Patton Fire Company #1 Fire House
The Patton Volunteer Fire Company #1 was organized in 1893, and incorporation papers were applied for on May 31, 1896. On June 1, 1897 incorporation papers were granted by the courts. The original board of directors was composed of : John Boyce, W.J. Fisher, Jack Sheid, William Howe, George Howe, Revel somerville, and John Monteith.
Records show that members of the old Hope and Reliance fire companies in Phillipsburg, Center County, who had moved to the area attended a Central District Volunteer Firemen’s convention in Phillipsburg in 1893. There they realized a need for a fire company in Patton. They first met in a store room located at 720 Fifth Avenue owned by F.H. Kinkead. Later, the meetings were held in the old Miner’s Hall on upper Magee Avenue in the building formerly occupied by the Country Pub.
In or around 1897, a lot was purchased by the company at 420 Lang avenue. A two story frame building was erected with all the work being done by volunteers. This building not only housed the fire fighting equipment, which consisted of a single hand drawn hose cart with a forty foot drag line and 100 feet of fire hose, but was also used for town meetings and social events. It was also used as an opera house and dance hall. Many old time stock companies and medicine shows played to a packed house at the fire Hall (Opera house). This building was later sold and is now part of the Moose hall. After the sale of the hall, the fire fighting equipment was stored in a building to the rear of the same lot, next to the jail.
In 1913, a lot was purchased on the corner of Fourth and Magee Avenue, and in 1914, the municipal building was built through a joint agreement between the Fire company and the borough officials. On the first floor was the borough and tax collectors offices, the jail, and a social room. The second floor housed a council room, dining room, kitchen, and a large meeting room, a secretary’s office, and rest rooms. In 1956, an addition was added to the original building for use as an engine room. This building is used for much of the same functions today as it was in the early 1900’s with exception to the social room and dance hall. In 1975, this room was leased to CHAMPS through an agreement between the Patton Borough council, the Patton Fire Company, and CHAMPS for use as the Patton Medical Center. In 1988, these rooms were turned over to the Patton Borough and are presently being used as council chambers, a police station, and a dentist’s office.
In 1974, the fire company purchased the old theater building from Blatt brothers. This building was renovated by volunteers and is used as an engine room and social hall, with a kitchen, storage area, and offices.
Patton Fire Company # 1 Apparatus
After several hand and horse drawn hose and ladder carts, the company’s first experience with a motorized fire truck was a 1916 Model T chemical truck. In 1919, with the aid of the borough council, the company had purchased a new Peerless hose and ladder truck. This truck had a habit of catching on fire, and often, when answering an alarm, firefighters had to stop to put the fire out on the truck before proceeding to the alarm. in 1922, the Peerless truck was traded in, and the company purchased a combined hose and ladder truck with a 350 gallon pump. This pump was mounted on a Reo chassis.
In 1929, a new GMC la France combination foamite, hose, and ladder truck was added to the equipment, which enhanced the efficiency of the fire company.
In 1937, the Reo was sold, and the company purchased a modern American La France Scout equipped with a 500 gallon pump, a V-12 engine, a hose rack, ladders, foamite equipment, flood lights, and a 100 gallon booster tank. This truck also carried a resuscitator which was presented to the company by the Patton Borough Council.
in 1949, the 1929 La France was sold to the newly formed Ashville fire company for $450.00 to help the new company. The Patton fire company then purchased a 1949 LaFrance equipped with a portable pump and a portable power plant. The truck was also fitted with a 750 gallon pump.
In 1957, the the 1937 LaFrance Scout was traded in on a new 1957 LaFrance with a 750 gallon pump, and 500 gallon booster tank.
In 1969, the company purchased a 1969 Mach 1000 gallon pumper with a 500 gallon booster tank, and a 6 cylinder diesel engine with a deluge gun.
In 1975, the company purchased two 1943 Mack 750 gallon pumpers from the city of Johnstown. With many hours of work by members of the company, one of the vintage trucks was renovated, and in 1976, was put into service as a third pumper.
