Director of Fire Services & Fire Marshal – Bill Wiegman
Bill began his fire service career in 1996 as a member of Lower Southampton Fire Department in Bucks County achieving the rank of Captain & Training Officer. He joined F.D.M.T. in Montgomery County, PA in August of 2007, and has previously served as a Battalion Chief, Deputy Chief, and Training Officer. Bill was the Chief of the Department in 2011-2014. He has acquired numerous certifications including; Fire Fighter I & II, Fire Officer I-IV, C.F.I., Fire Inspector I-III, Plans Examiner I-II, HAZMAT Technician, Vehicle and Special Vehicle Rescue Technician, Diver Rescue 1, and Swift Water Technician. He is a 2004 graduate of La Salle University with a Bachelor’s Degree is Psychology, and graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2006 with a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology. Bill serves as a Mental Health Expert on the PA Juvenile Fire Setter Advisory Board and the Bucks County Fire PAC (Professionals Aiding Children). He is also an instructor for the PA State Fire Academy and the Bucks County Public Safety Training Center.
Deputy Chief – Vince Zirpoli
Vince joined the fire service in 1987 and was a member of Warminster Fire Department for 10 years. Since joining F.D.M.T. in 2005, Vince has held the ranks of Lieutenant and Captain. He holds numerous certifications in the Fire Service including Fire Fighter 1, VRT, and Ship Board Fire Fighting. Vince served his county as a member of the US Navy for 11 years and in his spare time enjoys spending time with his family and playing ice hockey.
Assistant Chief 18 John Scheiter
John started his fire service career at the age of 16 as a junior firefighter with the Upper Gwynedd Township Fire Department where he still remains active as a volunteer currently holding the position of Fire Chief. In past years he has held the positions of Asst. Chief, Captain, and Lieutenant in the Colmar Fire Department and spent time as a firefighter for the Red Hill Fire Department in the early 90’s. He also holds numerous fire certifications in FF 1 & 2 Fire Inspector 1 & 2 Fire Investigator, Fire Officer 1 & 2, VRT, Rescue Core, several advanced rescue certifications and several additional certifications pertaining to the fire service. John currently is one of our career Captain/Asst. Fire Marshal’s who is responsible for the coordination and supervision of the part-time firefighters as well as conducting fire inspections in the township. He is also responsible for after hour responses for fire investigations in the township. In his personal time John enjoys spending time with his wife Jill and daughter Allison.
Assistant Chief 18-1 Vinay Setty
Vinay joined the fire service in 1998. Prior to joining FDMT in 2005, he ran with Colmar Fire Company and Wissahickon Fire Company. Vinay has completed multiple firefighting certifications ranging from Firefighter 1 & 2, Fire Instructor 1 & 2, Fire Officer 1, Special Vehicle Rescue Technician, and Vehicle Technical Rescuer Levels 1 & 2. At FDMT, Vinay is in charge of the Membership Committee and has held various administrative and line officer positions. Vinay completed his Masters of Business Administration in 2016 and currently works at the Bucks County Community College, Public Safety Training Center as Assistant Director of Certification & Curriculum. In his free time, Vinay enjoys spending time with family and friends and always looks forward to traveling the world.
Battalion Chief – Adam Zwislewski
Adam joined the fire service in 1989 as a Junior Firefighter with the Edgely Fire Company in Bucks County. During that time, he was also a member of the Levittown Fairless Hills Rescue Squad where he spent many years as an EMT, PHRN, and line officer before achieving life member status. Adam left the fire service after several years to start a family and to pursue a career as a flight nurse. After a 24-year hiatus, he returned to the fire service as a volunteer firefighter for the West Grove Fire Company prior to returning to Montgomery County as a resident and joining the FDMT during the summer of 2018. He has served as Lieutenant for the FDMT since 2019 until recently being promoted to Battalion Chief. He has obtained several certifications, which include: Firefighter 1 & 2, Fire Officer 1 & 2, Instructor 1, and many more. During his free time, he enjoys playing various sports, spending time with his children, and enjoying the outdoors.
