History

Early EBVFC crew
East Bethlehem Township, Fredericktown, Pennsylvania is located in beautiful Southwestern Washington County and it is a cornerstone community bordered by Fayette and Greene Counties.
On February 23, 1923 twenty-five ambitious men of East Bethlehem Township combined to form the East Bethlehem Township Volunteer Fire Company Number One. The following month the company obtained it’s charter and ordered a 1923 Reo Speedwagon with a Howe fire apparatus body. The first fire truck cost $ 5,600 and was paid for by the township commissioners. Upon receipt of this apparatus, we had a covering distance of: West Brownsville on one side, Bentleyville on another side and Waynesburg and Masontown to the south. The company was first housed in a small building on Main Street in Fredericktown. In 1937 construction of the present building begun. Previous to the building being built the company purchased its second truck. This was a 1927 Acme with a Howe fire apparatus body. The cost of this truck was $ 7,600.
Thoughout the thirties and into the early forties the company was concerned with the construction of its present hall and by 1942, through the efforts of the company members, a brick/block building capable of housing three fire trucks, a meeting room, and a small hall was finished.
Prior to the U.S. involvement in World War II, the company ordered its third piece of fire fighting apparatus. This truck was constructed by Peter Pirsch and Sons Fire Apparatus Company and was a custom built 750 gallon per minute pumper. The Pirsch cost $ 9,000 unequipped and $ 5,000 of equipment was purchased for this truck. There was a delay in delivery of this pumper due to the war and it wasn’t delivered until the mid forties. This truck was involved in an accident in 1948 and had to be completely rebuilt and was reclassified as a 1948 pumper.
In 1949 construction was begun on a large two story addition to the hall. This hall has been used for many money making projects since its completion. The company has progressed steadily through the benefits derived from carnivals, game parties, etc..
The year 1957 saw the purchase of a new combination emergency truck and light pumper. This Chevrolet truck was a one of a kind in this area and could handle almost any type of emergency that occurred. This vehicle was valued at $ 20,000.
In the early 1960’s East Beth purchased a small aluminum boat, motor, and two complete scuba outfits for emergencies developing on the Monongahela River and Ten Mile Creek.
Two trucks where purchased in the 1960’s. They where a 1967 GMC four-wheel drive pick up truck for brush fires and small hauling use. The price of this vehicle was $ 4,000. In 1968 a used tank truck was purchased from the Coen Oil Company of Washington, Pa. It was capable of hauling 1,500 gallons of water. Cost of this tuck was $ 100.
In 1969 intensive remodeling efforts were undertaken. From this remodeling we now have room for five trucks, a boat, other emergency equipment, a lounge, radio room, and storage areas on the lower floor. On the upper floor is a meeting hall, bar area, complete kitchen, large hall, and a small storage area. These remodeling activities were begun through the influx of younger members into the company beginning in 1969. These younger members also combined and through their own funds purchased a 1941 Seagrave pumper used for parades and other fun filled activities.
In 1973 the company purchased another custom built truck by the custom division of Peter Pirsch and Sons Fire Apparatus Company. The unit was a 1,000 gpm pumper. Approximate cost of this truck was $ 50,000.
In 1980 the GMC pick-up truck was converted to a rescue vehicle by taking off the bed and adding a utility body to it.
In 1981 a different type of fire fighting apparatus was purchased, again constructed by the custom division of Peter Pirsch and Sons Fire Apparatus Company, this truck , a combination vehicle built on a areial chassis, a pumper with a 1250 gpm pump and a tanker capable of carrying 2,400 gallons of water. This truck was also one of the first in the area to carry large diameter hose for water supply. This truck was sold to the Garvin Volunteer Fire Company in 1995 but will always be remembered.    The price of this truck fully equipped was $ 127,721.00.
Overland Express
Photo by William Doriguzzi
In 1983 the company purchased approximately $ 16,000. worth of rescue equipment. This included a Hurst Tool and a Hurst O cutter, Maxi Force high pressure lifting air bags, air chisel, rope and other various pieces of rescue equipment.
1984 saw a new squad, this piece was a 1984 Extended Ford Econoline Van. This vehicle was and still is used for transporting personnel, responding to medical emergencies, and it als0 has a five bottle cascade system built into the back of it. Price of this vehicle was $ 12,000.
