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The Department Since 1903
 
 

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  At the turn of the century, the citizens of Rockledge looked to the Pennsylvania Fire Company for fire protection. The company was housed on Fillmore St. in the city of Philadelphia, just at the border of the two municipalities. At the time, the company provided fire protection for Fox Chase as well as the Borough.

  On the evening of March 6, 1903, a meeting was held at what was then the Northeast Shrine Club (where the First Union bank now stands). Burgess Charles Nahm called the meeting for the purpose of discussing the ways and means of establishing a fire company that would be propriety of the Borough of Rockledge. A total of twenty-nine men present at the meeting showed a willingness to become members of the fire organization and voted unanimously to do so. They agreed to organize under the name of the Rockledge Volunteer Fire Company No.1 of Rockledge, Pennsylvania. An election was held to fill the positions of the Company Officers, a Captain of the fire fighting force and a Board of Directors. One week later the company met again to establish the company’s by-laws. The first Board of Directors meeting was held on Monday evening, March 16, 1903 and they established the finance, property, entertainment, audit and building committees. At the end of March 1903, The Pennsylvania Fire Company, which had been dissolved, presented their apparatus and equipment to the Company.

  Since the original firehouse was located within the borders of Philadelphia , it was necessary to find a new home for the newly established organization. An offer for a firehouse site came in May of 1903 when Mr. Earhardt offered a Sylvania Ave. property for $350.00. His terms were $50.00 down, and the remaining when they found it possible. The balance was to carry a 5% rate of interest. The entertainment committee then planned a fair to raise money for the purchase of this property. At the May 1903 meeting of the company, the members decided to postpone the chartering of the company since its own financial and organizational problems did not warrant the court expenditure at that time. The company had received an alarm bell when the Pennsylvania Fire Company disbanded. However, since they did not have a firehouse on which to mount it, the fire company temporarily mounted it on the Rockledge Toll Gate Building . Water supply was one of the major problems facing the company and a committee was appointed to get this very essential fire-fighting element to the borough through a water system utilizing fire hydrants.

  Financial problems continued to stifle the progress of the new company until an anonymous donation of $50.00 was received. Money had been coming in slowly and now the company had money for the down payment on the lot. With this newfound enthusiasm they also decided to apply for a charter. At the June 1, 1903 meeting, Captain Schlett reported the Rockledge Vol. Fire Company had answered its first call. The alarm was a defective chimney at the home of Harry Sheetz, at 139 Central Avenue . Also at this meeting, plans were submitted for a firehouse. The building was to be 14 feet wide and the labor was to be mostly voluntary. Although the firehouse was not quite finished, the ladder truck was housed in it on July 4, 1903.

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Rockledge Fire Coats
Fire Cheifs
     
  Gerald P. Morris Jr.
Kenneth M. Costello
Russell W. Hellyer Sr.
Kenneth M. Costello
Albert W. Wartman
William H. Foxall Jr.
Robert Salanik
William H. Foxall Jr.
William Kern
Raymond H. Troth Jr.
Robert C. Snyder Sr.
James Carter
Frank Belzoid
Frederick Kern
Albert Longstreth
Edward Laferty
Harry Laferty Jr.
J. Miller
John Penkerton
Harry Bratzler
G.B. Harper
Harry Bratzler
Clarence Coly
William Snyder
Gilbert R. Russel
C. Hibbs
J. Manogue
F.B. Weiss
John J. Schlett
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