Stuart Chinofsky has always believed in the importance of volunteering for his community and giving time and effort to help others. He joined Ringing Hill Fire Company as a fire police volunteer in January 2022, after retiring as a pilot from UPS Airlines and moving to the area to be closer to his sons and grandson.
While working at UPS, the organization instilled the value of volunteering in Chinofsky. While his sons participated in boy scouts, Chinofsky volunteered there and worked his way up to serve as Scoutmaster.
He never volunteered at a fire company before Ringing Hill, but was always interested in safety and worked as a pilot instructor for a few years. As a fire police volunteer, his main responsibility is to keep vehicles from striking first responders, firefighters and police officers on the scene of accidents.
“I’m there to prevent secondary accidents or from anyone else getting hurt, and figure out the best way to keep traffic moving,” said Chinofsky.
There have been many tragic deaths of first responders getting killed along the side of the road while working at emergency scenes, and Chinofsky is currently completing online training to learn about these incidents across the United States and what to do better.
“I’m learning what caused the accidents and how to prevent them from happening again,” he said.
Chinofsky also has experience directing traffic; however, his experience comes from airplanes when he directed airplane parking for the Civil Air Patrol. He also worked with the Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Program for children ages 12 to 18 where he taught aerospace, leadership skills, and search and rescue for downed planes.
Volunteers at Ringing Hill Fire Company gave Chinofsky hands-on fire police training at Pottsgrove High School’s graduation in June. They had to stop traffic for a couple of minutes and help keep traffic moving.
In addition to training at the fire company, he began the course “Basic Fire Police” in September. A combination of lecture, discussion and hands-on experience, this course teaches the laws pertaining to fire police and their expected duties. Chinofsky then plans to complete “Advanced Fire Police” within the year.
“There are a lot ways to get educated for fire police,” said Chinofsky. “The more trained you are, the better you are.”
Ringing Hill Fire Company prepares volunteers for fires, car accidents and other emergencies by providing free training and gear to all volunteers.
“The more people in Lower Pottsgrove that volunteer, the more people that can get out, and the quicker they can rectify the situation,” explained Chinofsky.
He also stresses the fact that not everyone is available to answer every call, and because he’s retired, he has more time to give.
“I can volunteer during the day while others are working and in the middle of the night when they need to be getting rest,” he said.
During his time so far with Ringing Hill Fire Company, Chinofsky enjoys the comradery with other volunteers.
“It feels like I’m already falling right in with the crew,” he said. “I really like the group from the top down.”
If you are interested in joining Ringing Hill’s team of volunteers as a firefighter, fire police, junior firefighter, or auxiliary member, visit JoinRingingHill.org.