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About us

History of the Goodwill Fire Company #1

 

On August 25th, 1914 a disastrous fire hit the village of New Tripoli, which not only destroyed the Miller Hotel But also its two sheds, the office of Dr. James Fenstermaker, the Shirt Factory, a brick dwelling owned by Dr. J. Kressley and three sheds owned by Wm. A. Reimert, which contained high grade lumber, also two blacksmith shops.  Total loss for the fire was estimated at $75,000. Three fire trucks came from Allentown to fight the fire and to prevent further damage, and about a month later another fire hit the upper end of the county in the village of Germansville, when the large barn, shed and a number of other nearby buildings were completely destroyed on the hotel property owned by Howard A. Peter.  Total loss was valued at $9500.  Again the Allentown Fire Dept. responded to the call but they were stopped in Schnecksville and told to return home, as their services were no longer needed.

These catastrophes were a shock to the people of the communities and it brought to their attention the possibility of future fires and their lack of proper firefighting equipment necessary for such emergencies, so the people of Germansville and surrounding villages became fire-minded and held impromptu discussions in regards to the organization of a Fire Company and the purchasing of firefighting equipment. 

Through the efforts of William J. Schmick, a chemical tank on two wheels was secured from the Buffalo Chemical Fire Apparatus Company, Buffalo, NY, to hold demonstrations in the different communities, with the idea that each village was to buy its own apparatus. 

After demonstrations in the villages of Germansville, Pleasant Corners, Saegersville and Jordan Valley, a meeting was called for Saturday evening, September 18, 1915 at the Germansville Hotel for the purpose of organization.  About 40 men came out from Germansville and the surrounding territory.

At this meeting, the following officers were elected.  Wm. J. Schmick, Pres.; Ed K. Greenawald, Sec.; Wm. G. Grosscup, Treas.; Herbert W. Schmick and Ambrose P. Leibensperger, Fire Chiefs; also the following articles were agreed upon:

  1. This organization shall be known as the Goodwill Fire Company No. 1 of Germansville, PA
  2. The stated meetings shall be held on the first Saturday of each month.
  3. The membership fee shall be $5.00 for property holders and $1.00 for non-property holders.
  4. To accept larger donations when given.
  5. If a fire occurs on the premises of a non-member, the company shall go there, if called, and render such assistance as is possible.  The expense for such a trip shall be paid by the party calling for help and any additional donation will be gratefully appreciated.
  6. If a fire occurs on the premises of a member, the expenses shall be paid out of the treasury.
  7. The fire apparatus shall be stationed on the premises of Wm. J. Schmick until other arrangements are made.
  8. That a vigilance committee shall be appointed.  Whose duty shall be to have charge of the fire apparatus and to proceed to the place from which a call is received and render such assistance as is possible and the first two men so appointed shall act as fire chiefs.  The following men were appointed:  Herbert W. Schmick, Ambrose P. Leibensperger, Lewis D. Leiby, Henry V. DeLong, Dr. Elmer E. Behler and Albert J. Hamm.

 

At this meeting Daniel F. Kerschner loaned $270 to the company in order to pay for the fire apparatus (hand cart).  On the January 8, 1916 meeting Wm. G. Grosscup resigned as Treasurer and Tilghman A. Heil was elected to fill the vacancy.  At this meeting a total of $255 in membership fees was received leaving a net deficit of $22.07

At a special meeting held April 15, 1916, it was decided to hold the first annual picnic at the Germansville School House on Saturday, June 24, 1916.  Music was to be furnished by the Slatedale Band.  The picnic committee consisted of: Lewis D. Leiby, Owen Fink, Albert J. Hamm, Ambrose P. Leibensperger, Benjamin R. Friebolin, Henry N. Bittner and Dr. Elmer E. Behler.  Proceeds from this first picnic amounted to a net profit of $39.97.  At this meeting it was also decided to erect a suitable building to house the fire apparatus.  The following building committee was appointed:  Osville J. Strauss, Owen fink, Amandus P. Strauss, Lewis D. Leiby and Henry V. Delong.

