Assistance Team (A-Team)www.fumcperkasie.com
The volunteer firefighters and fire police of the Perkasie Fire Company sacrifice a great deal and risk a great deal to protect the people of the community. The First United Methodist Church of Perkasie wanted to show support for these men and women in some tangible and ongoing way. A few church members met with the fire chief and president of the fire company to explore ways the two groups might work together.
There are times when victims of a fire need help in some way like cleaning up their property, transporting some of their belongings to storage or other tasks which they may not have the resources to handle. When this happens, the victims will often reach out to the fire company for help. The fire company’s people and resources are focused on preventing and fighting fires so the fire company is not really in a position to meet these other needs of the victims, but they still want to provide the needed support. So the church formed a team of volunteers that the fire company can turn to when victims request help. The team was called the Perkasie Fire Company Assistance Team, which later became simply the “A-Team”.
During this same time there were a few events that happened within the borough that required residents to be evacuated for safety reasons. One was a flood and the other a police situation in a local neighborhood. On both occasions the First United Methodist Church was utilized as an evacuation site where people could find nearby shelter until the situation was resolved. The church is only one block from the fire station and enabled the evacuation to take place, the fire company to do its work and not compromise the fire station activities by trying to house evacuees there. The borough saw the value of having this team and its facility as a resource and officially designated the church as an emergency evacuation site. As a result, the fire company and emergency office of the borough helped the A-Team to better organize itself to provide security, food, evacuee services and organized communications in the event of an emergency. Additionally, they also provided training in emergency management procedures. The A-team now has 28 volunteers and continues to look for additional ways to support both the fire company and the community.