Meeting gauges interest for fire police recruits
MOUNT CARMEL - Sunday night, several individuals met inside the Clover Hose Truck Room for a new beginning of the Mount Carmel Borough Fire Police squad.
The purpose of the meeting was to gauge interest and open up dialogue for past and future members of Mount Carmel Station 6, which is currently working on a new partnership with the Clover Hose Fire Company to headquarter the unit temporarily.
"We are acting as the liaison between the fire companies and the fire police," Clover Hose Lt. Phil "Bing" Cimino said at the start of the meeting. "This is an asset that works to provide a safe working environment for firefighters and needs to be preserved."
The mission of the fire police is to keep the public a safe distance from hazards and direct traffic away from emergency personnel. Currently, only three members are on the squad, president Bob Yeager, Bob Hampton and Randy Kremer.
While only two in attendance signed their name to begin the process of becoming fire police members, Yeager said it is a start.
"There are a number of past members that are waiting to see what happens here before they will consider coming back," Yeager said at the meeting. "That's fine. I hope that we can some day get 15 or 20 people at a scene and have some of them just waiting to relieve another person."
The squad has had disagreements with borough council and the mayor over management and funding, and three months ago, seven members resigned from the fire police because of borough council's desire that fire police undergo more extensive training.
Yeager was one of the few that stayed, believing in the mission of the fire police.
Over an hour, Cimino and Yeager led discussions with potential candidates over training, a code of ethics and membership requirements. Those that wish to become fire police must have a membership with a borough fire company in order to join.
"If you have someone that is a member but maybe can't fight the fires for one reason or another, this could be a way for them to still be involved," Cimino said.
Yeager said that radios and pagers are already ready to be utilized for members, and work will be done in the spring to restore their equipment truck.
Cimino said that Mayor Kevin Jones and borough council are behind the effort to have the fire police bring back their ranks.
"Right now, we are looking for names that we can take to the fire departments and have them approved by all the fire companies to be on the squad," Yeager said. "Once that happens, you can be sworn in at a borough council meeting and responding when needed."
Yeager said that for now, the fire police's squad on first-alarm dealings will be limited to the borough due to their thin ranks, but hopes that will not be the case soon.
"It's not an easy job, we know that, but it's a vital one at a fire scene," the president said. "If you can keep your cool and use common sense when directing traffic to keep the firefighters safe, we could use your help."