Captain 18 Andrew Backlund
Andrew began his fire service career in 1998 as a member of the Colmar Volunteer Fire Company in Montgomery County working all the way up the ranks to become Chief of the Department. Andrew was hired by the Montgomery Township Department of Fire Services in May of 2020 and was promoted to Captain 18 in May of 2022. He has acquired numerous certifications including Fire Fighter I & II, Fire Officer I-IV, C.F.I., Fire Inspector I-II, Plans Examiner I-II, Vehicle and Special Vehicle Rescue Technician, Swift Water Technician, Driver Operator, Confined Space Technician Rescuer, and is a nationally certified EMT. He is a 2004 graduate of Ithaca College with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, and a 2008 graduate of St. Joseph’s University with a masters degree in Homeland Security. Andrew also serves as an assistant fire marshal in the township and is responsible for after hour responses for fire investigations. In his free time Andrew is an active coach for his son’s football team, is a nationally certified technical delegate for the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, and enjoys attending his children’s travel sporting events.
Captain 18-1 Andrew Weiner
Andrew joined the fire services in 2016 with the FDMT. He has achieved Firefighter I & II, BVRT, NFPA 1006, RIT, DMICO, Engine & Truck Operations, Driver Operator Pumper certifications and more. In his free time, he enjoys cycling, hiking/backpacking, driving and attending Cars & Coffee car shows.
Captain 18-2 Rachel Gibson
Rachel joined the fire service in 2014 as a Junior Firefighter with F.D.M.T. and also joined Warrington Fire Company in 2017. Since she joined the fire service, she has obtained Firefighter 1 & 2, Instructor 1, VRO, NFPA 1006 General Rescue Requirements Core, Decision Making for Initial Company Officer, Truck/Engine Company Operations and more. Rachel is a member of the Trustee Committee and has held positions on the Board. During her free time, she likes to spend time Backpacking/Hiking, being at the gym, watching/playing sports and spending time with family and friends.
Lieutenant 18-1 Alex Avallon
I joined the fire service in 2002 briefly serving with the Willow Grove Fire Company. I joined Enterprise Fire Company of Hatboro in early 2004 and have been a member ever since. I achieved the rank of Captain, served on the Board of Directors, Relief Association and various other committees. I currently serve as 1st VP. I am very passionate about the fire service. I hold numerous fire service certifications including FF1 & 2, VRT, Pump 1, RIT Ops and Engine & Truck Company Ops. I am also certified by the State of PA as an EMT. I graduated from Archbishop Wood HS in Warminster in 2002 and from MCCC with an Associate’s in Fire Science in 2007. I was hired as a FF with the City of Philadelphia in 2015, landing my dream job. I am currently assigned to E51 in the Olney section of the city. I joined the Montgomery Twp FD in February of 2021. I am married with 3 kids and 3 dogs. I’m an avid Philadelphia sports fan and in my free time just enjoy relaxing and spending time with family & friends.
Lieutenant 18-2 Frank Blusiewicz Jr
Lieutenant 18-3 Mike Kunzig
Steve Splendido (Safety 18)
Rachel Troutman (Safety 18-1 HSO)
Honorary Chief Engineer – Dave Bennett
Assistant Chief Engineers:
John Mogensen (BN1)
Mike Bean (BN2)
- F.D.M.T. President – Adam Zwislewski
- Head Trustee – Frank Blusiewicz, Jr.
- F.D.M.T. Vice-President – Brandon Uzdzienski
- Relief Association President – Paul Mogensen
- F.D.M.T. Treasurer – Lee Morano
- Relief Association Vice-President – Carl Herr
- F.D.M.T. Secretary – Danae Tucker
- Relief Association Treasurer – Joel Silver
- F.D.M.T. Financial Secretary – Bill Tuttle
- Relief Association Recording Secretary – Bill Tuttle
Captain FP 18-1 – Lee Morano
Lee joined the Fire Police in 2016 and has acquired many certifications through Bucks County community college. He worked at Leeds & Northrup Co. for almost 50 years. Now retired, he also volunteers at Doylestown Hospital Emergency room. Lee loves the Philadelphia Eagles and loves spending time with his wife Ellen and their grandchildren.
