The borough of Lyons has had a Volunteer Fire Company since August 30, 1912. It was on that date that a citizen's meeting of the residents of Lyons, PA., was called to order to determine their views concerning the purchase of a chemical fire apparatus. The following officers were elected to serve until a permanent organization could be formed. President, Moses Kutz; Secretary, S.L. Parkes; Treasurer, S.M. Hoch.
On November 22, 1912, the officers decided that the Lyons Fire Company No. 1 be chartered. The application, through Attorney Mays, was presented to the Honorable Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County.
Incorporation followed on January 6, 1913, when the Constitution and By-laws drafted by a committee were adopted by the fire company.
On January 24, 1913, the trustees were instructed to look for a location on which a fire house or hall should be built and on April 11, 1913, a lot located on Hunter Street, Lyons Boro was purchased.
On October 10, 1913, it was decided to build an engine house and a committee was appointed to look after material and specifications. A week later it was decided to erect a two-story brick building, 26 x 40, with a basement under the entire building. However, it was later agreed upon to make the building 26 x 50.
In the spring of 1914, building operations started. The cornerstone was laid in June, and the building completed in September of the same year. The first and second floors were equipped with steam heat and electric lights. The furnishings included a piano and chairs to seat 200 people. The basement was equipped with cooking stoves, tables, chairs, and cooking utensils. The meeting room was neatly furnished with heavy oak chairs, rockers, tables, bookcase, hat racks, etc.
The building was dedicated on May 22, 1915. It gave the community its first opportunity to have a worth while gathering place so the benefit of the fire company was two-fold. The new building served as a dual purpose. It provided protection to property owners and at the same time as a social site for the community.
On Saturday, April 26, 1919, an International Motor Truck was purchased for the purpose of mounting the horse-drawn chemical equipment. This piece of fire fighting apparatus was in service with our company until a decision had been reached February 24, 1933, to purchase a new Hahn Pumper. This new Hahn Pumper was purchased by the company through the aid and cooperation of the people of the community. It was dedicated Saturday, May 20, 1933, with a parade in the afternoon followed by entertainment, and in the evening by a concert by the Kutztown band.
This is a picture taken at the Hunter Street Station around 1930.
On April 23, 1941, a Committee of five men was appointed by the President of the Company, Charles I. Musser, to serve as a building committee to erect a new Fire Hall. These five men were appointed: Lloyd Schwoyer, Charles Brintzenhoff, George Parkes, Lloyd Heffner, and Fred Heffner. At this same meeting, it was decided to employ Mr. Elmer Adams as the Architect. This building was to be erected at a cost of $36,000.00, Deisher Brothers being the Contractors. The Cornerstone was laid Sunday, September 22, 1941.
The company moved into its new headquarters on March 27, 1942. The basement floor of the building has a spacious bar room, kitchen, cooler room, furnace room with oil heat and four bowling alleys. The main floor consists of an engine room, housing two pieces of equipment, a modern and fully equipped kitchen, a service bar and a meeting room and stage. This meeting room is now on the second floor. The auditorium, having a seating capacity of 500, remained unfinished due to war time conditions until 1947, at which time it was completed and dedication took place in September, 1947. The entire building has an emergency lighting system which was installed in 1949.
A truck was purchased from Hahn Motors in Hamburg, and dedication was held in 1945
In 1950, the old tank truck was sold and a new Mack truck was purchased. In order to better serve the needs of the community, a Jeep was purchased in 1958.
Also during this time, various improvements were made and small equipment purchased, such as a two way communication system, a walkie talkie, a Hale portable pump and radio for the chief s car. A second siren was erected on top of the old firehouse, thereby making it possible for people all over town to hear the siren.
In 1956 women were admitted into membership.
In 1961, automatic pin setters were installed by Brunswick Corporation at a cost of $34,000.00. At the same time, the bar room and bowling alleys were air conditioned by Bender & Shoemaker, Reading, at a cost of $13,247.00, and the bowling alleys were sound engineered by Jones Sound Conditioning, Reading, at a cost of $1,900.00.
This picture was taken in July of 1962 at what now is the Social Quarters.
In 1963, the Fire Company purchased the farm and property adjoining the existing fire company property.
In April, 1971, a cascade air system was installed in the old engine room. This was purchased by the Original Fire Zone No. 1 consisting of the Lyons, Fleetwood, Topton, and Kutztown Volunteer Fire Companies.
On September 10, 1979 we took delivery of the 1979 Chevrolet four wheel drive brush truck from Crest Truck Equipment Company, Inc. This truck was purchased with the generous donations from our Ladies Auxiliary, Bowers Lions Club, and the Borough of Lyons.
Over many of these past years, various committees were formed to check into replacing our old Mack pumper. Some members thought it should be replaced with a tank truck, but after many long discussions, on February 9, 1979 we opened several bids on a Pumper-Tanker to update our aging apparatus.
The bid was awarded to Hahn Motors, Inc. of Hamburg, Pa. and on May 8, 1980, a day awaited for by many, our new Hahn Pumper Tanker was delivered. The cost of this truck with equipment exceeds $80,000. Powered by a Detroit 8V71 Diesel and Allison 4 speed automatic transmission, the truck is equipped with a Hale 1,000 GPM single stage pump and 1,000 gallon booster tank. There are two pre connected 13/a " lines on a Mattydale lay and one 2'/z" preconnect on the rear bed.
In June of 1982, a 1969 Ford Oil Truck was purchased from Geo. Y. Brubaker Co., Inc. The tanker was refurbished into a 3,000 gallon tank truck.
Due to overcrowded trucks, and the increase in emergency calls, we purchased a 1977 Ford Horton Van from S&S Spitler in February of 1987. This refurbished ambulance was converted into an emergency truck. This piece of apparatus allows us to carry our rescue equipment on one truck and thus, meet more easily the needs of our growing community.
By this time, all of our emergency calls are being answered by a 24 hour 911 telephone system. The 911 system receives many calls a day from all over Berks County. The 911 system was installed in the Berks County Courthouse. Much time is saved with this new setup.
On August 3, 1990, a GMC/White Volvo Tanker Pumper was purchased to replace the 1969 Ford Tanker. The cab and chassis was purchased from William Deibert of Allentown, PA. The tank and compartments were built by Four Guys of Myerstown, PA. This truck is capable of holding 2500 gallons of water. It has a 750 gmp pump and carries a 2500 gallon portable tank. The tank allows for a quicker emptying and refilling time at a fire.
The Ladies Auxiliary purchased the porta tank and gave a large donation towards the purchase of the tank truck. The Fire Company and the Truck Crew would like to thank the Ladies Auxiliary for the full support of the Fire Protection Equipment they give to the community.
As the community grew, so did our fire company. In eighty years our fire company has grown from a handful of eager young organizers into more than thirty-two hundred members, who today celebrate eighty years of friendship, socializing, and firefighting.
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