Bechtelsville - Keystone Fire Company
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Berks County > Fire Companies > Bechtelsville - Keystone Fire Company

 

The Keystone Fire Company No. 1 of  Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania

Keystone Fire Company No. 1 of Bechtelsville was organized and adopted its name on April 10, 1916.  On October 2, 1916, the charter was received and the Constitution and By-Laws were adopted. 
 
On June 13, 1917, the company voted to purchase the three-story frame building at Main and Race Streets from Irvin B. Kehs for $4,000. This building was purchased subject to a school board lease to occupy the second floor with the now defunct Bechtelsville Junior High School.  An engine house was added to the Race Street side of the building in 1917.  The Bechtelsville Post Office now occupies this site.
 
On Saturday May 3, 1952, the company vacated the three-story frame building at Main and Race Streets and formally opened the new $85,000 two-story brick firehouse , which is still occupied by the fire company today.  The 30 X 100 foot building was constructed on the site formerly occupied by a grist mill.  Michael G. Adamski, a Pottstown contractor at that time, constructed the building.  In 2004, The new addition to this building was complete.
 
The first engine purchased was the Simplex engine.  The cost of this engine was $1,565. The Simplex engine was in service until 1929.  The Seagrave pumper was purchased in 1929 at a cost of $12,500.  In 1956, the company then purchased a Mack pumper at a cost of $18,177.
 
At the April 3, 1963 meeting, the company decided to purchase a Ford emergency truck.  The chassis, bought from Spence Ford, cost $3,485 and the high pressure pump and 250 gallon booster tank, bought from John Bean Company, cost $6,100.  Fire Chief John H. Kehl, First Assistant Chief Ronald Kehl, Second Assistant Chief LeRoy H. Herb and Roger S. Yoder, a driver, traveled to Lansing, Michigan where they accepted delivery of the pumper and drove it home to Bechtelsville, arriving on Wednesday, September 25, 1963.
 
The first tanker/tender was a 1969 Ford chassis with an 1800 gallon stainless steel tank installed by 4 Guys Inc. in 1979.