Upper Saucon Volunteer Fire Department # 1

 

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Tel: 610-791-0266

Fax: 610-791-2727

 

History:
     

The Upper Saucon Volunteer Fire Co of Lanark, Pennsylvania, was organized in 1953 with Karl Weber as its first president. The first piece of equipment was a second-hand pumper, built in 1920 by the Seagraves Co. and purchased from Allentown's Liberty Fire Company.  It was housed in rented quarters along Route 309, in Lanark. Although it was old and outmoded, it never failed us in time of need.
 

On July 19, 1958, a new pumper was dedicated and housed. Preceding the dedication services at Lanark, the people of Upper Saucon Township were given a preview of the equipment...old and new...in a parade, led by the Richlandtown Band, that covered a route of 25 miles. It was a clear hot July day and people all along the route cheered and waived as the trucks with sirens screaming and red lights flashing, passed by. Also in the parade, was fire equipment from neighboring townships.

In August, 1959,a four acre tract of land along old Route 309(now known as Lanark Road) midway between Lanark and Center Valley was purchased as the site of the future new fire company quarters. In March, 1960, with Elmer Wagner as President, plans were made to build.

Early in December, 1960, our equipment was moved into its new quarters. On December 17, cornerstone laying ceremonies were held with Karl Weber, our first President, as Master of Ceremonies. Elmer Wagner, President, and Roger Knecht, representing the Supervisors, took an active part in the laying of the cornerstone. This was followed by a formal grand opening of the social room.

In April, 1961, a 1951 ford walk-in van was purchased as a utility vehicle to carry our extra fire fighting equipment.

The years 1967 and 1968 must go down in this history as two of the most progressive years to date. In the fall of 1967, we added 32,000 sq. ft. costing $40,000 to our quarters. This addition included space for five pieces of equipment, a new kitchen and rest rooms. Renovations to the Social Quarters doubled its floor space.

In may, 1968, we purchased a 1948 Ford fuel tanker with a 1,400 gallon capacity. We converted it into our tank truck by mounting a Hale pump and three-quarter inch booster line and reel in the rear compartment. Metal cabinets were mounted on both undersides of the tank, beacon light, siren and radio completed our third piece of fire fighting equipment.

In the year 1969, we began catering to small receptions, and the parking facilities were enlarged to coincide with this. In April, 1969, a new four-wheel heavy duty three-quarter ton Dodge pick-up truck, red in color, was for sale at a reduced price at a local auto dealer that was going out of business. The vehicle and price were ideal for what we made into our present brush truck and first out vehicle; a snowplow with all attachments was also included. Joseph Ponstingl, one of our mechanical minded fireman, built a 200-gallon tank to carry on the body of the truck. A Gorman Rupp pump and 1" booster line and reel were mounted on the tank. A portable generator and lights and Indian tank also carried on the body of the vehicle. Beacon lights, siren and radio completed the job, and another fine piece of equipment was
added to fill our growing needs.

In 1970, we set aside $15,000.00 toward the purchase of new fire equipment. This money was obtained from our annual fund drive, the Ladies Auxiliary yearly donation and other fund raising projects. We also added 1,300 feet of new fire hose, two Scott air packs and three spare air tanks and a Poyhaten hose washer.

The new Mack CF pumper(2712) fully equipped with 1,000 gallon tank and a 1,000 gallon per minute pump, was delivered on October 15, 1971. Truck housing and dedication exercises were held on Sunday, November 14, 1971 at 2:00 P.M. All residents and friends of Upper Saucon were invited to attend this auspicious occasion.

In 1974, we purchased an emergency rescue truck under the direction of Assistant Foreman, Ron Bauer. We renovated and made many improvements to it. This truck has won a prize for the best equipped emergency truck in every competition in which it was entered. Also in 1974, we purchased Hurst's the Jaws Of Life tool. This is the best piece of equipment for freeing a victim from an accident. In the Spring of 1974, a building committee was formed to look into making still another addition to our fire station. We felt that more space would be necessary if we would someday have ambulance service. In the Fall of 1974, a committee was formed to look into establishing an ambulance service.

By mid 1975, bids were put out for a building addition, several months later construction was started. In September 1975, a training school was set up for the proposed ambulance service. In December 1975, a Cadillac Ambulance was purchased for $7,500 and later $7,500 of equipment was added to it.

In January 1976, the Upper Saucon Fire Company Ambulance Corps was formed and officers were elected. Immediately after the training school was completed...March 29, 1976... ambulance service was started. In March of 1976, the new addition was completed and renovations were made to parts of the original building at a cost of $72,000. The five-bay engine room is 82' by 52' in size, with four storage rooms in the rear and also an office and two lavatories. A 15' by 34' dining room was completed to add to our present 36' by 38' Social room. A facade was placed on the full 135-foot front of the building, with 2-foot letters "UPPER SAUCON FIRE CO". In 1976, a Kitchen Building Committee was appointed to enlarge our kitchen so we could operate and service more efficiently

In September of 1977 we opened our Kitchen Week-ends and for special social nights.