By the end of the year the company boasted a membership of 59 and a net balance in the treasury of $63.75.  At the April 7, 1917 meeting the building committee reported that the building was to be 12 ft. x 16 ft., later changed to 16 x 20 ft., and that it should be erected on the boundary line between Wm. J. Schmick and James H Geary, facing the public road from Germansville to Saegersville, the committee was instructed to proceed at once with the plans of the building of the fire house.

The second annual picnic was held Saturday, July 7, 1917 at the Germansville School House with the New Tripoli Band furnishing the music, net profits amounted to $41.29.  The third annual picnic was on Saturday, July 20th 1918.

On March 5, 1919 an agreement was signed between James H. Geary, Wm. J. Schmick, their heirs and assigns and the Fire Company for the lease of the land for a period of fifty years on which the firehouse was built. 

On April 3, 1920 it was decided to secure an additional tank and have them mounted on a suitable truck, as the hand-drawn equipment was inadequate.  At the July meeting Aaron J. Harter, Samuel W. Peter, Alvin B. Peter, Herbert W. Schmick and Owen Find were appointed to purchase a new truck and have two tanks mounted on the same.  The committee reported at a special meeting held on April 19, 1921, that they purchased a Ford Truck Chassis from Lewis Sauerwine, Slatington, PA and had it taken to P.W. Frantz Co., Neffs, PA to have the tanks mounted thereon, but that the upright tanks were not suitable for this purpose and nobody would undertake to mount these upright tanks, the committee was immediately ordered to purchase tow horizontal tanks and have same mounted on the truck. 

At the May meeting it was decided to borrow $700 in order to pay for the truck, tanks and equipment necessary to complete the truck.  Thaddeus Fink and Daniel F. Kerschner, each volunteered to lend $350 on a note by the Company.

At this meeting the following were appointed to draw up a Constitution and By-Laws, E.M. Handwerk, E.K. Greenawald, T.M. Kleppinger, Dr. C.D. Werley and Dr. E.E. Behler.  The Constitution and By-Laws were adopted at the November 5, 1921 meeting.

A special meeting was called on October 15, 1921 to complete arrangement for a fair to be held at the Lehigh Exchange Hall on Wednesday and Saturday evenings from November 16 to December 17.  Tickets were to be sold for 25 cents for a drawing on a Ford Touring Car.  This car was won by Frank Kern of Slatington, PA.  At the January 2, 1922 meeting the committee reported a net profit of $813.15.  At this meeting the following rates were established for new members.  Real Estate owners, $10; Personal Property, $5, and Non-Property, $2.  Also the notes of Thaddeus Find and Daniel Kerschner were paid at this time. 

At the January 5, 1924 meeting, the By-Laws were amended as follows:  To charge each member 50 cents a year dues and to pay the fire chiefs $1.50 per month.  There was very little activity between 1925 and 1934, and no meetings between 1932 and July of 1934. 

The years from 1920 through 1934 passed rapidly and the men again realized their equipment was becoming obsolete, so on July 16, 1934 the question of buying a new fire truck was discussed and the secretary was instructed to get information from different companies on new fire fighting equipment.  Also at this meeting the By-Laws were amended to change the meeting night from a Saturday to the first Monday of the month, and to have the annual meeting in December instead of July.

At the September meeting, a motion was made and carried to buy a new fire truck and the following committee was appointed:  Geo. H. Jones, Elmer V. Bittner, Geo. F. Herber, Oscar J Scheirer, Earl E. Handwerk, Herbert W. Schmick, Osville J. Strauss and Fred E. Hollenbach.  AT the November meeting this committee recommended to purchase a Model C-35 International Chassis from Peter’s Motor Car Co., Allentown, PA and have Hahn Motor Co., Hamburg, PA mount the firefighting equipment.  Motion was made to accept the report of the committee and carry out their plans. 

January 7, 1935 - A lease was signed by the Fire Co. and Wm. J. Schmick to use his garage to house the fire truck as the old firehouse became too small to take care of the new truck. 

