Located in Derry Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, we the Derry Township VFD Company #1 of Bradenville provide fire suppression, rescue, and hazard control to the citizens and visitors of Derry Township. We are primarily responsible for emergency response to approximately 70 square miles of Derry Township. From one fire station located in Bradenville, we operate two Engine Companies and one Rescue Company. Our cache of apparatus includes two engines, one rescue truck, one tanker, one brush truck, one squad truck, and two water rescue boats. Staffing these apparatus are a cadre of forty volunteers that are trained in firefighting, rescue operations, hazardous materials response, and emergency medical response. In addition to our commitment to our community, we are also certified by the state as a Level II Swift Water Rescue Team. The thirteen members of this team are capable to respond, per request, anywhere within Pennsylvania for water related emergencies.
The mission of this department is to:
- Save the lives and property of the citizens and visitors of Derry Township from fire and other natural or man made hazards through the employment of fire suppression, rescue, and hazard control measures.
- Mitigate incidents that may have an adverse effect on the enviroment and wildlife.
- Prevent emergencies from occurring and lessen the risk to life by providing fire safety and prevention training and education.
- Maintain a stable and safe work environment for it's personnel.
The purpose of this website is to help this department achieve its mission goals and to honor those who have helped over the years to make this department what it is today. It's primary objective is to convey life saving information on the natural and man made hazards that have the potential to affect anyone at anytime. It will serve as an interface between the Bradenville Firefighters, fellow fire and emergency service personnel, and the citizens of the area. It will also serve to keep the community updated on the current activities of the department such as training, fund-raising, and emergency response. Call postings will be such as to provide a vicarious means of learning.
Left To Right: John Urdzik, Joe Kuba, Mike Calebrese, Jackie Mucci, Wingard, Joseph Kahout, George Frenchik, Ralph Bowser, Raymond Angeline, George Radakovich, Pete Tosh, Wingard, Frank Agusta, Pete Calebrese, Louis Starry, Thomas Angus, James Hill, Dan Mucci, Al Treoanie, Nick Bosco
A group of men from the Bradenville area held a meeting on February 14, 1938 to establish what is known today as the Derry Township Volunteer Fire Department Company #1 of Bradenville. Mr. Robert Jenkins presided over the meeting as chairman to have nominations and elections of officers. Mr. Harry Hull, of Southwest Greensburg VFD, who was 1st Vice President of the Westmoreland County Fireman's Association, swore in the newly elected officers. Mr. C.W. Hysong and Mr. Harry Snively of Southwest Greensburg VFD, Mr. Meyers of Hermine VFD, and Mr. Charles Loffer of Manor VFD each gave a talk; and each donated one dollar to the company establishing their first saving of four dollars.
During the early months of the department, the men held meetings every other week. They paid dues of ten cents per month. They joined the Westmoreland County Fireman's Association in March of 1938; making at the time 55 departments in the association. They established by-laws and regulations for the operation of the department. In April of 1938, they established a Fire Police and initiated the practice of ringing the church and school bells for alarms.
The main concern for the department at this time was to establish a good financial backing for the purpose of purchasing fire fighting equipment, trucks, and real estate. They held raffles, a musical at the Derry High School, and bingos in the old Snyderton Hall, (the present Slovak Club). On July 5, 1938 the department received its charter with eleven members signing. Afterwards, they continued to raise monies for the department, and educated themselves as to what types of equipment they should purchase. Then, in August of 1940, the Department purchased property form the Enterprise Coronet Band of St. Clair, for the sum of four hundred twenty dollars and eighty cents. They then began discussing plans to build a hall.
Not long after, war broke out in Europe, and the U.S. involvement took many of the men from the area. During this time, the Department went into a "state of limbo". Then on June 24, 1946, in the basement of the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Bradenville, eleven of the original members assembled themselves for the reconstruction of the department. They held meetings and bingos in the old Bradenville school. They purchased an old ambulance for the Department, which later they sold for twenty five dollars. Plans for a hall were drawn up by Mr. George Gera, and in 1949 the men of the department joined together and built the hall. Also, during November and December of 1949 they established their first envelope drive. Finally, in March of 1950, the hall was finished. The practice of church bells ringing was replaced with a siren for alarms. This siren was replaced in 1958.
In March of 1952, there was a special meetings held for the purpose of purchasing a 1952 Ford truck from Central Fire Truck Sales of St. Louis for eleven thousand, six hundred and ninety six dollars.