Lieutenant FP 18-2 – Bill Tuttle
Bill joined the fire service in July 2016 as a Fire Police Officer. He holds various fire police certifications. Since joining FDMT Bill has become a Lieutenant in the Fire Police Unit and is as active member of the fire department, currently serving as the Secretary of the FDMT Relief Association and the FDMT Financial Secretary/Chairperson of Ways & Means. Bill works for JPMorgan Chase and Co. as a Data Assurance/Risk Analyst. Prior to joining FDMT, Bill volunteered as a youth baseball and basketball coach. During his free time, Bill enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids.
Lieutenant 18-3 Bill Adams
Bill joined the fire service in September 2005 as a Fire Police Officer. He holds various fire police certifications. Since joining F.D.M.T. Bill became a Lieutenant in the Fire Police Unit and is an active member of the fire department. Bill currently works as a property manager and handles all operational building emergencies. Before joining F.D.M.T. Bill volunteered his time at the Red Cross Disaster Relief program. During his free time, Bill enjoys spending time with his family.
- FP 18-4 – Robin Robinett
- FP 18-5 – Greg Fitzgerald
- FP 18-6 – Joel Silver
- FP 18-7 – Jon Debkowski
- FP 18-8 – Annie Robinett
- FP 18-9 – Ryan Irvin
- FP 18-10 – Robert Gruber
- FP 18-11- Mitchell Barrer
- FP 18-12 – Michael Stachowicz
- FP 18-13 – Gabe Mejias
- FP 18-14 – Gary Davis
- FP 18-15 – Ed Pratt
- FP 18-16 – Chris Owoc
- FP 18-17 – Lorena Mejias
- FP 18-18 – Chris Mamrol
Special Fire Police Officers of the Fire Department of Montgomery Township will, in an emergency, or as directed by proper authority, perform crowd and traffic control and security functions. Above all, like all other fire company members, their job is to protect and preserve life and property.
The Who, What and Whys of a Fire Police Officer
Fire Police Officers must take an oath of office, be sworn in by a Judge or Justice of the Peace, and be registered with their Townships. To accomplish all of this, they must complete and be certified in Fire Police operations by their county and / or state.
The main function of a Fire Police unit within the Fire Department is to maintain the protection and safety of department personnel and vehicles while at an emergency scene. These Fire Police Officers protect the emergency personnel and also protect their vehicles and equipment from acts of harm, theft, and malicious damage.
Fire Police will try to control the actions of a crowd, and keep them at a distance for everyone’s safety. Curious persons will be drawn to a fire or accident location no matter what time of day. They could become victims if exposed to the hazards from the incident.
Fire Police will control the flow of traffic to ensure emergency vehicles have a quick, safe entrance and egress to the incident. They may halt traffic, block a road off or detour you in another direction, because of the situation and the dangers involved. They must retain space for Mutual Aid equipment, Emergency Vehicles, and other vehicles that may be needed to relay water to the scene.
Fire Police protect the victims, their valuables and property and preserve evidence at a scene. The Fire Police may be required to stand by at the scene while the Fire Officials or Police conduct their investigations.
Fire Police are there to offer everyone the same treatment and respect as if it was you that were involved. So please heed their direction ; they are there for a reason and know what they are doing.
Fire Police play an essential role in the fire service.
Department of Fire Services
The Mission of the Montgomery Township Department of Fire Services is to serve the residents, merchants and businesses of the Township with excellence. The Department provides the Township with emergency services twenty-four hours a day, responding to all types of emergencies to provide fire suppression, fire prevention and public safety education with a “customer first ” philosophy. The Department takes pride in providing a total systems approach to serve the community along with other agencies within Township government.
In the Beginning:
In mid-2001, Montgomery Township began the process of forming a combination fire department as part of a burgeoning nationwide trend prompted by radically declining numbers of volunteers. In concert with a group of dedicated volunteer firefighters, Township officials solicited input from various sources throughout the emergency services community before deciding to form the new combination department. The new department, dubbed “The Fire Department of Montgomery Township”, was born on July 22, 2002 with the passage of a formal resolution by the Montgomery Township Board of Supervisors.
