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Former NYC Firefighter/Instructor Bob Pressler Teaches WGFC Class
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By Secretary Bill Wohl
December 7, 2017

Firefighters from the West Grove Fire Company received hands on and classroom instruction from retired New York City firefighter and instructor Bob Pressler recently, focusing on truck company operations.

Bob Pressler has been involved in the fire service for more than 40 years and is a retired Lieutenant from FDNY. Previous to FDNY, Bob was a member of both combination and volunteer departments. Bob currently serves as the Chief of the Montgomery, NY, Fire Department.

Each piece of apparatus (and it's crew) have specific tasks assigned at fire situations. Members of the truck (or ladder crew) are often tasked with roof ventilation, door entry and search and rescue operations (while engine crews have fire suppression tasks). At recent classes, help over 8 hours, WGFC firefighters received lecture and hands on training from this veteran on various techniques.

On Sunday, December 3, WGFC members held a six hour hands on training session. Students were able to practice making entry to locked interior and exterior doors, while also getting practical advice on the signs and signals presented by various fire situations, and door lock presentations. Students were able to leverage a modern training simulator, practicing the use of various firefighting hand tools to breach locked doors.

Students then moved to the roof of the WGFC fire simulation training trailer, a 40 foot customized classroom. The trailer has set ups for live fire training for basement, residential and roof situations. The trailer also has a raised roof evolution, allowing for hands on use of powered saws and axes so firefighters can experience cutting roof materials high up on slanted roofs. Pressler provided guidance on proper saw operation, and how to "sense" how the saw cuts through various roofing materials and how to safely operate at heights.

The training then moved on the road, focusing on ladder and engine apparatus placement at various locations. Crews visited the Ovations development in Penn Township and explored ladder placement on that development's narrow streets and houses built close to the roadway. Then Engine 3 and Ladder 22 traveled to Radence Lane in London Grove Township to look at placement on wider streets with high pitched roof houses. While enroute there, crews handled a car-into-a-tree auto accident, assisted by the ambulance crew and PA State Police.

Crews also went into a development near the AG Schools. On Remington Way, crews discussed rescue techniques on single family homes, talked through minimum staffing assignments for first in engines and ladders, and considered various rescue scenarios. Finally, the hands on class finished up at the St. Mary's Church, considering ladder and engine assignments for a larger structure with a sprinkler and standpipe system.

The West Grove Fire Company often calls upon expert outside instructors to provide an experienced training perspective. Bob's work with the NYC fire department gives him invaluable experiences to share, and his continuing work as a volunteer firefighter in Troy, NY and with the Christiana Fire Company in Delaware keeps him in the brotherhood of firefighters. The WGFC is also grateful to the residents in all locations for cooperating with this training evolution, along with Station 8, Keystone Valley Fire Company, for use of their door training simulator.

Crews were able to do hands on training on locked doors using available hand tools.  Thanks to Keystone Valley FC for use of the training simulator.
Crews were able to do hands on training on locked doors using available hand tools. Thanks to Keystone Valley FC for use of the training simulator.
 
Training on rotary saw use on roof material.
Training on rotary saw use on roof material.
 
Instructor Pressler teaches proper chain saw operation on a roof evolution.  This portion of the class was on the WGFC training simulator located at the New London Station.
Instructor Pressler teaches proper chain saw operation on a roof evolution. This portion of the class was on the WGFC training simulator located at the New London Station.
 
The class looked at first in fire engine and ladder placement in a typical housing development -- in this case Radence Lane in London Grove Township.
The class looked at first in fire engine and ladder placement in a typical housing development -- in this case Radence Lane in London Grove Township.
 
Class members discuss ladder placement at St. Mary's Church.
Class members discuss ladder placement at St. Mary's Church.
 
Retired NYC firefighter and lieutenant Bob Pressler served as expert instructor for classroom and hands on training for the West Grove Fire Company.
Retired NYC firefighter and lieutenant Bob Pressler served as expert instructor for classroom and hands on training for the West Grove Fire Company.
 

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2017 Incidents
Fire EMS
Jan 42 216
Feb 60 191
Mar 70 209
Apr 70 169
May 54 175
Jun 46 161
Jul 70 239
Aug 46 169
Sep 55 203
Oct 50 211
Nov 49 218
Dec
Total 612 2161

Fire Run Statistics By Township
Franklin 67
London Britain 31
London Grove 80
New London 78
Penn 189
West Grove 43
Mutual Aid 124
Total 612

EMS Run Statistics By Township
Franklin 179
London Britain 119
London Grove 218
Londonderry 109
New London 224
Penn 966
West Grove 138
Mutual Aid 208
Total 2161

Past Incidents
Fire EMS
2016 708 2313
2015 560 2208
2014 619 2244
2013 577 2095
2012 577 1957
2011 534 2035
2010 588 1782
2009 507 1669
2008 529 1624
2007 584 1624
2006 554 1412

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West Grove Fire Company
PO Box 201
West Grove, PA, 19390
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