@hedtb36:New fire company officials plan to step up recruitment

@by:By Chris Barber

@bod:Recently-elected Kennett Fire Co. President Scott Danby said he and his new fellow officers are gearing up for a "fairly progressive" restructuring program aimed at recruiting new members. "Finding enough help is our top priority. The unemployment rates are low, and our volunteer salary certainly is not our best recruiting tool," he said last week.

Danby and new vice presidents Marc Anderson (first vice president) and Steve Pesce (second vice president) were elected to their positions on Dec. 11 after 35-year president Tony Talamonti said he did not want to run again. "Tony said he wasn't going to continue. The three of us felt we had the abilities to lead the fire company," Danby said.

Danby said he appreciated Talamonti's dedication and work throughout more than three decades and credited him with the current success of the company. He also said that he and his new officers believe in company traditions and are proud of them.

Still, Danby, a six-year resident of Kennett Square and assistant chief of the department, believe that they have a lot of work ahead maintaining a high membership. He said the company plans to revise a junior firefighter program and implement new marketing efforts to increase public awareness.

"There's more to do here than just fight fires. Those with mechanical, computer or professional service background are of tremendous value to the company," he said in a prepared statement.

Danby also said that he considers it important to enhance the working relationships Kennett enjoys with neighboring departments such as Avondale, Longwood, PoMarLin, West Grove, Hockessin and others.

Fire Chief Steve Melton echoed Danby's hopes by saying "We hope to organize multi-station training opportunities as well as develop station-specific specialties such as water rescue, high-angle, trench and other specialty rescue teams, all of which will ultimately lead to better protection for our citizens.

Danby, with the nodding agreements of his vice presidents, said he hopes to enhance the current ambulance service the company provides. "We definitely need to discuss ambulance[s] for 2007," he said.

Since 1875 the Kennett Fire Co. has provided fire suppression and emergency response to Kennett Square and Kennett Township. The company is all-volunteer and provides services 24 hours a day.

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