In 1979, the 1969 pumper was traded in on a 1979 1500 GPM Mack pumper, and in 1983, a Mack Super Liner 3500 Gallon tanker was purchased for a cost of $113,000. This improved fire protection to the whole area by being able to carry water to areas with little of no water. in 1988, a 1978 75 foot Mack Aerial Scope was purchased from the New York salvage yard for $35,000. This turned out to be the pride of the company when it was refurbished. A quote of $89,000 came back to have it done professionally. The firemen decided to save money and perform the work themselves. Some of the members were skeptical about their ability to complete such a monumental job, however, with the help of area professionals such as Walt McConnell, Dick Kline, Butch Hoover, Jim Heishman, and Ted Farrell, aided by the explorer scout group, it was put into service at a total cost of $27,000. All phases of the work was recorded by Bert Lee, with E.G. Niebauer never missing a single day helping out.
With the conversion of oxygen to air tanks, some members assembled a portable cascade system to fill air bottles. The company added a 4×4 truck in 1978 from the civil defense to haul hose and men, and to aid in getting equipment and men in and out of out of the way and difficult to reach places.
In October of 1995, an HME -4 Guys rescue style engine was purchased for $230,000.
In 2008, with new advances in Foam Firefighting, the fire company made the decision to buy a CAFS equipped fire engine from Darley. This new system was chosen because of the ability to fight fire more efficiently with considerably less water. This Darley engine is still in use today, proving to be as good, if not better than advertised.
Also in 2008, the fire company decided that it was time to replace an aging 1978 Mack Aerial Scope, with a newer 1995 Sutphen 75+ Tower. This truck is also still in use today, proving to be an integral part of the company’s fireground operations.
In 2011, the 1983 Macvk SuperLiner tanker, was sold to make room for the new tanker. The new tanker is a 2011 4Guys international, with a 3000 gallon water tank, and CAFS equipped pump with pump and roll capabilities. Although not intended for the purpose, the new tanker is a fully capable firefighting apparatus on it’s own, carrying two attack lines and four SCBA seats.
2015 is the year we made our final big change into the CAFS firefighting world. With an aging brush truck, the fire company purchased a 2006 Ford F550 4×4, with a 500 g.p.m. Darley Odin CAFS pump. The new Brush 62 is equppped with a 400 Gallon water tank, a front cab controlled electronic bronco gun, with two attack lines, and 2.5″ supply line. Not only is the Brush truck equipped with all the needs of a brush fire including rakes, shovels, and indian fighters, but with a set of HURST designed exctrication tools.
Patton Fire Company Contributions
The Patton Fire Company has also helped to organize the Cambria County and Vicinity Firemen’s Association. They are proud of the fact that five of their members have served as Presidents of the Association. They are H.J. Mulligan (1940), William Leary (1948), William L. Whiteford (1956), Gustave Beunier (1963), and R. Dean Smith (1978).
The Company also Belongs to the Central District Firemen’s Association, and are equally proud of the 6 members who served as president of the Association. They are Robert Sincox (1914), William Turnbull (1924), George A. Lehman (1934), William Leary (1962), Gary Haluska (1982), and John A. Warfield Jr. (1996).
The Patton Fire Company currently has 155 members, and routinely answers with 22 men to fire calls.
The Patton Fire Company also sponsers the the Patton Fire Ladies Auxilliary.
The Ladies Auxilliary
The Ladies Auxilliary was founded in 1911 by Mrs. Zwayer. The first meeting was held in the Patton Grange Hall. Members present and setting goals for the group were : Mrs. Zwayer, Mrs. Sperry, Mrs. Davis, Mrs. O’Brien, Mrs. Patterson, and Mrs. Blake. These early meetings were later held in the First Baptist parsonage. The women, seeing that the newly formed fire company needed assistance in raising funds to buy equipment, set that as their main objective.
Through the changing times, the Ladies Auxilliary has stood by the firemen, helping to raise money, buy equipment, and serve refreshments at fires and disasters. They have aided the firemen in every way possible since their beginnings in 1911, and the firemen could not be more thankful for everything that they continue to do for us.
WHO WE ARE
The Patton Fire Company #1 not only serves the Patton Borough, but also furnishes fire protection to Chest Springs, Chest Township, East Carroll Township, Elder Township, Clearfield Township, St. Augustine, and St. Lawrence through agreements with the municipalities and neighboring fire companies. Many other fire companies have agreements of mutual aid throughout the county.
The Ambulance, once operated by the fire company, went on it’s own in 1985, to form the Patton Area Ambulance Association. Due to new state laws regulating the operation and quality of service, and increasing liability, the fire company felt it would be better able to furnish coverage to the area operating as a new association.
Past Chiefs of the Company
George A. Lehman
R. Dean Smith
Patrick A. Wood