Background & History
During the early to mid 1950’s the Lower Bucks County community experienced a significant growth in population. The same was true for Bensalem Township. Construction began on a development of 650 ranch style homes by Phillip and Nathan Seltzer builders. It was called Nottingham Village.
The sprawling development’s throughout the township in the mid 1950’s caused an increased concern by the residents regarding fire protection, especially within Nottingham Village. Several residents within the newly-built development began researching ways to organize a fire company to protect the residents within the development and the surrounding areas. At the time there were five (5) fire company’s established within Bensalem Township: Cornwells, Eddington, Newport, Trevose and Union Fire Companies.
In 1954 the Eddington Fire Company agreed to set up a substation within Nottingham Village. The substation was located at the home of Al Clark on Kingston Way and Devonshire Place. The Eddington Fire Company relocated a Stewart Pumper to Al Clark’s driveway, thereby establishing fire protection for Nottingham Village and the surrounding communities.
On December 17, 1956, several residents led by Al Clark filed in Bucks County Courthouse an application for a charter to formally organize a sixth township fire company. The original five fire companies contested the organization of another fire company and a court battle lasted for eighteen months between the Bensalem Fire Companies and the residents of Nottingham Village. Finally, on April 18, 1958 a court decision by Judge Edward G. Biester granted the approval of a charter to the Nottingham Fire Company.
The following are the Five Chartered Members of the Nottingham Fire Company:
On April 20, 1958, at 2:20 pm the first meeting of the Nottingham Fire Company was held at the home of William Yoast on Windsor Drive. The first order of business that was brought before the body by Bill Yoast was the bill from the lawyer totaling $225.00. The company had a bank account with Pennsylvania Bank in the amount of $119.00. Bill Mullin stated he would use his home address 2625 Madara Road as the Fire Company’s address for all financial records and correspondence.
Bill Yoast was nominated and approved as the temporary President, Bob Hasty was nominated and approved as the temporary Vise President, Jim Deering was nominated and approved as the temporary Secretary and Bill Mullin was nominated and approved as the temporary Treasurer. Al Clark and Bill Yoast advised the body that they were going to try to meet with Tony Baker, the builder of Nottingham Village, to see if they could talk about Tony’s promise to the company about donating land for the construction of a firehouse.
On April 25, 1958, the Charter of the Nottingham Fire Company #1 was signed and issued.
On Sunday, April 27, 1958 the 2nd meeting of the company was held at the V.F.W. Post on Richlieu Road. The members were informed that the Company’s Charter was issued on April 25, 1958. Although the County of Bucks had sanctioned the organization of the Fire Company, it was still not recognized by Bensalem Township. Tony Baker advised the members of the company at the meeting that the builders Philips and Seltzer would donate lot # 456 located on Bellview Drive near Street Road to Nottingham Fire Company.
On April 29, 1958, Tom Johnston, Al Clark, Stan Bongard and Jim Deering visited McKinley Fire Company regarding the purchase of a 1939 Autocar Pumper. McKinley was selling the truck for $3000.00 and recommended the members of the company go to McKinley Fire Company and look at the truck on May 7, 1958.
At the June 6, 1958 meeting President Bill Yoast appointed Tom Johnston, Frank Cressman, Bob Hasty and Bud Barnes to a By-Laws Committee and develop the company’s By-Laws. President Yoast said that common sense and other corporation’s by-laws will be the guidelines.
At the May 22, 1958 meeting the members of the company elected officers for 1958:
The newly elected officers of the company held a fund drive to raise money to acquire apparatus and equipment. On July 22, 1958 the company announced the purchase of a 1939 Autocar Pumper from the McKinley Fire Company in Jenkintown at the cost of $ 3,000.00. Firefighters from the McKinley Fire Company provided training on the operation of the newly acquired pumper.
On July 31, 1958 three members of the department (Al Clar k, Henry Logue and William Wolf) met with the builder of Nottingham Village (Mr. Tony Baker) to discuss building a fire house. Mr. Baker advised that he could not approve building the fire house and they must contact the Board of Supervisors and request a letter stating they will receive annual funding and apply for a mortgage.
During the meeting with Mr. Baker they asked if he would be able to provide a temporary shelter for the housing of the fire truck. Mr. Baker stated he would have to check with his insurance company regarding the barn that was located off of Street Road to be utilized by the fire company to house their apparatus and equipment. On August 1, 1958, Mr. Baker notified William Wolf, Recording Secretary that the barn was theirs and established the first Fire Station of the Nottingham Fire Company. The company operated out of the barn from August 1958 to December 1962 when they moved into their new station at 2943 Bellview Drive
At the August 26, 1958 regular company meeting the members of Nottingham Fire Company authorized the forming of the Nottingham Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary. The founding members were Peg Deering, Jane Medvic, Eleanor Bongard, Marie Harris, Betty Lou Medvic, Loraine Hober, Penny Costa, Shirley McLearnon, Marge Laich and Shirley Lafferty. The woman also established officers and Jane Medvic was elected the first President. The main purpose of the auxiliary was to generate income to support the fire company. They accomplished this through Penny Parties, Cake Sales, Spageitti Diners, Selling Adbooks, working the kitchen during Bingo and working various stands/booths at carnivals.
In September 1958 the company hired an electrician to run electrical service from Street Road at the pole underground down the driveway to the barn that was being used as the fire house.
At the October 14, 1958 regular company meeting the members approved the purchase of the company’s first tanker from Hartsville Fire Company for $ 50.00. The tanker needed a motor and members of the company worked for several months before getting the tanker in service.
In December of 1958 the members of the company elected the following officer for 1959:
On Thursday, January 22, 1959 the Bensalem Township Board of Supervisors at their regular township meeting recognized the Nottingham Fire Company as an official response agency for the township by a vote of two-to-one. Chairman, Raymond E. Wink and Theodore Zajac voted in favor to recognize Nottingham as the sixth fire company in the township with Supervisor Roy Green voting against. With the township recognizing Nottingham Fire Company, they would receive an equal amount of the fire tax monies, which was $2,300.00 annually.
