Chief Concerns: Live THE PROMISE in your community

Tuesday, September 1, 2015  From PFESI!

Don Konkle Executive Director

 Chief Concerns: Live THE PROMISE in your community




Your community probably expects a lot from you. Frankly, your community deserves a lot from you. Public safety officials must always remember that there is a valid expectation of public trust. The Fire and EMS departments are no different than police departments. You see people during their most desperate and vulnerable of times. They call you to take care of them, usually when they can't take care of themselves.

How do we ensure that the people we hire, or vote to accept into membership, will live up to the standards and expectations of being a public safety professional? You do backgrounds checks, right? (At least you should be doing them!) Everyone who applies to your organization wouldn't apply if they weren't fine upstanding folks, right? Don't kid yourself! We generally get good people through our doors, but our job is to make sure they become great people. Of course, we're all human; no one is a perfect little angel without any baggage. Regardless, we still have a solemn responsibility to build and maintain that public trust. This is easier said than done when you're struggling just to get fire trucks and ambulances out the door. I get it-and you need to get it, too.

I don't claim to have all the answers-never have, likely never will; however, my upbringing as a preacher's kid (a preacher who was also a World War II veteran) is the basis for who I am today and how I conduct myself.

Building and maintaining trust

First, let's start with agreeing that the public generally trusts the fire and EMS departments in their respective communities. We should also agree that it is incumbent upon each of us to build and maintainthat trust.

To build that trust, your department needs to do all the right things for the right reasons. I'll focus on values that will help you build the trust and intuitively instill confidence and camaraderie in your force. Value statements take different forms-paragraphs, bulleted sentences, catchy phrases, etc. In the finest traditions of the fire service, I'll use a catchy acronym: THE PROMISE. The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department (PGFD) adopted THE PROMISE as our value statement in 2011.

Starting strong

Let's start with "THE": Trust, Honor and Ethics. These are the core values, above all others, that are necessary to ensure that you can build and maintain the public's trust. Let's look closer at the definitions of these three values, courtesy of Merriam-Webster.

Trust: the "belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc." Need I say more? The belief that you and your people are reliable, good, honest and effective. It's important to recognize that one "ah crap" moment can erase 10 years of "atta-a-boys," and one bad apple amongst the troops can ruin an image. It is incumbent upon the leaders of an organization to minimize those instances and either convert those folks or weed them out.

Honor: "faithfulness to high moral standards." This is not only about honoring a solemn oath, but also about honoring those who came before us. We should come prepared every time, every day to honor our responsibilities, our mission, ourselves and our performance.

Ethics: "the code of good conduct for an individual or group." Defining ethics is sometimes about defining a nebulous, which I identify as that area between what's seen as clearly right or clearly wrong. A look at Merriam-Webster also gives some focus by providing synonyms, including "morality, morals, norms, principles, standards" as well as related words, including "customs, dictates, etiquette, manners, mores, values; beliefs, dogma, faith, tenets."


Capturing the essence and urgency of trust, honor and ethics will be critical to maintaining your public's trust. Instilling the words is important, but practicing the values and beliefs both on and off-duty is critical to both your success and that of your company.


Let's now turn to the second half of the acronym, PROMISE:

  • Professionalism
  • Responsiveness
  • Outreaching
  • Mentorship
  • Inspiration
  • Safety-minded
  • Energetically enthusiastic
Professionalism: Professionalism is not a paycheck, a patch or a T-shirt. Professionalism is a way of presentation and a way of doing business, paid or volunteer.

Responsiveness: This speaks to our ability to answer the call, whatever it may be. This isn't just the emergencies, it's also the service calls, community risk-reduction activities (smoke alarms, slip/trip/fall avo... [ more ]



The Incredible Talents of DCFA Member Chris R. Yocum

Saturday, August 29, 2015  I have attached scanned copies of some of Chris R. Yocum's work.

This work took a lot of time & dedication to produce.

His work has been used at Delaware County Emergency Services Training Center & The Delaware County 911 Center for tabletop exercises.

Click on the Title Line to download & view his work in 2 PDF documents.

Or click on the 2  PDF files below.

You will need Adobe Reader on your computer to review these files.

Thanks you Chris!

Chris Yocum 1.pdf chris yocum.pdf



Michael Reagan Jr. Aquatic Swin Club Annual Reagan Day Sept 12th, 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015 



Make Bells Ring Nationwide

Tuesday, August 25, 2015  Make Bells Ring Nationwide Sound off in support of fallen firefighters in your community.
Sign-up online, find resourses and share your tribute. The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is asking communties, fire service organizations, and religious organizations to help us honor our fallen firefighters by participating in Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters. A moment of remembrance can occur at any time during the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, October 3 & 4. Fire department representatives are encouraged to work with their clergy and community leaders to develop an appropriate tribute. Be a Part of this National Remembrance Nearly 500 organizations have participated in Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters since the program began. Our goal is to have at least 5 remembrance events in each state during the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend. Help us make bells ring from coast to coast in tribute to all fallen firefighters! Learn More Ways to Honor Fallen Firefighters



Request to support Philadelphia EMS

Sunday, August 2, 2015  Subject: Request to support Philadelphia EMS

Date: July 31, 2015 at 10:30:32 PM EDT

Reply-To: "Jay Taylor"

At the request of, and in cooperation with, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (BEMS) is sending out a resource request from the City of Philadelphia to each EMS agency Chief / Director.

