Conshohocken Fire Department only one of four departments in Pennsylvania to earn Swiftwater Type 1a Recognition

The Conshohocken Fire Department recently completed the Pennsylvania Voluntary Rescue Service Recognition Program and earned the Swiftwater Type 1a Recognition. The Conshohocken Fire Department is one of only four departments in Pennsylvania to achieve this. This recognition is value through the end of 2026.

From the Borough of Conshohocken:

Type 1a recognition is for highly complex rescues with a 14-member all-hazard team requiring Advanced Life Support components during long-term deployments. The team consists of two leaders and two 6-member squads, which can be separated on simultaneous responses or split between work/rest cycles for a 24-hour response.

The VRSR program is administered by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner through the Pennsylvania Department of Health to provide statewide standards of rescue service equipment, personnel training and staffing, communications, reporting, and operations. Type 1a is the highest of the VRSR program’s five tiers of recognition.

The Conshohocken Fire Department has sixteen certified water rescue technicians. Certification requires 72 hours of training, which covers areas such as ice rescue, helicopter safety, and swift water. The department’s equipment includes two swift water rescue boats with 30 horsepower and two larger swift water rescue boats with 50 horsepower, along with a 16-passenger highwater vehicle and is in the process of adding a double-transport boat trailer with emergency scene lighting and equipment.

Photo: Borough of Conshohocken