Firefighters from Northmoreland Township Volunteer Fire Company have provided an additional service outside their traditional roles as emergency responders.
Northmoreland Fire Chief Chuck Story reported the department participated in a photo shoot last August held by the International Fire Service Training Association to provide pictures published in the Principles of Vehicle Extrication Manual.
More than 20 Northmoreland Volunteers took part in the photo shoot that lasted a week. The event was held at the Boots and Hanks Auto Yard on Keyser Avenue in Scranton. Each skill set required numerous photos, showing the proper techniques and appropriate safety elements involved. In all, more than 220 photos of the Northmoreland Volunteers were included in the newest edition of the manual.
Story said that he, along with John Sileski from Hurst Rescue Tools, and Joe Burke from Boots and Hanks coordinated the staging of the vehicles.
“This was an incredible opportunity for our members to participate in something that has the potential to be in every fire station in the country,” the chief explained. “Not only did our members participate in the 90 degree plus days, but they also maintained crew back at the station for calls. We always try to stay ahead of the curve with training and progressive thinking, and this is another way that we were able to do so. We are very fortunate to have a great group of volunteers and their enthusiasm and willingness to go above and beyond, makes us who we are.”
Participating Northmoreland Volunteers included Jacob DeRoberto and Vicky Martin, who were also chosen to be on the 2017 IFSTA calendar for the month of May.
“They had us run through different scenes,” Roberto explained, who is a lieutenant with the company. “It provided us with great education on preparedness.”
Roberto said he has been a firefighter with Northmoreland for the past six years since he was 14.
“A lot of my friends were doing it and it looked like fun. After I started, I really began to enjoy it, because it really helps me to feel fulfilled,” he said.
While working on the project, Roberto said he and the other firefighters were told it was “basically like Hollywood.”
“We had to do it slow,” he explained. “They would take a shot, then we would set up another scene and they would take another picture.”
Roberto said he is honored that he and other Northmoreland firefighters will be featured in the Principles of Vehicle Extrication Manual until its next publication seven years from now.
“That was a tough week, with the high temperatures and being in full gear all day long made it hard, but knowing that we were able to participate in something that impacts training for firefighters made it all worthwhile,” he said. “We all busted our backs that week and we were busy with calls too, but it was a once in a lifetime experience, so we were glad we got to do it.”
“It was a great opportunity on the part of Northmoreland to be part of the manual,” Martin explained.
Martin said she is happy that her son, Adam Martin, who is also a firefighter with Northmoreland, participated in the event.
“To me, it was very exciting,” she explained. “It isn’t very often that you see a mother and son involved in such an event. Usually it’s a father and son.
Martin said she served as a firefighter from 1985 to 1990, and started with Northmoreland three years ago. Back in 1988, she was the first female firefighter to serve with the Shavertown Fire Company.
“I’m proud and humble,” Martin said about being one of the firefighters featured in the manual. “It’s not something that everybody gets a chance to do.”