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 History
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Records regarding the early firefighters of Gallitzin are scattered and very incomplete. However, there are a few items from the 1800’s that are interesting history.

 
The first organized fire department in Gallitzin was the Mountaineer Fire Company, which was organized around 1890. The officers of the company are not known with the exception of the treasurer, Kenneth A. Reed. Mr. Reed held the treasurer’s position for the Mountaineer Fire Company from 1895 to 1903 when the Gallitzin Fire Company, No. 1 was organized. Mr. Reed continued to serve as the treasurer for the Gallitzin Fire Company No. 1 until his resignation in August of 1938. Mr. Reed died in 1956.
 
1890: Mountaineer Fire Company came into existence.
 
1892: A large fire bell, a gift from the Friendship Hose Company of Baltimore, Maryland, was placed in the tower of what was at that time known as the lock-up on Chestnut Street.
 
1902: Fire destroyed Bracken’s Planing Mill
 
1903: Fire destroyed the Thomas Dillon home in Tunnelhill.
 
The Gallitzin Fire Company was chartered. J.S. Burkhart becomes the 1st Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. L.G. Steiner becomes the 1st President of the Gallitzin Fire Company.
 
1906: February 20th – A disastrous fire on Portage Street resulted in the death of Mrs. Catherine McCann Grogan and three children. Mrs. Grogan was the wife of Patrick Grogan. A fourth child died later as a result of the fire.
           
Thanksgiving Day – The town saw its most costly fire. The buildings destroyed in the blaze included the Opera House, Shilling and Dawson Store, Mountain Supply Store, Bengele’s three-story residence, McKeena’s double house, three houses belonging to the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Bengele and Geus Stables. The fire started in the Opera House and the failure of the water supply caused the fire to spread. The supervisor of the Pennsylvania Railroad dispatched three locomotives from Altoona to Gallitzin. While one locomotive was pumping water to the firemen, the others would fill their tanks. A relay was established so that one locomotive was continuously pumping a stream of water. Additional fire companies from Altoona were sent by railroad flat car to help control the fire but by the time they arrived the fire was under control.
 
1908: An accidental fire destroyed the J.S. Burkhart Stable, the Ehrenfeld Stable and the Walter Parrish residence.
 
1909/1910: Severe shortage of water during these two years prompted firemen to request the residents to be extremely careful to prevent any conflagration.
 
The Firemen’s picnic was held at the Firemen’s Park. This activity was the primary fundraiser for the fire company. Interesting to note is that—Adult Dinners were 50¢ and Children Dinners were 25¢. The orchestra was paid $38.00 and the fire company light bill for that month was $3.03.
 
March – The Keystone Hotel at the corner of Main Street and Forest Street, conducted by Charles Quinn, was destroyed.

1910: W.J. Haid becomes the President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces L.G. Steiner who served as President for 7 years.

1911: A.J. Fitzpatrick becomes the President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces W.J. Haid who served as President for 1 year.
 
Fire destroyed the Emmit House Hotel on Church Street and damage was $3,000.00
 
1912: M.J. Bracken becomes the Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces J.S. Burkhart who served as Fire Chief for 9 years. Robert F. McCaa becomes the President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces A.J. Fitzpatrick who served as President for 1 year.
 
May – Saint Patrick Church was badly damaged by fire.
 
1913: Robert B. McCaa becomes the Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces M.J. Bracken who served as Fire Chief for 1 year. W.J. Haid becomes the President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces Robert B. McCaa who served as President for 1 year.
 
The fire company purchased a No. 10 LaFrance Chemical Engine.
 
1916: October 18 – Gallitzin firemen, with their chemical truck and hand chemicals probably saved Tunnelhill from destruction by fire. Tunnelhill had no piped water supply and chemicals were used to fight fires. The chemical truck was hitched to an automobile and taken to Tunnelhill. Other automobiles were used to carry men and hand chemicals. Three buildings were burned to the ground.
 
1921: October – Fire hit the Leonard Hotel and the Victoria Theater.
 
1922: B.W. Harding becomes the President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces W.J. Haid who served this term as President for 9 years. Mr. Haid served as President of the Gallitzin Fire Company a total of 10 years.
 
The fire company purchased a Stutz triple combination pumper with a 650 gallon per minute capacity for $9,000.00. The first fire “air” whistle was installed on top of the municipal building.
 
