An ounce of prevention ... a pound of cure

On a visit to Boston, Benjamin Franklin noted that the inhabitants of his native city were far better prepared to fight fires than the natives of his adopted city, Philadelphia. Upon returning home, he consulted the Junto, a benevolent group dedicated to civic and self-improvement, and asked for their suggestions on better ways to combat fires.

Franklin also sought to raise public awareness about the city's dire need to improve fire-fighting techniques. In a Pennsylvania Gazette article of 1733 Franklin noted how fires were being fought in Philadelphia. "Soon after it [a fire] is seen and cry'd out, the Place is crowded by active Men of different Ages, Professions and Titles who, as of one Mind and Rank, apply themselves with all Vigilance and Resolution, according to their Abilities, to the hard Work of conquering the increasing fire."

Goodwill and amateur firefighters were not enough, though. Franklin suggested a "Club or Society of active Men belonging to each Fire Engine; whose Business is to attend all Fires with it whenever they happen."
For the February 4, 1735 issue of The Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin sent an anonymous letter to his own newspaper entitled Protection of Towns from Fire. Writing as an "old citizen" he admonished:

In the first Place, as an Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure, I would advise 'em to take care how they suffer living Coals in a full Shovel, to be carried out of one Room into another, or up or down Stairs, unless in a Warmingpan shut; for Scraps of Fire may fall into Chinks and make no Appearance until Midnight; when your Stairs being in Flames, you may be forced, (as I once was) to leap out of your Windows, and hazard your Necks to avoid being oven-roasted.
He further urged that chimney sweeps should be licensed by the city and be held responsible for their work. He noted that a neighboring city (Boston), "a club or society of active men belonging to each fie engine, whose business is to attend all fires with it whenever they happen." He noted that via practice and regular meetings, the firefighters' skills improved.

Under Franklin's goading, a group of thirty men came together to form the Union Fire Company on December 7, 1736. Their equipment included "leather buckets, with strong bags and baskets (for packing and transporting goods), which were to be brought to every fire. The blaze battlers met monthly to talk about fire prevention and fire-fighting methods. Homeowners were mandated to have leather fire-fighting buckets in their houses.

Other men were desirous of joining the Union, but were urged to form their own companies so the city would be better protected.
Within a short span of time, Philadelphians witnessed the birth of the Heart-in-Hand, the Britannia, the Fellowship, as well as several other fire companies.

Thanks to the matchless leadership of Benjamin Franklin, the dire fear of fires expired in Philadelphia which became one of safest city's in the world in terms of fire damage.

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155 Smolleck St
Whitney, PA  15693



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Apr 02, 2014: George Underwood, Fire Chief - Lake, WV

Mar 26, 2014: Edward Walsh, Lieutenant - Boston, MA

Mar 26, 2014: Michael Kennedy, Firefighter - Boston, MA

Mar 22, 2014: "Lance" Wentzel, Firefighter - Youngwood, PA

Mar 17, 2014: Tom Stevens, Sr., Assistant Fire Chief - Lawrenceburg, IN

Mar 16, 2014: Wayne Jeffers, Captain/EMT - Ramer, AL

Mar 13, 2014: Joseph Bove, III, Firefighter - Spotswood, NJ

Mar 08, 2014: Bobby Mollere, Lieutenant - Star Valley, AZ

Mar 07, 2014: Jeffery Bayless, Senior Captain - Anchorage, AK

Mar 05, 2014: Jamie Peite, Fire Chief - Ironwood, MI



A major winter storm can last for several days and be accompanied with high winds, freezing rain, sleet, heavy snowfall and cold temperatures. Winter storms can make driving and walking extremely hazardous. Always listen to the radio and television for the latest information and instructions for your area.


Have a disaster plan.

Prepare a disaster supplies kit for your home and car. Include a first aid kit, canned food and a can opener, bottled water, battery-operated radio, flashlight, protective clothing, and blankets.

Be aware of changing weather.


Stay indoors and dress warmly.

Eat regularly. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.

Drink water. Also, drink warm broth and juices.

If you must go outside, wear layered clothing, mittens and a hat.

Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.

Keep dry. Change wet clothing to prevent the loss of body heat.

If you must drive, carry a cell phone.

Keep the gas tank full.

Let someone know where you’re going, just in case your car gets stuck.

If you’re car gets stuck, stay with it and wait for help unless help is visible within 100 yards. Use maps and car mats to stay warm.


Avoid driving until conditions have improved.

Avoid overexertion. Heart attacks from shoveling snow are the leading cause of deaths during the winter.

Check on neighbors to make sure their safe! 

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