History of Trevose Fire Company
Citizens of Trevose were horrified when they learned of a fire on Avenue B which resulted in the deaths of two children. In March 1926, a meeting of the citizens of Trevose was held in the Trevose Community House with Mr. John Page presiding as temporary Chairman. Sixty-two citizens were present and the topic of the meeting was the formation of a fire company. Temporary officers were elected as follows: B. Mitchell, President, J. Page, Vice-President, A. Carr, Secretary, E. Beister, Treasurer and W. Baxter, Chief.
On March 22, 1926, the first regular meeting of Trevose Fire Company was held. In April, the Constitution and By-Laws were submitted and accepted by the body to be advertised and submitted to the courts for approval. In June, twenty-six members signed the charter and Trevose Fire Company came into existence.
The first fire engine, delivered August 2, 1927, was a used Hahn and equipped with a Hale pump. The truck was housed and a siren purchased in September and installed at 4900 Street Road just a few feet in front of our present location) in a school bus garage owned by Mr. J. H. Bushnell.
The first fire report showed that the new company had fought five fires, including a house in Feasterville and a barn belonging to Mr. Scheflele. No details of the other fires were noted.
In March 1928, a donation of ground was made by the Randall estate. Part of the present fire station complex stands on a portion of the original grant. Progress was very slow and the building was not completed until September 1935.
Trevose Fire Company is acclaimed nationwide for having the first tank truck in the U.S.A. Members of the company built this tanker in a garage adjacent to the Trevose General Store. It consisted of a 1934 Chevrolet chassis on which was mounted a 500-gallon water tank and a 250-gallon pump. It went into service in April 1935. In December 1936, a 1937 Reo pumper with a 500 gpm Hale fire pump was purchased.
The company was instrumental in building a dam in the creek behind the Trevose School in 1934. The dam provided the water needed to supply fire protection to this area, known as Simpson's Grove. They also laid two pipes, one on Prospect Avenue from Street Road to Ridge Avenue and the other from the dam to the comer of East End and Central Avenues. In addition to developing a water supply for fighting fires, the company started a training school for firemen. The men were taught modem fire fighting procedures, as well as first aid. The first class graduated in 1940.
The year 1939 proved to be a good one for the company, as well as for Trevose citizens. There were only seventeen alarms that year, with a total loss of only $1,160. This compared with the 480 alarms the company answered in 1995. For a six month period in 1939, there were no alarms.
In order to raise funds, the company began having an annual summer carnival in 1936. This proved to be such a popular event that it grew into a tradition.
Additional ground was purchased from the Randall Estate in 1945, but it was not until 1949 that ground was broken for the company's second home. Work progressed throughout 1950 until November when a memorable wind and sleet storm struck, causing the collapse of the back gable of the main structure. By spring of the following year, the building was ready for roofing and it was occupied in February 1952, with dedication ceremonies on July 26, 1952. The cost was approximately $24,000 with more than 6,200 man-hours supplied by members.
In 1947, the company purchased a new tank-type fire truck with a White chassis, 800 gallon water tank, 250 gpm Hale pump, and full compartments and assembled by Buffalo Fire Apparatus.
After the building was completed in 1952, attention was turned to upgrading the equipment. A contract was awarded in October 1955 for a 1956 Oren truck equipped with a 750 gpm Hale high pressure pump. While visiting the Oren plant in Roanoke, VA during construction of the truck, the committee saw a 1954 Ford/Oren 500 gpm truck. The Ford (Unit #41) was delivered in May 1956 and two months later the 1956 Oren (Unit #42) was delivered. Both were housed on July 28, 1956.
On December 5, 1958, Rescue 49, a Heavy Rescue Truck, was delivered. As of 1976, it was the only heavy rescue vehicle in Bucks County. The first of many classes, Trevose members attended the state-sponsored rescue school in Hammonton, NJ in September 1959. Subsequent classes in rescue training were held in Allentown, PA and Raleigh, NC.
A 1944 Buffalo ladder truck was purchased in June 1962. This gave the company an apparatus which not only carried nine ground ladders (the largest of which was 50 feet with tormentor poles) but also a vehicle capable of carrying two thousand feet of 2-1/2" hose.