At the March meeting a motion was made and carried to raise $1000 through the issuing of a series of bonds in denominations of $25, each bearing interest at the rate of 4% per annum, payable annually and the bonds to be redeemed at the rate of not less than two bonds each fiscal year and the order of retirement to be determined by lot.  By January of 1936 the fire company had 136 members.

December 3, 1937 a fire siren was bought and installed on the hotel roof in order to summons the fire fighters for duty.  In 1938, workman’s compensation insurance was provided by the township supervisors for the first time.

In January of 1941 members Harvey H. Smith, Floyd H. Schmick and Fred E. Hollenbach were appointed to draw up a new Constitution and By-Laws.  A lease was also signed between the Fire Company and Kermit L. Freibolin to house the fire truck at his residence. 

October 6, 1941 a Buick truck was purchased to mount the chemical tanks from the old Ford truck, and by 1942 the company had 272 paid members.

February 9, 1942 discussion on a firehouse or community hall was started due to not having a common location to hold meetings and store their trucks.

December 7, 1942 – Final adoption of the new Constitution and By-Laws.

March 27, 1944 Lehigh County Volunteer Fireman’s Association organized to bring a closer cooperation with other fire companies of the county and to get a better understanding and more effecting firefighting efforts.  The first delegates to this organization were Frank H. Krause, Howard E. Hunsicker and Oscar J Scheirer.

July 24, 1944 – The fire company was host to the Fireman’s Association

August 7, 1944 the following were appointed as the first Fire Police of the Company:  Oscar Scheirer, Howard Hunsicker, Alvin Krause, Wilmer Smith, Chas Miller, Geo. Moyer, Ray Mantz, Frank Metzger, Fred Weiss, Geo. E. Kerschner, Frank Handwerk, Randall Wertman, Frank Krause, Ralph Phillips, Walter Herber, Frank Clauser, Harold Roth, Floyd Schmick, Wilmer Blose, Wm. Kuntz, Harvey Strauss, Paul Loch, Geo. Leiby, Stanley Rex and Oliver Kressley.

September 11, 1944 – Charter presented – Approved by Lehigh County Court

March 5, 1945 – Possibility of the fire company having their own building was discuss and a special meeting was called on March 12th.  Lengthy discussion followed on the pros and cons of building our own firehouse and community hall.  The building to be known as the Germansville Community Memorial Hall was to be built in memory of all the members and residents of Heidelberg Township who served in the armed forces of our country.  The following were elected to the building committee:  Edgar B. Hamm, Chas J. Jasper, George R. Fink, Frank G. Metzger, Clarence E. Peter, Paul C. Snyder, Paul G. Loch, also the following were elected to the finance committee: Frank H. Krause, Floyd H. Schmick, Howard E. Hun sicker, George O. Roth, and Fred D. Leiby.  Motion was made to have the plans drawn up and approved by Fire Company prior to construction. 

May 7, 1945 – Building plans presented and approved.  Building to be 100 x 50 feet and to use Blue Mountain Stone.  Two acres of land donated by the Eugene Handwerk estate for the proposed site for the new building. 

January 7, 1946 – Relief Association By-Laws adopted and approved.  Building committee secured Wolf & Hahn of Allentown as the architects.  The board of directors was authorized to secure a pump to replace the chemical tanks on the Buick truck.  Between 1946 and 49 there were many suppers, picnics and drawings as fundraisers for the building.  The suppers were held at the Pleasant Corners Hotel.

July 9, 1947 – Atty. William A. Steckel, Slatington, PA was secured to give legal advice to the finance and building committees.  Decided to grant life membership to donors of $100 or more.

In June of 1947 the ground was graded and the construction began.  The building committee decided to only erect the first floor of the proposed building and complete it at a later date.

May 19, 1948 – Finance Committee decided to sell bonds ($100) AT 4% and have Atty. Steckel draw up a resolution to mortgage Fire Company property in order to sell bonds and also pay five bonds per year.

