Andy remembers his very first call was a vehicle accident with rescue on the PA Turnpike. What made it memorable was the fact that Andy and the rest of the crew responded in a blinding snow storm on a truck with an open crew cab. Despite the frigid weather conditions, the victim was quickly extricated from the crumpled car and sent to the hospital.
An unexpected fire at the Fort Washington Mercedes Benz dealer is Andy's most notable fire call to date. It was unexpected because the dispatch was for an automatic fire alarm. All firefighters know that the majority of automatic alarms are caused by some kind of alarm malfunction, not an actual fire. As the engine hurried down Summit Ave. toward the car dealership, they were met by clouds of billowing black smoke. It was anything but a routine alarm call and a good example of why firefighters train to expect the unexpected.
Andy quickly got hooked on emergency service and began to explore the possibility of a career change. After speaking with some of his fellow firefighters who were also police officers he was encouraged to take the police admissions test. A few months later he was hired by Upper Merion township as a patrolman. Not wanting to cut back on his firefighting duties, Andy works the night shift in Upper Merion so he can respond to daytime fires in Upper Dublin.
Besides being a line officer, Andy is currently secretary of the Active Workers Association, and chairs both the Membership and Investigation Committee and the Uniform Committee.
On a personal level, Andy and his wife Maureen are newlyweds having married last year. They live in the Ambler section of Upper Dublin. Ironically, even their romance has a fire department twist. John and Lisa Leadbeater played matchmakers when Andy and Maureen spied each other across a lacrosse field a few years ago. John is the chief of the Wissahickon (Ambler) Fire Co.
Despite their busy life, when Andy and Maureen have some downtime, they head up to the family vacation home in the finger lakes district of New York State where Andy enjoys fishing on Keuka Lake.
Always the teacher, Andy is in the initial stages of developing a tutoring program for the Fire Department's young 'junior' members. He would also like to implement a formal commendation program that would reward firefighters for their individual achievements. And... he is back in the classroom, teaching the DARE program to Upper Merion Middle School students and beginning his master's degree program at St Joseph's University.
With his teaching ability and solid emergency services background, Andy is a tremendous asset to the fire department and the community we serve.