Official Website of the Fire Police Association of Berks County

Welcome to our new website, the content should be familiar to you, it is just the format in which its laid out that has changed.  Our website is here to serve all members of the association.  If you have a suggestion for the website, feel free to contact us through our "Contact Us" page!

The Fire Police Association of Berks County's position statement regarding Non-Emergency Events

December 2nd, 2014

To all Fire Police, Fire Companies/Departments, Law Enforcement Agencies, Municipalities and Event Coordinators:

The issue of Fire Police rendering assistance at non-emergency events has been confusing and problematic for years here in Berks County. For many years, the Fire Police Association of Berks County has furnished a “Request for Assistance Form” to make the process easy. As of January 1, 2013 we have eliminated and will no longer accept this document. As a service to our members and municipalities requesting non-emergency event assistance, the Association will develop a section on our website to view and download Municipal Authorizations for Non-Emergency Event Fire Police Assistance. It shall be the responsibility of the Fire Police that would like to help another municipality at non-emergency events to get the permission to do so from their municipality that grants them the authority to be Fire Police!!!

There are many different ways to gain or permanently possess this permission to serve in other municipalities for non-emergency events. It shall be the Member of the Fire Police Unit’s responsibility to know what their local policies, ordinances, resolutions and procedures are in order to render assistance in other municipalities during non-emergency events.

All non-emergency events must have the authorization of the municipality to approve the use of Fire Police at non-emergency events. The process for a Municipality to authorize the use of Fire Police at non-emergency events are accomplished many different ways: Some Municipalities grant their Municipal Police Department the authority to approve the use of Fire Police for non-emergency events. Some Municipalities do not. Some Municipalities grant their Local Fire Company/Department the authority to approve the use of Fire Police for non-emergency events. Some Municipalities do not. Some Municipalities require that all authority granted to Fire Police for non-emergency events be passed by resolution for every single event at a Municipal Meeting. Some Municipalities grant the Mayor or Chair of the Board of Supervisors the authority to approve Fire Police for non-emergency events. The Fire Police Association of Berks County will not interfere with Local Fire Police Policy.

It is the absolute right of Law for your Local Municipality to permit or deny Fire Police activity/authority at non-emergency events. If you have no permission, you violate the Law.

The person who should be coordinating Fire Police activity for non-emergency events should be the Fire Police Captain. The Fire Police Captain needs to cooperate with the Municipal Officials, Event Organizers, Police Department, Fire Company, Home Fire Police Unit and Assisting Fire Police Units. In turn when all authorizations are processed and in order, the Fire Police Association of Berks County will place the municipalities’ official authorization for Fire Police assistance on our website.

The Association is exploring alternative means of communicating with our members to help. We strongly suggest that our members attend Fire Police Meetings and State Approved Fire Police Training. We discuss many of our problems and situations at these forums and when decades of experienced people come together it may help. Also, the manpower that is needed for your non-emergency event may be at a meeting or training session and details may be worked out.

Executive Committee
Fire police Association of Berks County

Annual Roster & Training Info
November 22nd, 2014

The 2015 annual roster information packets are in the process of being mailed to all fire police Captains and members of the association. The Executive Committee has set a due date of February 16th 2015 to have the forms returned to us for the information to be included in our 2015 yearbook. Remember failure to submit rosters and pay the annual dues to the association will result in loss of all benefits and privileges from the association. Our website has also been updated with the current forms as well as the 2015 training schedule. Our merchandise for sale page has been updated with the current t-shirt and hooded sweatshirt prices. We do not have the General Membership Meeting schedule for 2015 posted yet, as soon as we have all the meeting locations finalized we will post it.

Thank You For Your Assistance
November 22nd, 2014

I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude and appreciation for all who assisted with the incident on Rt. 222 in Maiden Creek Township on Wednesday, November 19th. When a major incident such as this occurs on the 222 artery in northern Berks it is very difficult to keep traffic moving on the smaller side roads and through Blandon and Fleetwood. PennDot representatives were on scene relatively early to help coordinate the detouring of the south bound traffic which helped to alleviate some of the headaches we had to deal with.  I certainly do not want to miss anyone, but I wish to thank everyone who responded and assisted:

                Fleetwood (45)

                Virginville (33)

                Lyons (35)

                Leesport (37)

                Gibraltar (23)

                Spring Township (85)

                Boyertown (95)

                Trexlertown (Lehigh 25)

Without your help and willingness to give of your time, we never could have gotten through the mess in the relative ease with which it was accomplished.

Again, a million thanks to all.  Stay safe...

Peter Laucks, Fire Police Captain

Fleetwood Vol. Fire Company

Association Receives Donation From Met-Ed
November 18th, 2014

At the Executive Committee meeting on Monday November 17th 2014 the Fire Police Association of Berks County was presented with a donation from Met-Ed.

Accepting the $1,000 check are from L-R, Donald Bailey President, Ron Waszk Recording Secretary, Peter Goda Financial Secretary and Karen Baxter Manager of External Affairs for Met-Ed.

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)
January 22nd, 2014

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is available to fire police and other emergency personnel.

What is a ‘Critical Incident’?  Any situation faced by emergency service providers that causes them to experience unusually strong emotional reactions which have the potential to interfere with their ability to function either at the scene or later.  Examples:  suicides, serious injury or death of a emergency provider, prolonged incidents, injury or death of children, mass casualty incidents, threats to emergency provider’s safety, and natural disasters.

When to request the CISM Team? Any time you or other emergency responders are having difficulty dealing with an incident or the situation suggests intervention.

Samples of Stress Symptoms:

Cognitive (Thinking) –
concentration, memory, attention span, calculations, decision-making, problem solving.
Emotional (Feelings) – Loss of emotional control, grief, depression, anxiety, fear, guilt, feeling lost, overwhelmed.
Physical Body) – muscle tremors, chest pain, gastrointestinal issues, difficulty breathing, headaches, elevated blood pressure.
Behavioral (Actions) - Excessive silence, sleep disturbance, unusual behavior, change in eating habits, withdrawal from contact, change in work habits.

What kind of "Help" is available? Depending on circumstances, services may include: Pre-Incident Education and Information, On-Scene Support, Defusing, Debriefing, Crisis Management Briefings, Individual and Family Contacts, Referrals and Follow-Up.

Who is the service provider? Eastern PA EMS Council.

When requesting "Help" needed information:

Name and phone number of contact person
Type of incident and incident location
Approximate number of involved personnel

How is the CISM team contacted? Through your chain of command or your company's / department's policy regarding CISM. Your department head can contact the team 24/7 on the team response hot line 610-973-1624.