May 31, 1948 – Big doings in Germansville ---Parade, in which Slatington American Legion participated, corner stone laying, speakers and picnics.

Articles used in the cornerstone ceremony were gold and silver vases donated by Mr. and Mrs. David Schaffer.

Gold vase was used by Frank H. Krause, V.P. To pour the port wine upon the cornerstone.          

Silver vase was used by Harvey H. Smith, Director to pour the oil of Rosemary upon the cornerstone.

Cornucopia was used by Charles R. Miller, Financial Secretary, to pour the corn upon the cornerstone.

Trowel and mallet were made by Paul G. Loch, President, and used by Elwood Hausman in memory of his son, Quinton, first son from the township to give his life in the service of World War II. 

Case for storage of these articles was made and donated by Amandus P. Handwerk

September 8, 1948 – Volunteer Fireman’s Association meeting was held in Coopersburg, our first aid team consisting of Lawrence Bittner, Kermit Friebolin, Paul Loch, Donald Frey and Harold Bachman won first prize.

January 3, 1949 – First fire company meeting held in new building

February 5, 1949 – First dinner held in new building

February 17, 1949 – The first Board of Governors were elected to have charge of the building.  They were Stanley L. Hill, Earl E. Handwerk, Robert P. Hausman, Marvin A. German, and Paul C. Snyder.

June 6, 1949 – New Constitution and By-Laws were adopted

November 7, 1949 – Building committee discharged, cost of building was $31,248.57.  The following were granted life memberships:  Eugene Handwerk Estate, for donation of the land.  William E. Weiss for the donation of the Blue Mountain Stone, James G. Shenton, for the donation of the cornerstone, and Ralph D. Weaver for the donation of a refrigerator for the kitchen.  There were 70 life members at this time.

Sunday, November 13, 1949 – Retirement Jubilee and dinner for the building and finance committees and the officers and families of the fire company.

April 7, 1952 – Bond burning ceremony – Atty. Wm. A. Steckel gave a brief history of the fire company from the time of its organization until the present.  Chairman Paul Loch introduced the first two Fire Chiefs, Herbert Schmick and Ambrose Leibensperger.  Rev. Thomas Bachman then gave the invocation after which the V.P. Frank Krause did the honors of burning the bonds, which represented the indebtedness of the company.  After this the Pres. Donald E. Frey introduced the speaker of the evening, Sheriff Ernest A. Kistler. 

May 5, 1952 – Accident insurance provided for the firemen.

November 3, 1952 – Plaque dedication after fire company meeting.

February 2, 1953 – Discussion about the purchase of a new fire truck as the old Buick truck had seen its best days.  A vote was taken unanimously in favor of buying a new truck.

May 4, 1953 – The fire truck purchasing committee recommended, Maxian equipment mounted on an International truck.

September 14, 1953 – Decided to test siren each Saturday at 12 noon.

November 26, 1953 – New fire truck delivered at a cost of $12,977.00

February 6, 1956 – The Upper Lehigh Lions Club donated $300 used to purchase emergency lighting for new fire truck.

August 6,1956 – Francis Baer from the Allentown Fire Department gave a lengthy talk and instructions on how to operate the newly purchased resuscitator and inhalator.

November 5, 1956 – Lengthy discussion on the merits of a 2-way radio for the fire trucks, with which we can quickly reach any fire company in the entire county when help is needed in time of emergency.  It was decided to purchase a 60 watt 2-way Motorola for $600.  Half of this cost was paid for by National Civil Defense.

June 3, 1957 – At this meeting it was decided to repair and paint the original fire apparatus, which was bought in 1915, and kept it as a relic.

1948 through 1961 passed quickly.  The funds for a volunteer fire company were created only by voluntary contributions and social event, such as dinners, suppers, banquets, shoots, raffles, card parties, and drawings.  The mend struggled hard to build up the treasury so as to complete and add the second story to the building.

