Aetna Hose Hook & Ladder Company

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Aetna News

January 19, 2022

We are hiring for two positions, the first is a full time Firefighter/ EMT and the second is a Manager of Emergency Medical Services Operations. More information along with applications can be found HERE.

December 4, 2021

Aetna regrets to announce that Life member, Richard "Dick" A. Pyle, Sr., age 83, of Newark, DE, passed away peacefully with his loving wife by his side on Wednesday, November 10, 2021. Dickie joined Aetna in 1963 and served in many capacities including Ambulance Captain.

Born in Wilmington, DE on September 28, 1938, he was the son of the late Edward Madison and Ethel Marina (Buckingham) Pyle. He went by Dick, Dickie, Dad and the occasional, "Damn, you can smack that softball!" (508 ft. to be exact with one mighty historic swing–and with a wooden bat, to boot.)

After graduating Newark High School in 1959, he made it to the Philadelphia Phillies minor league team, but an injury ended his dream. He then made it to the Senior Olympic Softball Team, but old age retired him early. But as for the love of the game, well … that will never be taken from him

He is survived by his loving wife, Judith "Judy" A. (Pullin) Pyle; his hardworking sons, Richard "Rick" A. Pyle, Jr. (Debra Jo) of Middletown and Keith "Kip" A. Pyle (Kate) of Palm Harbor, FL; his loyal siblings, Lois Yoder of Newark, Kenneth Pyle (Debbie) of Bear, and Bruce Pyle (Jennifer) of Newark; and his deeply loved 7 grandchildren & 8 great grandchildren.

All services were held privately.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dick's memory to

November 30, 2021

Santa will be swinging through neighborhoods across our district on a fire engine again this year to bring some holiday cheer! See the attached list for dates and times. Please keep in mind that they are subject to change based on weather and emergency responses. As usual, we are collecting canned goods and non-perishables for local food banks.

We know that some may be disappointed that their neighborhoods are not listed. Please understand that we protect a district of 41.9 square miles with a population of nearly 100,000 people. It is simply not possible for us to make it to every neighborhood while responding to nearly 12,000 emergencies a year. Thank you for your understanding and we hope that you have a safe and healthy holiday season.

October 1, 2021

Aetna will be participating in the Annual Bell Ringing Ceremony honoring our brother and sister firefighters that lost their lives in the line of duty during the year 2020. Aetna has been holding this annual event for over 40 years. The ceremony will take place on October 3, 2021 in the Memorial Garden at Station 7 on Thorn Lane. We will strike the bell once for each loss. The ceremony will begin at 12 Noon. All are welcome to attend.

If you would like to join us but cannot be there in person please use the zoom information below:

Topic: Aetna Bells Across America 2021

Time: Oct 3, 2021 11:45 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 873 0884 7977

Passcode: 499420

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August 22, 2021

The Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company regrets to announce the passing of Past Chief / Past President, and Life Member, L. Franklin (Frank) Beers. Frank joined Aetna in 1958 serving as Chief of the Department 1967-1970 and Company President from 1991-1992. Frank also served on the board of directors for 2 terms. Frank was also a longtime pump operator instructor and driving instructor for engines, tractor, and tiller for the Ladder. Frank was chairman for the purchase of the first tractor drawn Ladder truck which was delivered in 1971. His presence will be missed and we are grateful for his 63 years of dedicated service to our department and the community. A viewing will be held Monday, August 23rd from 6pm until 8pm at Aetna Firehouse Station 8, 410 Ogletown Rd, Newark, DE. A second visitation will be held Tuesday, August 24, 2021 from 10am until 11am. Services will follow the second visitation. Internment will be at Gracelawn Memorial Park, 2220 N. Dupont Highway, New Castle, DE.


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July 1, 2021

Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company

has exciting things on the horizon.

The company is launching a new campaign to revamp their brand, raise community awareness and recruit more volunteers to its ranks.

"The last year has been challenging for operations, including recruitment and retention,” said Chief A.J. Schall. “With already shrinking numbers, a year of ‘pauses’ will only lead to more issues down the road. With the grants we received, we have a unique opportunity to concentrate on the health and wellness of current members, and refine our communication and outreach for years to come."

