Shortly after 4 pm this past Sunday, West Mead 1 was dispatched with West Mead 2 and Meadville Ambulance for a porch fire on Pettis Road in our first-due response area. Additional information from the caller suggested the potential for entrapment, and Meadville Central and Saegertown (RIT) were added to the alarm. Rescue Chief Jayme Corey arrived on scene and notified incoming units of a working fire. 28-13 arrived on scene and began a transitional attack deploying the class A foam bumper line to the rear of the structure to begin knocking down visible fire. 28-13’s crew then shifted to an interior attack as mutual aid arrived and deployed additional class A foam lines. Fire had spread into the first floor and extended into the attic.
Additional units from Cochranton and Vernon Central were requested to the scene. Due to heat and humidity, Vernon Township and Vernon Central each staged an engine at our Alden St station with fresh manpower. As crews fatigued, Vernon Township was moved to the scene to assist with overhaul and Saegertown’s RIT team was reassigned overhaul as well. After extensive overhaul and salvage work, crews cleared the scene. The last few members of the department returned home just after 10 pm, almost 6 hours after the initial dispatch. West Mead 1 responded with 28-11, 12, 13, and 14 staffed by 16 volunteers.
A second-generation firefighter, former Fire Chief Brad Johnston joined West Mead #1 as a junior and fought his first interior fire just after turning 18. At age 26 he became fire chief and served from 2006 to 2011. In 2015 he again assumed the responsibility of fire chief and served until 2020. Brad has over 20 years of active service with West Mead #1, and he is also active on the Crawford County Scuba Team.