Wednesday, August 12, 2020

An Timeline History Of the Fire Companies In Milton, PA

Firemen's Picnic Excursion Leaving Pennsylvania Station, Milton PA
The History Of The Milton Fire Companies
In A Time Line

1798, a "number of inhabitants" met at the John Chapman home to approve the purchase of six ladders and six poles, the cost to be defrayed by a tax. The ladders and poles were to be distributed in a manner "best suited for quick access and usage".

This method of purchasing equipment continued through 1830, when the borough council decided the town needed a fire company to be formed.

1830 - The council purchased an engine from the American Hydraulic Company of Philadelphia, at a cost of $300. James Pollock ( later to become Governor of Pennsylvania) Signed the receipt for the engine and may have been the first Fire Chief.

1831 - The Enterprise Fire Company was formed. Sept. 24th "
 Enterprise Fire Company organized at the home of Michael Kramer in Milton"  And then several other companies formed as well, and they fought over who should have custody of the engine.  

1840 - Fire companies were "playing tug of war" with the fire engine. The Harmony Fire Company petitioned council for a hearing, and was awarded custody of the engine, in 1840. Plans were immediately made to construct a fire house.

Joseph Rhodes may have built the first engine House on land owned by Catherine Chestnut. 

1841 - According to Evert & Stewarts History of Northumberland county (1876) , The Harmony Fire Company was incorporated on August 12 1841. Bells history of Northumberland County (1891) gives the same date, and that date is repeated many times in The Miltonian newspaper.

1853 - borough council contributed $150 to the Harmony Fire Company, for maintenance.

1857 - The Young American Engine Company was formed. Council approved building a fire house for this new organization.
1866 the Harmony Fire Company and Milton Borough offices moved into a new building.
1869 the Street Commissioner was ordered to dam the canal to provide water for firefighting operations.

1866 - Harmony Fire company moved into a new headquarters. They disbanded some time before 1872.

1871 - Some sixty men joined the Harmony Fire Company, "and it now looks as though we have an efficient Fire Department". A petition asking for a $1,200 tax "to place the department on good footing" was being passed around and signed by tax payers. The borough purchased a Hand Suction Engine. The Friendship Fire Company was recognized. The minutes of Borough Council meeting discussed the shortage of horses to pull the steamers. The Harmony Fire company disbanded and the Borough gave $250 each to the Young American and Friendship Fire Companies.

1872 - Friendship Fire Company No 1. was organized, when council recognized a need for additional fire protection for the town. That year, both the Young American Company, and the Friendship Company, each received $276 from the town council.

1873 - Cataract Fire Company was organized. That year they were given custody of the "Pat Lyon engine".'

Jan 28  - the Milton Steam Fire Company organized.  Robert M. Frick President; L.M. Morton secretary; George J. Piper treasurer; Robert M. Longmore financial secretary; John M. Caldwell, foreman.

L. Fisher organized the Fisher Hook & Ladder Company. Council built a house to store the ladders in for the Company.

FIremen at Bakers Mill, 1880

1880 - On May 14, 1880 the Great Milton Fire occurred and most of Milton was destroyed.

1882 saw the Miltonian Steam Fire Company recognized, only to be disbanded a short time later. (This Company came and went several times.)

1883 Borough Council banned loafing in the Engine Houses on the Sabbath and banned beer and gambling all the time. John DeHass was named Fire Chief over all the Companies by the Milton Borough.

1890 - "The Miltonian Fire Company, through their representative Wm Creitzer, made the following statement: A good team of horses can be secured, to be used in case of fire, the team to be kept in the engine house or in the rear of the engine house, said team to be no expense to the borough, only in the case of fire, provided the borough furnish employment for said team on the streets. On motion, ordered to lie over"

The Fire Company festival was held at Armory Hall in August of that year.

1893 - The Miltonian newspaper reported "As the Miltonian Steam fire company has disbanded, and from what they say there was an excellent reason for so doing, this place outght not to be left unprotected in the matter of fires.... Either restore the former company to it's pristine vigor and usefulness, or else establish some kind of a protective and defensive organization for such emergencies.