At the January 25, 1959 regular company meeting the body voted and approved a point system that would be used to determine the active status of the members and their eligibility to vote. The points were based on fire alarms, training, meetings, drills and other company functions.
On April 26, 1959, at the regular company meeting the body voted and approved several amendments to the by-laws. The primary amendment that was approved was dividing the company officers into two (2) specific branches an Administrative branch and a Firefighting branch.
At the May 24, 1959, company meeting the body approved that Junior Fireman would be permitted to join the company. Any Junior Fireman must be at least 16 years of age.
In June 1959, Nottingham Fire Company applied to the Commonwealth for a Fireman’s Relief Association Charter. The company received the Relief Association Charter on July 22, 1959.
At the June 28, 1959 company meeting President Bill Yoast appointed four (4) members to the Building Committee, William Wolf, Jim Deering, Bob Hasty and Sam Price.
In 1959 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 50 calls.
The area around Nottingham Village began sprawling in the early 1960’s with the development of numerous Garden Style Apartment Complexes; Charter House Apartments, Hamilton Court Apartments, Street Road Apartments, Elmwood Apartments and Kingswood Apartments. Also, U.S. Route 1 and Street Road were redesigned and widened in the 60’s to accommodate the increased traffic volumes, thereby increasing the number of emergency incidents requiring a fire company response.
In January of 1960, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
At the regular company meeting in January 1960 a building committee was established. Gene Medvic was named the chairman of the building committee. Joe Harris, Ray Wiren, Walt Wolf, John Coleman, William Wolf and Robert Earley were also assigned to the committee. The first meeting of the building was held at Gene Medvic’s house on January 29, 1960. At the regular company meeting in April the members received a floor plan for the new fire house. The Zoning Board application for a permit to build a new fire house was turned down, and the company filed an appeal.
On March 27, 1960 the company voted to allow Junior Firefighter into the company. At the February 28th regular meeting the officers stated that junior fireman will be between the ages of 14 to 16 years. This was in line with the other township companies. At the March 8th meeting Chief Johnston stated that starting Sunday, March 13 the company will begin accepting applications for junior firefighters.
In August the members of the company made application to become a member of the Bensalem Association of Fire Companies. In December of 1960 Nottingham Fire Company was advised that their request to be accepted into the association was submitted.
In 1960 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 35 calls.
In January of 1961, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In March of 1961 the Nottingham Fire Company was accepted into the Bensalem Township Association of Fire Companies, however, they did not pay the required dues. Also in March of 1961 the Bensalem Association of Fire Companies began discussing Nottingham’s fire district.
Members of the fire company established a fire district (burn area) and presented it to the company at the May regular meeting. All members voted to accept the proposal and submit it to the Bensalem Fire Association for approval.
In July 1961, President Bob Early advised the company at a regular meeting that the drawings for the new fire house were complete and they are awaiting bids from several builders. Also at the July meeting Chief Johnson stated he would send a letter to the Bensalem Fire Association regarding fire calls taken by Trevose Fire Company’s private number and not advising Bensalem Police to dispatch Nottingham Fire Company.
At the October regular meeting the building committee advised the body that the fire company could not get a loan for the building from Fidelity Philadelphia Trust Company. At the October regular company meeting the fire company also paid their dues to the Bensalem Fire Association and will be active members of the association.
On November 29, 1961, the Nottingham Fire Company made settlement on a piece of ground along Street Road just east of Windsor Drive and was addressed to 2943 Bellview Drive. The address was later changed in the 1980’s to 3420 Street Road. The Building Committee also discussed of building a smaller building to reduce the cost.
In 1961 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 32 calls.
In January of 1962, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In January, 1962 at the regular meeting Joe Harris made a motion to purchase Air Packs.
Also at the February meeting, the body approved the purchase of a 1952 Chevy panel truck from Foremost Milk Company based on the recommendation from Don Medvic who worked at Foremost. The bids for the new fire house were received by the building committee and turned over to the Board of Directors.
In March of 1962 the fire company re-approached the bank for a $20,000.00 loan. At the April 10th regular company meeting the Building Committee was advised by the bank that they approved a mortgage in the amount of $ 13,000.00 and members of the fire company can sign for the additional $7,000.00. Ten members of the fire company co-signed on a $27,000.00 bond for the building. The following members are the co-signers:
Chief Wolf advised both the Supervisors and the Association that the closest fire company should be dispatched. The Board of Supervisors agreed that the closest company should be called first, and stated that the fire board (Police Dispatch Center) will be directed to call the closest fire company.
Also in April 1962, the body voted to purchase a 1949 Ford Pumper from Philadelphia Fire Department. The truck would be purchased on April 30, 1962 for $ 600.00.
In September 1962 the new fire house was under construction by James Monte Builder of West Bristol. The Building Committee requested the body approve soliciting the residents $1.00 a block for the new fire house, all approved.
In December 1962, the Nottingham Fire Company moved its operation from the barn located off Old Street Road to the new fire house at 2943 Bellview Drive in Nottingham Village.
In 1962 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 36 calls.
In January of 1963, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In January 1963, the Nottingham Fire Company established a new committee called the House Committee who would be in charge of the new building. The committee established parameters for the various activities that would take place in the new fire house. The fire company was going to began Bingo Games in the new fire house on Sunday evening’s beginning in January. The first night of bingo the company made a profit of $ 180.55.
In February 1963, the company decided to take the tanker out of service based on the recommendations from Walt Wolf, Dan Fluhardy and Joe Harris, Chief Engineer stating the truck was unsafe. The body voted to sell the truck or junk it within thirty days.
At the March 12th regular meeting the body approved to purchase another tanker and moved to the Board of Directors for final approval. The Board of Directors approved the purchase of a 1955 White molasses truck with a 2000 gallon stainless steel tank for $1900.00 that would be utilized as a tanker.
