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Everyday Brookhaven Fire Company Firefighters and EMT's will at a moments notice, set aside their personal interests to respond to a variety of calls, not to mention the countless hours spent training and fund raising.
Back in 1922 realizing the need for fire protection, a group of residents met at the Brookhaven schoolhouse located at what used to be called “Sneads Corner”, presently the intersection of
The names of the original chartered members:
Joseph Burk President
J. H. Richardson Rec. Sect.
J. E. Phillips Trustee Foreman
G.T. Whitely Vice-President
William Snow Trustee
Edward W. Flounders Trustee
J. Carltton Edwards
Thomas F. Conley
William H. Sweeney
Moses D. Pyle
H. L. Hepperlen
W.H. Sweeney Jr.
J. H. Flounders
George W. Lister
William J. C. Bennett
Robert R. Lister
William W. Dill
Thomas J. Newlin
William C. Williams
George R. Coebourn
George D. Hewes
Williams E. Collins
Ralph C. Crithers
John E. Anderson
John R. Dix
A. G. Pennie
Robert A. Newton
John E. Wooley
Martin J Conley
A. E. Guyer
John O. Linton
William B. Wright
The first new truck was purchased from Hahn in 1928 for $5000 and a siren system was established to alert the members of an alarm. The siren system consisted of one long blast for the initial alert, followed by a specific number of blasts that gave the approximate location of the alarm. That siren system is a far cry of the radio paging system of today, which not only alerts the members of an alarm, but also gives the exact location and other pertinent details by voice and text.
As the needs of the community grew, so did the fire company's, but not without major setbacks. In the early 1930’s the fire company suffered many financial burdens. Unable to make payments on the new truck and barely able to keep up with the bills, it began to look as though the fledgling organization would not see its 15th anniversary. However through hard work and dedication of the membership and support of other fire companies, Brookhaven Fire Company was able to get back on its feet.
When it seemed the fire company had put their problems behind them, disaster struck. In the early afternoon of February 13, 1938 the Brookhaven Firehouse was destroyed by the very thing it was dedicated to combat. The members and residents alike seeing the product of their hard work and dreams being consumed by fire struggled to save anything they could. After the trucks were pushed out of the building, efforts turned to a vain attempt to save the firehouse.
Once again the members met at Brookhaven Schoolhouse to discuss the fate of the fire company. Although the firehouse was destroyed the members never forgot their promise to provide fire protection to the community. The fire company would have been dealt a mortal blow if it were not for the members and dedication once again. Meeting at the schoolhouse the members planned the reconstruction of the firehouse, and again were forced to dig into their own pockets. A fund drive was established to help rebuild the devastated firehouse. The community and the members pulled together to help keep the company alive. The new one-room building was constructed at Virginia and Barlow Avenues for a cost of $4500.
The late 30’s and 40’s were a time of change for the community, separating from
In the 50's the fire company witnessed an increase in alarms, from twenty in 1952 to eighty-one in 1959. The company purchased two new trucks in this decade, a 1954 Ahrens Fox pumper and a 1955 Ward LaFrance pumper. As the community continued to grow so did the firehouse. An addition was added to the existing structure which would serve as the new engine bay. In 1963 and 1968, the company purchased two new Hahn pumpers and in 1965 Brookhaven became the South District’s Airbank, first utilizing the hose bed of an older pumper. A 1956 Chevy rescue truck was later purchased to house the air bank, a service which is still provided today.
The Brookhaven Fire Company encountered many serious incidents in the 1970’s. In the early 70’s heavy rains blanketed the entire state of
In the 80's, the company refurbished the 63 Hahn, rechassied the rescue with a 1985 Chevy and purchased a 1988 Chevy/KME pumper to add to the fleet. To accommodate the ever growing need for space, a new four bay addition was built to the existing structure. Unfortunately the company lost two prominent members in 1989. Linn Wheeler was the 2nd Assistant Chief when he suddenly passed away and Vernon Thompson held several positions and was instrumental in keeping the air bank functioning. Later new apparatus purchased would be dedicated to these individuals.