1924: The fire tower was renovated to raise the tower and make the whistle more audible.
 
1926: A.J. McGeary becomes the President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces B.W. Harding who served as President for 4 years.
 
The fire company hosted the Volunteer Fireman’s Association of Cambria County and Vicinity Convention. K.A. Cooper, member of the Gallitzin Fire Company, becomes president of the Volunteer Fireman’s Association of Cambria County and Vicinity.
 
The air supply to the fire whistle, supplied by the P.R.R., was discontinued.
 
1927: DeSantes Store was destroyed by fire and Mr. DeSantes was badly burned.
 
A new fire alarm code was adopted:
            1 1 1 General Alarm
            2 2 2 Meeting
            3 3 3 Between Railroad Tracks
            4 4 4 West of North Main
            5 5 5 East of North Main
            6 6 6 Pershing Street
            7 7 7 Portage Street
            8 8 8 Tunnelhill
 
1928: Firemen’s picnic, held annually since 1910, was cancelled because of the faltering economic conditions. Fire badly damaged the Main Street property owned by James Sylvester.
 
1929: The Gallitzin Fire Company No. 1 joined the Central District Fire Association of Pennsylvania.
 
Curfew was initiated. One long blast of the fire siren meant children under the age of 16 were to be off the streets by 10:00pm.
 
The Relief Association was formed. Boroughs turned over 2% of the Foreign Fire Insurance for the Gallitzin Fire Company No. 1 relief fund.
 
1930: Miss Marjorie Newton, a local woman who had been on the New York stage and whose voice was the first to be recorded successfully by Thomas A. Edison, directed a pageant for the benefit of the fire company.
 
August – A fire siren was purchased from Gamewell Co., one street call box. The fire bell was retired.
 
1931: A Cadillac hearse was donated by H.F. Conrad to be used as a utility truck. A water line and fire hydrant was installed on Pershing Street.
 
1932: Firemen were granted use of a room in the Municipal Building to conduct meetings.
 
1933: Bird Eye Mine Tipple burned.
 
1934: A.T. Stauffer becomes the President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces A.J. McGeary who served as President for 8½ years.
 
Fire Company purchased a Pontiac ambulance.
 
1937: Fire Company purchased a Chevrolet fire truck.
 
1938: P.J. Hall becomes the President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces A.T. Stauffer who served as President for 8½ years until his death.
 
The Gallitzin Fire Company No. 1 joined the Firemen’s Basketball League.
 
1939: U.N. Tower burned.
 
1940: October – Robert F. McCaa, succeeded his father, Robert B. McCaa, as Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. Robert B. McCaa served as Fire Chief for 27 years and 10 months until his death.
 
1942: The borough purchased I.R. Campbell Garage, to be used as the fire hall.
 
1943: Francis Lingafelt becomes the Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces Robert F. McCaa who served as Fire Chief for 3 years until he was called to service in the United States military.
 
1944: Fire Company purchased a Ford ambulance from Williams Carriage, Hearse and Auto Company in St. Louis, Missouri.
 
June 6 – The fire bell was used to announce the D-Day, the invasion of Europe, was in progress.
 
1946: Robert F. McCaa once again became Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. “Chief” McCaa replaces Francis Lingafelt who served as Fire Chief for 2½ years.
 
1947: The Red Arrow Train wrecked at Bennington. Firemen and emergency crews were called to assist in the evacuation of the injured and the removal of the dead.
 
Fire Company purchased a fire truck from Oren Mfg.
 
1948: Fire Company purchased a Diamond T Ford truck.
 
1949: Fire Company purchased a Chevrolet truck from Gallitzin Motors – Oren Fire Engine Co.
 
1951: Douglas Kent drowned in McCoy’s Dam. Firemen from all over Cambria County volunteered to help search.
 
1952: The fire siren was moved from the borough building to the fire hall on Chestnut Street.
 
1953: Fire Company purchased a 750-gallon per minute pumper from American LaFrance.
 
 Fire damaged St. Mary’s Convent.
 
1954: Mrs. Rose Hertzog and Florence Landsberry were the first women to be granted membership in the Gallitzin Fire Company No. 1.
 