To meet its public relations and advertising needs, Aetna is working with a pair of locally-based PR agencies. Together, they will get the new brand and messaging out through a variety of avenues, including:

  • Feature stories in local news outlets

  • Traditional and digital mail pieces

  • Social media posts and targeted ads

  • Community engagement at events

One of the companies Aetna has partnered with is Aloysius Butler & Clark, an ad agency with three offices across the mid-Atlantic, including its founding location in Wilmington, Delaware. The organization – more commonly known as AB&C – will create a new brand for Aetna that best reflects the culture and community of our fire company.

“As a full-service brand marketing ad agency founded in Wilmington 50 years ago, we have worked with a variety of clients throughout the First State,” said David Brond, AB&C’s Vice President of Strategy and Planning.

“We are truly privileged to work with Aetna and their partners to enhance the visibility of the essential fire and emergency services their dedicated volunteer and career personnel provide every day to protect and preserve the lives, property and environment of the greater Newark community.”

The other company is the Communication Solutions Group, headquartered in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Their work with Aetna will involve enhanced volunteer recruitment efforts, bringing particular attention to Aetna’s Live-In Program, which plays an important role in the company and the neighboring University of Delaware campus.

Read the rest of our Summer 2021 Newsletter HERE

June 26, 2021

UPDATE: closed bids for the Tahoe listed on June 19th have been extended through 7/18, $10,000 minimum bid. Email with your bid, the email subject must say "Tahoe Bid."

June 21, 2021

At 7:14pm, Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company was dispatched to the unit block of Squirrel Lane, in the Elan of Huntington Hills, for a rescue for a tree onto a house with a subject trapped. As crews responded, further information indicated that there was possibly a grill on fire next to the house upgrading the response to a structure fire. Crews arrived to find Newark Delaware Police Department on scene confirming a patient trapped on the 2nd floor of the home but fortunately there was no fire. Contact was made with the patient and it was determined that a tree struck the roof causing a lean-to type collapse in the 2nd floor kitchen area. Specialty resources from the New Castle County Collapse Team were requested to respond. Power was secured to the house while firefighters from Aetna and Christiana stabilized the roof and tree with specialized rescue struts. With the collapse stabilized, they were then able to cut through roof rafters with a Sawzall and tunnel in to the patient through tree branches, roof rafters, insulation, and wires. They were able to free her arm, which was pinned, and then assisted her from the house to safety. The patient was assessed by Aetna ambulance and NCCEMS and was transported to Christiana Hospital in stable condition. From the 911 call to the patient being removed from the structure was 29 minutes and this is a credit to the outstanding efforts of the responding crews who safety and quickly handled the emergency. Chief Schall had Newark Command and the scene was turned over to City of Newark, Delaware Code Enforcement.

The patient and two children were standing in the kitchen when the collapse occurred but miraculously the trapped patient suffered minor injuries and the children were uninjured. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for New Castle County at 6:21pm by the National Weather Service and this is an example of why such warnings should be taken seriously!

Assisting Agencies: Christiana Fire, New Castle County Paramedics, Newark Delaware Police Department, City of Newark, Delaware Code Enforcement and Electric Department.

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June 19, 2021

The Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company is listing for sale a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe, 4dr 5.3L 8cyl. The truck has 103,XXX miles and is in good condition with average wear and tear and typical cosmetic imperfections. The truck has new tires and is equipped with 2 batteries. The vehicle is equipped with a red/white light package, siren, and rumbler. The vehicle is also equipped with a Havis command console ready for radios in the front and a command unit with drawers and a pull out command board in the rear. The truck is being sold in as is condition.

Closed bids, with a minimum bid of $11,000, can be submitted to by 6/25 with the subject line "Tahoe Bid". Payment must be made by 7/5.