Chief Tom Johnson explained at the April regular company meeting that the officer of the company met with Bensalem Fire Association members regarding the map that was developed for fire districts. Chief Johnson stated they did not agree with the outlined districts, however, to promote harmony and not over extend the company’s coverage area they agreed to the coverage areas.
On Saturday, June 1, 1963 members of the company would meet at the old fire house (barn) on Street Road to burn the building down.
On August 24, 1963, the members of the Nottingham Fire Company hosted their dedication parade for the new fire house. The parade route was through Nottingham Village and concluded at Faust School.
In January of 1964, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
At the January 14, 1964 regular company meeting the siren committee proposed the purchase of two (2), 2hp downdraft sirens that would be controlled by plectron units and located in the outlying areas of Nottingham Village. The proposal was passed by the body. One siren was located in the rear of Cliff’s Diner on Rt. 1 and the other one would be located along Street Road on Our Lady of Fatima’s property when approved by Father John Griffin.
In August 1964, Nottingham Fire Company accepted an invitation to Richboro Fire Company’s fifty-fifth anniversary parade. While at previous parades members of the department observed various comic divisions that were presented by various fire companies in the parades.
With that in mind, members of the company led by Don Medvic developed a clown act utilizing the company’s tanker and an out house on wheels that member built. The clown act involved approximately 10 members that would take their firefighting coats and wear them inside out, spray paint mop heads different colors and wear the mop head as a wig, a small bucket on their head with the metal handle as a chin strap and hip boots cut in half and sprayed different colors. They would place smoke flares in the out house to simulate a fire. They also had a stretcher that would be used to pick-up a victim, however, the victim was a short piece of hose. They used a 2 ½” hose to attack the fire, however the hose was full of holes wetting any one within close proximity to the hose. Although this was a fun event, it had an important message that was delivered to the public: DON’T CLOWN AROUND WITH FIRE”
In January of 1965, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
At the October 12th, 1965 regular company meeting the body approved the installation of the bell system in all active firefighter’s houses. Jim Heistand was appointed as the company contact person to work with Bell Telephone in getting the system installed.
In November 1965 the bell system was up and operating. The system operated from a plectron alerting unit that was installed in the fire house and utilized Bell Telephone’s system to activated bells in the firefighter’s home when the company was dispatched.
In 1965 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 90 calls.
In January of 1966, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
By 1966 each fire company in Bensalem Township received $ 8,400 in fire tax money and $ 2,400 in Fireman’s Relief money.
At the regular company meeting on January 23, 1966, Bob Earley proposed an amendment to the company by-laws. “Any member having fifteen (15) years of active service in the fire company will be awarded “Life Membership” and receive all benefits that an active member receives for the remainder of his life.”
In August 1966 the company took delivery of their first new piece of apparatus, a 1966 Pierre Thibault Pumper. The total cost of the truck was $20,786.00. The truck was equipped with a 750 GPM pump and a 500 gallon water tank. It also had a separate high pressure pump that would deliver 35 GPM through a ¾” booster line between 950 and 1000 psi. The principle behind high pressure was the quick conversion of water to steam thereby extinguishing the fire faster. This theory was viewed by the department as beneficial because of the minimal water supply and fire hydrants throughout the township.
In September 1966 the company elected to begin accepting applications for Junior Firemen (ages 14 – 16) with the following rules and regulations:
The first group of Junior Firefighters that joined between 1966 & 1968 were:
In January of 1967, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
At the March 7th, 1967 regular company meeting, Bill Pickering asked the company to sponsor a firehouse softball team. This was the beginning of the Nottingham Fire Company Softball Team.
At the regular company meeting on June 12, 1967, Joe Harris made a motion to sell the 1939 Autocar to Lower Southampton Fire Company in exchange for six (6) lengths of 2 ½” hose. The motion passed and the truck was sold with no dollar exchange.
At the September 12, 1967 regular company meeting President Bert Slutter read a letter from the Ladies Auxiliary stating their organization was going to be inactive due to the lack of participation.
In December 1967, the company approved the purchase of two (2) MSA officer packs (sling packs). The sling packs only had 15 minutes of air. These were to be installed in the officer’s seat on 650 and 651.
In 1967 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 97calls.
In January of 1968, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
At the February 13, 1968 regular company meeting President Bert Slutter read a letter from the Ladies Auxiliary stating February 18, 1968 would be the final date the auxiliary will operate the kitchen and the organization will be disbanded due to a lack of members.
Fire Police Captain James Hanratty died February 1968 due to natural causes. Jim was an active member since 1962 and served in the Fire Police capacity his entire time with the department.
In August 1968 the company took delivery of a John Bean Pumper, 750 gpm pump, with a 500 gallon tank and a separate piston type high pressure pump. Like the Thibault it too would deliver 35 GPM through a ¾” booster line between 950 and 1000 psi. The total cost of the truck was $ 27,872.18.
At the October 8th, 1968 regular company meeting the company approved the purchase of two (2) additional MSA air packs for 651.
On October 19, 1968 Nottingham Fire Company dedicated both 650 and 651 in a ceremony at the fire house and a parade through Nottingham village. Also, the company dedicated 650 to Fire Police Captain, James Hanratty with a plaque that was mounted on the side of the truck.
In January of 1969, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
On March 4, 1969, Chief Harris proposed to the company to sell 651 to Johnny Rogala for $ 100.00. The truck would be sold striped of all equipment and also the removal of the monitor that was mounted on the truck.
By the end of the 60’s Nottingham Fire Company would receive $18,000.00 in tax millage from Bensalem Township.
In January of 1970, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In January 1970 at the regular company meeting the company voted to discontinue bingo, with the last night being Sunday, January 17, 1970.
In 1970 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 224 calls.
