Rockledge Fire Company Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
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The Department Since 1903
 
 

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  In 1972, the Fire Company had one of its busiest years ever. One major achievement was the introduction of Sunday night Bingo, which, until recent history, was a major source of income for the Fire Company. Also in 1972, the Fire Company spent 3 consecutive days in service helping several communities recover from the disastrous floods that accompanied hurricane Agnes. In 1973, the Fire Company was planning a replacement vehicle for the 1950 ladder truck and in April of 1974, delivery of a new rescue truck was received. It was placed into service a few months later as most of the equipment installation was performed by the company members. The cost of the truck and equipment was kept to $16,500.00

  In 1973, the Fire Company reorganized its softball team, and entered the local firemen's league. The league consisted of teams from local fire companies who competed in two divisions, with playoffs and a championship round held each year. The Rockledge Fire Co. softball teams were in the playoffs each year from 1974 through 1978 and were the league champions in 1974,1975 and 1977. The team sponsored a Beef and Beer each year to raise its funds for uniforms, league fees, insurance and equipment.

  Another major fire occurred in the Borough on January 19, 1973. A fire from which the occupant of the building had to be rescued from the roof destroyed Sayers Office Machines. In that same year, a fire hit the Breeze Printing Company; an old, established business in town that at one time printed the town's weekly paper. The fire started in the pre-dawn hours and was also fought by the Rockledge, McKinley, Jenkintown and Huntingdon Valley Fire Companies.

  Until 1976, the Fire Company had only one fire fatality in its history, but on February 3rd at 6:00 A.M., a major fire struck a home at Fox and Loney Streets. The fire gutted the home and took the life of 68- year-old John Tansey. Men from Rockledge, McKinley and Huntingdon Valley Fire Companies fought the blaze in the bitter cold. The entire community was deeply saddened by the tragic event that served as a grim reminder that fire can strike anywhere, and at any time.

  Saturday, March 25, 1978 saw the Fire Company respond to another major fire. This time the Blaetz Brothers Printing Company suffered major damage in the early morning fire. Not only was the building heavily destroyed but all the ballots and election supplies for the upcoming Montgomery County Primary were destroyed. Six firemen were treated at Holy Redeemer Hospital for minor injuries suffered as a result of the fire. Assisting Rockledge in the battle were; McKinley, Independent, Pioneer, Bryn Athyn and Huntingdon Valley Fire Companies and the Second Alarmers of Willow Grove.

  In 1978 the Fire Company, after many years of hard work paid off its last remaining debts on the firehouse. This happiness was short lived. A few months later the Fire Company had to take a $22,000.00 mortgage to finance the needed facade construction and interior repairs.

  Also in 1978, the Rockledge Volunteer Fire Company #1 celebrated 75 years of service to the community. An anniversary parade was held on Saturday October 14,1978, at 1 P.M.

  1987 marked the year the Hook and Ladder Room transformed from social hall to catering hall. The bar was no longer open Sunday afternoon for social members and the hall was being rented for family events. Most importantly, business was picking up. The time had come to replace the aging green tile floor and dark brown paneling that had been greeting guests for the last 35 years. It was decided to decorate the hall to conform with other catering halls. The green tile floor was replaced with a new shinier light color and the paneled walls were replaced with painted drywall painted that was a light open color. The drop ceiling was also replaced. One idea was to replace the long bar with a small portable bar for added sitting room. It was decided to keep the permanent bar as it is today.

  Of course, with all construction projects, things will go wrong. The hall is a little unique. Since it sits under the apparatus room, the ceiling to the hall must support 50+ tons of fire trucks and equipment. It was tested and found to be adequate for the current equipment but needed to be reinforced to meet the future need of modem firefighting equipment. Steel girders were added to the cement ceiling to satisfy this requirement. The old steel folding chairs were replaced with more comfortable chairs and the long 8-foot tables were replaced with round tables for a more welcoming feel.

  In the later nineties, with hall rentals increasing, other updates were needed for future quality. The multiple hollowed out refrigerators that stored the beer were replaced with a walk-in refrigerator big enough for any party. To meet present and future health requirements, the kitchen was remodeled with a three-station sink and separate hand washing station. A new professional oven with a 6-bumer top was installed, along with a contemporary fire suppression hood and vent. The kitchen is complete a complete facility that satisfies the needs of caterers and hosts. Plans are in the works for a bathroom downstairs for persons who have a difficult time using the stairs to the current bathrooms.

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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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