Operating out of one station in Bradenville, we are responsible for the 105 square miles of Derry Township. In the township, we have approximately 14,560 residents, and run an average of 550 calls per year. We own 2 rescue-pumper trucks, one of which is utilized mainly as an engine, and the other as our rescue. We also have a tanker truck, attack truck, and squad truck, and utility/brush truck. The people who man these trucks are 36 active members that volunteer their time to making the township a better place, whether it is through running fire calls, assisting people, or working events throughout the township. All of our personnel are trained in firefighting operations and hazardous materials, and most of our personnel are trained in EMS, vehicle rescue, and wild land firefighting. We also have 12 members that are trained in swift water rescue and boat operations. These water rescue members are part of the Westmoreland County Team 175, which also includes New Alexandria VFD, and Lloydsville VFD. They can respond to anywhere in the state if requested or required.
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 the present, 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 no longer with the department
- A 1981 Ford 1250gpm Pumper. This truck, designated as Engine #6, is no longer with the department
- 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. This unit is no longer with the department
- A 1996 Chevrolet Crew Cab Pick-up Truck. This truck served as our squad truck until January of 2017, and now currently serves as our brush truck
- A 1998 Utility Style Chevrolet Truck. This unit was refurbished by department personnel and outfitted with a skid mount water tank. It responded on brush and wildland fires to provide "off road" fire suppression capabilities. This unit is no longer with the department
- 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.
- In 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 2011 Sutphen Rescue. Rescue 71 responds to all vehicle accidents, and is second out on all incidents involving fire.
- A 2012 U.S. Tanker 3000 gallon "Patriot Series" Tanker, with a 750 GPM pump, and dump chutes on all sides.
- A 2017 Chevrolet 3500 utility style truck, designed for EMS assists, service calls, and light vehicle accidents.
- A 2017 Polaris Ranger 900 equipped with a fire suppression/rescue skid unit
- A 2019 Ford F-550 custom built attack truck built by Precision. Used as a light engine/rescue and is all-terrain accessible
- In 2019, a 2011 Chevrolet 2500, affixed with a fire suppression skid unit for brush/off road fires. We also have a cap we use to cover a slide out bed during brush fire "off-season" so we can use the truck to haul various things.
The department also has a gym and land across from it for future expansion.
In 2013, Derry Township Volunteer Fire Department Co.1 of Bradenville celebrated it's 75th anniversary by hosting the 78th Westmoreland County Firemen's Convention over a span of three days. Convention celebration events included a parade, games, bands and food at the playground. A battle of the barrel as well as convention ending fireworks display.
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.
|1938-1939||M. A. Hill|
|1977||Dennis DeBacco/Mike Kohuth|
|1983||Bill Curran/James Wano|
|1984||James Wano/Anthony Arbore|
|1990 ||Mike Hovance |
|1991||Anthony Arbore |
|1992||John Hovance Jr|
| 2007||Dennis Krinock |
| 2007 ||John Hovance Jr.|
| 2008||Jerry Hoffman |
| 2009||John Hovance Jr|
|2010||John Hovance Jr/Sean Green|
| 2011- 2012||Sean Green |
| 2013||James Thomas|
These individuals have given their time to train and lead the members of this department to fulfill the responsibilities of the Charter.
|1976-1982||Vincent "Tobe" Cackowski|
| 1992-1998||Anthony Arbore|
| 1998-2003||Thomas Squib|
| 2003-Present||Mark Piantine|