The 90's saw a whole new apparatus change for the company along with several celebrations. In 1992 a Spartan/EEI engine and rescue were purchased. These units replaced the 85 Chevy rescue and the 68 Hahn. As stated prior the new engine was dedicated to Linn Wheeler and the rescue to Vernon Thompson during their housing ceremony. The company participated in Brookhaven Borough's 50th anniversary celebration in 1995. However the bigger event came about in 1997 as Brookhaven Fire Company celebrated their 75th anniversary. The company hosted a parade consisting of many fire companies and held a memorable banquet. During the last several years of the decade, the company replaced the 77 Hahn and the 88 KME with a 1987 E-One Hurricane 55' telesquirt and a 1999 Spartan/M&W rescue/pumper. With these additions the company could now perform multi-task operations with countless training hours conducted.
On May 5, 2002 Brookhaven Fire Company lost one of their beloved junior firefighters. Christopher Kangas was responding to a fire call on his bike when he was struck by a motor vehicle and later succumbed to his injuries. In over 80 years of service, Chris was the first member of the Brookhaven Fire Company to die in the Line of Duty. In remembrance of Chris we have a memorial case in the firehouse of Chris’s gear, pictures, awards and things he loved. On each of our trucks, with our accountability tags we have a picture of Chris along with the Fireman’s prayer hanging from it reminding us that Chris is with us on every call we are dispatched. We are now awaiting legislation named” The Chris Kangas Fallen Firefighter Act” to recognize Chris as a firefighter so his name can be added on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in
In 2003, Brookhaven Fire Company had discussed what more we could do to protect and help the residents of Brookhaven. On June 1st 2004 after many hours of planning and training, Brookhaven Fire Company added an Ambulance service to the Fire Company. After a couple months of service we purchased a second ambulance to be able to handle any second emergencies if the first ambulance is on another call. June 1st of 2009 will mark our 5th year in service serving an average of 800 medical calls for Borough of Brookhaven.
Due to the number of apparatus needed for the Borough, the Fire Company was looking for land to build a new firehouse. Working with Borough Council we were able to secure land next to the
In 2007 Brookhaven Fire Company was approved to buy a new truck. This truck is to replace the 1987 E-One Hurricane 55' aerial Telesquirt with a Smeal 75’ Quint. The new truck arrived in October and after the members were trained placed in service on Dec. 7th 2008.
Also in the summer of 2008, Brookhaven Fire Company purchased a New 2008 Ford/Horton class III custom demo ambulance that was obtained thru Spitler Vehicle Specialties. This unit will be placed in service as 52-7A and old 52-7A will replace 52-7.
On October 17th 2008, monuments were erected in front of the station completing our memorial. One is engraved remembering Chris Kangas, our junior member who we lost on 2002. The other is engraved with the Fireman's Prayer. Also on display is our firefighter statue with an active hose line into a stone basin. The area is lighted at night and also catches the morning sun.
November 1st 2008 was a day where Chris Kangas can finally Rest in Peace. The Delaware County Fire & EMS Memorial dedication commenced on this very day. With several hundred other participants including fellow firefighters, family members and government officials, the officers and members of Brookhaven Fire Company attended the dedication of the memorial in
The day finally came when purchased of the Smeal 75’ RM Aerial has arrived at the station on October 25th 2008 right around noon. Chief Rob Montella Jr. was the first to back the new truck in to the station. The officers and members have looked forward to this day since the initial planning stages of the apparatus. Due to the addition of several newly built and future multiple occupied dwellings including existing structures in the borough, the versatility of the Quint will add to firefighting resources as well as the added safety for our residents. The vehicle will be first due on all building associated calls in the borough and also requested the same in
For the very first time in Brookhaven Fire Company’s history, on December 12th 2008 just days after the Quint 52 was placed in service we got word that Brookhaven has received their first Federal Grant from the Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG) for $158,140 which must be used for Operations and Safety related. The company will be purchasing 37 new ISI air packs, which are used by the Military and few other surrounding fire companies. They will replace the Survivor air packs. These packs use the newest technology and are ergonomically designed for comfort.
Since the new millennium Brookhaven Fire Company has been responding to more and more calls each year. For 2008, the fire company responded to 567 fire and 929 EMS calls. Which 2009 brought 579 fire and 1034 EMS calls that lead 2010 to hold the Company record for alarms with 621 Fire calls and 1043 EMS calls.
Throughout the past 95 years, the Officers and members of the Brookhaven Fire Company have been doing their best to protect the lives and property of the area residents and business. Without compensation these men and women give up their time to help their neighbor. The professionalism demonstrated over the last 93 years by the Brookhaven Fire Company is a testimonial to the people that formed its membership. Through the depression and five wars The Brookhaven Fire Company has been a cornerstone of the community and will continue to be there when needed for many more years.