November 6, 1959 – Special meeting called for a discussion on the construction of the second story as it was necessary to preserve the building.  When construction was halted with only the first floor being completed, the sub-floor was used as the roof and the ravages of time and weather have caused numerous cracks. At this point it was deemed imperative to move forward in order to protect the building.  No definite action was taken at this meeting due to the time lapsed since initial construction.

March 7, 1960 – Building committee appointed:  Marvin A. Harter, George R. Fink, Frank H. Krause, Edgar B. Hamm, Paul C. Snyder, Harvey H. Smith and George E. Sittler, who again secured Wolf & Hahn to draw up plans for the building, and by June of 1960 plans were accepted and approved.

April 15, 1961 – Construction started on addition of second floor, at an estimated cost of $80,000.  The building construction was completed by June, only the emergency lighting system, landscaping, grading, and outside improvements remain to be done.  So after nearly 47 years the Goodwill Fire Company of Germansville has its own quarters, with the fire apparatus housed in a suitable place, a large kitchen, dining room, small meeting room and a large auditorium.  This building will serve as a a community center for the people of Heidelberg Township and surrounding communities, also as a meeting place for civic organizations, such as Central Grange No. 1650, Washington Camp No. 391, P.O.S. of A., boys and girls   4-H groups, senior extension, home economics, farm organizations, etc., and a voting place for the residents of Heidelberg Township.

July 2, 1962 showed a membership of 682.

Now that the company had their own building, tradition continued as a gathering place for the community.  There were many gatherings held at the fire company over the years by many different organizations.  It was not uncommon to see banquets of 300-400 people in the hall.  Some of the groups which frequently used our banquet hall were Kerr McGee, FFA, Democratic and Republican Committees, Lehigh Masonic Lodge, Dutch Fersomling, 4-H, Farm Credit, Potato Growers Association, Eastern Star, and the Slatington Masonic Lodge.  Some of our fundraisers that were very well received included our Ham and Egg Suppers, Steer Raffles, New Years Eve Dances, Clam Chowder suppers (Frank Metzger and gang use to grind up the clams and vegetables), and our Ham and 2000 Club Raffles.  The Steer Raffle was always held on New Years Day.  The kitchen made hot roast beef platters from 10am to 8pm.  There ware about a dozen card tables where people would throw dice to win.  High Roller won a 1000 lb. steer and low roller won a 300 lb. hog.  In the later years the high roller won a 1000 lb. steer, 2nd won an 800 lb. bull, and 3rd won a 700 lb. bull.  It was noted that the first year you actually won a live steer, and you needed to pick it up.  After the first winner had a tremendously hard time, many individuals chose a monetary amount instead.

During 1970-71 there was discussion about upgrading the firefighting equipment by purchasing a new fire engine.  In July bids were sent out for a new fire truck and in September a unanimous vote of 26-0 was taken to purchase the new fire truck.  This would have been our 1972 American LaFrance.  The cost of the fire truck was $34,390.  During its construction the plant was flooded during Hurricane Agnes.  It was reported by Larry Leibensperger that you could see the water line on the insides of the compartment but the company went over the truck and it was received in October of 1971.

February 1977 – The fire company began planning for the addition of a 60ft x 60ft two-story addition to house fire apparatus and add kitchen space for the upstairs hall.  At this point all the food was made downstairs and carried up to the main hall for serving.

January 1979 – New addition was completed, inspected and fire trucks were to be moved in soon.

