While driving northbound on Old York Road, Liam Anderson and his fiancée spotted a banner stretched over the street.
‘Be the neighbor who save a neighbor. Volunteer with Jenkintown Fire Department!’ it encouraged.
For Anderson, it was a push toward something he’d hoped to do for many years.
“Honestly, from the time I was a little kid, I’ve always wanted something in public service,” he says. He’d even pursued a role in the NYPD while living in the city. Circumstances changed, though, and he ended up here, looking to fulfill that longtime dream.
Becoming a volunteer firefighter seemed like the perfect way to get involved.
Anderson is now training with Jenkintown’s Independent Fire Company, working his way toward Firefighter 1 certification. The experience, he says, has been both challenging and rewarding so far.
“That mix of theory and practice and the fact that it’s all done through volunteer channels is mindboggling,” says Anderson.
Though each have their own rich histories, the Independent and Pioneer companies collaborate frequently, training together on Thursdays. They may be two distinct units, but they serve one borough. Anderson praises their “big family dynamic.”
He is also grateful for his fellow volunteers, who have welcomed him with open arms.
“Everybody has been so courteous, so helpful, and always trying to teach you something,” he says.
As 2021 approaches, people are beginning to make their New Year’s resolutions. For those hoping to make a difference or give back to their community—or even just looking for a new opportunity, no matter what it is—volunteer firefighting offers that chance.
Those who are on the fence about joining a volunteer fire company, Anderson says, should just give it a try. No matter the skill level or amount of time available to give back, everyone is welcome to sign up.
In short: “Forget about the fence,” says Anderson.
Make your 2021 resolution to be the neighbor who saves a neighbor with Jenkintown Fire Department. Firefighters, fire police, and administrative volunteers are needed. All training and equipment is provided free of cost.
Get started today at www.FightJenkintownFires.org.