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April 14, 2021

Congratulations to Aetna life member Paul Eldridge who was recognized today by New Castle County 911 for his efforts supporting mapping. Paul has been working behind the scenes to create and update our department's map books for over 46 years. The detailed information contained within the map books, for many years hand-drawn, identifies addresses, hydrant locations, Knox boxes, standpipes, bridges, and so much more. Each piece of apparatus in our fleet carries one of these map books to provide the crews with timely and critical information.

Over the years the efforts have transitioned from pencils, protractors, and tracing paper to a computer-based system with Paul adapting to the new technology and continuing his efforts. Now, in addition to each apparatus having a map book, the information is also accessible on our Mobile Data Terminals (MDT's). The process is a constant one, requiring countless hours of work, phone calls, and visits to locations across our district. In addition to updating our map books, Paul also ensures that the New Castle County Emergency Communications Division has the most accurate address information for the 911 call takers and dispatchers to transmit to our department. Without this critical information it would make the jobs of each responder more difficult and delay assistance from quickly arriving. We are eternally grateful for his tireless efforts, congrats Paul!

Congratulations also to Past Chief John H. Farrell, IV and Past Deputy Chief Steve Debold who were recognized for their handling of incidents in their jobs as Telecommunicators - Fire/Medical with New Castle County.

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March 31, 2021

We're hiring part-time Emergency Medical Technicians, check out the posting for details!

March 29, 2021

On Friday March 26, 2021 at 4:14pm, the Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company, along with mutual aid, was dispatched to 701 Pencader Drive, United Cocoa Processor, for a commercial structure fire. Crews arrived to find smoke and fire showing from the roof of the single-story, 109,000 square foot commercial building. A 2nd alarm was sounded, bringing additional resources to a nearby staging area. Engine 9 stretched a 2.5" handline to the interior and found machinery on fire that had extended onto the roof. Ladder 9 and Engine 12 worked to stretch a 2.5" hi-rise pack off of the standpipe connection on the tip of Ladder 9 to extinguish the fire on the roof. The fire was quickly controlled and extensive overhaul was performed. The last fire at this facility, in 2015, resulted in the installation of fire-resistive roof insulation which helped to prevent a more severe incident. Crews operated for 2 hours and there were no civilian or fire service injuries. The Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office investigated the fire and Battalion 3 had Newark Command.

Assisting Agencies:

Christiana Fire

Singerly Fire Company

Volunteer Hose Co.

Wilmington Manor Fire Company

Delaware City Volunteer Fire Company, No. 1, Inc., Station 15

Elsmere Fire Company No.1

New Castle County Paramedics

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August 28, 2020

Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company will officially cease fire suppression response operations from its Ogletown Road Station on August 30, 2020. Fire Station 8 was originally placed in service in 1963 to better service the eastern side of the fire district. Over the past decade increased development and congestion as well as declining volunteerism have severely impacted the Departments ability to staff the station on a routine basis.

A 2019 Standard of Cover Consultants report noted that Aetna could improve overall response operations by consolidating stations and focusing on staffing of three stations as opposed to four.

“With limited funding options available, we must look at a model that can efficiently maintain a minimum fire and EMS response level 24/7 to our entire district” stated Fire Chief Drew Bowerson. “We believe the consolidation of two stations as well as upgrades to other aging facilities will assist the Department in continuing to provide Newark and the surrounding community with the level of service that they have come to expect” added President Dan Seador.

Aetna’s Strategic Plan is focused on developing an organization and updating facilities to meet the needs of a combination fire department that requires both volunteer, part-time and full time staff to operate on a shift basis at stations. The Department’s plan currently calls for over $12 million dollars in capital expenditures over the next five years between facilities and apparatus to accomplish these goals.

An Aetna Basic Life Support ambulance and a New Castle County Paramedic unit will continue operations out of the station for the next several months.

May 27, 2020

Check out this fantastic story about our dedicated University of Delaware student members who are still serving on the front lines during COVID-19.

March 7, 2020

At 0945 hours the Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company was dispatched to assist Singerly Fire Company on a residential fire in the 200 block of Mike Drive in Elkton, MD. Quint 7 assisted for just over an hour.

