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On Monday, October 25th, members from Local 1803 visited the offices of Breast Cancer Support Services of Berks. Local 1803 raised money this year through the sale of Breast Cancer Awareness T-Shirts....
Friday, October 22nd, 2021
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Please consider purchasing 2021 Reading Fire Department Toy Drive apparel to help us get toys for local kids in need this Christmas. We appreciate you helping us in this great cause! Link posted below...
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Hired on February 1st of 1995, Judd Weber began his firefighting career on the C-Platoon where he was assigned as a jumper after graduating the fire academy. Firefighter Weber remained a jumper on C-s...
Friday, July 23rd, 2021
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Congratulations to the 2021 recruit class on their graduation of the fire academy. The recruit class has finished 6 months of strenuous training led by Lieutenant Batz and now will be assigned to stre...
News
Firefighter Richard Turner
Friday, December 16th, 2011

Rick during a search of a dwelling on Elm StreetCongratulations to Richard Turner on his retirement after serving the city for nearly 32 years. Rick was hired on March 17th of 1980. After fire training Rick was placed on the A platoon as a jumper firefighter. Rick would work as a jumper for several years before being assigned to Ladder 1 on December 24th, 1993. Rick would remain with the company more than 16 years as a firefighter then tillerman with the arrival of the tractor-drawn ladder in 1997. On April 5th of 2010 Rick took assignment to Rescue 1 as the driver. Rick officially finishes Friday morning at 800 hours....

Congratulations Rick!


As part of something that we've been wanting to do for a while, I've sent Rick a list of questions before he heads out of here. It's unfortunate that the department has suffered the loss of a great deal of firefighting experience in the past 2 years. I hope to try and regain a small piece of that experience with these simple interview questions.


Question #1 - Apparatus/Tools/Equipment

Was there anything Apparatus/Tools/Equipment-wise during your career that you felt had a special need, operated quirky, or you felt was a potential problem?
There have been a lot of changes in 32 years when I first came on the job. The first apparatus I drove was a 1941 open-Cab Mack Pumper with a double clutch manual shift. In order to pump the rig, you had to manually put it in pump gear, and then manually shift from volume to pressure. These days you get into an enclosed cab apparatus and push a button to start the vehicle, push a button to place it in pump gear, and push buttons to open & close valves.
One thing I want to tell my brothers is to know your rig, no matter what type or how old or new it is. Check it when you come on duty & make sure everything is in good working order. There is nothing worse than hitting the street and finding out your tank is half empty, or the jacks on your aerial won’t deploy. It is your responsibility & your butt!

Question #2 - Calls/Incidents/Experiences/Problem Buildings
Tell us about any calls, incidents, or experiences that offer a lesson learned for other firefighters (especially new ones). I'm sure you could think of many things in your career, but just pick out one or two things that come to mind as being most important.
Thinking back over the years, there were a lot of these lessons & experiences. The one I feel most important not only to me, but the entire department was the aftermath of the Y.M.C.A. fire in 1985. The fire caused the death of volunteer firefighter Donald Jacobs, and a civilian whom he was trying to remove from the building. From that point on, the city began to require more strict training for volunteer firefighters. With the expanded training requirements, volunteer ranks began to dwindle. Reading Firefighters Local 1803 began negotiating and campaigning to hire more paid firefighters. The city had been operating with one paid firefighter driver on an apparatus. The final straw on the manpower issue came one evening when a house caught fire on Spring Garden Street. The fire spread rapidly, and caused every single piece of apparatus to respond to make up for the lack of volunteer firefighters to fight the fire. Several firefighters would also sustain injuries at this fire, due to the low staffing. This fire, along with newspaper articles, and information presented by the local would ultimately lead to the hiring of enough firefighters to staff apparatus with 2 at all times.
The staffing was(is) still not enough, but monumental to those that served by themselves for all those years.

Question #3 - Department History
Can you name something from the department that you feel we have lost over the years that might be good to bring back or recall? (procedure, policy, event, ceremony, etc)
I could write a book on this one….
The policies & procedures have always been a grey area. They are written and distributed, and most times forgotten. Then another chief comes along and revises it, but fails to rescind the original. Many times you get confused when looking at the various policies, which one do you follow?

Question #4 - Your Wisdom
Can you write one thing that you feel would be helpful to pass on to new firefighter that could help them stay healthy & safe throughout their career?
All I could pass on to a new firefighter is this:
Stay healthy & stay active both at home and at work.
Don’t become a couch potato at home.
Keep up to date with your “Honey-Do” list!
Stay busy at work, even during your down time.
Stay safe, take your time, stop, look, and think before you go running into some strange building.

