Pinecroft and Excelsior fire companies shared public safety reports from August with Antis Township supervisors earlier this month.

In August, Pinecroft Fire Company responded to eight calls with seven in its district and one on Interstate 99, raising year-to-date incidents to 83. Volunteers also responded to four motor vehicle accidents, according to Jeff Mayers, deputy chief.

Training events in August included monthly in-house training, a vehicle rescue safety and technology updates class, and a drone Federal Aviation Administration certification class. The drone certification allows individuals to fly a drone under the FAA’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rule. Another in house training coming up in September and additional drone classes.

August was a busy month with events, including National Night Out at the Bellwood-Antis pool, a craft show, Bingo, and two out-of-area parades. The company earned a first place victory for Best Appearing Tanker at both the Freedom Township and Shawnee Valley parades, as well as a trophy for “Farthest Distance” at Shawnee Valley.

Excelsior Fire Co. responded to 21 calls with six in Antis Township and two in Bellwood Borough, and several mutual aid calls. There were nine motor vehicle accidents for the month of August — seven with injuries reported, three dwelling fires, and one animal rescue.

Supervisors asked Jack McCloskey, assistance fire chief, about the animal rescue call.

“It was an osprey down at the Tyrone Ford dealer,” he said. They thought it was trapped on a pole; it was there for eight hours.

“It was sitting there eating a fish for eight hours.”

McCloskey explained that at the scene, onlookers and the Game Commission thought the bird’s foot was trapped. During response, fire department volunteers raised the ladder on the ladder truck and the osprey flew away.

It was also reported that Department of Community and Economic Development talked with both fire departments on September 5.

In August, Excelsior Fire Company held a firefighter refresher training for 32 hours and truck company operations training for 16 hours. Training for basic fire police, a firefighter refresher course, and rope rescue are slated for September, and two members will start EMT training for nine months.

A township emergency management coordinator said personnel is working on an updated emergency operations plan, which many municipalities are currently doing. Statewide emergency services training is to be held in Altoona this year at the Keystone Emergency Management Agency conference, October 27-29.

Adeena Harbst can be reached at


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