Like many young boys, Scott Morrissy wanted to be just like his dad. He not only followed in his father’s footsteps, but his grandfather’s too. Scott is a 25-year, third generation volunteer firefighter, and considers his fellow volunteers part of his family. Scott calls himself an 80s metal head, but he is also a husband, father of two, and little league coach. Where does he find the time to volunteer?
Scott volunteers for both Oreland Fire Company and Cheltenham Fire Company. Below are some questions meant to explore both Scott and volunteer firefighting:
How long have you been a firefighter?
This is my 25th year serving as a volunteer firefighter. I joined Cheltenham Fire Company when I was 18 years old and have been a member of Oreland since 2004 when Jennifer and I moved to Oreland.
What inspired you to become a volunteer firefighter?
I grew up around the firehouse. My father, grandfather, and brother are volunteer firemen. As a young kid I always wanted to be like my dad, I guess I never out grew that. Since I joined it has become a major part of who I am, the other members have become an extended family.
What is your best story as a firefighter?
Fighting fires alongside my dad and brother. That’s what I wanted to do when I grew up. My dad no longer is an active firefighter, but I still get to fight fires with my brother Keith.
What is your full time job?
My brother and I own Morrissy’s Home Improvements LLC. Our business operates out of my home here in Oreland. I love what I do, as a home improvement contractor I get to meet many different people. Each job offers unique challenges and a good feeling when you see the projected come together.
Why should others volunteer?
Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, whether it is as firefighter or in some other form. The time that you give to someone else may not seem like much to you but may mean the world them.
What type of training does it require?
All firefighters need Fire Fighting I as a minimum. Beyond that there are numerous training opportunities available through the county fire school or through the state fire academy. Courses range from firefighting, vehicle rescue, technical rescue, water rescue, to fire instructor and officer training; each offers some unique challenges. Weekly in house training is required to practice and refine the skills we have learned.
What is the time commitment?
Weekly drills last about 2-3 hours depending on what type of drill we are doing. The Fire Fighting I class takes 180 hours to complete through either Montgomery or Bucks County Fire Schools. This course is two nights a week and one day of the weekend besides weekly training. The amount of time responding to fire calls can really vary. The may be a day or even a week between calls and some days there may be multiple calls; but that is why weekly drills are important, so you are ready at any time.
Are there particular skills or minimum qualifications needed?
Individuals need to be 16 years old to join as a Junior Firefighter and 18 to join as a Firefighter; Junior Firefighters are limited to exterior and support activities. Everyone brings a different skill set to the fire company. This is a labor intensive job where one needs to understand their limitations. However, there are opportunities to overcome those barriers and develop new skills you never thought were possible. It is a great feeling to look back at the completion of a new training course and realize the work and effort that went into accomplishing the goal.
Advice/tips for township residents to get involved?
Oreland Fire Company holds weekly training on Monday nights, all are welcome to stop by and check us out and ask questions; Oreland Fire Company is located at 1500 Bruce Rd. For those who may be new to Springfield Township this would be a great way to get involved in your new community and meet new people. When I moved to Oreland in 2004 I stopped by on a Monday night and the rest is history.
If there was one thing to tell residents to help prevent a fire, what would it be?
Be smart with candles. Be mindful where you place them; make sure they are away from curtains.
What about one thing to tell residents on how to deal with a fire in their home?
Make sure you have a working smoke detector and call 911 as soon as possible.
On the Personal Side…
Why did you choose to live in Springfield?
My wife Jen grew up here in Oreland. When the chance came to buy our home we jumped at the opportunity.
What do you like about Springfield/what’s your favorite thing about Springfield?
It is home! I don’t know how to explain it. I like how people have grown up here and stayed, others have moved in and become part of the town.
What do you like to do in your free time?
My free time is spent with Jen and our two sons Jason and Shane. Having two young boys activities range from sports, video games, to making interesting projects they have invented in their minds
Describe yourself in 3 words?
80s metal head
Do you support any causes or non-profit organizations?
Besides volunteering with Oreland Fire Company I still volunteer with Cheltenham Fire Company. I have coached Jason’s little league team at OWLL the last few years. Last year I participated in a Warrior Dash 5K race/obstacle course to raise money for St. Jude’s Foundation and will be doing so again this year
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Scott. If you, or someone you know would like to be profiled, please let us know on our Contact Us page.