WAYMART — Fire Chief Shawn Vinton, President and former chief Tom Derrick, and Deputy Chief Bill Jenkins and of the Waymart Volunteer Fire Company were present at the recent meeting of the Waymart Borough Council to give a report of the company’s recent activities and present a few awards of appreciation.
Addressing council and all present during public comment Vinton gave a rundown for the company’s purchases in 2017, noting that many citizens frequently inquire where donation money is spent.
“In 2017 we added a new apparatus to our fleet to assist in a lot of the stuff that we can’t get to,” said the chief.
The new apparatus is “...a four-person side-by-side with a brush skid unit for brush fires,” he explained.
“And recently within the last month we ordered a track system to cover the rails and trails.”
The track system will be particularly useful to cover snowmobile trails, said Vinton, explaining there were three such accidents two years ago which would not have been accessible had he or the deputy not utilized their personal snowmobiles.
Vinton explained the track system cost $5,200 in total and the new side-by-side brush apparatus cost $14,000, saved up over several years.
Personal equipment purchases for the company include ten helmets, a total of just under $3,000, and three sets of protective coats, pants and boots.
“We do three sets a year so we can keep a rotation so we’re not buying everything. You’re looking at a full set of gear, around $5,000 just for a coat and a pair pants,” said the chief.
Vinton noted an upcoming expenditure will be new air packs which need replacement every fifteen years.
Expenditures aside, the chief reported the department responded to slightly less than 300 calls in 2017.
“Most of the time, we have a good group of guys who come out. It is getting tough with the lack of volunteers that we have, so we rely heavily on neutral aid,” said Vinton.
He noted the Browndale and Prompton fire companies have been especially helpful and thanked them for their aid.
Report concluded, Vinton handed out awards in recognition of those the company feels give back to the community time and again.
Vinton presented plaques to Waymart Borough, Waymart Police Department, Canaan Township Board of Supervisors Chairman Lewis Henshaw, and Waymart Coucil member Randy Thorpe.
Waymart Mayor Charles Norella thanked the company for all their efforts and for being at the meeting that night
“It’s great to see officers here. They’re very welcome. They’re very much needed in this borough, just like our ambulance...I’m very proud of this fire department here in Waymart,” he said.
The Waymart Volunteer Fire Company has public meetings in the fire hall – 254 Carbondale Road – on the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m