1955: William McMahon becomes the Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces Robert F. McCaa who served this term as Fire Chief for 9 years and 4 months when he had to move out of state. “Chief” McCaa has served as Fire Chief a total of 12 years and 4 months.
 
 
1956: James Erculiani becomes the Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces William McMahon who served as Fire Chief for 8 months.
 
April 4 – The fire company purchased a base station radio to complete its hookup by radio with fire companies in the Volunteer Firemen’s Association of Cambria County and Vicinity.
 
April 28 – Fire claimed the life of young Donnie Jo Kunsman of Tunnelhill.
 
The fire bell was last used on Election Day, when the Loins Club tolled the bell every hour to remind the voters to get out and vote. The fire bell would be struck to call firemen only as an emergency measure should there be an electrical power failure.
 
1958: January 23 – The Gallitzin Fire Company was called to help control a $500,000.00 fire a Saint Francis College Library in Loretto, Pennsylvania.
 
April – Fire Company purchased a 750-gallon per minute Ford/American LaFrance pumper.
 
Paul F. Johnston, member of the Gallitzin Fire Company, becomes president of the Volunteer Fireman’s Association of Cambria County and Vicinity.
 
1959: Robert F. McCaa becomes the Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces James Erculiani who served as Fire Chief for 3 years.
 
1960: The borough purchased the machine repair shop, located on Saint Thomas Street, from Clearfield Bituminous Corp. to be used as the new headquarters for the Gallitzin Fire Company No. 1.
 
1961: Firemen dedicated the new quarters. More than 5,000 hours of labor were contributed to remodel the old Pennsylvania Coal and Coke Co. Machine Shop. The fire bell, which was retired in 1930, was given a new place of honor on a monumental base in front of the new fire hall on Saint Thomas Street.
 
January 29 – The Blue Moon Tavern, formally the Taylor & McCoy Store, on the corner of Main Street and Chestnut Street was completely destroyed by fire. Damage was estimated at $100,000.00
 
1962: April 9 – The Roosevelt Hotel, a Gallitzin landmark and formally the Fitzharris – Leonard Hotel, was gutted by fire. The pet poodle of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ragucci saved the lives of all the residents but perished in the fire.
 
1963: January 9 – Fire destroyed the 77-year-old Methodist Church. The damage was estimated at $80,000.00.
 
Fire Company purchased a new 1964 American LaFrance fire engine at a cost of $16,325.00.
 
148 ambulance calls were reported for the year.
 
1964: Fire Company purchased an ambulance. The vehicle was a 1962 car, fully equipped.
 
1966: January 11 – Fire destroyed the Bertanzetti Beverage Distributor building on Main Street.
 
1967: The home of Jim Wahl located in Coupon burned. Damage was estimated at $12,000.00.
 
1968: Fire Company purchased a Cadillac ambulance from Superior Sales Co. for $14,675.00.
 
 The Crilley home was damaged by fire. Damage was estimated at $3,000.00.
 
1969: The home of Lawrence Christy burned. Damaged was estimated at $2,500.00.
 
1970: The Crilley home was damaged by fire. Damaged was estimated at $1,000.00.
 
The Ferguson home was damaged by fire. Damage was estimated at $500.00.
 
The fire siren was moved from Chestnut Street to the fire hall on Saint Thomas Street..
 
The Leyo home was damaged by fire. Damage was estimated at $2,000.00.
 
The fire report noted that major fire equipment purchased between 1947 and 1970 totaled $60,955.47 plus numerous small items.
 
1972: Fire damaged a trailer at the DeGol Trailer Court. Damage was estimated at $8,000.00.
 
Paul Johnston and Fire Chief Robert F. McCaa were honored for 25 years of service.
 
1973: The 1958 Ford was sold to the City of Waterford.
 
Fire Company purchased a new attack pumper. The pumper was a 1973 Pioneer 750 gallon per minute pumper from American LaFrance.
 
Fire Company purchased a new Superior 61 ambulance.
 
The Gallitzin Fire Company participated in the 100th Anniversary of Gallitzin Borough.
 
Gary Sweeney drowned in the reservoir. Dauntless Fire Company (Ebensburg), Cresson Fire Company and Inline divers assisted the Gallitzin Fire Company.
 
The Merlini home was damaged by fire. Damage was estimated at $3,500.00.
 
