VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY
PINE BEACH VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY, NO. 1
FIRE COMPANY HISTORY: (condensed from “Pine Beach Yesterdays” by Stanley A. Heatley)
The need for a fire company in Pine Beach had been long talked about, but it was not until after the Borough was formed (1925) that an effort was made to create one. The leaders in the movement were Howard Hutchinson, LeRoy Hutchinson and Charles Creamer, Jr. The formal organization of the Pine Beach Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 took place the evening of December 11, 1925. The 12 charter members, ages 18 to 60-plus, represented almost the entire year-round male population of the young municipality.
The need for money and equipment to make the new company a fire fighting organization was a matter of immediate concern. The women of the “Friday Evening Club” a card-playing group, affiliated as the Ladies Auxiliary. The Auxiliary quickly embarked on money raising projects with dances, card parties, suppers, raffles and cake sales.
Albert Schweigart’s offer of the hotel bus for conversion as a fire truck was gratefully accepted. The chassis was overhauled, painted and equipped with two 35-gallon tanks, two portable chemical extinguishers, 12 shovels, two dozen buckets, two 14-foot ladders and 200 feet of hose. In September, 1928 the converted hotel bus was replaced with a used Model T Ford Fire Truck, which gave good service for ten years.
Manpower shortage during World War II gave rise to a corps of female firefighters. Elizabeth Schiel, Evelyn Benedict, and Reba Creamer are remembered as the principals of the group who were instructed in the operation of the fire truck, attended drills and answered fire calls.
By the 1980’s the Fire Company continued to expand as new home sprang up and we grew from a summer resort to a year round community. Updated equipment and additional training were the words of the day. By the mid to late ‘80’s, it was evident that continued progress was inevitable. Laws soon changed and we were prohibited from riding on the rear of our vehicles. New trucks with inside cab seats were necessary, as well as updated equipment. Larger trucks required a larger building. Once again the members of Station 38 worked together raising funds the old fashioned way—WORK.
Our Fire Company has long had a tradition of dedication and rededication as needs arose. The Fire Company continues to dedicate their time and effort to the goal established in 1925 by our founding members, protecting and serving the residents of Pine Beach.