In January 1971 members of the company voted to purchase a remote station to be placed in the home of Jim & Peg Deering who was the company’s Communication Officer. The remote station would provide 24 hour a day communication with the apparatus when operating at an emergency incident or a training exercise.
In February 1971 Nottingham Fire Company obtained a second radio frequency 46.12 that would be utilized by the company as an alternate channel to the primary 46.10 frequency that was used by the entire county.
In 1971 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 205 calls.
In January of 1972, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In April 1972 Nottingham Fire Company took delivery of a 1969 Ford Barton-American “Squrt” Pumper from Culbert Fire Equipment Company in College Park MD. The squrt was a demonstrator model equipped with a 1,000 gpm pump, 500 gallon tank and 1,000’ of 3 ½” double jacket synthetic hose with 3 ½” brass NST couplings. The total cost of the truck was $ 41,700.00
In 1972 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 223 calls.
In January of 1973, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In the September of 1973 the company decided to enclose the open creek that was on the east side of the fire house. A plan was developed by the company officers and work details were organized to begin this massive undertaking.
In October of 1973 the company sold the 1955 White Tanker to Chislehurst Fire Company in NJ for $ 1,000.00.
In 1973 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 286 calls.
In January of 1974, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In the spring of 1974, began the creek project. To begin the creek had to be diverted to pour the base of the pipe. Once the base was poured the task of building forms for the walls and top of the pipe were underway. The forms were built from 2 X 4’s and plywood and nailed together and supported both externally and internally. Once the walls and top of the pipe were constructed the concrete was poured into the wall cavities and the top of the pipe received a smooth finished. It took nine (9) concrete trucks fully loaded to complete the project.
In 1974 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 403 calls.
In January of 1975, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In July 1975 the company approved to build an addition on the fire station.
On September 15, 1975, Nottingham Fire Company lost one of their previous leaders Bertram Slutter who past away after a lengthy illness. Bert served as the company’s president from 1964 to 1973. Bert also served in various other capacities during his tenure with the company.
In 1975 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 336 calls.
In January of 1976, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In February 1976 Nottingham Fire Company changed the way members were notified to an alarm. The company approved the purchase of plectron alerting units and removing the bells located in the member’s homes.
On May 23, 1976 Nottingham Fire Company responded to an apartment fire at Doral Apartment Building 116, upon arrival Engine 651 rescued 5 trapped people. When they arrived on scene, there were three (3) people trapped in the third floor apartment to the left of the stairwell. They were at the windows in the bedrooms. Jim Esposito, Mike Esposito and Jake Summers were ordered to rescue the victims via ground ladder. Jack Voelmle was the first in the door with a high pressure booster line and Mark Kelly backed him up. They attacked the fire and performed the interior search & rescue. Voelmle and Kelly found two (2) victims unconscious in the bathroom. Mark Kelly removed a baby and eventually handed it to Chief Walt Wolf at the bottom of the stairwell. (Chief Wolf performed mouth-to-mouth on the baby). Kelly then went back upstairs to assist Jack Voelmle with the removal of the mother. Voelmle had already removed the victim from the apartment and into the stairwell. The female victim was given to the medic from Bucks County Rescue Squad and CPR was performed on the female. Both subjects were unresponsive and not breathing upon removal from the building, and were brought back.
In June 1976 Chief Wolf and Assistant Chief Elinich instituted an accountability system for the members of the department while operating on the fire ground. Members were assigned a metal tag with their names stenciled on the tag, and as personnel boarded the apparatus they would clip their tag on a ring where they were seated.
On August 9,1976 Nottingham Fire Company lost one of the company’s most active members Aaron Guay who died suddenly. Aaron served the company as Captain, Assistant Chief and Trustee. Aaron was a dedicated member who spent many nights filling swimming pools all night long with the tanker to raise money for the company.
In 1976 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 310 calls.
In February 1977, Chief Elinich established a firefighter classification system based on training and experience. Firefighters would be classed as 1st class, 2nd class or 3rd class respectively.
At the October 11, 1977 regular monthly meeting Chief Elinich and his officers recommended to the company all drivers ages 55 and older to get a physical at the expense of the company. The company voted to approve the recommendation.
In December of 1977 the company voted to change the paint color of the apparatus. The new color would be white over orange. 650 would be the first truck sent out to get repainted.
In 1977 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 339 calls.
In January of 1978, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
At the February 14, 1978 meeting the company approved the truck bid by Pierce Manufacturing Company for a new pumper.
In April 1978 Chief Dunleavy informed the company that effective immediately the company’s radio identifiers will change from 650, 651, 652 etc. to Engine 65-1, Engine 65-2, Chief 65, Deputy 65 etc.
Chief Dunleavy entertained a motion to go from the current 10 code to plain English when speaking on the radio. This motion was 2nd by Deputy Chief Harris and the motion carried.
In April 1978 the Township Supervisors authorized Associated Fire & Safety Consultants, Inc. conduct a survey of the township fire protection and EMS services within the township.
In November 1978 the Nottingham Fire Company voted to go on record supporting the survey conducted by Associated Fire & Safety Consultants, Inc.
December 1978 Nottingham Fire Company authorized Bucks County Communications Center to begin dispatching the company for all calls.
In 1978 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 328 calls.
In January of 1979, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
On March 6, 1979, Chief Harris and Newport Fire Chief Mike Dydak entered into an agreement to change fire districts to provide closest fire department coverage. The new coverage area for Newport Fire Company encompassed the area from a point at the intersection of Bristol Road and Richlieu Road south to a point at the intersection of Hulmeville Road and Mechanicsville Road, all areas west to Bristol Road and Neshaminy Blvd.
The new coverage area for Nottingham Fire Company encompassed the area from a point at the intersection of Bristol Road and Richlieu Road south to a point at the intersection of Hulmeville Road and Mechanicsville Road, all areas east to Mechanicsville Road.
