The Glenside Fire Company began more than a hundred years ago as an all-volunteer fire company. GFC begins its second century as it originally began-as an all-volunteer company facing the same challenges it faced in its first century: fires, accidents, floods, and explosions.
The twenty-first century presents a new set of challenges for an all-volunteer department. The biggest one facing the company is finding volunteers in the 21st century who will continue the fine tradition of GFC. But the record of GFC remains strong. And the Company remains strong. In the new century GFC still responds when called-to the tune of 400-500 calls a year.
Glenside has a long history of apparatus, which can be viewed here.
The Glenside Fire Co. is granted a charter on May 17, 1900
After storing it's equipment in various garages, Glenside builds it's own single bay station at Glenside and Lismore Avenues.
On Christmas day 1914 a large fire would destroy the Justice Lumber and Coal yard at Glenside Ave and New Street. Companies from through out the area, including the City of Philadelphia would respond to assist the Glenside Fireman who would spend 52 consecutive hours fighting the fire. The coal bins would smolder until Easter with the Fireman going down every few days to wet it down.
In 1914 the GFC would purchase a 1908 locomobile and convert it into a fire fighting piece of equipment and put into service in 1915.
The Glenside fire Company would win the first of it's now over 250 trophies that are proudly displayed throughout the station.
The Company purchases its first purpose-built fire truck, a brand new Seagrave. It is equipped with a 750 gallon per minute pump.
The Company puchases land across the street from its station and builds a new station that is still used today.
Fire Engineering Magazine recognizes the Glenside Fire Company as having created the first organized fire school for volunteer fireman
The GFC forms a newsletter, “The Siren” which is sent out to all it’s members serving in the Armed Forces. The Siren is still produced today and is included in the companies annual fund drive mailing.
The post war years brought a number of changes to GFC as Glenside grew rapidly and the need for additional fire protection increased. Glenside would purchase a 1949 65 ft. Seagrave, it would be the Townships first and only Montgomery Counties second all-steel hydraulic ladder truck.
The Fire company proudly celebrates its 50th anniversary.
GFC purchases its first cab forward pumper, a 1961 Seagrave.
A massive explosion rocks the Trunk Sweet Shop and Restaurant on Limekiln Pike and Willow Grove Avenue. The gas explosion is felt a mile away. Out of the mounds of rubble firefighters rescue seven of the occupants of the building. Two others do not survive.
Smoke filled the sky as fire fighters battled a large house fire at Bent and Accomac Rd.
The Company holds a large parade to celebrate and house its new twin 1972 Seagrave Pumpers and its newly renovated building.
A large fire occurs at the Glenside Lumberyard. A well designed pre-plan and the valiant efforts of firefighters prevent it from spreading to the eight nearby fuel storage tanks.
A structure fire destroys a 100 year old feed mill at Primex Garden Center on Glenside Ave
In December a garage fire turned much more sinister when two chlorine tanks began leaking. Over 1000 people would be evacuated and 15 Firefighters would be transported to the Hospital.
Ladder 1 wins “best appearing and equipped aerial” at the Pa State Convention.
Glenside Fire Company proudly celebrates its 100th year of volunteer service to the community.
A spectacular fire at the Cedarbrook Hill condominiums would test the high rise firefighting skills of the Company.
The Bell off of the 1930 Chiefs car would be graciously donated back to the company and put on display in one of the company's trophy cases
In the early hours of May 12, a large fire would destroy the old Ceaderbrook Country Club. Numerous alarms would be struck with responding companies setting up a very long and intricate water supply.
For the third time in two years the firefighters high rise skills would be tested at the Towers of Wyncote. Numerous Companies from surrounding departments would once again handle the complex evacuation of 100’s of occupants without incident.