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Fairfield Fire Co & EMS holds open house

(5/19) The Fairfield Fire and EMS held their annual open house in May to allow residents to meet local emergency responders and see the equipment they use in the course of performing their duties.

The open house was held at the Fairfield fire house on May 19. The event was designed to be both educational for all and entertaining for the young.

Several dozen local residents and families attended the event under overcast skies accompanied by occasional misty rain. Weather conditions were blamed for the diminished attendance experienced this year, which had even included a threat of thunderstorms in the evening.

Fairfield displayed its entire fleet of firefighting and medical transport vehicles, joined by the Biglerville Fire Company, who brought one of their pieces of firefighting apparatus to the event as well.

Displaying the fleet also provided the fire and ambulance company with an opportunity to show-off two new additions to their emergency response apparatus.

The most recent acquisition of the new 2013 F550 Ford chassis ambulance, purchased by the company for a total of $225,000 paid for with donations and fundraiser, primarily bingo, according to EMS Captain Kip Hamilton.

The vehicle represents the first four-wheel drive ambulance the company has owned. "It turns very tightly, like a car," Hamilton stated. Also included in the nee ambulance are controls that work off a touch screen monitor located in the cab. "That includes a built-in GPS."

The second vehicle obtained by the company is a 2013 F250 Ford traffic control unit assigned to the company Fire Police.

Fire police Captain Chuck Schussler told the News-Journal this vehicle cost a total of $63,000, paid for with donations, fundraising, and grant from the Volunteer Firefighters’ Relief Association.

The vehicle actually provides the company with the first means of transporting emergency traffic control equipment, such as warning signage, cones, and flares the individual fire police previously had to transport to emergency incidents in their personally vehicles.

Fairfield emergency staff provided fire truck rides to attendees, and even allowed children to try and put out a mock burning house using fire department hoses. A wrecked vehicle was also on-hand for rescue demonstrations.

Also attending to permit people to become familiar with their equipment and operations was the crew of a LifeNet medical evacuation helicopter and one of their "birds," as well as other emergency services.

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