The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 26, 2013

Fire company offers cash to help recruit young volunteers

HUMMELS WHARF — To boost membership, the Hummels Wharf Fire Company is offering $2,000 in cash to area college students who volunteer for two years.

Incentives have been on the table for a year, but so far there have been no takers, Deputy Fire Chief John Grove said.

The fire company has been experiencing the same difficulty in retaining and recruiting volunteer firefighters as many other departments and formed a task force in 2002 to address that issue and problems with antiquated equipment.

Grant applications proved successful, as well as financial assistance from Monroe Township, Valley businesses and residents, in upgrading the station and equipment, but Grove said the company has failed for the past six years to secure a federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant for retention and recruitment of members.

Hummels Wharf Fire Company has 20 active members who respond to about 400 calls annually, including fires, medical emergencies and vehicle accidents.

Many of the volunteers have been involved for years. Grove has served the department for nearly 50 years, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who joined 99 years ago.

“We’re not getting any younger and the pool is shrinking,” he said.

The average member is in his mid-40s, and the company needs more volunteers like 22-year-old Dylan Hoover.

“My great-grandfather, grandfather and father were all (fire) chiefs. I grew up in the fire company,” Hoover said.

He encourages young men and women to get involved.

“I’d tell them to give it a try,” Hoover said. “If nothing else, they’ll get an experience out of it.”

To fill the membership pool, the company is offering incentives, including paying the training costs of new members and paying $1,000 a year in cash to university students who join for a minimum of two years and agree to provide a certain number of hours each month to the department.

The money is coming from the department’s equipment fund and from an anonymous donor, Grove said, adding that the SAFER grant could allow them to expand the incentives with new computers.

The cash and free training offer was advertised twice in the Susquehanna University campus newspaper last year and specified it would be for tuition assistance, Grove said.

When no student took up the offer, the fire company decided to simply offer a cash incentive and plans to announce it through campus radio ads as well when the fall semester begins next month.

Grove said the students would be asked to volunteer during the day when most long-serving members are at work.

He added the fire station located on the Old Trail has even more incentives: wireless Internet, a lounge and weight room.

“They could still be studying in the fire hall,” Grove said.

Text Only
  • xbjfire21az.jpg Firefighters battle blaze at BJ's in Danville

    DANVILLE -- Firefighters were called to fight a fire at BJ's Steak & Rib House on Mill Street before 9 p.m. Sunday night. Customers in the restaurant and residents in nearby apartments were evacuated to the streets.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Loaded language

    Sometimes it’s the offhand remark that’s the most telling. Indeed, the way we Americans casually, often unthinkingly, incorporate gun metaphors into our everyday slang says a lot about how deeply embedded guns are in our culture and our politics, and how difficult it is to control or extract them. Consider this list, presented as bullet points — which are themselves so conventional, so central to the typography of mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations, that you can forget what their shape represents.

    April 20, 2014

  • Prize claim cost man $1,829

    WINFIELD — Western Union is doing what it can to educate people about the risks in wiring money. An entire section on its website ( is devoted to providing information that might reduce the risk of people falling victim to fraud schemes.

    April 19, 2014

  • Reel good time enjoyed by 200 young anglers

    TREVORTON — It only took about three minutes for J.C. Wallish to reel in his first fish at the Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Association’s annual Youth Trout Derby on Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Elytte Barbour's 'bad trip' put him on the road to prison, friend says

    SUNBURY — A former roommate of slaying suspect Elytte Barbour drove 450 miles from North Carolina to spend 45 minutes in the Northumberland County Prison with his best friend last week, and was not surprised when he heard Barbour say: “I am afraid to spend the rest of my life in jail.”

    April 19, 2014

  • bonehunt20a.jpg 60 dogs battle for biscuits at annual bone hunt

    It was a scene similar to ones playing out all over the nation this weekend: nervous parents holding baskets and bags, watching their little ones search for goodies in the grass.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

    PASCUA YAQUI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women.

    April 19, 2014

  • Danville parents hope strike ends quickly

    DANVILLE ““ First-grader Madison Wild was sad she missed school Thursday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Schools ask state to waive 180-day rule

    Three area school districts have asked the Pennsylvania Department of Education to add up their hours instead of their days in order to reach the required amount of instruction time in the school year.

    April 19, 2014

  • Former Bucknell star in NBA playoffs

    ATLANTA — It really hit Mike Muscala a few days ago when he was listening to the Nets’ starting lineup at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

    April 19, 2014

The Daily Marquee

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.