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The Department Since 1903
 
 

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  The July 6, 1903 meeting of the company was held at the Northeast Shrine Club. At this meeting, the Fire Company was officially chartered in the State of Pennsylvania . Also at this meeting, the secretary was instructed to place a public notice of thanks in the local paper for the support given by the residents to the Fire Company. The building continued to progress, insurance and other organizational problems were solved and the treasurer was bonded for $1000.00, receiving an annual fee of $3.00.

  The Fire Company made progress in many areas during 1904. They installed an alarm for signaling a fire and made a deal with the electric company to lease the upper "retiring room" for a term of 5 year at $24 annually.

  In 1905 and the following few years, the fire company explored many ideas and took several steps to help themselves financially and organizationally. To solve some of their financial problems, they petitioned the school board and the borough council to have their building exempt from assessment. They also resolved to raise the monthly dues to 25 cents per month, effective January 1906. This is still the amount of dues paid by the Fire Company members to this date although they are now collected annually. At one point in 1905 the treasury dropped to 11 cents. Also, in that year the members worked out a reciprocation of assistance agreement with the city fire department when the need would arise for additional fire fighting equipment and men. This agreement proved beneficial to both parties as it often took another city company a long time to arrive in assisting Chemical #5. Also, members from the city company assisted in designing the fireplug layout for the borough.

  In 1906, the members seemed to become more aware of the need to plan for the future expansion of the borough. They realized that its hand drawn apparatus was rapidly becoming obsolete, and the members urged the purchase of a combination truck and chemical unit at the cost of $1,100.00. John Schlett, in later years, commented "Isn't it a shame that back in the old days when we had to drag those heavy wagons through the streets over ruts and bumps, through sheer muscle; now that we have powerful trucks with engines to do the brute work, the streets are smooth as glass". The members of the Fire Company began to look for a larger permanent building during this time. Many of the company's actions were governed by this plan for a new building and no major improvements were made to the old one.

  In January 1908, a committee of five was appointed to devise a plan whereby our company could build its own firehouse. At the company meeting held on November 1, 1909, the final plans for the new firehouse were presented by the building committee. They called for the purchase of a lot at the corner of Park Avenue and Huntingdon Pike for $500.00 and the sale of the site on Sylvania Ave. of $450.00. They also called for a loan for the building construction for $1,200.00 at the interest rate 5.4% with shares for $10.00 being sold to interested parties bearing 5% interest. The committee reported that construction would be started as soon as the weather permitted. At the next meeting, the members suggested many changes so that the cost could be lowered. A motion was made to rescind the approval for a $1,200.00 loan in lieu of one for $2,400.00, which was approved. On April 10, 1910, the company agreed to sell its property on Sylvania Avenue to the Philadelphia Electric Company and accepted the bid of Grant Irwin to construct the new firehouse at the cost of $4,375 with the occupancy date scheduled for August 1,1910.

  The dedication of the new building was highlighted by a large parade on October 8, 1910. The parade marched through the streets of Rockledge and Fox Chase with 33 members of the Rockledge Fire Company in their newly adopted uniforms along with members of other companies representing the Independent and Pioneer companies of Jenkintown, Abington, McKinley, Edge Hill, Glenside, Cheltenham, Oreland, Old York Road , Oconto and Chemical #5 of Philadelphia . Many companies brought along their bands and their ladies auxiliaries. On the evening of the dedication, the Fire Company gave a ball at the Rockledge Opera House, which was largely attended and climaxed a memorable day to the company members.

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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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