Photo courtesy of Elizabethtown Fire Department
Last month, the Elizabethtown Fire Department received word from the state Fire Commissioner's office that it has a 75 percent participation rate in a voluntary state Participating Department Recognition program.
In a letter sent to Borough Council President Neil Ketchum, Fire Chief Jason Bock noted that Elizabethtown is one of four departments in Lancaster County to have a 75 percent rate (the others are Adamstown, Goodwill in Washington Boro and Maytown/East Donegal). None of the county's 78 departments has a 100 percent rate.
The program recognizes fire departments with personnel who have been certified at one of the accredited levels of the Fire Commissioner's Certification Program. Bock said in his letter that the department has implemented increased training over the past two years to comply with national standards, which are not mandatory.
"I am proud to announce that 94% of our active firefighters have met or exceeded nationally recognized and sanctioned Professional Qualification standards!" Bock wrote.
He added that the certification will provide additional points during the review process for state grants, giving Elizabethtown increased opportunities when competing for grants from federal sources.
Moreover, for residents, "This certification provides a peace-of-mind knowing that the firefighters protecting your friends and family have been independently certified by a third party as having met or exceeded national firefighting standards. It can also have a positive affect on the community's Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating as well as other possible financial advantages."
The news about the fire department comes on the heels of news from the Elizabethtown Police Department. Last month, two officers taking on new roles, and then a coordinated effort with state and federal agencies resulted in a large drug bust that netted 17 arrests.
I don't know about you, but I am grateful for the efforts that our emergency personnel put into keeping us as safe as possible.