THE HISTORY OF THE LICK HILL VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
The Lick Hill Community Volunteer Fire Department and Relief Association was founded in 1969. The main purpose this fire department was formed was to haul drinking water to all residents in the Lick Hill area, and to provide water to neighboring fire companies in case of a fire.
The original founders of the Lick Hill Community Volunteer Fire Department and Relief Association were Dr. Rupert Von Fox - 114 Linwood Drive, Butler, Marvin R. Hays - 172 Chicora Road, Butler, Kennith L. Wetzel - 146 Chicora Road, Butler, Brice M. Hetrick - 130 Chicora Road, Butler, and Howard P. Miller - 190 Chicora Road, Butler. These men are to be known as the incorporators of the Lick Hill Community Volunteer Fire Department and Relief Association.
The first meeting of the Lick Hill V.F.D. was on March 20, 1969. At that meeting, it was brought up to buy a 1961 Chevrolet, 1350 gallon tank truck available for us to buy, with an estimated value of $1,500.00 to $1,800.00. Also at this meeting, it was brought up that Robert Troutman owner of the Hill Top Drive-in, would sell us land for the Lick Hill Volunteer Fire Department for an actual price of $650.00. The last point of business in the meeting was the nominations for officers of the Lick Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Relief Association. Nominations were opened and would remain open until the night of the election, which was held on April 17, 1969.
The next meeting was held on April 10, 1969. At this meeting, the various features and location of the land Mr. Troutman offered to sell, was explained. The lot size was described as being 100 feet by 264.4 feet to the center of a 40 foot right of way. The five original organizers of the fire department came to an informal agreement to have a lawyer search the deed of this ground. The lawyer, whom checked out the deed for the land, was Mr. Marinaro, who in turn drew up the original petition, the charter, and helped in setting up the first by-laws of the Lick Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Relief Association. The men appointed to form the by-laws committee were as follows: Dr. Rupert Von Fox - Acting Chairman, Kennith L. Wetzel, Bruce M. Hetrick, Peter E. Connor, and Darryl Bergbigler.
The third meeting was held on April 17, 1969 at the Summit Township Municipal Building on Bonniebrook Road, where the following men were installed as the first officers of the Lick Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Relief Association.
Dr. Rupert Von Fox - President Brice M. Hetrick - Vice-President
Peter E. Connor - Secretary Howard P. Miller - Treasurer
Kennith L. Wetzel - Chief Patrick McGee - Assistant Chief
Darryl Bergbigler - Captain Loyal Grossman - 1st Lieutenant
Russel Myers - 2nd Lieutenant
Elected officers were given the Oath of Officer, therefore being sworn in as officers of the Lick Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Relief Association, by Notary Public - Melvin R. Hays. The oath of officer given to these men was as follows - Do you and each of you Solemnly Swear or affirm to uphold and perform the duties of your office and uphold the By-lays of the Lick Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Relief Association. The oath of office given to these men by Melvin R. Hays was entered in the minutes of the Lick Hill V.F.D. as the first legal swearing in of our Fire Association Officers.
The meeting held on April 23rd was also held at the Summit Township Municipal Building. At this meeting the order of business was brought up by Dr. Rupert Von Fox, which was to establish the first By-laws, and to make plans to purchase a fire truck and a building to house it.
The next meeting, which was held on May 15, 1969, a check was written out for the purchase of a 1951 GMC Pumper Fire Truck, of which members had agreed to buy from the Bruin Volunteer Fire Department. Also at this time, a motion, which was unanimously approved, was made to buy the land that Mr. Troutman had offered to sell, with an agreement that the Fire Department has a first option to buy adjoining ground. The Ladies Auxiliary was formed around this time and was at this meeting to give their report of their first officers of the auxiliary, and to discuss what their project would be. The following were announced as First Officers of The Ladies Auxiliary:
Alberta Hetrick - President Mae Wheeler - Vice President
Lucille Wetzel - Secretary Tootie Grossman - Treasurer
The Ladies main project at this time was to purchase the garage doors for the fire hall, but was then changed to the purchase of two air/gas masks for the firemen. The President's gavel used by the firemen at the meeting was donated by Mrs. Helen Edwards. This gavel was used to start the Mercer Road Volunteer Fire Department. Since this gavel was used to start the Lick Hill Volunteer Fire Department it was unanimously agreed upon to make this gavel a permanent part of the Lick Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Relief Association.
The location for a temporary lot to park the fire trucks was discussed and it was agreed the trucks would be parked on the Melvin Hays property. This location was on Route 68 East, in a parking lot along the highway. A fire call box was mounted on a telephone pole and a base siren was put at the top of a tower. This base siren was bought from the Lyndora Volunteer Fire Department at the price of $25.00.
At the June meeting, it was announced that Jim Laborowski of the Frazier Township Volunteer Fire Department, had donated six firemen's coats to the Lick Hill V.F.D.
In August of 1969, The Lick Hill Community Volunteer Fire Department and Relief Association got their state designated fir territory, which was Summit Township North of Route 422. Also at this meeting it was decided to order six fire helmets and six pairs of firemen boots. The Fire Police was then formed and caps and badges were ordered for the Fire Police members.
In September, 1969, it was voted on and approved to buy two sections of 1 1/2 inch hose, an ax, and a 1 1/2 inch nozzle. There was also some considerable discussion on the location of the new fire hall since there was some trouble in acquiring the land from Mr. Troutman. The building of the Lick Hill Community Volunteer Fire Department was started in October of 1969. The construction of the fire hall was started mostly from donations received form the Lick Hill Community. The fire hose that was ordered in the September meeting was paid for by the Herman Volunteer Fire Department, and given to Lick Hill V.F.D. as a donation.
On October 4, 1969 The Lick Hill Fire Department got its first official fire call. Lick Hill V.F.D. and Chicora V.F.D. were called out to an overturned Agway gasoline tanker on Concord Township Road 606, 1 mile east of Route 38. There was $3,000.00 worth of damage done to the Agway truck.
On December 22, 1969, a meeting was called for the Governing Board. At this meeting, the Bond Agreement for the sum of $10,000.00 and the Mortgage agreement for $5,000,00 payable to Dewitt Stevenson, was outlined as specified in the agreements. All terms were then agreed upon and signed. Later in December, a resolution authorizing the Lick Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Relief Association to borrow $5,000.00 form Mr. Dewitt Stevenson, to be repaid at the rate of $1,000.00 a year at eight percent interest, payable quarterly, was read, adopted, and unanimously approved by all of the members present. At this point from the start of the fire hall building construction began, an approximate amount of $4,400.00 was used. Money made by the fire department for the year of 1969, was through raffles, an auction, a picnic, and by selling apple cider.
Summing up the fire departments calls for the years of 1970 & 1971:
3 assists on structural fires, 1 assist on a grass fire, 1 assist on a tornado touchdown, 1 vehicle fire, 1 pole fire, and 4 grass fires.
8 structural fires which were all assists to other departments, 10 grass fires, 3 car fires, 2 stand-bys and 1 false alarm.