedics, the rest are certified EMT’s.”
Wilson also noted that his department maintains a healthy working relationship with Delaware County Emergency Medical Services, and especially the Delaware County’s EMS Medic 2 located in the village.
Eastern Delaware County residents have always had a need for fire protection. Historically, Sunbury had a fire department dating back into the 1800’s. Galena had its own fire department until 1972. All the adjacent townships could do in a fire emergency was depend on their neighbors for help.
In 1952, the Berkshire, Sunbury, Trenton Fire Department was formed. When the Village of Galena Fire Department dissolved, Galena came on board, forming today’s Berkshire, Sunbury, Trenton & Galena Fire District.
The BST&G Fire District covers 53 square miles.