Later that year, various fire companies organized common leadership and John DeHaas was made chief and Jesse Surver, chief engineer.

Fifth Ward Hose Company

1904 "saw more fire companies organized than any other year.

On July 12 the Borough accepted the Third Ward Hose Company, later changed to Milton Hose Company No 3.

On July 28th a group called the Fifth Ward Hose Company applied for a State Charter and a month later bought land from the Penny's to build a hose house.

By the end of the month the Borough donated $25.00 each to the Goodwill and the Fifth Ward Hose Companies to build their hose houses.

In November the Borough formally voted to accept the Fifth Ward Hose Company as part of the Borough Fire department and to equip them with a sufficient number of gum coats. They also directed that the new hose cart be moved into their hose house which was to be completed the next month.

Shimer Hose Co.

1905 The Shimer Hose Company was recognized and granted use of the vacated Milton Hose Company's building. The name Shimer came from a donation from Catherine Moore Shimer of $250 to start the fire company. Shimer Hose Company incorporated May 16 1905, with 36 charter members. Their new building was completed in April of 1905. It was "awarded an electric light in front of their hose house and that is appreciated not only by the company but by all residents of Ridge Avenue"
A Chemical Hose Company was organized but never recognized by the Borough.

During that year an official uniform was adopted by at least some of the companies; Phfleegor style red shirts with blue braid on sleeves, blue cap, blue belt, Milton on the belt and fire Company initial on keeper.

Good Will Hose Company, 413 Arch Street, Milton

ACF employees built the first Good Will Hose Company firehouse on ACF property. It was to their advantage to have the unit on site for its own protection as well as the community’s. Good Will started with two four-wheel carts, which were pulled by fire fighters who ran to the fire. Later they purchased an automobile, which they modified for firefighting purposes.

1906 (Around) By 1906 all companies staged their own parades for most any occasion and each company would attend each others in addition to out of town companies who would travel by train. Jacob Satteson was appointed by the Borough as Chief Fire Marshall.

"Shimer's Hose Company asks the support of the people in paying for their handsome hose carriage. Once that debt is cancelled, there will be no further need of aid.". The article went on to state that their lot, hose house, and uniforms were all paid.

For the 1906 Shimer Hose Company festival, they secured the great Cuban-American Carnival Company, to be held at Milton Park.

1907 - "The Shimer Hose Company shows delay in the erection of their bell tower, caused by the scarcity of workers.

1908 - In April, the Miltonian Fire Company disbanded and held sale of some of their effects. Among the lot was a large bunch of bunting which was purchased by Summers & Frymire for their new picture show. In December of that same year, the Miltonian Fire Company asked permission to install a pool table in their engine house for use of members. (Permission was granted)

1909 Shimer Hose Co. announced it would buy land from Seth Hill.
The Fifth Ward Fire Company purchased a combination hook, ladder and hose carriage.

1910 All Fire Police were issued badges.

1911 - The Independent Fire Company No. 4 was formed, but Borough Council turned them down as four companies were thought to be enough.

Fifth Ward Fire Company
Corner of Cherry Street and Cameron Avenue
Building still stands today

1912 - Goodwill Hose Company No 2. Contracted Batdorf Brothers to repaint the hose house on Arch Street. May, Borough Council, changing their decision from the year before, approved admission of the Independent Fire Company as a member of the local Fire Department. Now each ward had their own fire company.

1913 - "The Shimer Hose Company was so named because of land donated to them on Ridge Avenue by wealthy industrialist George S. Shimer. A building 30-feet square was built for $500. By 1913, it purchased a chemical auto truck and made improvements to the firehouse by raising it three feet and adding a 15-foot addition to the front." - George Venios, in an article for the Milton Standard Journal.

Shimer Hose Company replaced their hand cart with "the first motor driven truck to make it's appearance in Milton" on September 10, 1913.

1914 Miltonian was building a truck and Shimer bought a used one for $95.00. Minstrel Shows were common and each Company held their share to raise money.

1916 Grave Markers were cast for each company. Fireman continued to travel by train to Shamokin, Watsontown, Lewisburg, Sunbury, to parade and take part in contests.

