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Monday, May 16, 2022
Delaware Beach Life – June, 2022 Issue Features Steven Deery, Jr.


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Photo by Bill Newcott

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Monday May, 16 2022

Nature: Delaware Beach Life – June, 2022


The June 2022 Issue of the Delaware Beach Life magazine features are Beach Brief section that offers “Short takes on life in coastal Delaware.”  One of this issue's Beach Briefs is “Three Questions for A Fireman” and the fireman is Steven C. Deery, Jr., Past Chief and current Assistant Chief of the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company.

Three Questions For A Fireman

As a kid playing on the narrow streets of Oak Orchard, on the banks of the Indian River, Steven Deery, Jr. often passed the Indian River Volunteer Fire Department, where his dad was a member.  Now a 33-year veteran of the department – a former chief and current assistant chief—Deery chatted about the unique challenges and rewards of being a small-town firefighter.

  1. What’s the first thing you look for when you pull up to a burning house?  The smoke. Smoke tells you everything.  If it’s just lazy smoke coming out, then it’s probably not too severe.  But if you see that black, rolling turbulence, then watch out.  That’s a product of lumber combustion – everything is igniting at once, including every little particle in the air.  It just reaches a flash point and you get one big explosion.  You’re always reading a house. You have to know your exits. Going into a fire is always a dangerous, scary situation.

  2. So, is it like in the movie “Frankenstenin” – “fire BAD”?  No, you just need to know how to control fire.  And that’s what we’re here for. People see the word “volunteer” and they don’t understand that means we’re really professional volunteers – with 60 to 80 people on the roster and about 40 active members. You can be a professional and not get paid. We have continual training. We’ve gone as far away as Indianapolis and Georgia for training.  We also have a presence on the water – our boat can pump 2,000 gallons a minutes on a dock fire, or a boat fire. We can even sit offshore and spray a house fire if the house is near the water.

  3. It’s nice and quiet down hear near the Indian River, but are you finding it harder to get your shiny red trucks around with all the new traffic in Sussex County?  Uh, yeah!  All the development that’s going on can’t help but bring more vehicles.  And I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but they’re not building enough infrastructure to support it.  And even while they’re widening Rout 24, a job that’s going to take a very long time, for now the construction is actually hindering us from getting around even more.  There’s some good news, though:  Lewes is requiring residential sprinklers in all new construction, and other districts around here are considering it.  There’s no doubt that’s going to save lives.

-- Bill Newcott

Additional information regarding Delaware Beach Life magazine may be obtained via the folloiwng website: