VIDEO HERE: Change constant at SDFD
SHAMOKIN DAM – For the Shamokin Dam Fire Company, it is about more than just fighting fires. The group of about 20 volunteer members works hard to maintain a high level of training and standards says Deputy Fire Chief Jon Gray. “We average about 400-450 calls a year,” says Gray.
The company’s Rapid Intervention Team, or RIT, consists of specially trained members who are prepared to rescue one of their own in the case of an emergency. In addition, the company also specializes in water and rope rescue, along with vehicle extrication.
Volunteer Todd Cragle, who has been with the company for over 35 years, says the extra training they get is instrumental in and out of an emergency scenario. “From the ways things were back then to the way they are now, the hours of training have gotten longer, which I agree with. The more hours you spend practicing, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to apply it.”
Volunteer Michael Smith agrees, “I think it has made me a better person. Plus, the training you get is not only for fire service. I travel for work and sometimes you come upon an accident and you are able to help out too.”
Over the years, the number of volunteers has dropped dramatically and the need for more is dire says Gray. “Firefighting is just a small percentage of what we do. There is apparatus needs, cleaning apparatus, office work, data entry, housecleaning, maintaining files and volunteering at different events we do each year.”
The Shamokin Dam Fire Company was organized in 1930. They serve the borough of Shamokin Dam along with providing aid to many townships throughout Snyder and surrounding counties. You can get more information at www.shamokindamfire.org. (Sara Bartlett)