The Litzinger home was damaged by fire. Damage was estimated at $7,000.00.
 
September 23 – Pump house was struck by lightning. The roof was burned off before firemen arrived.
 
October 23 – The home of Robert Mastalski was completely destroyed by fire. One six-year-old, Rachelle, died from smoke inhalation when she apparently ran into the burning building to alert her father, who was thought to be asleep, and was overcome by smoke.

1974: The Finkelstein residents located in Coupon was gutted by fire.
 
May 2 – The Litzinger residents on Webster Street was gutted by fire.
 
The McKee Hotel in Coupon was gutted by fire.
 
1975: The Kavalets home was destroyed by fire. John Kavalets perished in the blaze.
 
1976: A home on Main Street was gutted by fire.
 
 May 10 – The Kunsman home was gutted by fire.
 
 July 15 – The Ringside Hotel, located near Coupon, was destroyed by fire.
 
1977: February 5 – The Fel’s house-trailer was destroyed by fire.
 
Clifford Cherico, member of the Gallitzin Fire Company, becomes president of the Volunteer Fireman’s Association of Cambria County and Vicinity.
 
September 9 – The Deibler trailer was destroyed by fire. Arthur Deibler received burns as a result of the fire.
 
Gallitzin Fire Company was called to assist Dauntless Fire Company (Ebensburg) for a structure fire at the O’Hara Building.
 
1978: Robert T. McCaa is elected the Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces his father, Robert F. McCaa who served this term as Fire Chief for 19 years. “Chief” McCaa served as Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company a total of 31 years and 4 months.
 
1981: The Gallitzin Fire Company hosted the Volunteer Fireman’s Association of Cambria County and Vicinity Convention
 
1983: Robert F. McCaa, member of the Gallitzin Fire Company, becomes president of the Volunteer Fireman’s Association of Cambria County and Vicinity.
 
1986: Clifford Cherico is elected the Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces Robert T. McCaa who served as Fire Chief for 8 years.
 
March – Gallitzin Fire Company responds to a structure fire at the Ralph McCloskey residence on 602 Sugar Street. The fire was suppressed in 15-minutes but the company remained at the scene for approximately three hours. Fire damage was extensive to the second floor of the two-story dwelling. It was believed that the fire was started by an electrical malfunction. No injuries were reported.
 
1987: Gallitzin Fire Company responds to a structure fire at the Earl McCloskey residence on 534 Portage Street at 2:44pm. The 2½-story building received extensive damage as a result of the fire, which was believed to have started in the basement. Fire companies from Cresson and Lilly assisted at the scene while Ashville and Loretto fire companies were on stand-by.
 
1988: Clifford Cherico takes a medical leave of absence from Fire Chief. Robert C. “Herb” Nagle is appointed as acting Fire Chief.
 
1989: Clifford Cherico resumes Fire Chief duties from acting Fire Chief Herb Nagle.
 
Clifford Cherico and Robert C. “Herb” Nagle are honored and awarded Life Membership in the Gallitzin Fire Company. 
 
1990: Charles Howsare is honored and awarded Life Membership in the Gallitzin Fire Company.
 
Clifford Cherico retires as Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. Cliff held the position of Fire Chief for 5 years.
 
1991: Dwayne “Butch” Garman is elected the Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces Clifford Cherico who served as Fire Chief for 5 years.
 
February – Fire Company takes delivery of a 1990 Ford F-350 ambulance. The ambulance was purchased new from the Horton Company at a cost of $82,000.00. It was put into service as Ambulance 719 and replaced the 1986 Ford Ambulance that was sold.
 
The Gallitzin Fire Company hosted the Volunteer Fireman’s Association of Cambria County and Vicinity Convention. Robert “Herb” Nagle, member of the Gallitzin Fire Company, becomes president of the Volunteer Fireman’s Association of Cambria County and Vicinity.
 
The 1973 Century American LaFrance (Engine 715) was taken out of service to be refurbished.
 
1992: February – The Gallitzin Fire Company was dispatched to assist Lilly Fire Company on a vehicle accident with entrapment on Rt. 53 at the Bear Rock Sportsman’s Club. This would be the first time the Gallitzin Fire Company used their high-pressure air bags on an alarm. The operator of a pickup was pinned under the truck in a creek bed. The air bags were used to raise the truck and free the victim, who received only minor injuries.
 
