KIMBERTON -- The Kimberton Fire Company has been serving six townships, approximately 32 square miles, since the late 1920s.
Known as Station 61, the fire company is located on Route 113 in Kimberton, and is a combination company made up of mainly volunteer firefighters and augmented by two full time, weekday career (paid) firefighters.
The current fire chief is Steve Hughes, while Chuck Fields serves as the deputy fire chief.
The townships the company serves are Charlestown, East Pikeland, East Vincent, West Pikeland, West Vincent and Schuylkill.
The fire company came to fruition back in the late 1920s, when a group of community leaders felt the need to have a fire company.
Back on January 30, 1929, the group met in the home of N.G. Schankels to discuss the need for a local fire company.
During that meeting, they formed a group "to protect Kimberton and vicinity from fire."
So on February 5, 1929, the first officers were elected by the newly formed membership. They also voted to purchase a 1917 Brockway combination chemical and hose car for the sum of $300.
Kimberton Fire Company then became incorporated in May 1929.
Kimberton's first new fire apparatus was a Hale pumper purchased in May 1936. Unfortunately, the first call this piece responded to was a fire in Kimberton's firehouse. The firehouse was a complete loss, but the pumper was saved and was actually used to help extinguish the blaze.
That year, the members elected to sponsor a fair to raise much-needed funds. The Kimberton Fair is still held the last full week of July every year.
Currently, the Kimberton Fire Company has a fleet of 12 emergency vehicles to meet the needs of the community.
They also utilize technological advances not available to their founding fathers back then: ittems such as self contained breathing apparatus, hydraulic rescue tools, thermal imaging cameras and modern fire-resistant turnout gear that helps to protect firefighters from deadly heat and flames.
In addition to providing fire and rescue services, they also provide regional support as members of the Tanker Task Force and maintain the County's Mass Casualty Unit and a State Forest Fire Crew. The Kimberton Fire Company is the local Emergency Operations Center and also a designated Emergency Evacuation Center.
The Kimberton Fire Company provides much more than fire protection; they've grown to be responsive to the needs of our community. By building positive community partnerships, they are able to enrich the lives of the citizens they protect.
By partnering with Kimberton Youth Athletic League and the Phoenixville Youth Babe Ruth League, the fire company is able to provide positive alternatives for the youth of the community.