By Karen Zapf – Trib Total Media
Ron Novak compares his return to Logans Ferry Heights just over a decade ago as walking into a time capsule.
“I walked up and down the streets and nothing changed,” he said.
Novak, 61, left Atlanta and returned in 2003 to help care for his aging parents. As a trustee with the Logans Ferry Heights Volunteer Fire Department, today is pleased he returned to the Plum community he left as a 21-year-old as the company prepares for its 65th anniversary celebration on Saturday.
The fire company was formed in the summer of 1949 and was chartered in October of the same year with 125 members who are all deceased, department officials said.
Novak’s father, John Novak, was a charter member.
Rich Weishar, 78, whose late father was a volunteer fireman and whose son, Rick Weishar, 47, is president of the company, said the fire company was started when the Allegheny- Pittsburgh Coal Co. that operated a mine in Logans Ferry Heights donated the land for the building. The original charter members went to work to raise money for a fire truck, Weishar said.
The department’s first truck was an American-LaFrance pumper that Rich Weishar said had a hand crank to start it.
“It would never start,” he said with a chuckle.
Today, the department has an engine, tanker, service and squad vehicles.
Women in the community formed a ladies auxiliary in 1949. Rosalie Clark, 75, who was a member of the auxiliary, said the women became associate members of the fire department when the auxiliary ceased to exist about a decade ago.
Rick Weishar, who also is a volunteer, chaplain and officer of the social club, said Logans Ferry Heights has continued to flourish throughout the years.
Proceeds from the social club make the department’s one truck payment. Other revenue sources include a fish-fry during Lent and an annual gun bash, Rick Weishar said.
The company, with about 30 active volunteers, answers about 120 calls a year.
Logans Ferry Heights also has about 11 junior volunteers. Logan Price, 16, whose father, Chester Price, is a member, is a junior firefighter or cadette.
“I like helping people out,” said Logan Price, 16, who was named after Logans Ferry. “I want to stay on and be a regular member.”