Keystone Valley Fire Department
Keystone Valley Fire Department
Keystone Valley Regional Fire District

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May 31, 2023

KVRFD Hosts Guest Speaker Sgt. (Ret) Trooper Robert Bemis for Western Chester County Fire, EMS, Police & Highway Workers
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May 9, 2022

Keystone Valley Regional Fire District and KVFD host Sergeant Robert Bemis a 22-year veteran of Pennsylvania State Police on Highway Safety for Emergency Responders and Highway workers.

Firefighter Tim Reynolds contacted Bemis and requested him to come to KVFD to speak on the dangers of operating on the roadways. Recently the tragic accident involving two (2) Pennsylvania State Troopers in Philadelphia, one being Fire Chief Brandon Sisca of Trappe, Pa who worked at KVFD in 2015. The incident hit home and made us look for alternatives to get the word out!~

With just under 100 responders and public safety workers attending this presentation of Bemis.

Sergeant (Ret.) Robert Bemis retired in 2017 as a Supervisor in the Operational Training Division at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in Hershey. With over 30 years of law enforcement experience, Sgt. Bemis spent more than a decade as a trainer in many police disciplines, specializing in officer safety, self-defense and civil disorder tactics. He has worked in previous assignments as both a Patrol Trooper and Patrol Supervisor, at several stations in western Pennsylvania. Sgt. Bemis was also assigned to the Forensic Services Unit, investigating major crime and accident scenes with emphasis on evidence collection and fingerprint analysis.

On March 27, 2015, Sergeant Robert "Bob" Bemis, then a 22-year veteran of the Pennsylvania State Police, stopped along the side of an interstate highway to render assistance to a disabled motorist whose vehicle was on fire. A passing vehicle approaching the scene lost control and struck the rear of Bob's police vehicle, which was driven forward striking him. Bob received life-threatening and permanent injury.

After eight months of surgery, rehabilitation and physical therapy, Bob returned to his job as a supervisor and instructor at the State Police Academy. With a new direction and purpose, he served the citizens of Pennsylvania for an additional 14 months before concluding a 30-year law enforcement career in 2017.

Bob now continues to serve others by sharing the experience of his final 22 months as a Trooper. His lectures have an inspirational message of resilience that spans a wide spectrum of audiences, and his book, Forged in Scars & Stripes: A Trooper's Victory Over Critical Injury showcases the fraternal bond shared by all who are called to serve.

Every year, the number of fatalities and serious injury to first responders struck by vehicles while working along the highway continues to rise. Though much of the discussion on safety focuses on proper scene set-up and quick clearance, there is often a disparity between disciplines (police, fire, EMS, towing & recovery, etc.) as to the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be worn which can afford a responder protection from secondary incidents. As agencies have begun to increase their issue of high-visibility garments, the one critical safety item which may be overlooked is the Roadway Helmet.

Emergency service providers regularly furnish their personnel with protective helmets designed specifically for a particular hazard, such as a structure fire or protection from gunfire, but that same equipment may not necessarily provide adequate coverage when the pedestrian responder is involved in a “struck-by” collision.

KVFD was joined by mutual-aid fire companies, West Caln Township Police, Flings Towing personnel and Highland Township Public Works and Fire Marshal.

The presentation not only hit home for our responders however, it made working on the roadways for police, fire and EMS a reality and something that occurs everyday of their profession.

Thank you to Gateway Church for hosting this event for us as our host location and to all the responders and public workers who attended.

Mutual Aid: Sadsburyville Fire Company, Gap Fire Company (Lanco), Christiana Fire Company (Lanco)
Attachment PPE - The Missing Piece Announcement.pdf  (316k)
Attachment Speaker Bio.pdf  (158k)

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