If you live in Chestnuthill Township the West End Volunteer Fire Company Seeks Volunteers, Help us … help you.

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If you live in Chestnuthill Township the West End Volunteer Fire Company Seeks Volunteers, Help us ... help you.

West End Fire Company is located on Route 715 just behind the Wawa in Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania.

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We service 36.5 square miles of Chestnuthill Township and also provide mutual aid response to Polk Township, Jackson Township, Ross Township, Hamilton Township, Eldred Township, and Tunkhannock Township.

We operate out of three stations.

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Main Station - Located on Route 715 behind Wawa, this station houses our Brush Truck 3, Engine 2, Heavy Rescue 6 and Tanker 5.

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Sub Station - Located on Route 115 in Effort, this station houses our Ladder Truck 1 and Engine 1 as well as a 6x6 gator for brush fires.

Sun Valley Station - Located in the Sun Valley Development, this station houses our Mini-Pumper/Rescue 4.

We are currently have all types of opportunities for you to volunteer! Are you willing to answer the call?

Our volunteers are dedicated to providing emergency response and support to the residents, businesses and visitors of Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County, PA.

We have different opportunities for someone interested in joining.

Firefighter –must be at least 18 years of age and out of high school. Training is required.

Junior Firefighter –must be at least 16 years of age and/or still in high school. Training required.

Fire Police –must be at least 18 years of age and out of high school. Assist at emergency/non-emergency scenes to control traffic/close roads/control crowds.

Associate Member – does not engage in emergency responses but assists with multiple non emergency operations for the fire company.

You can call Deputy Chief Donald Zipp at 570-992-4121, Click Here to use the Contact Form or come to one of our meetings every Tuesday at 7:00 pm at our main fire house on route 715 in Brodheadsville.

The History of Volunteer Firefighting Volunteer fire departments have been around for a long time.

Where did they originate and who started them?

The man who established the first volunteer fire department also invented bifocals, wrote and printed Poor Richard’s Almanac, studied electricity and helped draft the Declaration of Independence. His name was Benjamin Franklin.

The first volunteer fire department began in Philadelphia in 1736. Ben Franklin moved to Philadelphia from Boston at the age of eighteen. Boston had been greatly affected by fire. The city of Boston experienced major fires in 1653 and 1676. After the fire in 1676, Boston purchased a London pumper. The city then hired Thomas Atkins and twelve other men to fight fires. These were the first paid firefighters in the United States.

In 1711, another major fire occurred in Boston. One hundred ten families lost their homes. At the age of six Benjamin Franklin witnessed this fire. Concerned citizens banded together and formed The Mutual Fire Societies in 1711. When fire struck a member of the Mutual Fire Society, other members of the club rushed to help battle the blaze. Each society had approximately twenty members.

Dennis Smith stated the following: “The Mutual Fire Societies became social as well as protective associations, setting a pattern for organized volunteer firefighting groups, which would one day be the backbone of firefighting in America and would dominate it for a century and a half.”

In 1733, Ben Franklin often wrote about the dangers of fire and the need for organized fire protection in his newspaper The Pennsylvania Gazette. Ben Franklin was familiar with Boston’s Mutual Fire Societies which were also known as “Fire Clubs.” But the “Fire Clubs” existed for the protection of its members, not the community at large. Collins wrote that [Ben Franklin] “wanted organizations that would battle all fires, regardless of whose property was burning.”

After an extensive fire in Philadelphia in 1736, Franklin created a fire brigade called The Union Fire company with 30 volunteers. The first full-fledged volunteer firefighter in America was Isaac Paschall. The idea of volunteer fire brigades gained popularity. Not wanting more than 30-40 men per company, additional companies were formed in Philadelphia.

Each of the companies paid for their own equipment and located it throughout town at strategic places. Most early fire companies in Philadelphia and other cities had professionals, wealthier merchants and tradespeople serving in the volunteer fire department. These citizens were able to afford to purchase equipment and pay fines for missing meetings and fires.

Some famous Americans who served as volunteer firefighters were: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, John Barry, Aaron Burr, Benedict Arnold, James Buchanan and Millard Fillmore also served as volunteer firemen.

Before 1850 no city in the United States had fully paid, full-time firefighters. Volunteer firefighters played and continue to play an invaluable role in protecting lives and property. *note: Pennsylvania has the most fire departments in the US (both volunteer and paid) – 1800 (in 2014).

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