Program looks at history of firefighting in Latrobe |

Program looks at history of firefighting in Latrobe

Jeff Himler
Latrobe Area Historical Society
In this 1889 photo, members of Latrobe’s Goodwill Hose Company No. 1 pose with their firefighting apparatus outside the fire station at 1 Miller St. Today, the company station is at Oak and Alexandria streets.

The 140-year history of organized firefighting in Latrobe is the topic of a new slide show the Latrobe Area Historical Society will present this week.

The program is set for 9:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday at the society headquarters and museum, 416 Weldon St., Latrobe. Doors will open at 9 a.m. each day.

Past programs dealt with firefighters, but the new show featuring archival images is an “overall look at the brave men, and now women, who have volunteered their time and talents,” according to an historical society press release. “We will tell the stories of what the earliest days were like and how they have progressed.

“Most of us have a relative or friend who has stepped up to serve our community in this manner. For many families, more than one generation has served.”

As noted on the City of Latrobe website, the first organized fire protection for the town’s residents was established on Dec. 19, 1879, when 15 members founded Goodwill Hose Company No. 1. A.J. Keepers served as the first fire chief.

The town council purchased the first firefighting apparatus — a hand-pulled cart equipped with a chemical tank, a ladder, pike poles and 10 leather buckets.

By 1907, four additional fire companies had been organized. The following year, all five combined to form the Latrobe Volunteer Fire Department.

Today, the department has more than a dozen vehicles it can send to assist at the scenes of fires, traffic wrecks and other emergencies.

Admission is free for the program, but donations will be appreciated. Refreshments will be served.

Parking is on the street Friday. Those attending Saturday also may park in the lot of Kelley, Sparber & White, at Weldon and Alexandria streets.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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