These days the 25 active volunteer firefighters of Linfield Fire Co. No. 1 of Limerick Township are busier than ever. In addition to fielding their regular allotment of fire calls, they're hard at work preparing for this year's observance of the company's 100th anniversary.
On Saturday, Sept. 14, Linfield has scheduled an open house - a 'biggie' in the words of Dennis Rumler, chairman of the 100th anniversary committee – at the firehouse on Main Street in Linfield. The high point of the event will be the housing of Linfield's fleet of apparatuses, consisting of rescue engine, quint, tanker, air/light truck, Jeep, utility truck, fire police truck and command truck.
'We are going full force and housing all of our equipment at one time in one big gala event,' said Rumler. The ceremonial housing – the manual pushing of the vehicles into the firehouse – will be performed by neighboring fire companies. The whole community, along with area fire companies, ambulance squads, township and state officials, are invited to participate.'
Following the housing, a variety of festivities have been slated for the open house, which runs from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. These activities include fire prevention and vehicle rescue demonstrations, refreshments, music by a local disc jockey plus a moonbounce and face painting for the kids.
In planning the celebration, Linfield FC decided to forego a traditional parade. 'Parades are nice to have,' Rumbler acknowledged, 'but they are costly and demand considerable manpower. They also involve obtaining permission from the township and state to close off roads, finding locations to park the fire vehicles, fuel costs, the preparation and sending of invitations to area fire companies, purchase of trophies (and) selection of a judging organization. We decided to have an open house because, in that way, the community will have an opportunity to get up close and personal with us during this important time in our history.'
Many fire companies are going this route, he continued. 'Instead, they are opting for 'little' celebrations in the firehouse; it's more of an intimate way for the community to get to know the fire company, learn about the types of apparatus used and the services performed.'
Rain date for the open house is Sunday, Sept. 15.