During the 1980’s banquets and fundraisers continued.  It was a common occurrence for people to have their wedding receptions at fire companies in the 70’s and 80’s.  There were many weeks during the 60’s and 70’s where we may have had 3 banquets a week but those numbers dwindled in the 80’s.  Training requirements for firefighters increased and this hampered their abilities to help during fundraising events.  It was a real balancing act.  At some point in the early 80’s it was determined we needed a tanker apparatus and we obtained when became the first 1021 an International milk tanker which was converted into a water tanker.  Many a residents pools were filled by volunteers as a method of raising funds with this fire truck.  It did not have a baffled tank so you needed to be careful when driving this fire truck, and there was nothing like taking it over the blue mountain or up the KOA hill on route 100 and getting passed by cars while you were responding to a fire because it was so slow!  One of the more notable sights of the early 80’s was Chief Leibensperger’s two tone green and white Chevy Blazer with a “bubble gum machine” red light on top.  In the late 80’s we started our 2000 club raffles which were a huge moneymaker for the fire company and really helped pay our bills throughout the year.  Between the 2000 Club and our Ham Raffle they allowed us to fund the operations of the fire company on a yearly basis.  In the late 80’s early 90’s firefighters became involved with forest fire fighting.  This was a new area of training for the firefighters and at some point we obtained our first 2.5 ton military vehicle which was converted into a brush truck for the fire company by its members. 

In the early 1990’s the department gained its reputation in the forest fire realm during a very large forest fire on the Blue Mountain near Ashfield.  The performance of our crew during those days solidified our presence as a very capable forest fire fighting force.  There were also many members who traveled to the western United States to fight forest fires.  This continued into the next decade as well.  Chief Mark Smith took over in the late 80’s into the early 1990’s and it was during this time that we actually saw one of our members transition to a career in the emergency services.  This was a first for our department. 

We still needed to raise funds and we were still utilizing our banquet hall.  We continued to hold our yearly raffles and raise funds for upkeep of the building while trying to save money for replacement of aging fire apparatus.   During 1990 a truck committee was formed to look at the purchase of a new engine.  Fundraising efforts had begun long before, but in 1991 the company accomplished their task and purchased a Spartan/Darley Engine, which became Engine 1012.  It was a significant upgrade holding 1000 gallons of water and having a 1500 gpm pump.  This piece of apparatus is still in service today as our base pumper.  We also obtained a 1987 ambulance from the city of Bethlehem through our fireman’s relief association which was used as a fire police vehicle, unit 1052, and obtained two vehicles from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for fighting forest fires, a 1952 1-ton Dodge pickup, and a replacement 2.5 ton “Deuce” which was custom converted by the firefighters and at one point was deemed best brush truck in 11 counties, based on parade performance. 

The Grange who was responsible for making monetary contributions to the fire company over the years along with providing fundraising efforts through the baking of shoo-fly pies and filling throughout the year, decided to donate for the installation of an elevator at the fire company.  This involved also adding an addition to the back of the building.  This construction took place in the early 1990’s and was an important addition to help with handicapped accessibility and also for the movement of equipment and food during banquets and fundraisers.

In the mid 1990’s Daniel “DJ” Fetherolf took over as the Chief and Forest Fire Warden in the area.  We were well established as a forest fire crew at this point and officially became named the “Flametamers” under Chief Fetherolf’s term.  The fire crew was extremely strong during Fetherolf’s tenure.   Training continued to expand and so did our capabilities.  Many of the members trained in rope and high angle rescue due to our proximity to the Appalachian Trail and the somewhat treacherous conditions found along that portion of our fire district.  It was during Fetherolf’s time where we had our first significant high angle rescue at Bear Rocks.  There was also a very tense time in the late 90’s where there was a string of arson barn fires.  For over a week straight firefighters were kept away from home either fighting an arson fire or cleaning equipment.  The department was instrumental in helping apprehend the arsonists.  We also saw two fires that were cover-ups of homicides.

It was apparent we had an aging fleet in the early 2000’s and it was determined we needed to look at replacing our 1972 American LaFrance and our 1977 International Tanker.  The company decided to replace both with a Pumper Tanker type apparatus.  Having very limited funds available firefighter Randy Metzger was asked to write a grant to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  With help from firefighter Ryan Zellner, they managed to receive a $225,000 grant for the purchase of a new fire truck.  The truck committee through the advisement of FEMA chose a Central States/HME Pumper Tanker, which holds 2500 gallons of water and has a 1500 gpm pump.  This piece of apparatus currently serves as our first due engine and is designated as the new 1021.