On March 20, 1979 the company voted to sell Engine 65-1, 1968 John Bean pumper to Meridian Fire Company from Meridian NY who was the highest bidder. The bid for the truck came in at $ 20,051.51.
In April 1979 the company took delivery of a 1979 Pumper, the truck was equipped with a Hendrickson cab, Pierce body, 1,000 gpm pump and a 500 gallon tank. This truck was the company’s first to have cross lays, holding 150’ of 1 ¾” attack lines. This truck was the first out piece with the radio identifier of Engine 65. The total cost of the truck was $92,090.00.
In the Fall of 1979, Chief Harris and his officers instituted a Duty Crew and a Bunk-in Program where they observed these programs in PG County MD. Nottingham Fire Company was the first fire company in the county to have a duty crew and bunk-in program.
In the Fall of 1979, Chief Harris and his officers also instituted apparatus position assignments (bucket assignments) where each position on the apparatus was assigned a specific duty that would be carried out at the fire scene by the person sitting in that seat, including drivers and officers. Nottingham was also the first in the county to institute the bucket assignments.
On November 2, 1979 three members of Nottingham Fire Company (Gary Killian, Jim Esposito, Chris Schrier) were recognized by Bensalem Township and the Fire Prevention Bureau for their efforts in performing CPR to victims of an auto accident at Street and Richlieu Roads that occurred on October 31, 1979.
In December 1979 at a regular company meeting the body voted to eliminate the use of sirens to notify members of a fire. All members had plectron units in their homes that would alert them in the event of a fire.
Also, Communications Officer James Deering Sr. advised that Nottingham Remote is being taken out of service due to the company utilizing Bucks County Communications Center for all radio communications.
In 1979 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 341 calls.
In January of 1980, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
At the regular company meeting in April 1980, Chief Harris advised the members that the Chief and Deputy will not respond to any local alarm in their vehicles. This would be the opportunity for all subordinate officers to make decisions in their company level positions.
In May 1980, the county submitted box cards to all Fire Chief’s in the county to be filled out and submitted to the Bucks County Communication Dispatch Center for implementation. The box system (Phantom Box System) was developed by the county based on the system used by Prince George County, MD. The box system utilized automatic dispatching of specific apparatus based on the type of fire.
In the summer of 1980 the company purchased their first pocket pagers for the members. Also in the summer of 1980, Chief Harris and his officers recommended to the body selling the Squirt and looking into purchasing a ladder truck.
At the November 10, 1980 regular company meeting Chief Harris recommended the purchase of a Grumman 106’ Ladder. The motioned was passed and the truck was ordered.
In December 1980, the company purchased a 1980 Ford Econoline Van that would be utilized as a Chief’s vehicle. Rules and regulations were established on the use and operation of the vehicle. The Chief would take the vehicle home and to work if he was able to respond to calls.
On Sunday, December 7, 1980, at 04:37 Nottingham Fire Company was dispatched to Devonshire Apartment Building A for a building fire with entrapment. Chief Harris arrived on location with heavy smoke and fire conditions on the third floor. Engine 65 arrived on scene and Lieutenant Frank Davis deployed his crew to the 3rd floor to attack the fire and conduct a search. Deputy Chief Dunleavy and his crew from Engine 65-2 were assigned to the rear of the building were they observed numerous people on their balcony’s to be rescued. Several victims jumped from their balcony’s and were injured on the ground as Deputy Chief Dunleavy and his crew arrived. Deputy Chief Dunleavy, Firefighter Kevin Reed, Firefighter Chris Schrier began conducting several rescues from the balcony’s utilizing ground ladders.
In January of 1981, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In January 1981 the company changed from a Board of Directors to an Executive Board that would oversee the departments operation. The executive board would consist of 7 members, President, Vice President, Treasurer, Chief, Deputy Chief, Chief Engineer and Body Delegate.
On Monday, February 4, 1981 Nottingham Fire Company responded to an apartment fire at Brierwood Apartments, #1166 where John Costa and Don Callahan were on the initial attack line. Deputy Chief Mark Kelly took the front windows out and then crawled in to check on the progress when he found an unconscious male. Deputy Chief Kelly found the male subject (Harry Sommers) on the couch in the living room where he pulled him to the door and Chief Mike Dydak Sr. assisted Mark in bringing the victim out. Bucks County Rescue Squad did CPR on him.
In February 1981, the Box System went into effect which established geographical areas for each box (card). The boxes also specified a specific response of apparatus to that area as determined by the life hazard.
In May 1981, Chief Harris implemented duty crews in the evening hours. The duty crew hours would begin at 19:00 hours till 23:00 hours Monday through Thursday. Crews would perform checks on the apparatus and equipment during each duty crew night and conduct a training segment for that night. This also provided for a more expedient response to calls. Also in May 1981, Nottingham Fire Company relinquished the company’s radio frequency 46.12 to the County Communication Center to be utilized as a zone frequency.
In July 1981 the 40’ siren tower that was located on the west side of the fire house was cut down and hauled away.
In September 1981 Donald P. Medvic died suddenly. Don served as Chief of the company in 1965 and 1966. Don also served as President from 1974 to 1976. Don was the person who started the Clown Act back in 1964. He was also one of the original founding members of the company. Don also held many other positions during his tenure with the company. In the early years of the company Don played an integral roll in helping repair the apparatus to assure they were working properly.
In October 1981 the company took delivery of a 1980, 106’ Ladder Truck with a Hendrickson cab, Grumman body. The truck was equipped with a full complement of ground ladders and equipment in accordance with NFPA 1901 standard. The total cost for the truck was $ 183,000.00.
On October 31, 1981 Nottingham Fire Company responded to a fire at the Derby Town Inn on Bristol Road in the Oakford section of Trevose. Chief Harris arrived on the fireground and observed a victim on the roof of the one story section of the building. Chief Harris and firefighters from Trevose extended a ground ladder to the roof of the building and Chief Harris climbed the ladder and rescued the subject from the roof.
