The official home of the Alert Fire Co. #1


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Alert Fire History [ 1883-2002 ]

The Alert Fire Company No. 1 was organized on June 22, 1883. The company petitioned the Saint Clair Borough Council to turn over the equipment of the old Hope Hose Company which was organized in 1867 and re-organized in 1880.

In December 1884, the Company decided to purchase a home of their own, and bought the lot where they are now located, at the time there was a dwelling house on the lot and the Company only had $400.00 in their treasury and the cost of the lot and building was $800.00. They had to borrow $400.00 and mortgage the property to start. The dwelling house was remodeled and made into a fire house, and the Company moved from their old quarters at Borough Council Chamber into their new home on Saturday evening, March 7, 1885.

On May 17, 1889, the Company decided to purchase a Steam Fire Engine, the cost to be $3,200.00 with very little cash in the treasury. The steamer was purchased and arrived in September 1889. It was tested on September 18, 1889, and proved satisfactory. The Company accepted it and housed it at once, making a payment of $1,000.00 and gave mortgages and notes on the property for the balance due. In February, 1891, the Company made the last payment on the steamer and cancelled the notes and mortgages.

In March, 1894, the Company decided to build a new hose house and meeting room and to move the old one to the rear of the new one. The building was completed in June, 1894, and the Company accepted it and housed their apparatus on July 4, 1894. The cost of the building was between twelve and thirteen hundred dollars, with almost an empty treasury the Company borrowed $1,000.00 to pay for the new home.

Although the Company was equiped with uniforms such as most fire companies were at that date, they wanted something better and more noticeable. They cast aside the red blouses and belts and adopted and purchased a new uniform but, as usual, they had and empty treasury and they had to borrow money to purhcase them.

But we are not satisfied with the apparatus of the Borugh and on February 14,1902, we decided to purchase an up-to-date piece of apparatus for fighting fires. It was the Chemical Wagon wich cost $1,550.00 with only $260.00 in the treasury, again going behind about $1,300.00 which was borrowed and notes on the property again given.

The Wagon arrived in town on June 28, 1902, and was tested satisfactorily on July 19, 1902. We accepted and housed it at once, and on June 19, 1903, the company made the last payment of notes issued to pay for the Wagon, with a balance of $90.00 in the treasury. Most of the money was made at a Fair held in the building, clearing nearly $800.00.

A new building was proposed March 17, and the contract for it was awarded to Ed Smith for the sum of $8,450.00. On May 9, 1911, excavation for the new building was started, and on May 10, 1912, the Alert Fire Company No. 1 accepted it. May 12, 1916, preliminary action was taken up in regards to purchasing an Auto Truck. August 24, 1917, the Alert Fire Company purchased the first piece of motor driven apparatus and chemical and hose truck at a cost of $3,200.00 and each member donated to the cause of defraying expenses.

June 17, 1921, Alert Fire Company No. 1 purchased full dress uniforms at a total cost of $6,377.37, and this amount was cleared by running Camp Fires and Masked Balls, etc.

George W. Harrison served this company as Secretary for 45 years (1884-1929). On December 27, 1929, he was forced to relinquish his duties through disability. He had served his company faithfully throughout the 45 years of his secretarial capacity, which the Company heartily appreciates. He wa a real fireman and all his undertakings ere for the benifit of the Fire Department as a whole. It was through his efforts that our Fireman's Relief Association was organized. The Charter for this organization being granted July 24, 1908. It is still going strong and doing much for the protection of our Borough Firemen.

August 20, 1919, the Alert Fire Company purchased a new Reo Ambulance and Service Car at the cost of $3,908.89. This was cleared off by running Camp Fires and Bazaars.

They also improved their building in 1931 at a cost of $900.00 for interior decorations and floor coverings.

In 1939, the Company again purchased new fire fighting equipment. The new apparatus was a Mack 750 Gallon Pumper Truck, purchased new.

On October 30, 1967, a new Mack Diesel was ordered by the Alert Fire Company. On September 17, 1968, the new truck was accepted. The cost of the new truck which was $30,595.00, was realized by running weekly bingo games and raffles. The truck was housed on July 19, 1969. This was the first diesel in Schuylkill County.

During the late 80's it was realized that there was a great danger in responding POV to many of the scenes, therefore a 1976 Ford Econoline van was purchased and placed into service as Squad 701, one of the first in the county prior to an explosion of utility vehicles in the area. It was recently placed out of service due to assisting Columbia Hose with staffing their engine. Since then Engine 701 has been totally refurbished by Allentown Mack, being retitled a 1993. Also Tower 701 was purchased from Wayne Twp. New Jersey and serves as an additional Truck to the Borough.

Webpage created by Gerry Shappell