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Engine 28's History


When Pipeline 28 was first organized, it was only on a temporary basis. Back in 1876, the City of Philadelphia was having a Centennial Exposition in Fairmount Park. But, at the time of the Exposition, there had only been two engine companies in the area of Fairmount Park. Those two companies were Engine 5 and Engine 16. William Johnson, who was the Chief Engineer (old term for "Fire Commissioner"), was concerned with the lack of fire protection in the area west of the Schukyill River. But his main concern at this point, was the amount of people who would be gathering on the Exposition Grounds. Johnson made a proposition to City Council to organize atleast one more Engine company, but the City Council said no. However, City Council did do two small things. They gave Engine 16 a new hose carriage and organized a temporary Engine Company to be stationed in a temporary station on the Exposition Grounds during the festivities. After everything was over, Engine 28 was disbanded.

Only about two years later on April 1, 1878, Engine 28 was reorganized. This time they were a permanent Engine company in a permanent firehouse. The station was located at 3068 Belgrade Street, near Clearfield Street, in the Port Richmond section of the City. Chief Engineer Johnson had been fighting for a station in this section for awhile. The station was re-built in 1909.

After approximately 100 years in their station at 3068 Belgrade, they got a new station a few blocks north. The new station was located at Belgrade and Ontario Streets. They received that station on February 2, 1978 and are still housed there today.

On March 4, 1987, Engine 28 became a 5" company, better known as a "Pipeline." A regular Engine company carries 5 lengths of 5" Large-Diameter-Hoseline (LDH), whereas a Pipeline company carries 10 lengths of the 5" LDH. They then became known as "Pipeline 28."


Since Pipeline 28 was first organized, they have gone through alot of apparatus. I am currently working on finding what kind of apparatus they used. Currently, Pipeline 28 runs with a 1991 Seagrave pumper with a 1500-GPM tank and 500-gallon booster tank and features the all-red paint scheme. Before they received the 1991 Seagrave, they used a 1984 Seagrave and a 1978 American LaFrance. Both had 1000-GPM pumps and 500-gallon booster tanks. Both of the engines featured the all-red paint scheme.


Pipeline 28 is in the 10th Battalion and the 2nd Division. The 10th Battalion is located at Castor and Kensington Avenues with Engine Company 7 and the 2nd Division is located at Foulkrod and Langdon Streets, where he shares a station with Engine Company 70. There are 6 Engine Companies and 2 Ladder Companies in the 10th Battalion. The 2nd Division is made up of 33 Engine Companies and 16 Ladder Companies.


In Pipeline 28's entire history, only three members have made the Supreme Sacrifice. The most recent death being on July 29, 1999. The first LODD in Pipeline 28's history was Hoseman Thomas Vaughan. While he was working at a fire in February of 1904, he caught a cold, which later developed into pneumonia. He died from this illness on March 13, 1904.

Hoseman William J. Robinson was the second member to die from Engine 28. While the company had been responding to a second-alarm at 2400 Kensington Avenue, Engine 28's pumper was hit by a locomotive while they were crossing train tracks at Trenton and Ann Streets. Robinson was ejected from the wagon and got ran over by the locomotive. His leg and arm were almost completely severed and needed to be amputated. Robinson then died four days later.

July 29, 1999 was the date of the most recent Line-of-Duty-Death in Pipeline 28's history. Firefighter Richard Devine was from Pipeline 28's "B" Platoon. After extinguishing a fire with the help of his fellow colleagues, Devine collapsed upon a bed. His fellow colleagues tried resuscitating the fallen Devine, but were unsuccessful. A medic unit was dispatched to the scene and then transported Devine to Northeastern Hospital, where he died a short time later of a heart attack and heat stress.

This site is currently undergoing some changes and corrections. Please excuse any mistakes and sorry for the inconvenience!

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