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Philipsburg Fire Department Struggles With Funding
Friday, November 26, 2004 8:00 Hours
Article by Joe Hollis
Facing a shortage in funds and a shortage in manpower, the Philipsburg Fire Department is meeting with municipalities it serves, asking for help. The fire department, made up of the Reliance and Hope Fire Companies, is more than 70 percent self funded. This is accomplished by fundraising efforts like weekly bingo games, raffle tickets, boot drives, and Christmas tree sales. The five municipalities which make up the Moshannon Valley Fire Council (Rush Township, Philipsburg Borough, South Philipsburg Borough, Boggs Township, and Decatur Township) provide only 20 percent of the department’s annual budget of $200,000. The MVFC was formed in 1982 to help support the fire service. No direct fire company increase has been awarded to the fire companies since the formation of the Moshannon Valley Fire Council. The heavy dependence on fundraising has resulted in fewer hours to train. An estimated 4,500 hours are attributed to fire suppression and 8,500 hours for fundraising activities, but just 600 hours for training. The numbers are even starker for recruitment. Fewer and fewer people are joining the fire department, and the effects are starting to show.

Hope Fire Company Receives State Grant
Friday, November 26, 2004 8:00 Hours
Article by Joe Hollis
Hope Fire Company Receives State Grant The Fire Company received a $9563.75 grant from the Volunteer Fire Company Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program of Pennsylvania. The grant monies were used to repair portions of the roof at the fire station on Front and Locust Streets. The roof over the apparatus has been leaking for several years, causing water damage to the equipment housed at the station. The roof could not previously be repaired due to lack of funds. Additional funds are still needed to replaced the roof over the living
quarters of the fire station.

Explosion and Fire at Emulsion Plant
Friday, August 13, 2004 9:07 Hours
Article by Joe Hollis
Hope Fire Company was summoned to assist the BJW Fire Company for a fire at Whitaker Roads Corporation located at 88 Barrett Road in Bradford Township. It is unclear as to the circumstances, but as the employees walked away from the storage tanks, an explosion occurred. A 50,000 gallon tank containing asphalt products caught fire sending black smoke into the air, which could be seen up to 20 miles away. Firefighters from 12 companies battled the blaze for nearly four hours. Close to 300 gallons of foam were used to extinguish the inferno. The Hope and Reliance Fire Companies of Philipsburg, Wallaceton Fire Company, Madera Fire Company, Hyde Fire Company, Clearfield Boro Stations 2 and 4, Glen Richey Fire Company, Lawrence Township Fire Company, Columbia Fire Company of Osceola Mills, Rescue Hose and Ladder of Curwensville, and the Clearfield EMS assisted the BJW Fire Company.

Chester Hill Apartment Fire Leaves Family Homeless
Thursday, August 12, 2004 18:30 Hours
Article by Joe Hollis
A family of four is homeless after a fire broke out at Sunny Slopes, Apartment 1015C in Chester Hill. The alarm sounded at 6:30 pm. Chester Hill Fire Chief Rick Loughhead arrived on scene and advised heavy smoke with possible entrapment. A search of the building found no one was home. The fire was contained to the kitchen and living room areas, the rest of the building suffered extensive smoke and water damage. According to Trooper Mike McCracken, State Police Fire Marshal, the fire started as a result of the stove being turned on and the oil in the pan overheating. The Hope and Reliance Fire Companies of Philipsburg, Madera Fire Company, Morris Township Fire Company, Columbia Fire Company of Osceola Mills, and Moshannon Valley EMS assisted the Chester Hill Fire Company. One firefighter from Columbia Fire Company was transported to Philipsburg Area Hospital. There were no other injuries.

