Frystown Firefighter angels help local seniors

These firefighter angels, who brought help and hope to the seniors fighting flooding in their basement on Frystown Road, are, from left, Travis Musser and Barry Hower.
These firefighter angels, who brought help and hope to the seniors fighting flooding in their basement on Frystown Road, are, from left, Travis Musser and Barry Hower. Submitted photo

Angels do not just wear flowing gowns of white or gold. They also wear reflective striping on tan uniforms.

That is what an older couple in Bethel Township in Berks County found out when they realized their basement was taking on water in a recent heavy downpour and the level was rising. They also noticed that neither of their submerged sump pumps were working.

He volunteered to go buy a sump pump to help their bailing efforts.

She kept on filling buckets and taking up the outside cellar steps and dumping them outside at the edge of the driveway.

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The water crept higher even as she worked.

Soon enough he was home and set up not one, but two, sump pumps. With hoses snaking up the steps and out over the driveway some of the inches-high water started pouring out, but the basement water level did not go down. It was going even higher.

They moved boxes and bags to higher shelves and questioned what they could do.

“Call the fire company,” she suggested, but they had no telephone number since 9-1-1 was not really the way to go in their minds.

He called Bethel Township and was given the Chief’s number, who promised help when he heard the problem.

Soon enough, two of those uniform-garbed angels arrived, surveyed the scene and set up two sump pumps with greater capacity hoses and power than the ones the homeowners had.

The quartet of anxious homeowners and re-assuring angels in special clothing, named Barry Hower and Travis Musser, saw a change in the water level and conversation of neighborliness and thanksgiving flowed.

With instructions to the homeowners on what to watch for in terms of shutting down the fire company sump pumps and whom to call so the pumps could be picked up, the fire company volunteers, those angels in disguise, left to go back to interrupted farm work and whatever life demanded of them, while waiting for the next call of help needed in the community. That needed help could be a fire, an automobile or truck accident, or medical assistance.

In gratitude to the help received, the homeowners visited the Community Fire Company of Frystown for the next company drill/meeting to express their thanks for services rendered.

The volunteer fire company does have needs even while it serves the neighborhood, a general area of 8 square miles, which includes Route 78, as well as supporting neighboring fire companies in several counties.

For those who cannot serve as active firefighters, members can help with fund-raising, serve on the board, as well as becoming part of the hoped-for re-starting of the Auxiliary. Such an Auxiliary is open to both men and women.

For joining the ranks of Community Fire Company of Frystown angels, call 717-933-4231 says Chief Corey Houser and leave a message.

There is room for more angels to volunteer time, talent and even treasure, since yes it does take funds to maintain and fuel the trucks, to purchase equipment and insurance, and to house the equipment.