SO WHO ARE WE?
We are dedicated residents of your community. We are your neighbors, co-workers, and friends. We are
the same people you see at market, in the bank, at the laundry mat. We are you, the community.
All members of the department are volunteers. We respond from home, work, family functions, where
ever we happen to be. When the whistle blows or the pager goes off we are there. We are average people
with specialized training in the fire & medical industry. Our members go through firefighter training based
on a national standard, the NFPA - National Fire Protection Association and the EMS personnel are
trained through the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
IS THERE A JOB FOR YOU?
Most of what people think is based on TV and movies, firefighters running into a burning building with
their coat wide open and not wearing any breathing device. This perception, although exciting to watch, is
incorrect on several levels. Fighting fire takes a lot of training. All firefighters should be trained the
minimum of "Essentials". This training consists of EXTERIOR FIREFIGHTER - 42 HOURS which
introduces new firefighters to exterior fire ground operations. To become an "Interior" Firefighter the
next would be INTERIOR FIREFIGHTER - 60 HOURS. This course introduces new firefighters to
interior fire operation including nozzles and streams, self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), rescue,
ventilation, fire suppression, salvage, and firefighter survival. Firefighting is based upon many different
jobs, all equally important for success of extinguishing a fire as well as the safety of the crew. You can be
a firefighter without ever being inside a burning structure. Everyone has a role on a fire scene. There
are several levels of firefighting with numerous trainings and certifications you can receive from both the
department in which you run and on state and national levels. No one is ever sent into a situation
regardless of the job assigned, untrained and unprotected.
For the new Apprentice or Junior Firefighters they are put through an in house "Apprentice Firefighter"
program. Here they are supervised by the Junior Firefighter committee and/or the Officers of the
company while they learn about the Standard Operating Guidelines (SOG), Company "By-Laws" or
rules, what all the equipment is and where it is located on all the trucks, and what their role or
participation level is during a call for service. NO junior member (below the age of 18) may be allowed
into a burning structure at any time.
Often over looked but a very essential part of a Fire Department. Fire Police go through special training
put on by the State Fire Academy and/or the Pennsylvania State Police. Fire Police are taught how to
secure a scene, direct or re-route traffic at that a scene. They are called to assist local and State Police
for crowd control at special events, help maintain the peace with unruly by standers, maintain a perimeter
at the scene of a fire or car accident and a safe work environment. This is a small part of what these
essential people do for the Fire Service.
The rescue squad is often comprised of firefighters and EMS personnel with a duel certification. As with
the fire scene, everyone has a job on a rescue scene. Scene safety and security is maintained by Fire
Police or other fire personnel. Specially trained personnel will carry out the rescue at hand, whether it be
cutting some one out of a car or rappelling off the side of cliff to rescue someone that has fallen. Some
types of specialty training include but are not limited to the following: high angle rope rescue, RIT or
"Rapid Intervention Team" (which is used to rescue a down firefighter in a structure fire or collapse),
BVR or “basic vehicle rescue” (used to remove a vehicle from someone trapped inside), Swift Water
Rescue, Hazardous Materials training from Awareness to Operations level including Decontamination.
Swift Water Rescue
The Swift Water Rescue Team consists of several levels. Team members may take one or all of these
levels. As a Water Rescue Team member we are trained in self rescue, shore based rescue of a victim,
planning, boat handling, moving water tactics, boat rescue techniques, ice and cold weather rescue
techniques from shore and direct contact, on up to advanced rope techniques and direct swimming contact
rescues in flood or swift water. Each member of the team has a minimum of 16 hours of Water Rescue
training on up to a total of 64 hours of training for Swift Water Rescue Technician level status. We
presently have 19 members on our team with 6 at the technician level. Currently we have 6 additional
members that are on the verge of completing their technician level certification.
The auxiliary's main function is to help support the fire department. The women and men of the auxiliary
provide assistance on the fire scenes with rehabilitation and follow up long and strenuous calls with meals
and drinks for firefighter's health and well being. They are also a key player behind the scenes with fund
raisers, public relations, and upkeep of the station.
A fire department operates as a business would. There is a chain of command that is in charge of the
actual running and daily functions of the department off the scene of a call. Rules & regulations, finances
& budgets, upkeep of the apparatus, running of the meetings, etc. all fall under the duties of the
administration and the committees they appoint.
EMS (Emergency Medical Services)
Majority of Susquehanna Fire Department calls for service are for the EMS. The ambulance responds to
calls of a medical or personal injury nature, as well as assisting the fire department on fires related calls.
Our ambulances are "BLS" or Basic Life Support Units. The ambulance is crewed by three different
levels of trained personnel; attendants, first responders, and EMT's (Emergency Medical Technicians).
An attendant is trained on a basic level by a company to assist medically trained personnel on a scene.
Jobs could include: driving, lifting assistance, gathering supplies from the ambulance, and very basic
supervised medical application. A first responder is trained and certified by the Pennsylvania Department
of Health to perform basic life saving medical care. Most of a first responder's care is supervised by an
EMT. EMT's are trained and certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Heath to perform the highest
level of patient care that can be given by a BLS service. EMT's are in charge of an ambulance call and
make decisions as far as how patient care will be carried out.
Every year the Susquehanna Community Elementary School calls upon the Fire Department during “Fire
Prevention” month to put a presentation on fire safety. During these programs the students are educated
on FIRE ESCAPE PLANS, SMOKE DETECTORS, and many other fire safety issues. These students
are also given a tour of the Fire Apparatus with the assistance of “SPARKY” the Fire Dog.
Website & Photography
the Susquehanna Fire Department has a website built and maintained by the membership. SFD is always
willing and wanting to take on members to maintain the website. Both still photos and video are wanted.
Photos would be requested from the scene of a call, social events, fund raises, trainings, etc.