1917 (or before) Fifth Ward Company purchased a used car, painting the body green and the running gear yellow. It was trimmed in brass.

1918 - Shimer Hose Company protests the removal of A J Blair and "Resolved that" the company did not consider E.S. Dawson, the councils choice for fire chief, "competent for this important position, and will therefor refuse to recognize appointee in the capacity named". (Full newspaper article at the bottom of this page, under "Read More".)

May - Fifth Ward announced they would buy a used car from Dentler's and have it converted into a fire truck locally.

1920 - The J.F. Murphy Carnival was held on the Milton Island, to benefit the Miltonian Fire Company.

1922 - The abandoned hose tower at the rear of the Miltonian Fire Company building on South front street was in bad condition and recommended for removal. In July, a new concrete floor was laid in the south front street building. On March 13 1922, Harmony Fire Company organized, William P. Wheeland President, David Hause Secretary, D.R. Raugh director of enging. (Note, Harmony also organized back in 1866. )

The Fifth Ward Company purchased it's first truck and in 1928 received its first pumper, an International.

1922, Oct - The Hose Wagon of the Fifth Ward was sold to William C. Forteny for $50.00 (note; a postcard picture of this wagon was sold in July of 1999 at a local auction for $160.00)

1923 - New Rule - members could be fined $5.00 for not parading.

1925 - May 9 1925, W.P. Wheeland and Williamson Marsh appointed a committee to build a new fire engine house for Harmony Fire Company

1928 - "In 1919, Shimer’s disposed of its antiquated hand-pulled truck and a few years later discussed purchasing a pumper. However, a hook and ladder truck was purchased in 1928 instead for $7,200. The new truck was the pride and joy of the department through the 1930s. Members were clearly warned not to splash the truck when they brought their personal vehicles in for washing" - Venios

1929 Hose Company Auxiliary was formed. The Shimer Hose Company operated bingo games every Friday night and constantly held card parties, shooting matches and raffles.

Shimer Co. purchased a Boyer Combination City Service Truck and Hose Cart for $4685.00. Fifth Ward purchased an International Pumper for a down payment of $542.00.

The Shimer Truck's first alarm was a trip to Bucknell for ' Old Main '

1933 -The Milton Fire Department bought a franchise for a ball team.
Clarence Miller was killed while responding to an alarm.

1934 - The Fireman's Relief Association purchased all firemen new uniforms for the parade season.

1936 - Sickles building on S. Front Street burned taking most of the buildings between Center and Race with it.

1937 Good Will Hose Co. voted to place its firehouse across from First Street, on the east side of Arch Street, directly adjacent to Clinger Lumber Company. The fire company was strictly an engine company, with no ladders or rescue equipment.

1940 - The Wilson Dwelling at 28 North Front Street was to be purchased as a new borough building, as the rooms in the fire company building were not large enough to accommodate council meetings.

The Borough Manager ordered all fire companies to send representatives to his office for the purpose of selecting a new fire Chief. Records show Ben Cooper was ousted and Charles Deiterick chosen for the position

New rules were passed to govern the fire department. They included that no fire company could leave the borough to attend to any out of town fire, "or for any other reason" without permission from the fire chief. No one who was not a fire company member could ride on the equipment,, and no one intoxicated would be permitted to drive or ride on the equipment. 

The Borough announced it would help the fire companies by paying for insurance for all vehicles, a practice that continues today

Companies listed were: Shimer, Fifth Ward, Goodwill, Miltonian, Independent

1941 - A new administration took over at the Fifth Ward Hose Company and reinstated the practice of buying a pint of ice cream for all members attending the entire meeting.

In July of that year the borough entered into a contract with Mack Trucks for a new pumper. Fifth ward offered to pay $1000 towards the cost, and council accepted the offer and assigned the New Mack to the Fifth Ward.

The Milton Firefighters went to Lewisburg to fight the Dreisbach Hardware Store Fire, where two Lewisburg firefighters were killed.