Gallitzin Fire Company was dispatched to e vehicle accident on Pershing Street. A vehicle plunged over the Pershing Street high wall overlooking Chestnut Street. The driver of the vehicle was seriously injured.
 
March – Gallitzin Fire Company responded to a vehicle accident with entrapment on Tunnelhill Street. Officers on scene confirmed one person trapped in the vehicle and that the vehicle was on fire. The occupant of the vehicle died when his car skidded, slammed against a telephone pole and burst into flames, trapping him inside.
 
The Gallitzin Fire Company discontinues ambulance service as ambulance personnel decide to separate the ambulance service from the fire company. The 1990 Ford F-350 ambulance owned by the fire company and all equipment is sold to the newly formed Gallitzin Area Ambulance Service.
 
July – The Gallitzin Fire Company was dispatched to a structure fire at the home of Margaret Stehley on Coupon/Gallitzin Road. Firefighters found the structure to be fully engulfed upon arrival. Two firefighters from Ashville were injured while fighting the fire. Fire companies from Ashville, Cresson, Lilly and Allegheny Township (Cannon Station) assisted at the scene.
 
July/August – Gallitzin Fire Company wins Grand Champion of the Cambria County Firemen’s Convention held at Ashville Fire Company. Gallitzin Fire Company took first place in numerous events including the pumping contest.
 
August 13 – At 3:50am the Gallitzin Fire Company responded to a structure fire with entrapment at the Rose (Gionfriddo) Christy residence on Craig Street (approximately 1 block from the fire station). The blaze claimed the lives of Mrs. Christy and her 9-year old son, Mark Eger, as a result of smoke inhalation and third degree burns. One firefighter from Cresson was treated for smoke inhalation. Fire companies from Cresson and Ashville assisted at the scene.
 
September – Engine 715 is placed back in service with the new “black over red” look. The engine was painted this way as a tribute to all deceased members of the Gallitzin Fire Company. The refurbishment was done completely in house by members of the Fire Company and local residents who volunteered there time.
 
December – Captain Jon Nagle becomes the Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces Dwayne “Butch” Garman who held the position of Fire Chief for 2 years.
 
December 25 – The Gallitzin Fire Company was battled a Christmas Day fire in frigid temperatures at the Sinclair home on Division Street. The home was completely destroyed by the fire. Two firefighters from Gallitzin were injured battling the blaze. Fire companies from Cresson, Ashville and Lilly assisted at the scene.
 
1993: Steve McCloskey is elected Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces Jon Nagle who held the position of Fire Chief for 1 month. Paul “Dink” Reed becomes the President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces Robert E. “Bob” Reagan who held the position of President for 8 years.
 
The 1973 Pioneer American LaFrance (Engine 711) was taken out of service to be refurbished.
 
Fire Company purchased a 3000-gallon tanker. The tanker was a Chevrolet Kodiak and was designated as Tanker 714.
 
The fire siren at the station was completely rebuilt. It was placed back on the siren pole with the assistance of Tower 707 from Cresson Fire Company.
 
June – The Gallitzin Fire Company was dispatched for a tanker assist with Friendship Fire Company in Roaring Spring, PA. Tanker 714 responded to the fire, which was a large storage building at the Smith Transport facility.
 
July/August – Gallitzin Fire Company ties for Grand Champion of the Cambria County Firemen’s Convention held at Patton Fire Company. Gallitzin Fire Company took first place in the pumping contest.
 
Paul “Dink” Reed is honored and awarded Life Membership in the Gallitzin Fire Company.
 
David “Buddha” Urish becomes the President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces Paul “Dink” Reed who held the position of President for 8 months.
 
1994: February – The Gallitzin Fire Company was dispatched to assist Cresson Fire Company with a vehicle accident on Rt. 22 between the Cresson Summit exit and the Gallitzin exit. This would turnout to be one of the deadliest accidents in recent history.   Four (4) people were fatally injured and a total of 22 vehicles were involved. The accident occurred as a result of “white-out” conditions.
 
June – Assistant Chief Howard Bosworth becomes Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces Steve McCloskey held the position of Fire Chief for 1½ years. James R. Dignan becomes the President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces David “Buddha” Urish who held the position of President for 1½ years.
 