In September 1979, a truck committee was formed to consider a new truck, taking into account projections of growth patterns in our township for the next 10 years. The committee decided on a Mack CF Telesquirt with delivery due in 1981.

In 1981 unit 2711 was delivered a Mack CF Telesquirt with a 1250 gpm pump a 500 gallon water tank and a 50' telesquirt. The present officers spent countless hours equipping and preparing this truck for service. The dreams of the past few years are now reality; this truck is now in service.

In 1984, the purchase of 1000' of large diameter hose, which is 5" in diameter, was added to our pumpers to deliver large quantities of water to a fire scene.

In 1985, Another 1000' of large diameter hose was purchased to give us a total of 2000'. With a need to replace our 13 year old GMC Rescue Truck, which was purchased in 1974, a committee was formed and in May of 1985 we took delivery of a new Mack MC Chassis with an 18' Swab body. This Fire/Rescue truck has the latest innovations and was designed for the needs of today as well as tomorrow. A lot of time and research was spent by the truck committee to develop and equip this new truck which has a complete air system, an 8,000 pound electric winch, a Hurst Rescue System, 12,000 watt generator, a command post and much more. Once again our communities growing needs were met.

The time period between 1986 and 1990 has once again brought many changes and challenges to our department. To keep up with the current and projected growth of the township we have initiated a program to update current equipment. Personal protection is always a great concern of ours. With this in mind, all personal protective equipment has been updated to current National Fire Protection Standards.

In January of 1987, a Bauer Compressed Air System was purchased. This unit will enable us to supply all breathing air that will normally be required at a fire or hazardous scene. Communications is a vital link to any successful incident. Personal pagers and truck radios have also been updated. Truck radios can now scan from 4 to 32 fire channels. With the ever increasing need to talk to manufacturers concerning hazardous materials on scene, a cellular phone was installed in the rescue truck (Unit 2741). This has proven to be very beneficial in many cases.

The training program for our department is always improving. There are state programs in which we attend. We are proud to say that most of our department has complied with them. Two such programs are the Firefighter I & II and the Department of Health Vehicle Rescue. We also comply with state regulations on training for Hazardous Materials. A county Hazardous Material Team is set up to deal with more intense problems. Several of our members are charter members of this fine team.

1991 was certainly one of the most progressive years of our history. The addition of a 1990 75' Baker Aerialscope (Unit 2731) will definitely play an important role in the firefighting capabilities of this department and the ever growing community. Also Purchased to replace our present Brush truck, was a 1991 Chevrolet one ton pickup. Early in the year twenty Scott Air Paks were bought to replace the older units that were in service for many years.

In 1997, the fire company and its social quarters became separate entities. They no longer are affiliated and the fire company became the Upper Saucon Volunteer Fire Department #1. As part of this separation the property was divided.
In late 1997 there were eight vehicles occupying five bays in a building approx. 5000 sq. ft. The ability to enlarge this building was limited by the placement and lack of property. As such, property was sought by the township. Franklin Lictenwalner a member of our department for many years who owned farm property nearby, approached our fire chief with a proposal to donate some land to the township for the new fire dept. That is where the new station currently resides on Hopewell rd in Center Valley on 4 acres. The station was named the "FRANKLIN STATION" In appreciation of his many years of service and his great contributions in the past and present. On Sept. 28 1997 Upper Saucon Volunteer Fire Dept. #1 broke ground for the construction of the new station. The right 3 bays of the Lanark Road station are still in use by the Upper Saucon VFD.

On October 10, 1998 Upper Saucon V.F.D. had the
building dedication and open house for the new "Franklin Station". The building is a single story, approximately 15,000 square feet and "T" shaped. It contains a communication center, living quarters, administrative offices, work areas, hose tower, Decon room, SCBA room, training/meeting room which can be used for emergency rehab or a staging area, plus it has six truck bays, one of which is a pass through for our 75' tower unit. The building's design is intended to blend with the surrounding community and provide a safe driving pattern for those arriving in response to an alarm. Its bays are secluded and the landscape is functional. For example, our neighbors are shielded by a double row of pine trees, which act as a light barrier for trucks pulling out of the station at night. The building provides the needed room to house our present level of operations while allowing for expansion to meet community growth. One unique feature is the center row of truck bay ceiling lights. When an alarm is sounded, these lights turn on automatically which at night allows the fire fighters to enter a lit building.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Last_Edit - 03/08/2017 10:08:59