Hamlin Fire & Rescue Mission:
"A Concern For Others"
We are a volunteer fire company founded in 1962. We have recently begun the process of replacing our current firehouse that is in poor condition. Our current building was built in two phases with the first section containing three bays and a training room completed in 1964. The second section containing three additional bays and a second floor office area was completed in the early 1980s. Over the years, due to to more pressing needs, such as the purchase and maintainance of equipment our building has suffered. It currently has a leaking roof, rotting floors, limited space for equipment and insufficient areas for first responders to park when responding to calls.
We are located in Hamlin, Pennsylvania, a small village located in Salem Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania. The population of Salem Township as of 2017 was 4,108 residents. Salem Township covers 31.4 square miles with more than 4000 homes, numerous commercial and industrial buildings, a senior citizen apartment complex, a medical outpatient clininc, a motel, several churches and gas stations, two porpane storage facilities and an elementary school. We are staffed 100% by vomlunteer fire fighters and emergency responders and a combination of volunteer and paid emergency medical technicians. We currently have approximately 20 active members who respond to calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As with most volunteer departments we continue to face challenges recruiting volunteers.
In 2019 our department responded to more than 1740 calls that included approximately 275 fire calls, motor vehicle accidents, and various rescue calls such as downed trees, animal rescues, flooded basements, and providing fire police services for various emergency calls and other community activities. We also responded to more than 1500 calls for emergency medical assistance. Our primary coverage area is all of Salem Township, a large portion of adjoining Lake and Sterling Townships and includes more than 5 miles of Interstate 84, a primary route for travel to the New England states. As a rural department we also respond to unique calls such as searching for escaped livestock, rescuing a horse that had partially fallen through the floor of the barn, and helping an elderly citizen whose roof was leaking during the Christmas Holiday.
As the only volunteer fire company in southern Wayne County with full time EMS coverage we provide primary EMS protection to Salem, Lake, and Sterling Townships as well as mutual aid covergae to many surrounding areas with little or no EMS services. Lake Township includes a gated community covering 6.7 square miles and housing more than 3,300 residential units with a population of 3,013 residents as of the 2010 census. Lake Township also houses a skilled nursing home.
Our current funding comes from multiple sources including the following: 3.5% annual fund drive; 6.5% state and local government allotments; 10% Emergency Medical Service subscritions; 15% internal fund raising efforts; and 65% medical and rescue insurance billing. Those funds are used tp pay for building and equipment maintenance, utilities, training, personal protection equipment, insurance, EMT wages and other misc. expenses leaving very little to pay a mortgage.
With an eye towards meeting the future needs of our community and after extensive research a decision was made to sell our current firehouse and an additional property housing our Social Hall used for fund raising and to purchase a vacant tract of land less than 1/4 mile from our current location. This plan will greatly reduce our operating expenses by combining all of our needs into one location to maintian and a new energy efficient building will reduce utility costs. We have received a grant to partially fund the buidling costs as well as a recent award to include a solar power system on the building but the funds do not cover the entire costs. One option would be to go into debt by funding the remaining costs with a mortgage but that would burden future generations with paying back the debt and would also entail using funds that are badly needed for other uses.
While our local communities, both residential and commercial, help keep us afloat with their support and donations during our annual fund drive and other fund raising events it makes it difficult to ask these same residents, many of whom are on limited and fixed incomes to donate to our Capital Building Project. We are asking anyone who would like to help support our first responders with a dontation to consider our project. Any level of dontation is greatly appreciated whether it is $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, or more. No dontaiton is too small and every dollar helps. We plan to include recognition of all of our donors in the new building as well as a special plaque recognizing corporations and businesses that help us meet this need.
The members of Hamlin Fire & Rescue are grateful for any financial support that we receive and even if you are unable to donate we want to thank you for reading our story. And remember all donations are tax deductable.