1981 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 390 calls.
In January of 1982, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
At the May 1982 regular company meeting Chief Kelly advised the company that 46.30 was installed in the portable radio’s and is the county fire ground channel.
In August 1982 Nottingham Fire Company sold the 1969 Ford Squirt to Fire Equipment Sales Company for $ 19,796.00.
In January of 1983, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In March 1983, Chief Harris advised the company all new firefighters must attain Firefighter 1 certification within their 1st year. All current firefighters must also attain the Firefighter 1 level certification to continue to remain an active firefighter.
On Saturday June 11, 1983 Nottingham Fire Company recognized its 25th anniversary by hosted the 70th Annual County Fireman’s Parade. On this day Nottingham also dedicated their building and had the housing of three (3) of their vehicles; Engine 65, Ladder 65 and Chief’s Van.
In December 1983, the company voted to change the By-Laws which changed the elections of officers from the Sunday after the regular company meeting to the night of the company meeting in December. Also, the Chief Engineer’s position was changed from elected to appointed by the chief, and the Chief’s term was changed to a two (2) year term.
1983 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 419 calls.
In January of 1984, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
On January 17, 1984 at a Special Company Meeting Chief Kelly put a motion on the floor to purchase of a used 1971 Pumper from Southampton Fire Company. The body voted in favor to purchase the truck. The make of the truck was a Bruco body with a Ford cab and a 1250 GPM pump and 750 gallon water tank. The company purchased the truck for $ 32,500.00.
On October 16, 1984 the company sold the 1965 Thibult Pumper to Lake Silkworth Fire Department in Sweet Valley, Pa for $ 8,000.00.
1984 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 455 calls.
In January of 1985, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In the summer of 1985 the company acquired its first mascot, a Dalmatian puppy named “Roofy”. Roofy was taught by several members to roll over when they said stop, drop and roll. Roofy was used in teaching children Stop, Drop and Roll during fire prevention programs.
At the September 10, 1985 Executive Board Meeting the board unanimously approved converting the last bay into a bunk-room. The bunkroom will be started as soon as materials are purchased.
1985 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 474 calls.
In January of 1986, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
On January 23, 1986 Chief Don Harris was recognized at a Township Meeting for his actions in the rescue of a nine year old girl from a dwelling fire at 3653 Delancy Drive on January 21, 1986.
In June 1986, Walt Wolf past chief and life member died suddenly at his home. Walt served as Chief of the company in 1970 through 1973 and 1976. Walt was also one of the original founding members of the company. Walt also served the company in various other positions during his tenure with the company. In the early years of the company Joe played an integral roll in helping repair the apparatus to assure they were working properly.
In Late Summer of 1986 the conversion of the last bay into a bunkroom was completed. The bunkroom was capable of sleeping six (6) firefighters with storage locker for their personal belongings.
In October 1986 John Izak Chairman of the By-Laws Committee proposed changes to the current By-Laws. The changes primarily changed the terms for the Chief and Deputy creating a two (2) year terms with the Chief’s term ending on even years and the Deputy’s term ending on odd years.
1986 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 486 calls.
In January of 1987, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In January 1987 Nottingham Fire Company received from Bensalem Township $ 66,030.00 in fire tax money.
On January 6, 1987 the company purchased a 1987 Chevrolet Caprice Chief’s vehicle from
In February 1987 Nottingham Fire Company sold the 1980 Ford Econoline Van to Springtown Fire Company for $ 5,000.00.
At the May 1987 regular company meeting Ron Harris chairman of the truck committee presented the truck specification to the body. It was recommended by the committee to purchase a new engine preferably a Seagrave Pumper, the body approved the plan to purchase a new engine. The truck was put out to bid.
On December 25, 1987 Nottingham Fire Company responded to an apartment fire with entrapment at the Elmwood Apartments (I-3), 3300 Street Road. Upon arrival, Engine 65’s crew advanced a 1 ¾” attack line to the fire apartment and firefighter Joe Clark went to the 3rd floor for a reported person trapped. As firefighter Clark began searching the apartment he found an unconscious victim where he removed from the apartment into the stairway and as he was removing the victim down the stairway when he tore his ACL in his knee.
In January of 1988, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
At the regular company meeting in January 1988, Chief Harris made a motion to enact the By-Law change proposed in 1987 to create a Battalion Chief’s position. The motion was voted on by the company and passed.
In May 1988, Chief Harris and Chief Bob Ervin of the Bensalem Rescue Squad developed a partnership to house a Medic Unit (Medic 186) at Nottingham Fire Company. The initial trial period would be for a three (3) month period establishing a baseline on the call volume. The squad was on status at the station from 08:00 to 16:00 hours.
1988 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 418 calls.
In January of 1989, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In January 1989 the company took delivery of a 1989 Seagrave Pumper with an enclosed six man cab, 1500 gpm pump and a 500 gallon tank. Chief Callahan established training requirements for the drivers and firefighters prior to the piece put into service. The total cost of the Engine was $ 209.800.00.
In March 1989 Chief Callahan advised the department personnel that all firefighter are required to have photo ID cards that will be done by the Township Fire Association, all ID’s will be standardized.
In August 1989 the company sold the 1979 Pierce Pumper to The Department of Corrections in Arkansas for $55,000.00.
1989 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 387 calls.
In January of 1990, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In February 1990, Chief Harris in conjunction with Chief Ervin of the Bensalem Rescue Squad established the first QRS (Quick Response Service) unit in the township. Responding on all ALS calls in our 1st due area.
On October 22, 1990 the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission authorized Nottingham Fire Company to respond onto the turnpike as an Engine Company for all calls. This established a duel response by both Nottingham and Trevose Fire Company’s.
In December 1990 Chief Harris and Chief Dydak of Newport Fire Company developed an agreement whereby Nottingham Fire Company would borrow Engine 44-2 from Newport in the event Nottingham’s pumper is out of service for maintenance.
