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Untitled Document
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HISTORY
of the
MONTGOMERY COUNTY FIREMEN'S ASSOCIATION
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          The Volunteer Firemen’s Association of Montgomery County is an organization composed of various Fire Companies throughout Montgomery County.  Until the formation of this organization, the Fire Fighting Service of the County was in a very erratic and inefficient condition. When an alarm was struck in a district, many Companies responded, often others much nearer did not respond at all.  There was no organized head or person of authority. Members of the various Companies were not known to each other; this, of course, caused a lack of discipline, and seriously hindered the accomplishment of their aims, also one serious drawback was the failure in using standardized equipment.  To remedy this serious condition and bring Montgomery County well toward the fore among the Counties of the State who boast of a very low per cent of fire loss, a meeting was called for January 21st, 1909, at the house of the Pioneer Fire Co. No.1 of Jenkintown.  This meeting was very well attended by the enthusiastic firemen who represented the following Companies; Pioneer Fire Co. No.1 of Jenkintown; Enterprise Fire Co. No.1 of Hatboro: Glenside Fire Co. No.1 of Glenside; Independent Fire Co. No.2 of Jenkintown: Abington Fire Co. No.1 of Abington; Wissahickon Fire Co. No.1 of Ambler; Ogontz Fire Co. of Ogontz;  Old York Road Fire Co. No.1 of Elkins Park; McKinley Fire Co. No.1 of McKinley; Willow Grove Fire Co. No.1 of Willow Grove and the Weldon Fire Co. of Weldon.

          At this meeting it was decided among other things to form an organization for the purpose of bettering the service and the following was unanimously adopted:
“OUR OBJECT”:  To promote the welfare of the Fire Companies, to arouse interest in improving our service as firemen, and create a feeling of GOOD WILL and FELLOWSHIP among our members.

          Mr. Paul Jones of Hatboro was appointed temporary chairman and Howard A. Foster, of Glenside, secretary of the meeting. The meeting was called to order by Mr. Jones and it was unanimously decided that a permanent organization be formed and the following were elected as officers for the ensuing year: Paul Jones, Hatboro, President; Andrew Graham, Jenkintown, Vice-President; Howard A. Foster, Glenside, Secretary; W.J. Devine, Ambler, Treasurer.

          The Association met monthly at the various Fire Houses and it was decided to hold our first annual Parade and Demonstration in October: this was held at Jenkintown on Saturday, October 9th, 1909. This was such a grand success that it was decided to make it a permanent and annual affair, and it was decided that we hold a demonstration and parade in October of each year.  In 1910 it was held in Rockledge; 1911 at Hatboro; 1912 at Lansdale; 1913, at Ambler; 1914, at Jenkintown; 1915, instead of having our own parade this Association participated in the parade of the State Firemen’s Association of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia; 1916, it was decided on account of expense of entertaining, etc., that the parade be dispensed with and in place of same a parade, demonstration and contests were arranged to be held at Willow Grove, and it was held on Saturday, August 26th, and was such a success that the Association decided to continue same each year.

         In 1911 it was decided to hold the meeting of the Association on the first Saturday of February, April, June, August, October and December, and that the annual meeting be held at the house of the Pioneer Fire Co. of Jenkintown in April.

         On the 4th of April 1914, Mr. Paul Jones declined the re-nomination as President, having served as such since the organization of the Association, and Mr. Andrew Graham, of Jenkintown was elected President. Mr. Louis H. Foster, of Edge Hill, was elected Vice President and Mr. Howard A Foster, of Jenkintown, was elected Secretary. The other officers are still serving in the same positions that they were elected to at the organization of the Association. At the same meeting the new office of Financial Secretary was created and Mr. J. Norman Kline was elected.

         At the time of our organization none of the Fire Companies were motorized. The first one to be motorized was the Pioneer Fire Co. No.1 of Jenkintown. At the present time, with but one or two exceptions all of the Companies are motorized and several of the Companies have two or more such apparatus. This is a record which we, as an Association should feel very proud of, and it gives us the best possible facilities for reaching a fire quickly and we can do very efficient work, while there, as was the case with the big fire at Glenside in 1914.

          One of the best features of the Association is the banquet which is held annually. The first one was held in the House of the Pioneer Fire Co., Jenkintown, twice at Moore’s Hotel, Hatboro, and since then at the Mineral Springs Inn at Willow Grove.  This feature has done more to promote sociability and goodwill among the members, and promote the interests of the Association than any other method that has been attempted.

          The Association has plans for a first alarm district, for each of the Fire Companies, thereby preventing the unnecessary runs of Fire Companies. Those Companies out of the district in which the fire occurs, not responding until a special call from some one authorized to make such,  is received and all Companies being under the direction of the Home Chief of the district in which the fire occurs; this has been the means of having some of the high officials of the Philadelphia Fire Department speak of our work in the highest praise.

          In 1914 Rev. Mr. Meade, of Carmel Presbyterian Church, at Edge Hill, was elected Chaplin of the Association and divine service for the firemen was held at his church once each year. During the past year Mr. Mackie was called to another charge and the Rev. Wm. Barnes Lower, of Calvary Presbyterian Church at Wyncote was elected Chaplin. The annual service was conducted at his church last spring.

          The Association is in a flourishing condition and now has thirty Fire Companies as members, and trust that within a shot time we will have all Fire Companies in the County as members.

NOTES as per the 1940 Banquet Book, there were 79 Member Companies of the Association.

 

Presidents of the
Montgomery County Firemen's Association

Mr. Paul Jones ~ 1909-1916
Mr. Andrew Graham ~ 1917-19--
Mr. William T. Muldrew
Mr. George W. Lee
Mr. Frank T. Natter
Mr. Frank Gresh
Mr. John J. Carlin ~ 1965-1969
Mr. Edward Ross ~ 1970-1971
Mr. Paul B. Jones ~ 1972-1974
Mr. Warren L. Supplee ~ 1975-1976
Mr. Richard G. Sickles ~ 1977
Mr. Harry Hull ~ 1978-1980+
Mr. Dennis McConnell ~ 1986-1989
Mr. Ronald Bolton ~ 1990-1991
Mr. Earl Wampole ~ 1992
Mr. David Supplee ~ 1993-Present


 

The following pages contain an historical photograph of each of the present
MEMBER FIRE COMPANIE
S of our association.
.
 

Anniversary Index
Association History

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

 
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Copyright © 2007-2019
Montgomery County Firemen's Association
All Rights Reserved