We received numerous grants from both the state of Pennsylvania and FEMA from 2000 to 2006 which saw drastic improvements in our firefighting equipment including the addition of new air packs, a cascade system, thermal imager, the conversion of our fire company meeting room into a training/meeting room, and a full scale gym for members to improve physical fitness, and saw the institution of physicals for our firefighters.

Chief Fetherolf remained chief until 2004 when he chose to step down in order to take care of personal matters.  At that point then President Daniel Pfeifly appointed Jay Scheffler as acting Chief.  Scheffler has been and currently serves as the Chief of Goodwill Fire Company.  Chief Fetherolf served as Deputy Chief under Scheffler until his retirement from active firefighting in 2012.  As we moved to a new century under Chief Fetherolf, Chief Scheffler’s term has seen some huge advances in firefighting technology.  Both federal and state mandates have increase training requirements.   With that said, a very proud accomplishment the firefighters met came in 2015 when they were acknowledged by the Office of the State Fire Commissioner for having 75% of their ranks certified at the national level.  It has become a requirement that the firefighters are now trained to national firefighter I standards within the first two years including hazardous materials operations national certification, and PA Dept. of Health Vehicle Rescue Technician certification.  The department is currently looking at becoming a medical quick response service (QRS) and is working with Northern Valley EMS to work toward these standards. 

2005 through 2010 brought along with it replacement of aging apparatus.  In 2007 we added a UTV (all terrain vehicle) to our fleet as unit 1091.  Configured strictly for forestry application, this vehicle and its trailer and pump were purchased through a grant from the DCNR.  In 2009 we were forced to replace our 1052 Dodge brush truck as it was deemed inoperable after having to be drug home from a fire near Bear Rocks on the Appalachian Trail.  It was replaced with a Ford F550 which was designed by the firefighters and placed into service later that year.  It was then time to replace our ambulance, unit 1052 used by the fire police, the company opted to minimize use of large fire trucks for nuisance calls and purchase a multi-use vehicle.  The new 1052 that was selected was a 2010 Ford F350 with an enclosed work body and is used for traffic control, EMS calls, Spill Response, wires and trees in the roadway.  It has been a great asset to our department and minimizes use of high dollar apparatus when not really needed.  The company also took ownership of a spill containment trailer as it was necessary with the higher volumes of traffic to have something pre-positioned in the northwestern community that was capable of dealing with hazardous materials prior to the arrival of a larger team.  It was determined to put together a spill containment trailer which was funded through a grant from the Office of the State Fire Commissioner.  The final improvement in apparatus was an upgrade of our 2.5 ton brush truck with a 5 ton brush truck which was again fabricated in-house by our firefighters.  As we look to the future, we are currently looking at replacing our 1991 Spartan/Darley pumper. 

One thing that has certainly changed as we look toward 2016 and beyond, is the importance of recruitment, retention, and fire prevention.  We currently provide an exceptional fire safety day event at the Northwestern Elementary School, and local daycares, but find our number of firefighters dwindling.  One challenge we are going to face in the future is how to recruit firefighters in a society that is changing and finds less time for volunteerism.  The department will need to look at creative ways to draw in firefighters.  We have already looked at various methods including holding a fun firefighting competition, which we can proudly say Germansville owns the title to for 2015 and placed 2nd in 2014.

For the past 100 years, Goodwill Fire Company #1 has provided uninterrupted service to the residents of Heidelberg Township and parts of Lowhill, and surrounding communities.  24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for 100 years, that’s something to be very proud of!  There has never been a breach of service, all of which has been done through countless hours of volunteerism.  From training to be a firefighter, to cooking breakfasts or suppers, to selling hoagies, or raffle tickets, it took and continues to take individuals who are dedicated and committed to doing what is right.  In 1915 a small group of community oriented individuals did something daring, in an effort to protect their fellow neighbors.  They saw the importance, and so have many others over the past 100 years.  God Bless all that have helped, served on a board, or as a firefighter or fire police, or have given to help the cause.  It could not have lasted this long without each and every one of you, and your contributions are a testament to your sense of community.


© 2021 Germansville Fire Company