1943 "saw the war effort in full swing and firefighters were taking an active role in air raid drills and shelter exercises. Mack Trucks announced they could not get enough steel and brass to build the fire truck. Borough Council applied for a special exception to the Government due to have so many mills producing for the military. By the end of September the government granted the exceptions and Mack resumed work on the truck. It was early 1944 before brass was made available to Mack. It was June before the new Mack arrived in Milton. This pumper served the Borough until April 1967 when it was put in reserve. It was also used by the Street Department flushing streets and sewers until sold to a collector in Jersey Shore. It later served as a tanker for the West End Fire Company. Pleasant Mills. " - Archived Milton Fire Dept. Webpage

1940s, Mid - Shimer Hose Company members sent representatives to the American La France factory at Elmira, N.Y. to witness demonstrations for a new aerial ladder truck. The truck was ordered and received on March 16, 1948.

1946 Charles Hartzel was appointed Fire Chief to replace Dale Ranck and Charles Deiterick who had served for 16 years. Dale Ranck proposed that Fifth Ward Hose Company take over the Ambulance service and in August the new ambulance arrived from Wolfington Body Co. in Philadelphia. The Moose Club was the first club to donate to the ambulance fund.

Ford C LaFrance - Privately owned, in Ohio, by the grandson of a Miltonian Fire Fighter

A new American LaFrance pumper arrived and was assigned to the Miltonian.
Firefighter Elmer Rydel lost his life responding to a call at Kelley Crossroads.

The Invader, the Miltonian Companies new truck, made it's debut at a public demonstration at the White Deer bridge. The truck, 26 feet long, with a double cab and long exposed rear section, seated 3 men in the drivers cab and four in the rear cab. It had a 750 gallon pump, a 12 cylinder engine, 2,000 feet of various size hoses, a 24 foot ladder, a 12 foot ladder, and a 200 gallon booster tank. It was purchased in Elmira NY, at a cost of $9,721,21.

The new truck was to replace the 25 year old Miltonian Fire Truck.

The 1946 Miltonian Fire Truck

1947 The Fire Board and Fire Department were formally established. 

First Public Ambulance Service in Milton began, through the Fifth Ward Fire Company. first ambulance was a new 1947 Cadillac, equipped with a siren, various lights, one rear step, back up lights, rear deck blinker lights, a cot on hooks, hanging stretcher, one portable spot light, bassinet, medical cabinet and attendant chair. It was painted light gray with “Fifth Ward Ambulance” lettered on the side.

1948 - A new American LaFrance 75' Ladder Truck was purchased for $17,500 for the Shimer Hose Company . Lois Pauling became the first female firefighter in Milton, joining the Fifth Ward Hose Company. Miltonians treked North to watch the Country Club burn to the ground.

The Milton Fire Companies secured a 99 year lease on property along the railroad at Filbert Street, and built an Annex.

1949 - Milton firemen spent much of the summer in Sunbury taking course in pumping and practicing relays.

1950 Shimer hose-company acquired its first utility van, which soon became an emergency truck. Their aerial ladder truck unit served the community for many years until 1971, when it was condemned after collapsing during a demonstration. It was later replaced with a new unit.

Santa Arriving On A Fire Truck at the Capitol Theater

1951 Charles Kenneth Swisher named fire chief. He would head the fire Department for the next 17 years. Swisher ordered an ambulance to respond to all alarms. All firefighters were to wear coats, boots, and helmets on all alarms, and formal fire schools were instituted. Swisher pushed for a reorganization of all the fire companies and re-established the Fire Board.

Thanksgiving Day brought area firemen to Front and Broadway to combat the Hackenburg Building fire. It was where the north half of Lincoln Park is today. Reider's Jewelry, Dr. Karr, and a Bakery were forced into the Street.

1952- The Broadway Hardware Store was heavily damaged by fire. Goodwill and Fifth Ward both established Memorial Plots in the Cemeteries.

This 1952 Dodge B Tanker was used by the Miltonian Fire Company
It sits in Montandon today, with the top of the tank cut off.

1953 -Chief Swisher's persistence paid off and a totally reorganized Fire Department came into being. Conrad Filbert was elected President of the Milton Volunteer Fire Department. Also established was the Fire Board with Swisher as Chairman and one member from each of the five Fire Companies, and they would be the only ones authorized to do business with the Borough Council.

