In 1986 a motion passed to purchase a new ambulance at a cost of $58, 347 with no trade –in.
Between the years 1986-1988, the Company, largely through the efforts and imagination of John Cleary and the tireless efforts of many of the members, became extremely active in the formulation of Fire Prevention Programs. Invitations were received from numerous organizations both local and throughout the State of Pennsylvania and the State of Delaware to provide Fire Prevention Shows. The Fire Prevention Committee was awarded several prizes for their Fire Prevention Program by the State of Pennsylvania Firemen’s Assoc. The awards were dedicated to the memory of both John Cleary, whose drive made the Fire Prevention Unit a winner and Elmer Ritchie who had served on the committee for many years and who passed away in 1986 after more than 58 years of service to the Company. .
Property across the street from the fire house was purchased from the Lutheran Church in 1989 for price was $53,500.
It remains a puzzle to this day, as to why the property was bought, other that to prevent someone else from having it. Fortunately we have not made too many decisions like that one. Maybe it will work out well soon.
Jim Taylor, a valuable member for over 50 years passed away. Jimmy was a good friend and a willing member. He was a good influence on the development of our younger members and an excellent teacher in the art of “just getting along with your fellow man”. He was a real gentleman.
The Fire Prevention Committee once again received the 1st place award at the Pa State Firemen’s Convention of 1989.
The end of our annual carnival came in 1990. The carnival had been a real community affair and a major fund raising activity since the early days of the Company. Generally lasting for a week, and occurring in either the spring or the fall, the carnival required the services of approximately 50 men and a good group of the Auxiliary. People were needed to work the stands, prepare and sell refreshments, set- up and take-down the prizes every night and of course, to count the money, which in some cases took a good deal of time. The carnival was usually the responsibility of the Ways and Means Committee. However during the 1970’s through the 1980’s the effort was directed by Tony Tursi and later by David Peterson. The carnival required many hours of hard work by many people but, like many of our activities; it brought us together as a Company of men (and women) with the common purpose of service to our community.
An investigation was initiated in 1990 to evaluate the need for another addition to the firehouse. It was becoming obvious that due to the growth of the Company and the increased complexity
of operation including the ambulance billing function that larger quarters and especially increased committee sized meeting areas were sorely needed.
Plans for a major addition to the firehouse were approved. The planned addition included a new canteen, kitchen extension, renovations to the existing canteen area, and multiple offices. Cost of the addition was to be $231,000.00. The expansion called for the house at 502 and the caretaker’s residence at 504 Clifton Ave. to be demolished. The decision was made to purchase the property at 815 Bedford Ave. for the price of $87,000 to serve as the caretaker’s residence. Work on the addition proceeded well and on completion proved to be a real benefit to the operation of the Company. Space was available in the “Board” room for the trustees meeting and meetings of large committees. There was a computer room and an ambulance billing room and what eventually became a lounge for the ambulance crews as the use of paid personnel and paramedics expanded.
Operation of the ambulance was becoming increasingly complex and time consuming. In the years leading up to 1991 the ambulance was responding to over 2000 calls per year and getting manpower to man the ambulances for this level of activity was becoming quite difficult due to the need for EMS qualified personnel. After much consideration the ambulance service began using paid personnel to man the vehicles during selected periods of the day.
At the invitation of the Borough plans were made for participation in the Boroughs Centennial Celebration.
In 1992 the Company received the fire company alarm bell from the estate of Frank McNeile who had kept it since it was removed from the hose tower when the old firehouse was razed in 1957. The bell was refurbished and placed in a memorial to Frank and his son John at the front of the firehouse offices of the new addition. The Memorial Plaque honoring the WWII veterans was also relocated from the front of the firehouse to new memorial area.
Frank McNeile was a member of the Company for 31 years. Living across the street from the firehouse, Frank could always be counted on to be available to help out at the firehouse. John McNeile, Frank’s son was a Past Captain and an extremely capable fire fighter.
The Company voted to purchase two new ambulances from the Horton Co. for the price of $123,090.00 with the trade-in of both of our present ambulances. One of the new ambulances was received on May 22nd. The second new ambulance was delivered on August 20, 1992.
A motion was approved to finish the new canteen for a price of $11,870.00. This included paneling, shelving for the display of trophies, cabinets and an entertainment center to enclose the television set, VCR and Stereo equipment.
The Ambulance Service passed another milestone when it went “on-line” as an ALS unit on 5/15/93. This was an important day for the Ambulance Service which had been providing care for our residents for almost 60 years. A good deal of effort was expended during the year by the trustees, the ambulance board and the solicitor in overcoming the bureaucratic morass which surrounds the qualification process for establishing the ambulance service as ALS qualified. Through much hard work and valuable time our Ambulance Service was finally recognized as ALS qualified and was licensed as such.
The ALS designation meant that the ambulance service could provide the residents of the communities with rapid access to advanced life saving capabilities. Paramedics responding as part of the ambulance crew could contact doctors and emergency rooms while enroute with a patient and perform life saving procedures as prescribes by them. Paramedic Eric Davis was hired as the first paid paramedic for the ambulance.
It was sort of a “good news / bad news” time for the Company. At the time the ambulance became ALS qualified, results of the Underwriters Tests performed on the main ladder of the aerial truck (06-5)indicated the presence of a problem with the structure of the ladder that could not be repaired. The apparatus was then 24 years old and had served the Company well. Several tests were conducted to verify the problem, which was referred to as “ironing”, and the main ladder was placed out-of-service in July of 1993.
President Bill Garrity appointed a committee, co-chaired by Fred Howell Jr. and Ed Glanfield and consisting of approximately 18 members, in February 1994 to investigate the purchase of a new aerial ladder truck. The cost of the truck was estimated to be between 400 and 500 thousand dollars.
Specifications for the new aerial truck were distributed to 5 manufacturers in September 1994. The Queen (06-5) was placed up for sale in September 1994 after 24 yeas of service. The “Queen” was sold in the spring of 1995.
A special meeting of the Company was called on Dec. 8, 1994
To discuss and vote on the purchase a new 105 ft aerial truck from Pierce Mfg Co. for $530,347. The recommendation of the committee was approved and an order was placed with the Pierce Co. It should be noted that the time from formation of the committee to award of bid was approximately 11 months.
Expected delivery date for the truck was to be August 20, 1995 but some damage was experienced during the delivery forcing the truck to be returned to Pierce for repair.
The new aerial which was dubbed the “Quint” was placed in service on 7 November 1995.