Dedicated Service for 75 Years

PTVFD 2005 Officers

History of the Perry TownshipVolunteer Fire Department

Before the time of gas-powered fire trucks, almost every community like Perryopolis had bucket brigades or hand-drawn hose and chemical carts. Our first fire department was organized in 1912 and it was of the kind just mentioned. The department was modernized in 1914 by the addition of two chemical carts with attached hose reels. Interest in the fire department waned because of the limited number of services that the department was able to render to the town. Then too, the organization only was active during fires. All monies were raised by donations, and meetings were held only on rare occasions.

In 1922, a fire broke out in the Stickle Building, right off our public square, and threatened to destroy the entire Perryopolis town center. The citizens ralied to the cause and kept the fire under control until equipment could arrive from Fayette City, Belle Vernon, and Smithton. As a result, the fire was confined to the Stickle Building. Immediately after this disaster the Perryopolis Board of Trade met and decided that our town was in great need of modern fire protection. The President of the Board of Trade, Dr. J.R. Martin, was empowered to select a committee of interested citizens to study the problem and report to the Board of Trade.

The following men comprised the committee: Michael Karolcik, President; J.M. Palonder, Vice President; Chads Chalfant, secretary ; Joe Statzula; Mike Uhall; Bill Cortese; and Frank Frescura. After several meetings and much deliberation the committee reported to the Board of Trade, suggesting that some fire equipment be purchased and that funds for the purchase come from donations from the businesses and citizens of Perryopolis. An early fundraiser was a movie that was shown at Karolcik’s Theater with all proceeds earmarked for the not-yet-formed Fire Department.

Our Fire Department was finally organized in 1926, though we had no equipment at the time. Under the guiding influence of Chief Litman of the Uniontown Fire Department and Chief Bill DeBolt of the Connellsville Fire Department, Perryopolis organized the Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department, the name by which the department is known to this day. A short time later we also organized the Perry Township Relief Association. Progress was slow, but in 1927, we purchased our first fire truck. It was made in Rochester, New York, by the Buffalo Fire Equipment Company. We then found that we had to buy extra equipment for the fire truck and also a siren for the fire house. Many other problems had to be faced as well. On August 11, 1930, we were granted a charter by the Courts of Fayette County. The following names appear on the charter as Charter Members.

Today, the Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department is located on South Liberty Street in a building once occupied by the Otto Milk Company. The Fire Department has three engines and one rescue truck. The three Engines are as follows: A 1948 American LaFrance, a 1981 Hahn Pumper, and most recently, a 1998 American LaFrance Pumper that cost the Department approximately $250,000.00 to have built to our specifications. Please support your PTVFD!


This page created by Jason Lynch.

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