1990 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 335 calls.
In January of 1991, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
Chief Harris wrote a letter to Bensalem Public Safety Director on January 30, 1991 requesting public recognition for Captain John Izak, Rusty Layre and Jon Peace in their actions for the rescue and revival of James Moach from a fire at American Motel on January 25, 1991.
On March 12, 1991 Nottingham Fire Company sold Engine 65-1 a 1971 Ford Bruco pumper, 1000’ of 3” supply line, 12 Survivair Air Packs and 12 spare bottles to American Fire Truck and Equipment Company of Twin Falls, Idaho for $20,800.00.
In 1991 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 368 calls.
In January of 1992, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In March 1992, Nottingham Fire Company purchased a 1981 Seagrave Rear Mount Ladder from New York City Fire Department. The ladder was transported to the Seagrave plant in Appleton, Wisconsin to be refurbished.
1992 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 406 calls.
At the March 9, 1993 regular company meeting the Trustees advised the members that the upstairs bunkroom repairs were made and it will be utilized by Squad 186 personnel.
In April 1993, Nottingham Fire Company took delivery of the refurbished 1981 Seagrave 100’ Rear Mount Ladder. The ladder was placed in service in May. The total cost of the Ladder was $259,000.00.
On July 29, 1993, Nottingham Fire Company took delivery of a 1993 Chevrolet Caprice Chief’s Vehicle from Warnock Fleet in Nanticoke PA for $12,745.00.
In 1993 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 367 calls.
In January of 1994, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
On February 22, 1994 Nottingham Fire Company approved the purchase of a 1989 GMC Suburban from Northampton Fire Company for $ 11,000.00. The vehicle will be utilized as a Special Service and man carrier vehicle.
In June 1994 the 1981 Grumman Rear Mount Ladder was sold to Ravine Fire Company located in Schuylkill County, PA for $ 18,000.00.
At the November 16, 1994 regular company meeting Treasurer Jim Esposito informed the body that the building mortgage was paid off with the money from the sale of the ladder.
1994 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 384 calls.
In January of 1995, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
On February 3, 1995 Nottingham Fire Company lost one of our previous members Francis Gibson (Hoot). Hoot served as the company’s Chief Engineer from 1969through 1972 and 1975 through 1980. Hoot also served as Captain and 2nd Assistant Chief and various other positions within the company.
In October 1995, Nottingham Fire Company was awarded a contract from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to become the initial response agency on the turnpike from the Philadelphia Interchange westbound to the Willow Grove Interchange, and eastbound from the Philadelphia Interchange to Bensalem Blvd.
1995 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 375 calls.
In January of 1996, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
On February 1, 1996, Nottingham Fire Company lost a Charter and Life member James Deering who passed away due to a lengthy illness. Jim was one of the five Chartered Members when the company was formed. Jim served as Secretary in 1958 when the company was formed and later became the company’s Communications Officer. Jim also volunteered to have the company’s remote station located in his home. The remote was housed in Jim’s home from 1971 through 1979. Jim also served the company in various other positions within the department during his tenure with the company.
On April 27, 1996, past Chief and Life member Joseph Harris passed away after a three month illness. Joe was one of the original founding members of the company. Joe filled the vacancy of Vice President in 1958, served several years as Chief Engineer, Chief in 1969 and various other positions within the department during his tenure with the company. In the early years of the company Joe played an integral role in helping repair the apparatus to assure they were working properly.
In 1996 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 373 calls.
In January of 1997, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
On November 11, 1997 Nottingham Fire Company lost Life Member Jim McGuire Sr. who passed away after a lengthy illness. Jim served the company as Fire Police Captain and Vice President. Jim also served in various other capacities during his tenure with the company.
1997 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 422 calls.
In January of 1998, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
On January 5, 1998 the company took delivery of a new Chief’s Vehicle, 1998 Ford Explorer. The new chief’s vehicle is also equipped with a command center in the back of the vehicle. The total cost of the vehicle was $ 25,878.
In February 1998, President Dave Hunter appointed a building committee to work on plans for an expansion of the building. The expansion would encompass a second floor addition to the building.
In 1998 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 436 calls.
In January of 1999, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In 1999 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 422 calls.
In January of 2000, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
On August 19, 2000, Engine 65 was dispatched to a pedestrian struck on northbound Rt. 1. The call was unfounded and Engine 65 traveled northbound to Middletown to turn around, and as they crossed the Neshaminy Creek bridge they observed a male victim on the shoulder of the road. The crew assisted Squad 186 in packaging the patient and put him in the squad where he was transported to the hospital. A Unit Citation was issued identifying Captain Rob Sponheimer, Lieutenant Bob Race, Firefighter/EMT Jason Harris and Firefighter Dave Marshall.
In 2000 the Nottingham Fire Company responded to a total of 455 calls.
In January of 2001, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In May 2001 the department acquired a new Dalmatian puppy as a department mascot and he was named “Smokey”. Smokey replaced the previous Dalmatian Roofy who passed away in July of 1999.
In June 2001 President Dave Hunter filed with the Department of State for an alias name “Nottingham Fire Department”.
On June 16, 2001, Nottingham Fire Department was dispatched to assist Willow Grove Fire Company in Upper Moreland Township to a major flooding condition and apartment fire at the Village Green Apartments on Warminster Road. The crew utilized boats to stretch 5” supply line and high rise bags to the fired building and fight the fire. A Unit Citation was issued by Upper Moreland Township to the department recognizing Chief Ron Harris, Battalion Chief John Izak, Firefighter Dave Marshall, Firefighter/EMT Scott Ischinger and Jack Summers for their efforts in combating the fire.
In August 2001 the President Hunter received confirmation from the Department of State that the alias name (Nottingham Fire Department) was approved. The Company is now permitted to utilize Nottingham Fire Department as its formal name.
In 2001 the Nottingham Fire Department responded to a total of 565 calls.
