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Township Report: 2015 Safe Year In Firefighting

In a photo shot from atop a ladder, Ringing Hill volunteers provide assistance in a Sept. 16, 2015, fire in Upper Pottsgrove

SANATOGA PA – Members of Lower Pottsgrove’s two volunteer firefighting companies, Ringing Hill and Sanatoga, during 2015 answered a combined total of 1,004 calls for assistance for everything from firefighting to traffic control to neighborhood non-fire emergencies, township Fire Marshal Lew Babel recently noted in his annual report.

Yet despite the size of that number, he told the Board of Commissioners earlier this month (Feb. 1, 2016), township residents enjoyed “a very unusual safe year, with relatively little structural damage.”

Damage incurred during 2015 to properties within the township involved in fires or other circumstances was valued in Babel’s report at $88,300. That’s significantly less than the more than $781,000 amount that represented the value of damage in 2015, he said.

Babel’s report notes the Sanatoga company, Montgomery County “Station 58,” in the past 12 months responded to 346 total calls, involving almost 381 hours of company service and representing more than 1,594 hours of volunteer-donated time. On average, seven volunteers responded to each call.

Sanatoga’s Fire Police unit, for which separate statistics are kept, logged 352 calls during 2015: 232 within the township, 76 in mutual aid to neighboring municipalities; and 44 on special service duties. It rendered 483 hours of service, representing 1,006 hours of volunteer time, with an average of about two volunteers per call.

Township Report: 2015 Safe Year In Firefighting

Sanatoga and Ringing Hill volunteers respond to a chimney fire late last month (January 2016)

Ringing Hill, county “Station 59,” in the past 12 months responded to 306 total calls, involving more than 259 hours of service and representing 1,533 hours of volunteer-donated time, according to the report. The average attendance per call was not noted, and fire police totals are included in Ringing Hill’s numbers, Babel said.

Four Sanatoga volunteers were injured in the line of duty in 2015, the report said, as were two from Ringing Hill.

In addition to all they do officially, the fire marshal added, members of both companies spent thousands of additional volunteer hours in training, providing supportive services to their respective companies, and in fund-raising to cover operating expenses and equipment purchases not covered by the annual fire tax billed to property owners by the township.

Township Commissioners Meet Feb. 18

Commissioners are next scheduled to meet Thursday (Feb. 18) at 7 p.m. in the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd. The meeting is free to attend and open to the public.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Feb. 1 meeting):

Photos from Ringing Hill and Sanatoga fire companies, respectively

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