General Information 

On July 9,1970, a meeting was held in the New Hanover Township Municipal Building to attempt organization of a local fire company. Attending were John Bieleski, Maurice Gisler, Glenn John, William McElroy, and Donald Scheffey. 

After Much hard work and with the support of New Hanover Township residents, the New Hanover Township Fire Company was chartered in April of 1971. The first elected officers were: John Bieleski, President; Maurice Gisler, 1st Vice-President; Prosper Guerre-Chaley Sr., 2nd Vice-President; Charles Heydt, Secretary; Glenn W. John, Treasurer; Ken Shollenberger, Trustee; Lee Dotterer, Trustee; Bill Euston, Trustee; Daryl Davis, Chief; John Bieleski, Assistant Chief. 

The first pumper truck wad donated in 1970 and later a tanker was donated by [the] Upper Pottsgrove Fire Company. 

The six and one-quarter acre tract at the corner of Swamp Pike and Romig Road was purchased in November, 1971, and new officers were elected for the coming year were: John Benincasa, President; Harold Specht, Vice-President; Joseph Dietz, Secretary; Glenn W. John, Treasurer; Lee Dotterer, Ernest Brunner, Henry Haydt, Norman Biehl, John Matz, Kenneth Shollenberger, Trustees; John Bieleski, Fire Chief; William Egolf, First Assistant Chief; Michael Alex, Second Assistant Chief.

The new fire chief, former president, John Bieleski, designed the fire house and construction began in the Spring of 1972 under his direction. The only cost to the fire company was the purchase of the land and the building materials used. Many contractors, construction workers, firemen, members and friends donated their time, skills, and knowledge to build the fire house. 

The fire police squad was formed on January 3, 1973 with Edward Albert as Captain, with Harold Specht, Glenn Yarnall, Allen Sobeck, Gerald Renninger, William Moyer, Richard Freed, Laverne Nester, William Stout, [and] William Klemen.

In December, 1972, the company went into service with two pumpers, one with a 500 gallon capacity and one with a 300 gallon capacity, both having a 750 gallon pump. They were purchased as used vehicles from the Horsham Fire Company. The siren was donated by the Sassamansville Fire Company. At this time there were thirty active firemen in the company. 

[I]n September, 1973, a tank trailer was donated by Springfield Oil Company and in February, 1974, a used 1967 International tractor was purchased from Abe Benner. Both tractor and trailer were refurbished with parts and time donated by the members. The new tanker with a capacity of 4700 gallons was placed in service as 37-31 and our 1947 International tanker was retired. In recent years there were two additions made to the tanker that would enable it to expand its water supplying capabilities. The first was a 350 gpm pump donated and installed by Gilbertsville Fire Co. in December, 1987. The second was the installation of a portable 3000 gallon tank.

[I]n June, 1981, we took delivery of a new 1980 Dodge four wheel drive 450 gpm mini-pumper. This piece of equipment was placed in service as 37-41 in July, 1981, and replaced our 1957 American LaFrance known as 37-22. Then in December, 1981, Mike Rhoads donated a 1973 GMC 2500 series Step Van. This vehicle was refurbished and converted into a personnel/equipment carrier and was placed in service as 37-81.

[I]n October, 1988, we4 took deli9very [of] a 1988 FMC custom pump[er]. This piece of equipment has a 1250 gpm pump and carries 1000 gallons of water. The truck was placed in service December, 1988 and replaces our 1952 FWD pumper. A formal dedication and housing was held May 6, 1989. In late 1989 we made the transition to Large Diameter Hose with the purchase of 1500' of 5" fire hose. With the addition of this hose we have added a new dimension in our ability to supply water and fight fires. We are currently members of the Western Montgomery County Large Diameter Hose Task Force.

In the fall [of] 1990 we started construction on our new Engine Room. The facility was constructed by Paul W. Moyer & Sons, Inc., with funds donated by the Ladieas Auxiliary. In late fall of 1990 construction was completed and we moved into the new building. Renovations were performed on the old building which was converted into a social hall. 

The above information is from the May 18, 1991 "Formal Dedication of New Fire Station and Housing of Equipment" program for the New Hanover Township Fire Company No. 1.

KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE NEW HANOVER TOWNSHIP FIRE COMPANY NO. 1

Page updated 16 February 2008