In January of 2002, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In October 2002, Chief Ron Harris appointed a committee to look into replacing Ladder 65. Chief Harris was the Chairman, also serving on the committee were Deputy Chief Rob Sponheimer, President Dave Hunter, Jake Summers, Bob Race and Dave Marshall.
On Wednesday, December 25, 2002, Deputy Chief Robert Sponheimer, Lieutenant Alan Welsh Sr., Fire fighter Fred Sponheimer Jr., Firefighter Elwood Bakeoven and Firefighter Rocky Fontaine performed life saving measures on Michael Pietzak of Delancy Drive in Nottingham Village. Michael Pietzak was in cardiac arrest and through the actions of the aforementioned firefighters he was revived. They performed CPR and utilized an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) prior to the arrival of the rescue squad.
2002 the Nottingham Fire Department responded to a total of 488 calls.
In January of 2003, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
At a special company meeting in January 2003, the body approved the purchase of a new 100’ rear mount American LaFrance Ladder truck from Campbell Supply Company. The anticipated cost of the truck is $545,551.00.
2003 the Nottingham Fire Department responded to a total of 544 calls.
In January of 2004, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In January 2004 at the company regular meeting the body voted to approve an amendment to the By-Laws abolishing the Executive Board and creating a Board of Directors. The Board of Directors consist of the following officers:
The company took delivery of the new 100’ Rear Mount American LaFrance Ladder in December and the truck was placed in service in January 2004. The truck is equipped with the standard NFPA 1901 equipment, as well as a 750 gpm Darley Pump, a 500 gallon tank and (2) 1 ¾” speedlays. The total cost of the truck was $545,551
On Wednesday, April 21, 2004 Nottingham Fire Company responded to assist Lower Southampton Fire Company at dwelling fire with entrapment on Somers Ave in the Trevose section of Bensalem. Upon arrival Chief Ron Harris entered the dwelling and began searching for the occupant. As Chief Harris entered the kitchen he found the homeowner on the floor and pulled him out of the dwelling.
On January 31, 2004 the 1993 Seagrave Ladder was sold to Ono Fire Company in Ono, PA for $ 50,000.00.
In April of 2004 the Nottingham Fire Department began running it's official website "www.nfd65.com"
At the November 2004 meeting Chief Harris made a motion to purchase a new Chief’s vehicle through Day Fleet Service on the State Bid list. The motion passed and the company ordered a 2005 Chevrolet SUV.
2004 the Nottingham Fire Department responded to a total of 581 calls.
In January of 2005, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In February 2005 the company took delivery of a 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV. The new chief’s vehicle is also equipped with a command center in the back of the vehicle. The total cost of the vehicle was $ 30,5000
At the March 2005 Relief Association meeting the body approved the purchase of a 2005 Pickup truck to be utilized as a Special Service vehicle.
On December 20, 2005, the company took delivery of the new Special Service vehicle, 2005 Ford Pickup truck (F-250) with a cap. The total cost of the truck was $ 29,2600.00
2005 the Nottingham Fire Department responded to a total of 638 calls.
In January of 2006, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
In January 2006 President Hunter appointed five members to the truck committee to replace Engine 65 (1988 Seagrave):
On March 20, 2006 the company sold the 1993 Chevrolet Caprice to Bristol Township Fire Marshal’s Office for $ 3,000.00.
In April 2006, the old Special Service vehicle was sold to Charlie Seaberger (Seaberger Plumbing) for $500.00.
At the June 28, 2006 regular company meeting the body voted to purchase a 2007 American LaFrance pumper through Campbell Supply Company for $ 414,320.00. The company is expected to take delivery in the summer of 2007.
On September 28, 2006 the following members received citations for their heroic efforts in rescuing two (2) children in an apartment fire at the Creekside Apartments
On October 20, 2006 the Nottingham Fire Department lost another one of their original founding members Robert Earley after a lengthy illness. Bob served as President of the company from 1960 through 1963. Bob served as chief of the company in 1964, 1967 and 1968. Bob also served the company in various other capacities during his tenure with the company.
In 2006 the Nottingham Fire Department responded to a total of 665 calls.
In January of 2007, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
The company took delivery of the new Engine 65 in October 2007. The engine is equipped with a 7 Man Enclosed Cab, a 1500 gpm Waterous Pump, (2) 1 ¾” cross lays, front bumper line, front steamer connection and (2) 2 ½” rear discharges. The total cost of the Engine was $ 424,320.00.
At the Annual Company Christmas dinner Bensalem Township Councilman Joe Sazfran and Ed Kisselback presented commendations for the rescue at Franklin Commons Apartments fire on May 18, 2007 to Deputy Chief Sponheimer, Capt. Sarcewicz, FF Topley, FF Pachucki, FF Fontaine , FF Shirley and FF Costello.
2007 the Nottingham Fire Department responded to a total of 727 calls.
On April 10, 2008 the Lower Bucks chapter of the American Red Cross honored Engine 65's crew for the May 18, 2007 rescue at Franklin Commons Apartments.
On April 18, 2008 the Nottingham Fire Department held its 50th anniversary party celebration at the Penn Ryn mansion on State Rd in Bensalem.
On July 27, 2008 Past Chief and Life Member Joseph "Lucky" Lambing passed away after a brief illness. Lucky held the position of Treasurer from 1966-1976 , Department Chief in 1974 & 75 and also served as Captain and Assistant Chief during his career at Nottingham.
2008 the Nottingham Fire Department responded to a total of 667 calls.
In January of 2009, the members of the company elected the following members into office:
On October 17, 2009 Bensalem Township held the grand opening for the emergency services training center located at Rt 1 & Street Road. The construction for the project started in June of 2008. NFD Chief Ron Harris served as the building committee chairman
2009 the Nottingham Fire Department responded to a total of 604 calls.
In January of 2010, the members of the company elected the following members into office: