History

This is a living document, which means it is to be updated as history is made, and also to be added to as more information is made available about the rich history of western Pa firefighting.

Here is a timeline of western Pennsylvania firefighting history.  Please email support@hoopieworld.com to submit more events.  Please include date, (if you don’t have a specific date, please submit the year, the county, and the event).  We want to list significant things, like department establishments, apparatus purchases, LODD deaths, and major incidents (large fires, unique calls).

1800’s

1886 – Eureka Fire-Rescue EMS – Allegheny County Station 281 – Established
February 28th, 1889 – Etna VFC – Allegheny County Station 149 – Established/Runs first call
1890 – CraftonVFD – Allegheny County Station 128 – Established
1891 – Citizen’s Volunteer Fire Company (New Kensington No. 1) Westmoreland County Station 56 established
September 26, 1895 – Rankin VFD – Allegheny County Station 238 is formed
1899 – Goodwill Hose Company established (Westmoreland)
1899 – Parnassus Volunteer Fire Company (New Kensington No. 2) established (Westmoreland)

1st Fire company in Harrison Twp was Washington Volunteer Hose Co. # 1 of Natrona, Pa. formed sometime after the civil war “but” disbanded in 1892.

1900’s

December 20, 1900 – Establishment of Ford CIty Hose Company #1, Armstrong County Company 90
1901 – Citizens Hose Co #1 – Glassport Allegheny County Station 161 – Established
June 8th, 1901 – West Homestead Allegheny County Station 292 – Established
1904 – Hilltop Hose Company No. 3 (New Kensington No. 3) established (Westmoreland)
1906 – Citizen’s Volunteer Fire Department (Arnold No. 1) established (Westmoreland)
May 11, 1907 – Natrona Volunteer Hose Company # 1 of Harrison Township Pa. was formed
1908 – Baden VFD established – Beaver County
1915 – Goodwill Hose Company disbanded (Westmoreland)
December 8th, 1915 – Brentwood VFC – Allegheny County Station 116 – Established
1916– Freeport VFD – Armstrong County Station 70 – Established
October 6th, 1919 – Cherry City VFC – Allegheny County Station 260 – Established
1922 – Castle Shannon VFD – Allegheny County Station 119 – Established
May 23,1923 Option Ind. VFC Allegheny County Station 107 chartered.
1924 – Arnold Volunteer Engine Company 2 established (Westmoreland)
1924 – Bower Hill VFD – Allegheny County Station 255 – Established
April 8th, 1924 – Rosedale VFD – Penn Hills Station #2 – Allegheny County Station 222 – Established/Founded
July 29th, 1924 – Rosedale VFD responds to first fire call
1926 – East Kensington Volunteer Fire Department (New Kensington No.4) (Westmoreland) – Established
1926 – Valley Heights Volunteer Fire Department of Lower Burrell Twp. (New Ken No.5) (Westmoreland) – Established
March 16th, 1926 – Republic Volunteer Fire Company – Fayette County Station 34 – Established
August 27, 1927 – Crestas VFD – Allegheny County Station 212 – Established (One of the first “all black” VFCs in PA)
1929 –  Lower Burrell Twp. No. 3 (Bon Air) established (Westmoreland)
1929 – Baldwin Independent Fire Company No 1 – Allegheny County Station 105 – Established
1932 – Blaine Hill Volunteer Fire Company – Allegheny County Station 140-2 – Established
June 13th, 1938 – Republic VFC forms a company band – (Fayette)
1939 – Lower Burrell Twp. No. 1 (Kinloch) established (Westmoreland)
July 3rd, 1939 – Rosedale VFD received delivery of an American Lafrance Engine
1941 – Lower Burrell Twp. No. 2 (Braeburn) established (Westmoreland)
1942 – Upper Burrell Twp. established (Westmoreland)
October 23,1943
– Citizens Vol. Fire Co. No.1    City of Arnold, PA Fireman Nicola Albanese was severely injured in a apparatus accident while responding to a house fire.
October 30,1943 – Citizens Vol. Fire Co. No.1    City of Arnold, PA Fireman Nicola Albanese succumbed to his injuries from October 23rd, 1943.
April 25th, 1947 – Republic VFC purchases an American Lafrance pumper (Fayette)
November 12, 1947 – Forest Grove VFD – Allegheny County Station 243 – Established
1948 – Rosedale VFD moves into new firehouse on Verona Road.
October 1949 – Greenock VFC – Allegheny County Station 140-4 – Established
1950 – Lower Burrell Twp. No. 4 (Braeview) established (Westmoreland)
June 21st, 1951 – Republic VFC Captain Mike Trocheck shot to death while trying to extinguish a house fire  (Fayette)
July 28, 1954 – Central VFC – Allegheny County Station 140-7 – Established
Sept 23 1955 – Central VFC’s president William McHenry died in the line of duty due to a rollover of the truck he was driving. (Allegheny)
December 23, 1957 – Rankin’s “Big Fire”  (Allegheny)
1959 – South Baldwin Volunteer Fire Company – Allegheny County Station 104 – Established
1971 – Fire destroys Crestas VFD’s station and truck (Allegheny)
1976 – Fire destroys the Blaine Hill VFC Allegheny County Station 140-2 and their apparatus
1976 – West Homestead Station 292 celebrates their 75th Anniversary
May 1976 – McKeesport Famous fire – First Mon Yough all call
1977 – Brentwood EMS – Allegheny County Station 530 – Established
November 17th 1979 – Baldwin EMS – Allegheny Station 510 – Established
1985 – Fire destroys Crestas VFD’s social hall (Allegheny)
March 30, 1985 – McClure Johnson Fire in Braddock (Allegheny)
1987 – West Homestead Station 292 moves into a new station
1990 – Buckeye Oil Co. Spill, Allegheny River, Freeport (Armstrong)
12/20/1991 – Four Hilltop Hose firefighters killed in Brackenridge fire when the floor they were on collapsed.
October 10, 1992 – Natrona Volunteer Hose Company # 1 of Harrison Township Pa disbanded
September 1995 -Rankin VFD’s 100th Anniversary (Allegheny)
1998 – East McKeesport and Wall Fire Departments merge to create United Volunteer Fire & Rescue (Allegheny)
1999 – The Dixon Hollow, Sunset-Central, and Green Valley Fire Departments merged to create the Fire Department of North Versailles (FDNV) Allegheny County Stations 210, 213, 214

2000’s

2003 – Lower Burrell No 2 Merged with Braeview VFD Lower Burrel No 4 (Westmoreland)
June 2005 -New Rankin Engine 238 delivered and placed in service (2005 Custom Pierce Saber Engine 1500gpm, 750 tank) (Allegheny)
2009 – Lower Burrell No 4 Closed by City (Westmoreland)
May 13th, 2013 – Allenport VFD was absorbed by Stockdale VFD (Washington)

2 comments on “History

  1. bob griffin says:

    Add to your history – May 11, 1907 Natrona Volunteer Hose Company # 1 of Harrison Township Pa. was formed / On October 10, 1992 the company disbaned. The 1st Fire company in Harrison Twp was Washington Volunteer Hose Co. # 1 of Natrona, Pa. formed sometime after the civil war “but” disbanded in 1892.

  2. bob griffin says:

    September 1912 Citizens Volunteer Hose Co. 1 of Birdville, Pa. ( Natrona Heights ) was formed, the company was charter on April 7, 1913 ( Harrison Twp. Co. # 2 ). On March 17, 1936 the company started the Citizens Volunteer Hose co. Ambulance / Rescue service to serve for the residents of Harrison Twp.

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