Ricks Last Night At Rescue 1

Ricks Retirement Party

Rick was also featured on our affiliate site Centralpabravest

Firefighter Richard Turner
Photo by Nik Knauer
Firefighter Richard Turner
Rick and the 1980 Academy Class.
Firefighter Richard Turner
Quentin Englehart, Dave Doerrman & Rick after a job on Elm Street
Firefighter Richard Turner
You may recognize this photo of Rick from our Banner! - Taken by Anthony Miccicke
Firefighter Richard Turner
Deputy Chief Jeff Squib, Rick Turner, A Platoon Chief William Stoudt
Firefighter Richard Turner
Doug Folk, Rick & Kerry Miller during the Toys For Tots party
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Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
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We are proud to report that Reading Firefighters raised $2000 for our Toys-For-Tots campaign. The group met on Wednesday night at the Target in Exeter to purchase toys for the charity. The toys will be distributed at the Y102 Christmas Breakfast at California Bar & Grill on Friday morning.
Friday, December 16th, 2011
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Congratulations to Richard Turner on his retirement after serving the city for nearly 32 years. Rick was hired on March 17th of 1980. After fire training Rick was placed on the A platoon as a jumper firefighter.
Sunday, December 11th, 2011
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The Reading Firefighters held their annual Christmas Party on Sunday December 11th. Children were entertained with Christmas movies, crafts, and of course a visit with Santa himself. Thanks to Larry & Maggie Moyer for running the show, and Ron Banks for taking pictures while I was busy creating ...
Saturday, December 10th, 2011
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Many firefighters & guests chose to visit the 9/11 Memorial Site while on the Readingpafire Bus Trip to New York. For some it was the first time they had visited the site, for others it was a return to pay their respects to the fallen.
Friday, November 18th, 2011
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Reading Firefighters attended the 9th annual MDA Black & Blue Ball held at Classic Harley Davidson. The department auctioned off a children's dream birthday party to the highest bidder, bringing in over $800.
Saturday, November 5th, 2011
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The Reading Fire Department had the privilege to take part in a special home-coming of Lance Corporal Brandon McCulley, who recently returned from Iraq after a second tour. We received this honor through Warriors Watch, a special group whose mission is to honor veterans returning from war.
Monday, October 24th, 2011
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Months after beginning their new positions, several Reading Fire Officers took the oath to protect the city & country. The officers sworn in included: Fire Chief Kevin Kulp 1st Deputy Chief Nicholas Amicone, 1st Deputy Chief Ron Wentzel 1st Deputy Chief Gary Mogel C Platoon Chief Frank ...
Saturday, October 22nd, 2011
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Zachary Bailey received the best birthday party any boy turning 7 could ever ask for. Zach & 21 of his friends spent the afternoon at the Southwest Station having pizza, cake, ice cream & and of course a fire truck ride! The birthday party idea began several years prior as the firefigh...
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With National Fire Prevention Week in full swing this month, firefighters will be visiting schools, day-cares, and civic groups. Annually, the department conducts E.D.I.T.H., meaning Exit Drills In The Home.
Monday, October 10th, 2011
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Reading firefighters were honored for their actions over this past year during the monthly city council meeting. The start of the ceremony began with a proclamation for fire prevention week. Fire Marshal Todd Iaeger accepted the proclamation, and added a few words from the fire prevention division...
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Taking to the streets once again, for their 2nd annual boot drive for Muscular Dystrophy, the Reading Firefighters collected $8,671. We're proud to report we have collected a total of $18,377.23, beating our 2011 goal of $18,000.
The Exeter Township supervisors have told representatives of the Exeter Ambulance Association that they don't intend to subsidize ambulance service for the city of Reading by contributing to the association.
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Congratulations to the following firefighters on completing NFPA Fire Officer 2 Fire Chief Kevin Kulp Deputy Chief Ron Wentzel Lieutenant Scot Landis Firefighter Donald Marks Firefighter Jason Batz Firefighter Mike Glore Firefighter Andrew Getka
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Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) is the term given for a group firefighters tasked with standing by at a house fire or other emergency incident for the safety of other firefighters. The RFD staffs an I-RIT or initial rapid intervention team of 2 firefighters at every structure fire.
Monday, September 26th, 2011
READING, Pa. — The exhausted mothers who come to the Second Street Learning Center here — a day care provider for mostly low-income families — speak of low wages, hard jobs and an economy gone bad.
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Reading firefighter Ray Carl & his son Justin, of Chesterfield County Fire, honored those who were lost by participating in the Richmond Memorial Stair Climb. The event was held at the 22 story Sun Trust Bank Building.
Sunday, September 11th, 2011
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Photos from the recent 10th year anniversary memorial service in City Park. The Reading Fire Department Has Not Forgotten.... Gallery Photos Here
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A small group of Reading Firefighters once again returned to Watkins Park in Prince Georges County, Maryland. Unfortunately, due to the amount of Rain that had fallen due to Hurricanes & Tropical Storms, the tournament was canceled.
Monday, September 5th, 2011
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Scenes from the the Reading's annual Labor Day Parade
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Reading Firefighters Local 1803 President Mike Shoumlisky, and Jason Batz appear during the 2011 MDA Telethon. The firefighters have raised over $9,000 this year, and are hoping to double that amount on October 7th during their Fall Boot Drive.

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