Keeping up with the companies, cops and commotions.

red fire truck, side view, with two volunteers interacting with children.

Llanerch Fire Company brings an engine and demonstrations to a block party

We have 5 volunteer fire fighting companies in Haverford Township. You can keep up with their activities via social media and the Delco dispatcher service. 

Here are the Facebook pages of each firehouse. Some pages are updated more frequently than others. Some share on-scene photos and describe their work. It’s amazing what our neighbors do for us on a daily (and nightly!) basis. 

Bon Air Fire Company

Brookline Fire Company

Llanerch Fire Company

Manoa Fire Company

Oakmont Fire Company

And don’t forget to pay your dues! The money is desperately needed. The houses run on donations. Also, all kinds of volunteers are welcome. Lots of work goes into running a fire company. Fighting fires also requires administrative support. Contact your local firehouse to see how you can help. 

Delco Alerts will send you texts about different emergencies… like the wee hours tornado warning we got last week! Sure, you may be awakened for no good reason, but sign up if you want to be told of the zombie apocalypse before they are crawling up your awning. 

Wonder what all the sirens are for but don’t want to be one of those dispatcher radio weirdos? You can try signing up for Delco Dispatch alerts. We’ve found the system to be spotty sometimes. It works well enough, though.  Log in to the page and go up to the menu in the top bar and click on “alerts.” You can customize it to send alerts only for your firehouse, township police, etc. 

CALLING 911 in Delaware County, PA. 

REMEMBER: 911 is the number to call for any emergency and non-emergency police calls. We do not have a separate non-emergency line for police here. The Delco dispatcher will direct your call to the appropriate place. When you call 911, immediately say “This is a non-emergency police call for Haverford Township.” When reporting an emergency, follow the six W’s of 911: Where, What, When, Who, Weapons, Welfare. 

Where: Know the address or cross streets of where you are. The dispatcher cannot tell where cell phones are calling from. If you can’t speak, call from a landline when possible and leave the phone live. The dispatcher will send someone immediately. 

When: Report if the danger is happening now or has already occurred. If the danger is immediate and ongoing, the dispatcher will give you instructions. If the danger is past, expect long pauses from the dispatcher. Sit in silence until the dispatcher speaks to you. 

What: car accident, chest pains, unconsciousness. These are examples of things to report. Do not go into how the driver was speeding, for how many weeks the person has had chest pains, or what your opinion is on what caused unconsciousness. Relay just the facts, Ma’am, and only the most current facts at that. The dispatcher may ask for more information later, but when you are first reporting, keep it as short as possible. 

Who: This one is easy. Wait until the dispatcher asks you for descriptions of perpetrators, suspects or victims. Answer the questions as best you can and as asked. Do not embellish or offer opinions. You can put your votes in for which bad guy did it when the police come to take your statement. The dispatcher is not a detective. These are examples of answers to dispatcher questions for descriptions: Red long sleeve shirt. White pants. Flip Flops. White skin with freckles. Red hair. NOT: “I think he goes to DCCC because he kind of had that look about him.”

Weapons: Another easy one. The dispatcher will ask this. By all means, if you have seen a weapon, then report that. If there are live shots, say that right away. “Active shooter” or “shots fired” will do the trick and should be the first thing after “where” that you report. Otherwise, wait for the dispatcher to inquire about weapons. You don’t need to remember to add “no weapons” to each and every 911 call.

Welfare: This is where the ambulance question comes in. If car safety air bags have been deployed, tell the dispatcher “Air bags deployed in one (or both or multiple) vehicles.” The EMTs will want to escort any passengers who have come into contact with an air bag to the hospital. If no air bags were deployed, report that too. Again the dispatcher will probably ask this, so you don’t have to remember to add it.

Most of interacting with 911 is answering questions to the best of your ability. Expect pauses and long periods of silence. A 911 call is not a normal conversation with give-and-take. It is supposed to be quick and efficient. 

Stay safe out there, Townies!