In June 1963, the company learned that Street Road was scheduled for widening; a slight change in the course of the road put it right through the middle of the firehouse. A building committee was formed in August and in February 1966 the plans for our new building were unveiled and approval given by the membership. The plans were finalized in September 1966 and construction of the new fire station began in the spring of 1967.
Although the building had not yet been completed, the company had to move in on April 25, 1968. Once the building was completed in June 1970 and Street Road was finally finished, it was time to plan a dedication. The building was finally dedicated on September 15, 1973 along with Engine 43, a 1000 gpm Oren pumper that arrived March 18, 1971. Engine 41, a 750 gpm quick response Ford/Oren pumper, arrived in November 1973 and placed into service at 10 P.M. on November 20th.
Trevose Fire Company has brought back many honors from competitions. The Heavy Rescue team members were declared World Champions in Heavy Rescue twice, in 1967 at the Baltimore, MD competition and again in 1975 in Minneapolis, MN. The team was formed in 1965 to compete in the annual Rescue Contest sponsored by the International Rescue and First Aid Association. The team has competed in competitions in Atlantic City, NJ (1965 and 1970), Toronto, Canada (1966 and 1974), Hollywood, FL (1968), Cincinnati, OH (1969), and Myrtle Beach, SC (1971- second place), Baltimore, MD (1976), St. Louis, MO (1977), Houston, TX (1978), and Columbus, OH (1979 - second place).
In April 1975, the company decided that it was time to replace the Buffalo ladder truck. However, its replacement would be a pumper that would carry more than the standard complement of ladders. The new engine (E 4-2) was delivered in October 1977. On August 21, 1976, Trevose Fire Company celebrated its Golden Anniversary.
Ever since Rescue 49 was purchased in 1958, Trevose Fire Company has endeavored to be a leader in the rescue field of the fire service. Additional porta-power equipment was purchased in August 1975 and the Hurst tool - Jaws of Life - was put into service July 27, 1976. In July 1978 plans were initiated to purchase a new rescue truck. To comply with standardization of apparatus designators and numbers, since Trevose Fire Company was now part of the Bucks County Radio System, Rescue 49 was now to be known as Rescue Four as of February 13, 1979.
Our current Rescue Four was manufactured by Ranger Corp., Smithfield, RI and was delivered March 1982 and put into service the following month. In November 1983, it became necessary to replace Engine 4-3. In March 1985, a contract was awarded to Peter F. Pirsch & Son, Inc., to construct a 1500 gpm pumper that carries 1000 gallons of water, this apparatus, currently in service as Engine 4 was delivered in September 1986.
In early 1986, some members started thinking about protecting the upper end of our fire district. After some preliminary planning, a parcel of land along Bristol Road was selected as a potential site for a substation. In January 1987, a contract with Philadelphia Suburban Water was made to purchase a parcel of land. After some preliminary survey work was done in the summer of 1987, plans were drawn up for the building and the sub-division was approved by the Township in August 1988. In October 1990, a bid was awarded to build the substation at 4261 Bristol Road in the Oakford section of Bensalem Township. In December 1990, the substation was officially named "Trevose Fire Company Neshaminy Falls Station 84". Finally, in January 1992 construction started. Although not officially dedicated Station 84 became a reality on June 7, 1992 and was dedicated July 11, 1992.
With Station 84 now in operation, a committee was formed in September 1992 to purchase a new
E84 and possibly replace E4-2. In March 1993, we purchased two KME engines (E84 and E4-1) which were delivered in October 1993.
Throughout our seventy years, Trevose Fire Company has been blessed with many fine men and women that have given their time and efforts to make Trevose Fire Company what it is today. One of the backbones of our organization was formed in 1927 - The Ladies Auxiliary of Trevose Fire Company. Their many efforts throughout the years has enabled Trevose Fire Company to prosper and help us better serve the community.
We again thank all members, past and present, for the work they have done in making our Fire Company what it is today. Special thanks to the wives and husbands of our members for their understanding. And last, and certainly not least, thank you to the community of Trevose for allowing us to serve you and for your financial help. We certainly hope and pray that our next seventy years should only be as good as our first seventy years.
By: Joseph Seborowski, President