Fighting fire with knowledge: chamber tours fire department

by | Jul 30, 2015 | Latest

By Joe Reavis

Staff Writer

[email protected]

Princeton Chamber of Commerce members learned about Princeton Fire Department last week at a luncheon held in the fire station and catered by firefighters.

Occasion for the fire department visit was the monthly networking meeting and luncheon held by the chamber.

The meeting was called to order by chamber president Debbie Fahrenthold, a door prize  of an insulated cooler donated by Edward Jones went to Melinda Holden, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9167 and American Playground Company were introduced a new members.

Next networking meeting is at noon Wednesday, Aug. 12, at Las Rocas Mexican Cocina.

A program on the fire department was presented by Fire Chief Tom Harvey. Assistant Chief Steve Deffibaugh and Fire Marshal Kenny Crutcher.

“I thought it would be a better idea to bring you to our environment,” Harvey said.

He reported that Princeton bought its first fire truck in 1925 and formally organized a volunteer department in 1955. The city took responsibility for the department in 2012 and hired its first full-time employee in 2013. Harvey is that full-time employee.

The chief pointed out that PFD has one paid firefighter, six part-time members and 32 volunteers, and has 13 pieces of firefighting equipment at its disposal. In June, the city’s fire rating improved to a “2” from a “4” due to the work of the fire department.

Although PFD is considered a volunteer department, Harvey noted that personnel put in more than 1,600 hours in training in 2014 and answered more than 1,600 calls.

“We are the busiest single station department in Collin County,” Harvey said.

Deffibaugh briefly explained the Ready, Set, Go Program! for which he and the department have won a number of awards recently. The program is designed to save property and lives in wildland and urban interface fires through prevention and preparedness practices.

He also reported that PFD is working to start a Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT), which is a new program designed to provide training to citizens so that they may assist firefighters by performing non-hazardous duties.

Crutcher explained that his job as fire marshal is inspect homes and businesses and give advice on how to make property safer and less prone to damage from fires.

The fire marshal and personnel in that department perform fire inspections at homes, businesses and public buildings.

“The best way to keep fires down is prevention and knowledge,” he said.

After the programs, chamber members toured the fire station.

 

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