Plane Down at Mid-State Regional Airport
Tuesday, August 3, 2004 18:15 Hours
Article by Joe Hollis
Plane Down at Mid-State Regional Airport A Piper Comanche crashed at the Mid-State Airport in Rush Township after the plane lost power shortly after take off. The single engine plane was about 300 to 400 feet in the air when the engine began to lose power. According to the State Police of Philipsburg, Michael Thomas Brobeck of Port Matilda was taking two friends, Terry Wesley Simpson and Brock Andrew Meckley for an evening flight when the plane encountered trouble. The plane went down about 1000 feet off the approach end of Runway 16. The
three men extricated themselves from the wreckage before emergency crews arrived and were not injured. The plane was destroyed in the crash. The Hope and Reliance Fire Companies, The Moshannon Valley EMS, State Police Aviation Unit, Centre County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue, Mid State Regional Airport Authority, and the Centre County EMA responded to the incident. The Port Matilda Fire Company and the Milesburg Fire Company were dispatched but were cancelled en route.

Two Hospitalized After House Fire
Tuesday, July 13, 2004 2:30 Hours
Article by Joe Hollis
The Philipsburg Fire Department were summoned to 2404 Black Moshannon Road in Rush Township for a reported dwelling fire. PFD Chief Jeff Harris arrived on scene to report a working fire at the single story home. Two occupants, William and Annabel Richmond were transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation and are listed in serious condition. The fire was quickly contained to the basement area. According to the State Police Fire Marshal, the cause of the fire was an extension cord that was stretched under a rug. Rain water entered the basement and caused the extension cord to get wet and overheat. Six fire companies from Clearfield and Centre Counties fought the blaze for two hours. Milesburg Fire Company, Chester Hill Hose Company, Columbia Fire Company of Osceola Mills, Winburne Fire Company, Houtzdale Fire Company and the Moshannon Valley EMS assisted.

Accident Claims Life of West Decatur Man
Saturday, June 19, 2004 02:00 Hours
Article by Joe Hollis
Rescue crews from Hope Fire Company responded to a single vehicle accident with entrapment in Decatur Township early Saturday morning. According to the State Police at Clearfield, Benjamin S. Maines, 28, was traveling east on state Route 2024 at a speed too great to negotiate a curve, causing his vehicle to leave the roadway. The vehicle struck a wooden fence before impacting a tree head-on. After impact, the vehicle flipped onto its roof and came to rest over an embankment. Mr. Maines was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounce dead at the scene by Clearfield County Deputy Coroner Michael Polachek. The Reliance Fire Company and the Moshannon Valley EMS also responded to the incident.

Philipsburg Fire Department Rescues Equine
Sunday, May 30, 2004 11:46 Hours
Article by Joe Hollis
Philipsburg Fire Department Rescues Equine The Hope and Reliance Fire Companies were requested for a specialized rescue involving a horse. The rescue occurred in a remote location off of Coal Dale Road in North Philipsburg. The horse became entrapped on an abandoned railroad bridge when its legs fell through the gaps of the wood ties. Rescue crews extricated the horse by cutting the ties and pulling the horse to the railroad bed. The horse suffered severe lacerations and was treated on the scene by medical personnel from the Moshannon
Valley EMS. After a little coaxing, the horse managed to get back on its feet and was able to walk away from the incident.

Interstate 80 Mass Casualty Accident
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 11:15 Hours
Article by Joe Hollis
Crews from Hope Fire Company were summoned to assist the Bellefonte Fire Department for a multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 80 in Marion Township. Approximately 30 tractor-trailers and 20 passenger vehicles crashed in a chain reaction accident during a blinding snow squall. Several tractor-trailers, one carrying hazardous material, caught fire, sending thick, black smoke rolling across the scene. Rescue crews worked to extricate patients entrapped in multiple vehicles. Six people died in the incident and another seventeen were injured and transported to area hospitals. Both the eastbound and westbound lanes on the interstate were closed. Engine 11-10 laid 800 feet of LDH and supplied the accident scene with water for 22 continuous hours. Fire and EMS crews from 4 counties responded to the accident.

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