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Berks County > Municipalities > Wyomissing Borough


The impetus to hire the first "paid drivers" in the Borough of Wyomissing dates back to the 1950's when an incident in which there was a oil burner fire in the 1200 block Dauphin Avenue with extension into the basement and to which NO Wyomissing Fire Company apparatus ever responded.  Jesse Brown was Fire Chief (1946-1954).  That's when the Wyomissing Fire Company began to pressure Borough Council for a paid driver.  This continued when some upstart young Fire Chief named David Bausher that continued to press the matter, citing the original occurence involving Jesse Brown and Dauphin Avenue.   
When Bausher became an official member of the fire company, in 1957, and started on the police force in the same year, his shift work enabled him to be available during the day.  Jacob Ruth was Fire Chief.  Bausher talked Jake into being allowed to learn to drive because of that and the incentive was that the Fire Company would get an apparatus out to a call. At that time, the Wyomissing Fire Company continued to be assisted by Textile Industries Fire Brigade on daytime calls, and Bausher considered it a personal challenge to get an apparatus out. It was in the late 50's when Textile stopped responding into the Borough on daytime calls automatically, but would respond if called for assistance.  That stopped in the early 60's.
The Borough finally agreed to hire the first paid driver in 1966, and Red Eyrich was hired when he retired from the police department. The Berkshire Heights Fire Company was given the same addition of a paid driver in Ralph Kissinger shortly thereafter.
Paid drivers for the former "Wyomissing - Company #1" were: Red Eyrich, James Zerr, and Linwood Ohlinger.
Paid drivers for the former "Berkshire Heights - Company #2" were: Ralph Kissinger, Walter Bohn, and Peter Lebengood.
On Sunday, July 30, 2007, the Wyomissing Fire Department entered a new era with the implementation of 24-hour coverage by paid drivers.  Two drivers each are assigned to three separate platoons.  They work a 24-on, 48-off rotation. 
(L-R)  FF J. Smith, E. Holmes, D. Yeager, A. Sites, D. Miller, T. Canto, D. Nester, L. Ohlinger
Fire Commissioner B. Longenecker