On the morning of April 11th,1925
one of the most disastrous fires our
little village ever experienced. It
wiped out all our best business district
consisting of the Haver block, M.E.
Church and I.O.O.F. Hall, Cree's Garage,
P.O.S. of A. and the junior O.U.A.M.
Hall, which was formerly the borough's
school building and the residence of
John Harris, known as the Bradley
Building. if it were not for the prompt
and efficient assistance rendered by out
neighboring fire companies, Carmichaels
and Fredericktown, our town would have
been a total loss.
On April 16th, 1925 with the aid of a
donation from the citizens of this town
of nearly $1,000 the first triple
combination fire truck in Greene County
was purchased from the Howell Fire
Apparatus Company. This vehicle was a
Reo-Chasis. Prior to this time, we had
no protection except a hand pumper which
can still be seen in our truck house.
The new truck was delivered on June 3rd, 1925. This event added a page to the
history of our little town making
necessary the organization of a
volunteer fire company. On June 12th,
Paul Feitt, then president of the town
council, called a meeting of all
citizens interested in this undertaking.
At this meeting the first company 20
officers where elected:
President - Paul Feitt
Secretary - Chas Burnette
Chief - C.C. Folwell
Assistant Chief - William Crayne
First Lieutenant - Fred Strosnider
Second Lieutenant - Paul Hill
and about 15 charter members.
On September 30th, 1925 they answered their first call which was to Rices Landing. They responded to this call with no coats and boots and due to the weather they quickly realized that rubber coats and boots were an absolute necessity. There being no money in the treasury to purchase the same, but through the kindness of the ladies organization of the churches in Jefferson and Mather and splendid cooperation of the citizens of the community, a chicken supper was held, and the proceeds of $250.00 was used to purchase the rubber coats and boots.
The first call our company received in town was at the residence of J.H. Elms. A charter was granted our company in 1928.
The location of the first fire hall was essentially behind the Jefferson Hotel, which was on the Doc Titus property. Sometime after that, the fire company moved to a barn that was located on Washington St. across from the now Southwestern Water Company. In 1941 they moved to the McGovern Garage on Main st. in front of the Methodist Church.
The first siren that the fire company had was mounted at the old fire hall on the McGovern property. Until that time if they would get a call towards the Dry Tavern area they would then drive up through town torwards Waynesburg to the other end, turn around and come back down, picking up men that would hear the siren from the fire truck. If the alarm was in the other direction, they would do just the opposite.
In 1931, they purchased a 500gpm Piston pump Diamond T fire truck.
1941 the fire company purchased a Diamond T pumper 500gpm front mount pump, with 500 gallons of water on board.This vehicle was purchased for $12,000.00 and was very dependable. the company nick named it "old mo".
On June 23rd, 1944, a tornado swept through this area hitting the Chartiers and Dry Tavern area. The tornado inflicted much damage to this area, resulting in many injuries.
In 1950, the Arhens Fox, 1000 gpm piston pump with 250 gallons of water was purchased for $24,000.00. In February 1950, a gas leak on Pine Street settled into the storm sewers and seeped into seven homes, which consequently exploded and caught fire. The fire company
quickly took the Fox to a creek and pumped water to the scene to fight the fires, with much needed help from our surrounding communities. It was not until 1954 that they installed water lines in our community of Jefferson.Somtime around 1950, the ground the current fire hall is on, was bought from Les Reynolds for $5,600.00. The ground was a big hollow and it took many truck loads of dirt to level.
The fire company made it into their carnival grounds and eventually built a permanent kitchen in 1970. We served many a fish dinner and barbeque chicken with our famous sauce.
In 1960, the Seagrave 1,000 gpm with 250 gallons of water was purchased. This vehicle has recently been sold. The total cost of this apparatus was $30,000.00. It had to be sent back to the factory to have it's front windshield cut down so that it could fit into the garage.
In 1970 we purchasd the International 4 wheel drive pressure brush truck, with 400 gallons of water on board. This apparatus was purchased from the Salsbury Fire Apparatus in New York for $21,000.00.
on February 28th, 1970, the Lucas and Behm Funeral Home donated, to the fire company, their 1963 Cadillac Ambulace, which the fire company then started their ambulance service.
This vehicle was later donated to the Wind Ridge Fire Department in 1971.
In 1971, a Ford ambulance was purchased from Paletta Ford in Fredericktown for $7,200.00.
The junior membership was instituted in this company in 1971, with the firemen's sons being the first junior members.
In 1971 our fire company started to participate in the tent city activities of the Western Pennsylvania Firemen's convention.
Bingo was being played as early as 1940 and up to around 1955, When they discontinued playing the game. The fire company then resumed Bingo in 1973 with the thought in mind of building a new fire hall on the existing carnival grounds.
In 1979, it was decided to hold bingo on two nights a week, Wednesday and Saturday. Currently Bingo is held two nights a week, Wednesday and Friday. The first bingo in the new social hall was in September 1976.
In 1973, the ladies of the fire company organized the Ladies Auxiliary which was a welcomed relief for the kitchen help at bingo times!
In 1974, the fire company purchased from Phund Ambulance Equipment, a new Dodge ambulance.
The new social hall was built in 1976 for the amount of $125,000.00 which the fire company members did most of the interior finishes.
in 1977, we purchased a 1963 Ford 500 gpm pumper from the Marianna Volunteer Fire Department for $9,000.00. This truck had 500 gallons of water on board.
In 1978, the fire company purchased the first tanker for the area from Hunker Fire company. This truck was a 1,000 gallon 1953 Ford old gasoline truck. This truck was purchased for $1,200.00 and was nicknamed "Julie" because it looked like a real jewel.
In June 1979, a Ford box type ambulance was purchased from Conway Coach for $43,000.00 fully equipped.This ambulance was purchased by the Ladies Auxiliary of JVFC and donated to the fire company.
In early 1979, the fire company started the construction on the new $750,000.00 truck and social hall. They had their grand opening on February 23rd, 1980. The first meeting held in the new fire hall was December 7th,1979 with the election of officers in 1980.
1982 found the fire company purchasing a new GMC 2,000 gallon tanker from Four Guys in Meyersdale, Pa. for $75,000.00. This truck has a 500 gpm pump and has the capacity to dump the water in a matter of seconds.This truck is still in service.
In 1984 a huge all day party took place to celebrate the mortgage burning of our new fire and social hall.
The flood in November 1985 found the company participating in helping its neighboring companies, Rices Landing and East Beth Fire Companies fight the flood waters of the Monongahela. They also saw within a 24 hour period, the water recede to its lowest level in the Monongahela River history. The Fire Company was hauling water to its Water Treatment Plant so that the community would not suffer in its lack of domestic water. This company received a commendation from the Pennsylvania Senate for its efforts.
In 1986, the Sutphen Fire Apparatus was purchased for $204,000.00 which included its equipment. The apparatus has a 1,250 gallon gpm pump with 1,000 gallons of water on board, eight pre-connected lines, a light generator and a numerous self-contained breathing apparatus.
In September 1986, the Fire Company Battle of the Barrel Team won its fourth consecutive title at the Carmichaels Coal show.
In 1989 the Fire Company purchased a 15 passenger Van on a 1 ton chassis from Fox Motor in Waynesburg.
In 1992 the Fire Company purchased a Braun Box Type ambulance.