Phone App May Help Fire Crews in Hegins, Hubley Townships, Pa.

The action came after a report about hydrant connection problems and a failed hydrant near the site in Valley View, Pa.

by Vicki Terwilliger, Republican & Herald, Pottsville, Pa. / March 19, 2019

(TNS) — A new phone app in the works could help emergency crews responding to fires in Hegins and Hubley townships, the Hegins-Hubley Authority learned Monday.

Authority Manager Demetrius Kasmari presented the board with an after-action review, as directed last month by board Chairman Clark Romberger.

Romberger’s request came following a Maple Street house fire in January and a report from Hegins Valley Fire Rescue Chief Chad Richards about hydrant connection problems and a failed hydrant near the site in Valley View.

Kasmari said he met with emergency management agency representatives from the townships, supervisors and area firefighters from Hegins Valley Fire and Rescue and Sacramento to gain input. The hydrants in that area were flushed on May 17, 2018, and were maintained, lubricated and oiled on Nov. 28, 2018, Kasmari said. One hydrant was frozen during the January fire and did not open. Firefighters then had to seek another water source, and gained access to a hydrant in a nearby alley that did provide an ample supply, he said.

Kasmari developed a list of all the hydrants the authority maintains in both townships, their location, flow rate and connector size. That information will be placed on an app, allowing responders immediate information in the event that one hydrant is out of order. The app will immediately tell them where the next closest hydrant is located and where they may be able to find a better flow. The townships’ EMA will help establish the app, he said.

Another potential problem is with the hydrant connections. Some hydrants would need a Stewart hydrant adapter to make the proper connection between the hydrants and the fire hoses. Kasmari said HVFR and the Sacramento Community Fire Company offered to apply for grants to be able to purchase Stewart hydrant adapters for the entire system. If the fire departments can get the grants and the adapters, Kasmari said the authority would assist in getting them on the hydrants.

Kasmari; Brent Smith, assistant manager, and Cherie Leese, office staff secretary, agreed to make their cellphone numbers available so they could be reached after hours in case of an emergency. Kasmari said he would continue to update the emergency response plans.

Romberger commended Kasmari’s efforts to get everyone together for a meeting and to address the questions presented in the review.


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