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Kenhorst Vol. Fire Co. History
Berks County > Municipalities > Borough of Kenhorst

 

THE HISTORY OF THE KENHORST FIRE COMPANY NO. 1

Back in 1931, a group of citizens of the Borough of Kenhorst held a meeting at the home of Frank R. Kreisher, 1000 New Holland Road. On this date it was agreed to organize a Fire Company for this new and progressive borough in Berks County.

On November 29, 1931, the first permanent organization was formed with these officers: Paul H. Lykens, President; Clarence R. Searfross, Vice President; John J. Ruth, Recording Secretary; Frank R. Kreisher, Treasurer; William Kreisher, Trustee; Claude E. Briner, and Claude Stricter. On February 6, 1932 the Company was granted its charter with 208 charter members.

The Fire Company purchased the Schlegel Building on Kenhorst Boulevard for its headquarters in 1932. In 1947 a $75,000 remodeling program was started. Since that time many improvements have been made. These include the installation of four bowling alleys, paved parking lot, the remodeling of both the ballroom and barroom and improvements to the exterior of the firehouse.

The Fire Company has had a total of eleven fire apparatus during its 72-year history. The first was a used piece of equipment purchased from the Bally Fire Company.

The second was a pumper purchased from the Buffalo Fire Appliance Company in 1934. (This piece is still in operating condition and is used in parades.)

The third apparatus was purchased from the Peter Persch Company in 1958.

The fourth piece of apparatus was a 1941 Mack Pumper purchased in 1973 from the City of Reading to replace the Buffalo when it fell victim of old age.

In April of 1977 a 1000 gallon-per-minute pumper was purchased from the Pierce Manufacturing Corporation that was housed in the 45th anniversary parade and housing ceremony on June 11, 1977.

In September of 1980 a 400 gallon-per-minute mini-pumper was purchased from the Pierce Manufacturing Corporation to replace the 1958 Peter Persch. This truck was housed in the 50th anniversary parade on May 22, 1982.

In 1983 due to the increased equipment needed to be carried, the Fire Company looked to purchase a utility truck. In that year Bell Telephone sold the Fire Company a used truck for one dollar, which was transformed into a utility truck by the members of the Fire Department.

In 1987 a GMC utility truck was purchased to replace the 1983 utility truck. This truck was bought as an empty shell and the members of the Fire Department built the rest.

In 1989 a 1250 gallon-per-minute pumper was purchased from Hahn Manufacturing Corporation to replace the 1977 Pierce. Both the Hahn and the GMC were housed on May 6, 1989.

In 1994 a 1250 gallon-per-minute pumper purchased from Four Guys Inc. to replace the 1980 Pierce.

Our newest piece of equipment is a utility/rescue truck purchased from Emergency Vehicles, Inc. This apparatus was delivered in February 2001.

The Firehouse we currently occupy was built in 1973, and occupied since December of that year. This building is capable of housing three trucks, and is used for training purposes and various fund-raising functions conducted by the Fire Company. It also contains a meeting room and office.

Volunteer firefighters are needed, appreciated and are invited to attend training sessions every Tuesday evening. Occasionally during these training sessions, a fire hydrant would be used for essential training of firefighters and residents in the vicinity of that fire hydrant would probably experience discoloration in their water.