In July a sixth Fire Company was proposed. The Friendship Fire Company No. 6. After many meetings of the Fire Board and Council, council decided five fire companies was enough and would not approve the new company.

Milton, Watsontown, and Lewisburg banded together to form the Three Borough Association to better regulate firefighting activities in the area. By May the group grew to 10 Fire Departments and it was renamed the Ten Borough Association. Years later it would renamed The Susquehanna Valley Mutual Aid Association and would span Upper Northumberland County and all of Union County.

Milton Borough began replacing batteries in all Fire Apparatus and followed that with replacing old fire hose.
As more and more responsibilities were added to the Fire Chief's job, two Assistant Chief's positions were established and the first to be appointed were Robert Bastian and Jacob Geiswite. 

A new ambulance arrived in Milton.

1946 WIlly's Jeep, Purchased by Friendship Fire Co in 1954

1954 Firefighters were called on to collect old ice boxes so children would not be trapped in them. A blood drive netted 159 pints of blood, and the Borough ordered new 'rubber hats' for the firemen. Hurricane Hazel landed in Milton. Three children died in a fire.

Friendship Fire Company, not recognized by the Milton borough council, continued to purchase equipment, and installed a new siren.

1955 Shimer Hose Company celebrated 50 years of service

1956 the Borough bought a new GMC/Howe/Waterous pumper for the Independent Fire Co.

1957 - flu was widespread and all firefighters received shots.

1958 The Independent started building a new fire Station and all the work was done by the members. 

1960 Milton hosted the Six County Firemen's Convention and gigantic parade.
The Bucknell Library and Lewisburg's J J Newberry burned.

The Fire Department demanded fire hydrants be installed in the new North Hill Development.

1961 the Borough accepted the high bid of $27,065.90 from Mack Trucks to supply a new Mack pumper for the Goodwill Hose Company to replace the 1935 Dodge they were using.

The first purchase of a Self Contained Breathing Apparatus was made, and it was placed on the Shimer emergency truck. 

The Department hosted the annual Ten Borough Mutual Aid Banquet at the Masonic Temple.

The Department joined the Central District Fireman's Association and named its first delegate, William Hutcheson Jr.

Borough Council had a new siren control system installed that sounded the sirens for in-town and out of town alarms only, not each ward.

Many historic records and writings of William Murdock of Milton, were lost in a fire at his home on North Front Street.

turn signals were installed on all Borough Trucks including fire apparatus. Firefighters answered the call in July to decorate the home of Crystal Martin, the new Miss Pennsylvania.

The Borough announced it was trimming trees so they would not hit firemen riding on the back of fire trucks.

Milton's Civil Defense Director, Fred Glant, convinced the Borough to apply for grants to put 'radios' in all 'pumper trucks' so they could communicate with each other and Borough Hall.

The Goodwill Fire Company received a new Fire Truck, in January.

During the summer firemen attended the Central District Convention at Shamokin Dam and the State Convention at Williamsport where members of the Fifth Ward staged their Dennis the Menace skit. Although a crowd pleaser, the owners of the popular comic strip brought legal action and the skit was discontinued.

Fifth Ward Fire Companies 1944 Mack 

1965 - A new uniform was adopted. Light Gray shirt and paints, Black tie, Blue bell top cap and matching company badges. Records show the Department went to York for three days for the State Convention with the 1944 Mack but brought it home early due to the possible riots.

1966 Borough Council studied the need for another fire company, to handle the growing community and increased calls.

In July the Borough purchased a " Plectron System " to augment the fire sirens and thus became only the second municipality to place radio monitors in the firemen's homes in the valley. In August, The Fire Department decided to purchase only Yellow fire coats in the interest of safety.

1967 - The Borough received a new fire engine. Built by Mack Trucks in Allentown it was purchased from Susquehanna Motors in West Milton. It featured a 1000 GPM pump and a 500 Gallon water tank.

In February long time Fire Chief Charles Kenneth Swisher retired due to health reasons and his long time Deputy Jacob Geiswite took over reign of the Department.