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March 7, 2020

At 0347 hours the Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company, along with mutual aid companies, were dispatched to the 100 block of Delaplane Avenue in Delaplane Manor for a residential fire. Crews arrived to find fire showing from a two-story residential over commercial structure. Initial reports of subjects trapped proved unfounded and there were no civilian or fire service injuries. Units remained on scene for several hours. The Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the fire and Assistant Chief Berkley had Newark Command. Photos courtesy of Christiana.

Assisting Agencies: Christiana Fire, Mill Creek Fire Company - Stations 2&21, Cranston Heights Fire Company, Hockessin Fire Company - Station 19, Delaware City Volunteer Fire Company, No. 1, Inc., Station 15, New Castle County Paramedics, and University of Delaware Emergency Care Unit.

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March 4, 2020

This evening Aetna welcomes the Delaware Network for Excellence in Autism (DNEA) from the Center for Disabilities Studies. Program Coordinator Kara Downey and instructor Chris Budesheim are teaching a fantastic Autism Awareness Training for First Responders. Chris is a first responder, Behavioral Support Specialist, and also the parent of a child with Austism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). DNEA partners with instructors working in a variety of different first responder roles including law enforcement, fire, ems, healthcare, and more, and they can tailor classes for your agency. This outstanding, informative program is available to agencies around the state, check out their website for more details! This class is another example of how we are working to provide the best possible "Service for Others". Thank you DNEA!

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March 3, 2020

At 0411 hours, the Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company along with New Castle County Paramedics, were dispatched to the 1400 block of Otts Chapel Road for a motor vehicle collision with a subject unconscious. Crews arrived to find a two vehicle collision with a subject trapped. Paramedics began patient care as firefighters performed a side-wall removal using hydraulic rescue tools to extricate the trapped occupant. Extrication was completed in just over 10 minutes. The occupant was transported to Christiana Hospital by Aetna ambulance and New Castle County Paramedics. The occupant of the second vehicle was evaluated on scene by Aetna EMT's but refused transport to the hospital. The Delaware State Police are investigating the collision and Deputy Chief Sands had Newark Command.

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February 28, 2020

On Wednesday evening, 29 personnel from Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company were recognized at the 8th Annual Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survivors Reunion hosted by New Castle County Paramedics. This fantastic event is an opportunity for all of the people who contribute to the "Chain of Survival" to reunite with the survivors of sudden cardiac arrest who they saved. A testament to the success of the "Chain of Survival" in New Castle County is that in the last quarter of 2019, victims who went into cardiac arrest in New Castle County with a shockable rhythm were resuscitated an incredible 83% of the time. This would not be possible were it not for early notification of 911, fast recognition of cardiac arrest by 911 dispatchers along with CPR instructions, bystander CPR, fast response and continued CPR by first responders, rapid defibrillation, early intervention of advanced life support treatment by paramedics, and continued treatment at the hospital. Congratulations to all of the bystanders, responders, and survivors who were recognized! Photos courtesy of Paul McCloskey. #markrosc

Recognized Aetna Responders:

Chief Andrew Bowerson

Deputy Chief Jeff Sands

Assistant Chief Bryan Berkley

Captain Brandon Stombaugh

Captain Benjamin Adams

Lieutenant Ryan Contino (2 saves)

Lieutenant Aubrey Eveland (2 saves)

Lieutenant McKenzie Schurman

Lieutenant Ralph Tucker

FF/EMT Derrick Brode

FF/EMT David Carey

FF/EMT Connor Davis

FF/EMT Marc Doyle

FF/EMT Jonathon Huntley

FF/EMT Martin Krasavage

FF/EMT Timothy Long

FF/EMT Michael McLain

FF/EMT Walter Meredith

FF/EMT Greg Pahlavi

FF/EMT Sabrina Weiner

FF/EMT John Witzke

EMT Krista Carlozzi

EMT Elizabeth DeBruin

EMT Janie Grossman

EMT Chris King

EMT Clarissa Nowak

EMT Julianna Ritter

EMT Barbara Taylor

EMT Matthew Wolter

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