The Growing Years:
Members of the newly formed F.D.M.T. began acquiring equipment and recruiting new members. On September 11, 2002, F.D.M.T.’s charter members were formally inducted at a ceremony timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. F.D.M.T. officially went into service at midnight on December 27, 2002 with newly-hired Director of Fire Services Gerald Grover, 2 career firefighters, and approximately 30 volunteer firefighters led by Chief David Vasconez and Deputy Chief Dave Trigg. On the Executive side, Bernie Heinze was named F.D.M.T.’s first President, along with Vice-President David Hoffman. F.D.M.T. Battalion 1 was located in the old Colmar Fire Company building at Route 309 and Stump Road, while Battalion 2 in the north end of the township was located in the single-bay loading dock of the Country Furniture store at Route 202 and Montgomery Avenue. Battalion 2 firefighters would call this structure “home” for 21 months.
The first apparatus employed by the department were an updated 1970’s-era Mack Tower Ladder purchased from the Fort Washinton Fire Company accompanied by a loaner pumper (Engine 82) provided by the Wyndmoor Fire Company. Additionally, Montgomery Township acquired two new trucks, a 2002 E-One 95’ aerial platform and a 2002 Pierce Contender pumper. The F.D.M.T. Fire Police officially went into service as well, utilizing a 1970’s-era Dodge van purchased from a neighboring fire department. Two additional vehicles (Chevy Tahoes) were acquired free of charge after they were retired from service with the Montgomery Township Police Department. After significant amounts of cleaning due to their prior life as K-9 Police vehicles, both Tahoes went into service as Chief 18’s vehicle and a duty officer’s vehicle. Initially, much of the tools, equipment, and hose utilized by the department were on loan from numerous departments throughout the region.
F.D.M.T.’s first official fire call came on December 30, 2002 when the department was summoned to the Staple’s office supply store at the Gwynedd Crossing Shopping center for an odor of something burning.
Efforts continued towards “self-sufficiency”, and in July of 2003, F.D.M.T. acquired a 1989 Hahn pumper from the East Moriches, NY fire department on Long Island. Additionally, F.D.M.T. volunteers acquired a Mack Heavy Rescue truck from the Kimberton Fire Company (Station 61) in Chester County, PA.
The Fire Department of Montgomery Township Volunteer Firefighter Relief Association was chartered in 2003, and received it’s first annual allocation from the State Auditor General in October of 2003.
Flash-forward to September, 2004, which saw firefighters at Battalion 2 move into their new temporary quarters located on the property of the Country Furniture store. This newly erected pole-barn included a porta-potty and heat…significant upgrades from the previous location. However, it was clear that Montgomery Township needed to build a new firehouse in the very near future to accommodate firefighters and residents living in the north end of the township. Plans soon got underway to design and build the new firehouse, which would ultimately be located on undeveloped land at the corner of Route 202 and Montgomery Avenue, just a few steps from where both temporary fire stations had been located.
In May, 2005, F.D.M.T. volunteers attended an informal groundbreaking ceremony for the new Battalion 2 firehouse, and construction began in earnest in the hopes that the new firehouse would be completed before winter set in. Recruitment efforts continued in earnest, and in June 2005 F.D.M.T. held its first-ever “Firefighter Boot Camp.” This free program was designed to acquaint township residents with the fire service and show them the dedication it takes to be a volunteer firefighter.
Both Mack fire trucks would see several years of service with F.D.M.T. before leaving the department. The original Mack Tower-Ladder now resides at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus, while the Mack Heavy Rescue was retired and sold in the summer of 2006 after the F.D.M.T. Relief Association purchased a brand new Pierce Arrow XT Heavy Rescue truck.
The new Battalion 2 firehouse officially opened in November of 2005.
Throughout 2006 and 2007, attention turned to the need to rehabilitate the existing firehouse at Route 309 and Stump Road. The decades-old building, formerly the Public Works building converted to a firehouse, was in desperate need of repair and updating to accommodate career staff from the Department of Fire Services, volunteer firefighters and administrative staff.
Township staff in concert with volunteer support went to work designing the new firehouse alongside an architectural firm. A number of zoning issues resulted in delays and several false starts, but construction finally began in late 2007. It was decided that it would be more economically feasible to keep the existing engine bays as opposed to doing a complete teardown and rebuild. Contractors started and maintained a brisk pace, rehabilitating the existing structure and adding thousands of square feet in new operational and administrative space on both sides.
Where we’re going:
The future of F.D.M.T is bright as the department focuses on recruiting new volunteers and retaining its existing membership base. If you want to be a part of it…visit the “Join Us” page of this site.