History of the Harleysville Fire Company

about1921 - A small group of residents convened in Alumni Hall and formed the Harleysville Community Fire Company. Officers that were elected that evening of November 18 were President, Dr. V. Z. Keeler; Vice President, Alvin C. Alderfer; Secretary, William F. Kulp; Treasurer, I. A. Cassel and Fire Chief, Wilmer S. Nyce. Before the end of the year, the membership agreed to purchase a 1922 Hahn Combination Water and Chemical fire fighting vehicle for the sum of $5,000.00. The Treasurer of the Fire Company, I. A. Cassel, offered the membership a 50 foot wide lot for the purpose of building a firehouse and additional land to build a dam for the storage of water, provided the community would construct the dam; both offers were accepted.

1930 - Since Hahn fire trucks in those days turned out to be “too slow on hills”, the fire company decided on September 2 to purchase a 1930 Mack Pumper at the cost of $7,060.00, which would replace the 1922 Hahn.

1947 - Since the Mack had an open cab, and the firemen had suffered through several cold winters, on May 6 it was decided that the company would purchase a “closed cab” truck. At that time a 1947 Dodge chassis was purchased from Brenninger Motors in Lansdale and the Harwick Manufacturing Company in West Point constructed the body; total cost was $5,968.00.

1951 - Concerns about ambulance service began surfacing during this year. The fire company agreed to accept the responsibility of operating an ambulance which was purchased by the Harleysville Lions Club. A 1947 Cadillac Ambulance was purchased from the Souderton Ambulance Association.

1955 - Needing more water at fires, the fire company decided to sell the 1947 Dodge, as it would be too expensive to have it remodeled. So, on April 5, 1955, a GMC chassis was purchased from Marchese GMC Sales in Norristown and the Harwick Manufacturing Company added the body and a water tank which held 750 gallons. The total cost of the 1955 GMC truck was $11,944.

1957 - Funds for a new ambulance were not available at this time, so when Souderton Ambulance decided to purchase a new vehicle, our company approached them on August 6, and for the sum of $3,250.00 and our old ambulance, we took possession of a used 1952 Cadillac Ambulance.

1963 - 0nce again new fire fighting equipment was needed. This time, a 1963 American LaFrance Fire Truck with a 1000GPM pump & 500 gallons of water was purchased for $25,680.00, while the 1930 Mack truck was sold for $400.00 instead of a trade-in.

1965 - Since ambulances also wear out, on June 23 a new Pontiac Ambulance was purchased from Wolfington Body and Motor Company of Philadelphia for the sum of $9,100.00 plus the trade-in of our 1952 Cadillac.

1966 - After all of the hard work of organizing, fire fighting, and providing ambulance service, it was decided that the Company’s First Annual Banquet would be held on October 22, at the Lower Salford School.
The evening consisted of dinner, entertainment and prizes donated by the township businessmen.

1967 - Since the Company was growing and there was insufficient space to house our vehicles, a plot of land measuring 504 feet by 290 feet on Kulp Road was purchased on February 7, for the sum of $9,418.00. This is where the Fire Company and Ambulance are based today.

1968 - ln June of this year, Guy Heavener, Inc. donated a 1954 Ford 1,000 gallon water transport truck to the Company. This vehicle was completely rebuilt by the students of the local Vo-Tech School.

1969 - 0n March 4,1969, Paul Lederach submitted sketches and drawings for a new firehouse. On May 6,1969, construction was begun by Hunsberger Builders.

1970 - January 31 we moved into the new structure. The old building on Alumni Avenue was sold to the township for $24,000.00. The cost of the new building, including furniture, equipment, parking lot and landscaping cost the Harleysville Fire Company $92,340.00.

1974 - An increasing number of emergencies warranted the Company the need to purchase a second ambulance; so, on June 4, a 1974 Dodge Medicruiser was ordered.

1976 - Because of the growth within Harleysville, a Mack CF 1250GPM pump & 500 gallon tank with a 55' TeleSqurt is put in service.

1980 - Modular type ambulances were quickly replacing the vans and sedans of yesterday and so the Company decided to purchase a Ford-Braun Modular Ambulance; this was done on April 1. Meanwhile, the 1965 Pontiac was sold to a religious organization for use by Medical Missionaries in the Dominican Republic.

1982 - The company purchases a Mack MC short bodied pumper with a 1000GPM pump & 500 Gallons of water. It is also the first fire truck with automatic transmission.

1984 - The company replaces its old tanker with a new GMC/4 Guys unit. Total cost was $92,000. It has a 1000GPM & 1800 gallons of water. It also has a jet dump system that empties that water from the tank at a very high rate.

1989 - The company purchases a Pierce Lance pumper with at 1500GPM pump & 750 gallons of water to replace the Mack MC for $223,000.

1994 - The Mack Tele-Squirt is refurbished by Interstate Mack. Included in this project is the enclosure of the cab for safety reasons.

1998 - A building extension with seven additional bays as well as a new radio room, conference room, engineer's room, air room, wash bay and chief's office is added.

2000 - A new Tanker/Pumper is purchased to replace the existing unit. This is a Mack MR688P chasis with a Swab body equipped with a 1500 GPM pump and 2600 gallons of water.

2006/2007 - Three new trucks are put into service as the township grows. We aquire a Pierce Dash 105' Ladder with a 2000GPM pump, a Pierce Dash Rescue Pumper with a 2000GPM pump and a Pierce/GMC Tac unit with 4 Wheel Drive and a 500GPM pump. The previous Pierce pumper is sold.