July/August – Gallitzin Fire Company takes first place in the Cambria County Firemen’s Convention pumping contest for the third straight year.
 
October – Frank’s Bargain Store on Main Street was destroyed by fire. Numerous fire companies battled the blaze for nearly three hours.
 
The 3000-gallon Chevrolet tanker (Tanker 714) and the 1964 American LaFrance (Engine 712) were sold. This left Engine 715 as the only engine while Engine 711 was being refurbished. Loretto Fire Company loaned a 750-gallon per minute Ford/American LaFrance pumper to the Gallitzin Fire Company until Engine 711 was completed. A special thanks to the Loretto Community Volunteer Fire Company for their help.
 
2000 feet of 5-inch hose was purchased from Snap Tite to replace the nearly 15 year old 4-inch hose.
 
December 16th – Gallitzin Fire Company, along with 62 other fire companies from different counties, were called to assist Logan Township Fire Companies in battling a structure fire at the Logan Valley Mall. This blaze would turnout to be one of the costliest fires in Blair County history.
 
1995: Fire Company purchases eight (8) new P.A.S.S. alarms, which were placed on each S.C.B.A. unit on the engines.
 
February – Gallitzin Fire Company assisted Ashville Fire Company at a vehicle accident at the intersection of Route 53 and 36. The incident turned out to be more than just a vehicle accident. At about 10:50am a tow truck hauling the garbage truck down the long steep grade on Route 36 into Ashville Borough apparently lost it brakes. Another tow truck pulling a tractor rig was in front of the one towing the garbage truck. The rear tow truck pulled into the oncoming lane of Route 36 in the center of town, near the railroad tracks, and struck a car. The car was pushed approximately 270 feet downhill and through the side of the Gibbons Funeral Home. The driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene by the coroner.   The driver of the tow truck and a passenger were trapped in the wreckage for over an hour. After being extricated they were transported to the hospital for injuries. There was one occupant in the structure at the time of the accident. He was transported to the hospital for injuries.
 
June - Fire Company held 3-Day Festival, which included battle of the barrel and a parade.
 
August – Engine 711 is placed back in service with a new enclosed cab and high side compartments. The pump was upgraded to 1000-gallon per minute from the original 750-gallon per minute. The total cost of the project was approximately $40,000.00.
 
1996: Donny Miller is elected the Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces Howard Bosworth who held the position of Fire Chief for 1½ years. David F. Lingafelt is elected the President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces James R. Dignan Jr. who held the position for 1½ year.
 
January – In a freak warm spell in January, heavy rains and melting snow caused numerous flooding problems through out the area. The Gallitzin Fire Company responded to nearly 30 calls in one day.
 
February – Regular membership meeting were switched from the first Tuesday of the month to the first Sunday of the month.
 
Fire Company receives a 1952 Dodge brush truck from the Department of Forestry. It is placed into service as Brush 713.
 
June – Fire Company honors all of its Life Members at the 3-Day Festival Parade. Life members rode in the parade and were given life member medals to be worn on their uniforms.
           
July – Firefighters, Chris Cox and Jim Nagle, received Valor Awards at the Cambria County Firemen’s Convention held at Spangler Fire Company. While attending a festival at Commodore Fire Company both responded with Commodore’s fire chief to the scene of a drowning. Upon arrival they found that a small child had been removed from a swimming pool and was not breathing. Using their training they started resuscitation efforts on the child. Because of their actions and the actions of members of the Commodore Fire Company the child’s life was saved.
 
1997: Fire Company receives a 2½-ton military truck from the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry. The vehicle is placed into service as Brush 714.
 
Jim Nagle is awarded Fire Fighter I certification by the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy.
 
1999: Fire Company took delivery of a new 1999 E-One Cyclone II 1500-gallon per minute fire engine with a 1000-gallon water tank. It was put into service as Engine 712 and sported the “black over red” color scheme. Engine 712 was purchases from Kaza Fire Equipment in Ebensburg, PA.
 
The 1952 Dodge (Brush 713) was taken out of service and returned to the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry.
 
2000: Gallitzin Fire Company puts into service an Amkus combination mini hydraulic rescue tool. This is tool was operated from a gas powered power unit. This was the first gas powered hydraulic rescue tool that the fire company owned.
 
