New Morgan Borough honored Twin Valley Fire Police for service during a November manhunt.
The New Morgan Borough presented the Community Service Award to Twin Valley Fire Department’s Fire Police in December. The borough wanted to recognize the Fire Department’s service during the manhunt on Nov. 14 when a suspect fled from police after a chase through southern Berks County.
“I was on top of the world,” said Fire Police Capt. Alan Chalfin about receiving the award. “30 Fire Police from 10 departments and three counties stopped what they were doing and gave their full day—11 hours—to help their community.”
The incident began shortly after 10 a.m. on Nov. 14 when a truck driven by Harold Augustus Davis Jr., 56, was stopped by a Caernarvon Township police officer for a routine traffic stop. Police searched Davis’s records and learned he was wanted in Florida for robbery and other offenses. Davis drove off and led a short car chase before hitting a guide rail. After abandoning his truck, Davis fled for the woods on the east side of the highway near Chestnut Hill Road in Robeson, police said in a press release.
A Chester County dispatcher alerted the Twin Valley Fire Department Fire Police around 10:30 a.m. to assist law enforcement at the intersection of I-176 and Route 23. Chalfin and Fire Police Officer David Kramlich arrived and were told to assist police in closing the northbound lane of I-176 and Route 10, including all Route 10 side streets from Quarry Road up to Elverson Road. They later met a Berks County police officer, who told them to close all northbound lanes from Morgantown toward Reading.
Chalfin contacted dispatch for additional support. He and Fire Police Lieutenant Bill Bailey coordinated over 30 fire police from the tri-county area to help close off roads while making sure police had the support they needed. Police searched for Davis, but called off the manhunt late Thursday night. Davis was captured around 7 a.m. the next day after a police officer spotted him near Route 10.
According to Chalfin, fire police generally focus on the safety and well-being of the firefighting team by establishing a perimeter around incident sites. Fire police also make sure the community is protected from dangers through traffic control.
Fire police often receive little to no recognition for their efforts. “It’s unfortunate because during fires and accidents, the fire police are out there just as long [as other responders],”Carolyn Williams of New Morgan Borough said on the phone. The borough wanted to recognize the “fine work that was done” by the fire police as they endured the cold to direct traffic away from potential danger.
Williams also said the fire police are important for safety in the community as they help around accidents, check people coming into the borough, and block off the borough when necessary.