On Valentines Day a woman was killed in a fire at a home in the Stiles section of Whitehall. The woman died when she went back into the house to rescue her cat. Not exactly the brightest bulb in the pack but what can you do? Local fire companies converged on the house and extinguished the fire. The next evening in South Whitehall, two brothers were killed when their home on Walbert Avenue caught fire. There has been no announcement yet as to what started the fire. These two occurrences have made me wonder about our glorious volunteer fire companies in Whitehall, however.
The sad fact of the matter is that right now Whitehall’s fire companies are manned by volunteers. Sometimes it takes these guys and gals precious time to respond to a fire. When lives are on the line seconds count. As Whitehall matures, perhaps the time has come to begin thinking about staffing Whitehall fire companies with paid professionals. Taxes are high enough, I know, but when we’re talking about public safety. Many towns and communities in eastern Pennsylvania are getting with the program and hiring professionals to man their fire companies. That is what Whitehall needs, instead of a bunch of geeky kids and middle aged men who drink too much, looking for some recognition.