This request asks you and/or your agency, if in possession of this capability, would be willing to commit the following resources to support Philadelphia EMS during the September Papal visit:

50 EMS Capable Gators able to transport patients

* 38 ALS capable two person teams (equip: cardiac monitor/defibrillator, first aid bag w/ ALS meds, backboard with immobilization devices, oxygen bottle w/ delivery equip, and stair chair device).
* 12 BLS capable two person teams (equip: AED, first aid bag w/ BLS meds and equip, backboard with immobilization devices, oxygen bottle w/ delivery equip, and stair chair device).

200 Trained EMS Bicycle Teams

* 150 ALS Teams (2 person teams)
* 50 BLS Teams (2 person teams)

NOTE: Any commitment by an EMS agency or any person should be considered voluntary and unpaid. Should funding later become available, there MAY BE some ability to request reimbursement.

The following is a list of terms:

* All deployed personnel must be fully credentialed for accountability prior to selection
* Projected deployment or about 24 September 2015
* Demobilization on or about 28 September 2015
* 24 hour operations
* 12 hour operational periods

Deployed resources will be given directions for:

* Date and time to deploy
* Location to the appropriate staging area for check-in and mission assignments

All EMS Agencies will fall under the command and control of the City of Philadelphia Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services

* All deployed resources will remain in Philadelphia region for the duration of the event.
* The City of Philadelphia will provide accommodation at a base camp operation
* It is anticipated these will be located in school building
* Sleeping quarters will be in a gymnasium on cots
* Showers will be made available
* City of Philadelphia will provide meals at the base camps. It is unlikely that those requiring special dietary needs will be satisfactorily accommodated.

Essential each resource needing fuel brings a credit card or other appropriated means to pay for fuel.

Because of the unknown nature for exact locations where any one asset may be assigned, access to stores may be limited and crews should plan for any comfort items or supplemental food they would desire while on duty as well as down time at the base camp.

This deployment is considered a National Special Security Event (NSSE). This means that the Secret Service is in charge of security. While in the City of Philadelphia, movement will be greatly restricted in and around the venue for this event, not only by physical barricades, but also boundaries where individuals must be properly credentialed to get past. It will be critical that every person deployed to this event adhere to instruction and strictly maintain operational security. EMS crew members will be credentialed and may be required to submit personal and background information to law enforcement agencies as soon as the crew members are identified by their agency.

For the purpose of operational security, we need to have the name of the EMS Agencies and the names of each provider who would be tasked to deploy on this assignment. If your agency is interested in participating in this event, please notify Jay Taylor, EMS Program Manager, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, via email at
If your agency is willing to participate, you must provide the names of the EMS providers who will staff the resource to Jay Taylor no later than August 14, 2015 to allow adequate time for security credentialing.

Thank you for you interested in this unique opportunity.

Message sent via CentreLearn by Jay Taylor




Sunday, August 2, 2015  FREE E.M.T. TRAINING FOR VETERANS
Good afternoon, 

PathWaysPA is currently enrolling Veterans in a FREE, high quality Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course. Please see the attached flyer and post and share with any Veteran you think may be interested in this training. 





TO ENROLL ACT NOW – CALL HEROESPATH – (610) 543-5022 OR EMAIL AT heroespath@pathwayspa.org 

Thank you for posting and sharing and have a great day. 


Jamie McCloskey 
PathWaysPA, Inc/HeroesPath Program 
310 Amosland Road, Holmes, PA 19043 
P: 610-543-5022 (ext. 228) 
F: 610-543-1649 

 2015 EMT Flyer No Dates Just Delco.pdf





Sunday, July 19, 2015  2015  VFIS RESOURCE CATALOG


Very good information Please check it out.



A Delco Legend Charles B. Mullen Obituary

Sunday, May 31, 2015  Charles B. Mullin, 88, a longtime resident of Secane, died at home on May 28, 2015. Mr. Mullin was born in Philadelphia to the late Charles and Alice (nee Stott) Mullin. He served in the Navy as Seamen 2nd Class during World War II. Mr. Mullin was self-employed and owner of Charles B. Mullin Lettering. He was widely known throughout the tri-state area for gold leaf lettering of fire equipment. Mr. Mullin was a paid Assistant Chief for Primos-Secane and Westbrook Park, past president and ladder captain for Cardington Stonehurst Fire Co., as well as a member of the 8th District Board of Director of County Firefighters Association. He enjoyed traveling. He was predeceased by his wife of 37 years, Evalyn L. (nee Palmer) Mullin. He is survived by his sister, Lois A. Cook, two nieces and many friends. Visitation: Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Williams Lombardo Funeral Home, 33 W. Baltimore Ave., Clifton Heights, PA 19018. Memorial Service: Tuesday, 8 p.m. at Williams Lombardo Funeral Home. Burial: Private Condolences: www.williamslombardofuneralhome.com Published in Daily Times on May 31, 2015



Hero Bowl 5/28/2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015  Hero Bowl was held at Cardinal O'Hara High School on May 28, 2015.



A new recruiting and retention website for Pennsylvania is now live

Monday, April 20, 2015  The Firemen's Association of the State of Pennsylvania provides the content of this website for fire and EMS agencies in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to assist in the recruitment and retention of members.


The site includes a series of downloadable products, several self guided training programs, as well as links to other valuable sites that can assist you in your recruitment and retention efforts.


This effort is the result of a strategic initiative and resulting SAFER Grant to provide methods of training and materials to enhance the recruitment and retention of fire and EMS personnel in Pennsylvania.

Special thanks to FireCompanies.com for hosting our site.






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