2001: James R. Dignan Jr. is elected the Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces Donny Miller who held the position of Fire Chief for 5 years.
 
The Gallitzin Fire Company hosted the Volunteer Fireman’s Association of Cambria County and Vicinity Convention. James R. Nagle, member of the Gallitzin Fire Company, becomes president of the Volunteer Fireman’s Association of Cambria County and Vicinity.
 
David “Buddha” Urish and Doug Litzinger are honored and awarded Life Memberships in the Gallitzin Fire Company.
 
Chris Cox and Jim Nagle are awarded Hazardous Material Technician certification from the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress.
 
Jim Nagle is awarded Fire Instructor I certification by the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy.
 
The 2½-ton military vehicle (Brush 714) was taken out of service and returned to the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry. Another 2½-ton military vehicle was received in exchange, however, the vehicle was never placed into service and was returned to the Forestry Department.
 
2002: Fire Company receives a 1996 Ford F-250 (4x4) pickup truck donated by Duke Energy – Texas Eastern Division. The pickup was placed into service as Utility 714.
 
Fire Company purchased a 1986 Pierce Arrow 2000-gallon per minute fire engine from the City of Naperville, Illinois. It was put into service as Engine 711 and replaced the 1973 Pioneer American LaFrance, which was sold to Mill Creek Fire Company in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania.
 
2003: The Gallitzin Fire Company, No. 1 celebrates its 100-years of service to Gallitzin Borough, Tunnelhill Borough and Gallitzin Township.
 
Fire Company purchased a 1995 Ford F-350 (4x4) box truck. The unit is placed into service as Squad 713.
 
2004: February 27 – The Gallitzin Fire Company was called to the Skupien Trailer Court for a reported structure fire at the Margaret Yartin trailer. The fire was upgraded to a structure fire with entrapment when it was believed that Mrs. Yartin was still inside. Mrs. Yartin was quickly found, in the trailer, by firefighters but unfortunately died from her injuries.
 
The Gallitzin Fire Company was awarded $93,895.00 from the Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. This money was used to purchase a thermal imaging camera, thirty (30) new sets of turnout gear to replace aging gear, a new rescue saw to replace the 25 year old saw, fifteen (15) new MSA self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), and a new Blitzfire portable master stream.
 
Herb Nagle, Kevin Adams, Nick Kush and Jim Nagle are the first members of the Gallitzin Fire Company to be awarded Basic Vehicle Rescue Technician certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy.
 
The 1995 Ford F-350 box truck (Squad 713) is taken out of service and sold to a local resident.
 
2006: James R. Nagle is elected the 16th Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces James R. Dignan Jr. who held the position of Fire Chief for 5 years.
 
The Gallitzin Fire Company was awarded $50,490.00 from the Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. This money was used to purchase twenty (20) new fire pagers, a rapid intervention team (RIT) pack, two (2) new positive pressure ventilation (PPV) fans to replace aging fans and a new hydraulic rescue tool system (Jaws of Life). The rescue tool system, manufactured by Hurst, consist of a transformer spreader, cutter, T-41 and T-59 rams, maverick combination tool, two (2) electric rewind 100ft hydraulic hose reels and power units. This unit replaced the Amkus combination tool.
 
Engine 715, 1973 Century American LaFrance, is retired from active service and sold.
 
Doug Burk, Chris Cox, Greg DeAngelo, Scott Lingafelt, Lee Marsalko, Don Reeder and Ron Reeder are awarded Basic Vehicle Rescue Technician certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy.
 
April – Gallitzin Fire Company responds to a structure fire at a trailer on Forest Street. Engine 711 was the attack engine on this alarm as Engine 712 was at Cambria County Fire School. The fire was contained to a bedroom closet. Fire companies from Cresson, Loretto and Ashville assisted at the scene.
 
Doug Burk, Chris Cox, Lee Marsalko, Don Reeder and Ron Reeder are awarded Fire Fighter I certification by the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy.
 
Fire Company purchases a 1995 Ford F-350 (4x4) squad truck from the Saint Michael Fire Company in Saint Michael, Pennsylvania. This unit is designated as Squad 713 and will be used as a Quick Response Service Vehicle.
           