Milton had five fire companies. Good Will, Independent, Shimer, Miltonian, Fifth Ward, & Friendship

1967 Mack C Pumper, Fifth Ward Hose Co.

1970 - February - Milton became only the fifth community in Pennsylvania to switch to 911 for all emergency calls. 

The Borough decided it didn't need a reserve pumper and sold the 1944 Mack to Grant Miller of Jersey Shore who restored it for his collection. It would later see service in Glen Iron by the West End Fire Company.

In September a record number of firefighters came to Milton for the Funeral of retired Fire Chief Charles Kenneth Swisher. 

In October, Milton was the host to the Central District Fireman's Association Board meeting and dinner, the furthermost East the Association had ever met. The year ended with a lot of unpopular discussions concerning changing the titles of Foreman, Ass't Forman to Captain and Lieutenant. It was eventually approved.

Shimer Ladder Truck

1971 The use of filter type mask was banned in Milton.

During the summer the ladder of the Shimer Ladder Truck collapsed, injuring two Firemen, while fighting a stable fire at the Hasting's estate on Broadway Road, later the Kramm Home.

1972 - Lawrence Reeder became the new Fire Chief. He quickly was baptized when a major fire hit Milton Steel and Supply Company. Water to fight this fire not only came from local hydrants, but from long hose lines, hand carried through the woods from Cameron Avenue hydrants. The William Cameron Engine Company in Lewisburg loaned Milton quite a bit of fire hose until Milton's was cleaned, dried, and returned to service.

During the 1972 Flood, The Fire Department set up headquarters in the Independent Fire Station on Filbert Street almost at the waters edge. Milton's volunteers learned to go without sleep as they cleaned homes and streets, went to their full time jobs, cleaned up and repaired fire station, took care of their own homes and families, and answered numerous calls for assistance from the community.

After being damaged in the flood the Miltonian Station on South Front Street ( The Old Borough Hall ) would be closed, the Goodwill and Shimer Stations were replaced ( in 1973), and the Fifth Ward Station would be remodeled and a hose tower added. (Only to be replaced ten years later with a new building out of the flood zone.)

All carnival equipment was lost in the flood and had to be replaced.

Good Will Hose Co.

1973 saw a change in Ambulance service. Since its inception, the Fifth Ward Ambulance Service had always used Cadillac Ambulances with Wolfington Bodies. Early in the year a Dodge Van type ambulance was purchased, one of the first in Central Pennsylvania. I
Fire Prevention week was celebrated with the re-dedication of the Fifth Ward Hose Company following 16 months of rebuilding after the flood.
Fifth Ward Fire Company

1974 The Fifth Ward bought the Brown property for expansion of their fire station.

The Miltonian Steam Fire Company moved into the Ridge Avenue Fire Station

The Goodwill Hose Company started its Junior Program.

Milton's Movie Theater, The Capitol Theater, was lost in a fire.

Miltonian Fire Company celebrated it's 100th anniversary, even though they were not exactly sure when the company began or how long they had occupied the front street property, since all records were destroyed in the flood. That year they moved their headquarters into the Shimer Hose Company building, on Ridge Avenue.

The Relief Association bought a new high pressure breathing air compressor for the Shimer Station.

1975 Milton firefighters traveled to Watsontown for a major fire. Milton trucks pumped from the river for hours to supply water to the downtown.

The Fire Department obtained two new trucks: the first a 2 1/2 ton army truck and the second a new 85 foot tower ladder. The ladder was built by Grove/LTI, the chassis by Warner Swassie, and the body by Howe/Grumman.

The uniform was changed to white shirts and black pants.

1976 brought a Department wide exercise program at the YMCA, later moved to the Turbot Avenue School due to costs.

1977 the State recognized the Fire Prevention Programs and Guidelines written by Assistant Chief William Reider and made them a part of the Penn State Officer Program.

State money was made available for a County wide Communications Center-Union and Snyder County built centers, Northumberland County turned it down.
Donald Ulp, who had served 8 years as a chief officer and is credited with getting the standardization of equipment established in the Department, retired. Some interesting figures were included in his annual report; of all the fires the Department responded to, only 4% of the value of the property was lost, 96% saved. Members donated a salary of $15,000 for a normal work week of 40 hours, that would amount to $450,000 in wages saved area residents by having an all volunteer Fire Department.

