Berwyn Fire Company
Berwyn Fire Company
Berwyn Fire Company
Berwyn Fire Company

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Berwyn Fire Co. Recognized for Water Rescue Excellence
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By NewsDesk
June 13, 2022

SOUTH BEND, IN - On Sunday, June 12th, the Berwyn Fire Company was recognized by the Higgins and Langley Memorial Awards under the Incident Award category for leadership in the challenging and complex swiftwater rescue of an adult trapped in a vehicle along Valley Creek in Valley Forge National Historical Park on September 1, 2021.

The Berwyn Fire Company was present among other recipients in various categories from North Carolina, New Jersey, Maryland, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Australia and England.

Prior to the conferring of any honors, the Higgins & Langley Board of Directors perform an exhaustive investigation to determine suitability for all awards. The Incident Award that Berwyn Fire Company received involved a review of scene photos, drone images, video, incident narrative, verification of certification, multiple responder interviews, 9-1-1 incident times, emergency radio communications and an analysis of technical skills and techniques used during the rescue.

A total of 53 personnel among several agencies were managed by the Berwyn Fire Company during this extensive rescue effort that lasted over 4 hours as the region was impacted by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. According to the United States Geological Survey, during the rescue the Valley Creek water gauge rose above 16 feet. For those familiar with this waterway, this normally flows at 2-3 feet in spots or lower throughout the year.

The Higgins and Langley Memorial Awards were established in 1993 by members of the Swiftwater Rescue Committee of the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR) in honor of Earl Higgins, a writer and filmmaker who lost his life in 1980 while rescuing a child who was swept down the flood-swollen Los Angeles River, and Jeffrey Langley, a Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighter-paramedic, who lost his life in a helicopter incident in 1993.

The Higgins and Langley Memorial Awards are not intended as recognition of heroism only, but acknowledge individuals and swiftwater rescue teams that have utilized this specialized technical rescue discipline for lifesaving, increased awareness about the need for swiftwater and flood rescue training, promoted worldwide training standards of certification, and inspired other agencies to develop viable water rescue programs.

During the opportunity for each award recipient to speak, the Berwyn Fire Company recognized the following agencies who assisted with this successful rescue effort; Radnor Fire Company, Fame Fire Company of West Chester, Phoenixville Fire Department, Friendship Diving-Rescue Unit of Phoenixville, Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company, Paoli Fire Company EMS & Fire Police, Malvern Fire Company EMS, National Park Service Valley Forge Park Rangers and the Chester County Department of Emergency Services 9-1-1 Center.

The Berwyn Fire Company remains committed to delivering high quality services to the Tredyffrin-Easttown community and ensuring its responders are equipped to handle water rescues through investments in training and certification.

Press Release from September 3, 2021

Swift Water Rescue near Valley Forge Park Covered Bridge

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