In the fall of 1986 disaster struck the East Beth Township VFC. On a fall night Engine 15-1 the 1973 Pirsch Pumper and four fire fighters were responding to a mutual aid call in Richeyville on Fishpot road when another vehicle caused the truck to run off the road and into a tree. The truck was demolished and four fire fighters hurt, three taken to area hospital’s by ambulance and the forth one flown to Allegheny General Hospital. Fortunately all are with us today except for one whose life ended short due to a pleasure boat accident. With the accident a pumper had to be purchased. The company bought a 1958 American LaFrance from the Richeyville Volunteer Fire Department for $ 20,000. This accident also prompted the company to order a new pumper from the Pierce Fire Apparatus Company. This truck again was a custom ordered vehicle. This truck is a closed cab model with a 1500gpm pump and it is a 1988 Pierce Arrow anniversary edition. The price of this vehicle was $ 189,000. and some $ 40,000. worth of equipment was purchased to compliment this vehicle. It was delivered in the fall of 1988.
engine 15 one
 Photo by John Hart
In 1989 a 1952 Dodge Power Wagon was purchased through Army Surplus and was equipped with a pump, tank, hoses, and other various field fire fighting equipment. Along with the purchase of the brush truck an emergency generator was also purchased for the fire hall to keep power in the fire hall when power was lost from the power company.
1994 brought a Carolina Skiff rescue boat to the East Beth Fire Company, a 26 foot unsinkable boat capable of carrying 18 men. This boat is equipped with a 100 horsepower Johnson commercial outboard motor, radar, underwater camera, depth finder, low band fire radio and a marine band radio, stokes basket, a body recovery system, a pump capable of running 2 1-1/2” fire hoses and lights. It is used for any type of emergency that comes up on the Monongahela River and Ten Mile Creek including emergencies involving the scuba team, boat fires, hazmat situations, etc.
dodge power wagon
Photo by Michael Hughes from Millsboro
In1996 when the fire company decided the old GMC rescue truck has lived out its usefulness and a new rescue truck had to be ordered. The company decided to order a new rescue truck from J B ResQ in Moon Township. This truck was ordered with following in mind: all types of rescue situations, emergency medical capabilities, light hazmat operations, emergency lighting and power and a mobile command center a full compliment of Hurst Tool equipment on board electric power plant and a portable power plant and High Pressure Air Bags. This vehicle, a Ford Super Duty with a Power Stroke diesel engine, Quiqley four wheel drive, and a 12 foot Custom built rescue body on the back. The price of this vehicle $ 105,000. Delivery of the new Rescue Vehicle came December 24th. After delivery some other equipment was added to it, such as a GPS unit, equipment boxes, torches, radio equipment a water rescue kit and additional lighting.
eastbeth rescue
 Photo by Jim Retucci
   The East Bethlehem Township Volunteer Fire Company hosted the 1998 Washington County Fireman’s Convention in July. This was also the Fire Departments 75 th Anniversary.
   In 2002 the company purchased a SCUBA trailor for the scuba team so it had a place to store its water rescue equipment and so the team could deploy to areas more quickly if needed.
Dive Trailer
In 2004 on a whim and a notion after being refused grants the last couple previous years we decided to apply for a new engine, thinking it probably would not happen and low and behold we where contacted and advised our grant for the new engine was approved! Thus we purchased a 2005 Contender that was made possible with a Grant from the Assistance to Fire Fighter Grant though Homeland Security. This apparatus was Custom built due to the height requirements at the Station. Low Profile, Cummins 400 HP Power Plant, 8 man cab, Harrison Hydrulic generator, 6750 watts of truck mounted quartz lighting, retractable deck gun, on-spots, 2 – 1.5″ preconnects, 1 – 1.75″ preconnect, 1 – 2″ preconnect, 1500′ of 4″ supply line, GPS equipped, Thermal Imager, various specialty equipment, LED lighting package, laptop computer, High and Low Band Radio’s, Thermal imager, refrigerator, cell phone and a GPS Navigation system. This Pierce Custom Contender was purchased through Keith Flood of Glick Sales and Service.
Engine 15
Engine 15 info
 Photo by Mark Husak

 In 2007 again we where approved for a Homeland Security Grant to replace SCBA, Air Compressor and fill station, mobile cascade unit and communication equipment.
In 2012 we decided to retire our old squad, and purchase a pick-up truck that would be able to handle multiple needs, from going on “tree down calls” to medical calls.  We purchased a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD and outfitted it with toolboxes to carry various tools and equipment.
Utility 15
THE EAST BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY IS PROUD OF ITS ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND THAT IT IS 100% VOLUNTEER!