1978 - Milton Assistant Chief William Reider left Milton to become a career firefighter for the Federal Government. He would later become Fire Chief at a military base.

Firefighters in Northumberland County began to make plans for the construction of a fire academy. 

Borough Council dropped recognition of the Independent Fire Company following a long period of poor response to alarms and training.

The Shimer Hose Company was given permission to start a fund drive to purchase a Hurst Hydraulic Rescue Tool, referred to as the "Jaws of Life."

The Independent Company purchased this truck after they were disbanded and attempting to go back in service. It was never actually used in any Milton calls. It was stored at the Robert Young farm in West Milton for many years. Now owned by Rick Hosfelt in Cumberland County.

1979 The Fifth Ward and Goodwill Hose Companies celebrated 75 years of continuous service. Fifth Ward celebrated at the Sunbury Social Club with Richard Bland, author of the lauded report to Congress "Americas Burning" as the guest speaker.

The Borough secured the loan of a 1953 Dodge Army truck from the government and turned it over to the Fifth Ward to convert into a brush truck. Milton Borough also signed a contract with Fire Equipment Sales Company of Factoryville for the purchase of a Ford Chassis, Ward LaFrance Body and Hale pump fire apparatus. Before the end of the year, a second identical truck was ordered.

1980 Milton Engines 1 and 5 were dispatched to Williamsport to assist at a major fire but were cancelled when it was learned there was no where else to pump water from to fight the fire. Many members then drove to the scene to watch.
In March, after much debate, the dispatching of the Fifth Ward Ambulance Service was transferred to Union County. Later the whole department switched and got new radio frequencies.

On May 24th, 24 firefighters spent seven hours on the fire lines in Clinton County with a stubborn Forest Fire.

Milton Wholesale burned to the ground despite the efforts of many fire companies hauling water from Milton.

The Borough and Fifth Ward spent many hours trying to find a piece of ground to build a new fire station. "It seems that everyone wanted a new fire house, but nobody wanted it next to them."

Milton's 1976 ladder truck "Tower Power" helping to repair St. John's church in Watsontown after it was glanced by an F4 tornado on May 31, 1985.

1981 the 1962 Mack Pumper was sold to Washingtonville Fire Company and a new ambulance arrived for the ambulance service.

The Borough decided to move the Fifth Ward into the Fourth Ward and hired Chris Clemens to design a fire station for the lot at Race and Willow streets.

The entire Fire Department went to Northumberland to combat the D and L Furniture Warehouse fire.

The Borough received 13 bids to build the new fire station and on April 14, 1982 ground was broken. The new station received its certificate of occupancy on January 5, 1983. 

1986 The Relief Association and Mllton Borough bought two used rescue trucks form the Borough of Emmaus. They were shopping for one, but Emmaus had two for sale, a 59 Ford & a 77 Chevy. Milton bid on both, and won both Bids. One replaced the aging Rescue Truck (ex Bell Telephone Line Truck) and one replaced the Special unit (an old Dodge Van Ambulance). Added to the Special Unit was a cascade air system, command post, water rescue equipment, and Hazardous Materials equipment.

Mack Tanker Truck in 1987 

1990 - Friendship Fire Company re-incorporated as Turbot Township Fire Company.


Find More History & Stories Of Milton Here:

And more Stories & History From Nearby Local Towns, Here:




1918 Miltonian

1907, Miltonian

1907 Miltonian


"The Miltonian Fire Company was an on again off again organization with its official charter dated 1911. However, the organization’s forerunner is said to be the Harmony Fire Company that was approved by borough council in 1840. Also, at one point in its early history, the company was named the Miltonian Steam Fire Company No. 1. The Miltonian firehouse, which still stands, was located on South Front Street and was later shared as borough hall and police station. The jail can be clearly seen at the rear of the building. The company was diligent in its participation in Memorial Day activities and was active in participating in local parades. For this reason, firemen especially took very good care of their equipment." - George Venios

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