In August of that year Mr. George Radacovich, Casper Monteparte, Michael Calabrese, and Ken Starry from the department delivered the truck and drills were held every Monday night. In November of that same year, the department began a practice of "testing" the siren every Saturday at twelve o'clock noon which was carried on for years. In 1955, the department purchased its second vehicle, a squad truck, from the Latrobe VFD, this truck was replaced in 1969 with a new one. In 1965, the department purchased a International 4wd 400gpm High-Pressure Pumper and served as a front line suppression apparatus. This truck also served, throughout the years after refurbishment, as a Rescue Truck and a Brush Truck. This truck is no longer with the department.
In 1968, Pennsylvania Act 84 (the Volunteer Firefighters' Relief Association Act), was established to provide volunteer fire departments with yearly public tax money for the purchase of firefighter safety equipment. This Act thus created the Derry Township VFD Relief Association of Bradenville. Although the Department and Relief Association are separate legal entities, they are both operated by Department Personnel.
On July 13, 1965 a Ladies Auxillary was formed for the purpose of assisting the firefighters in their endeavors by providing rehab support during emergencies and by raising funds through bake sales and fund-raising activities. Twenty-two members were present:
Hester Tosh, Lillian Hunter, Elizabeth Wagel, Rose Palumbo, Dlores Kozielec, Sarah Hunt, Edythe Matusek, Janet Calebrese, Rita Urdzik, Elizabeth Calabrese, Erma Lint, Mary Radakovich, Vern Reese, Tessie Kozielec, Pauline Angeline, Anna Kozielec, Jean Smith, Aletha Bush, Mary Reese, Elizabeth Yandrick, Anna Kahl, Josephine Bush
From 1971 to 1977 the Auxillary ceased to exist due to lack of active membership. On March 7, 1977 a re-organization meeting was held. Those forming the new organization were:
Anna Kozielec, Edythe Matusek, Betty Siko, Helen Cackowski, Patty Cackoski, Janet Calebrese, Giovanna Geary, Kathryn Kohuth, Mary F. Kohuth, Mary Krinock, Maureen Matusek, Denise Squibs (Calebrese), Kay Wingard, Stella Digirolamo, Clare Vitale
From 1970 through 2007 the Department has grown with the community and society to maintain a first class fire department. With the advancement of technology and the increase of emergency needs throughout this era, the department has work diligently to train and educate themselves with advanced firefighting, rescue, and hazard control techniques, as well as to acquire new equipment for safer and more efficient emergency operations. In 1978, the department joined the Westmoreland County 911 Dispatching System and was assigned the station identifier of Station 71.
Equipment bought within this time frame includes:
- A 1971 Ford 740gpm Pumper. This truck, at the time, was used as a primary fire suppression unit. It was assigned the Identifier of Engine 71-4. This unit was sold in the early 2000's.
- A 1972 Mack Tanker Truck which holds 3000 gallons of water. This unit is still in service today.
- A 1981 Ford 1250gpm Pumper. This truck, designated as Engine #6, is currently a second line Engine.
- In the 1980's a Hurst Hydraulic Rescue Tool System to extricate and disentangle victims from vehicles involved in accidents.
- A 1993 Freightliner, JB Rescue Rescue Truck. Rescue 71 still serves the community on all rescue related emergencies.
- A 1996 Chevy Crew Cab Pick-up Truck. Squad 71 follows second to the Rescue or Engine for manpower and responds on water rescue emergencies with the boats. It also responds on special duties. (ie flooding or manpower calls).
- A 2003 Sutphen 2000gpm Pumper. This unit, designated as Engine #7, replaced the 1971 Ford Pumper. It responds first out on all incidents involving fire.
- 2004, A Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC). This piece of equipment, funded through community donations, allows firefighters to find entrapped victims and fire more quickly in building fires.
- A 2005 Utility Style Truck. This unit was refurbished by department personnel and outfitted with a skid mount water tank. It responds on brush and wildland fires to provide "off road" fire suppression capabilities.
The department also has a social hall and land across from it for future expansion. Recently the department purchased the old Bradenville Amvets property. The new property will serve as a larger social hall for department activities.
We Joyfully Remember Those Dedicated Men Who Devoted Their Time And Talents To Establish This Department
Steve P. Waggle
Alex R. Braden
Michael A. Hill
Leyland F. Dean
Beryl F. Clark
Robert L. Jenkins
Michael R. Calebrese
Richard T. Everett
Frederick L. Latchford
These individuals have gratefully taken the responsibility of leadership in this department with true dedication to make this department survive todays world.
||M. A. Hill
||Dennis DeBacco/Mike Kohuth
||Bill Curran/James Wano
||James Wano/Anthony Arbore
||John Hovance Jr
||John Hovance Jr.
||John Hovance Jr
||John Hovance Jr/Sean Green
These individuals have given their time to train and lead the members of this department to fulfill the responsibilities of the Charter.
||Vincent "Tobe" Cackowski