November 23 – The Gallitzin Fire Company fought a Thanksgiving Day structure fire at a trailer on Saint Thomas Street. The fire completely destroyed the trailer. Damage was estimated at $3,000.00. Fire companies from Cresson, Loretto and Ashville assisted at the scene.
           
Chris Cox and Jim Nagle are awarded Fire Fighter II certification by the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy.
 
2007: John R. “Jack” Nagle is elected the 22nd President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces David F. Lingafelt who held the position of President for 10 years.
 
The Gallitzin Fire Company is officially recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as a Quick Response Service (QRS). The QRS will respond to assist area ambulance services within the Gallitzin Fire Company response area.
 
The Gallitzin Fire Company was awarded $64,838.00 from the Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. This money was used to purchase ten (10) new sets of turnout gear and a new breathing air compressor and cascade system. Money was also awarded for the purpose of obtaining firefighter certification. The new breathing air compressor system is the first in the history of the Gallitzin Fire Company and will enable firefighters the ability to use air during training and allow for air cylinders and cascade systems to be refilled after alarms.
 
May – Gallitzin Fire Company responds to a structure fire at a home on Convent Street. The fire was contained primarily to the garage and breezeway area of the structure with heavy heat, smoke and water damage to the remainder of the house. Fire companies from Cresson, Loretto and Ashville assisted at the scene.
 
Patrick Donald “Donny” Jasper is honored and awarded Life Membership in the Gallitzin Fire Company.
 
August 16th, 17th & 18th – The Gallitzin Fire Company hosts the 115th Annual Central District Fireman’s Convention. This is the first time, in the 104-year history, that the Gallitzin Fire Company has hosted a Central District Convention.
 
2008: The Gallitzin Fire Company was awarded $36,233.00 from the Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. This money was used to purchase 2600 feet of Mercedes Megaflo 5-inch supply line, 1400 feet of Mercedes Aquaflow-Plus 1-3/4-inch hose, 300 feet of 2-1/2-inch hose, 400 feet of 3-inch hose, eight 1-1/2-inch TFT model HML-V Mid-Matic Series (70-200gpm, 75psi) mid-range automatic nozzles, two 2-1/2-inch TFT model HL-2V Handline Series (95-250gpm, 75psi) automatic nozzles and 20 Motorola Minitor V pagers.
 
The Cambria County 911 center upgraded their system from the 33MHz system to a UHF system.  This required the Gallitzin Fire Company to change out all radios and pagers at a cost of approximately $30,000.00.
 
September 21 - Station 71 was dispatched to assist Ashville Fire Company for a structure fire at Saint Joseph Church in Coupon.  60 Cheif Zupon arrived on scene and found heavy fire coming from the steeple and heavy smoke coming from the congregation area.  Crews from Station 60 attempted an attack but minutes into the fire the roof of the structure collasped.  Two Gallitzin firefighters were injured when bricks from the chimney struck them during the collapse.  As a result of the fire the church was a total loss and eventually closed.
 
The Gallitzin Fire Company website gallitzinfire71.com is launched.
 
December 19 - The Gallitzin Fire Company fought a structure fire at the Midway Cafe at the corner of Saint Thomas Street and Donoughe Street.  Chief Nagle arrived on scene and found heavy smoke coming from division 1 of the structure.  Personnel from Engine 712 advanced an attackline into the dining area and extinguished the fire that was traveling the wall and ceiling near the kitchen area.  At the time the fire was discovered approximately 7 patrons plus the bartender were in the bar area at the time while the owner was on division 2.  Quick action by the bartender notifying the 911 center of the fire, knocking down the fire with a fire extinguisher and then evacuating all patrons and the owner resulted in minimal property damage and injuries. Fire companies from Cresson, Loretto and Ashville assisted at the scene.
 
2009 - Doug Burk is elected the 23rd President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces John "Jack" Nagle who held the position of President for 2 years.
 
The inside of the station received a facelift.  The company office was moved to the upstairs in an effort to gain more space.  Also all of the walls were given a fresh coat of paint.
 
Dwayne "Butch" Garman, George Kochara, Jon Nagle, Donny Miller, Mike Sanders and Jim Nagle are honored and awarded Life Membership in the Gallitzin Fire Company.
 
Just two days before Christmas, a small group of volunteers within the Gallitzin Volunteer Fire Company worked with the recently opened Dollar General store in town to deliver a number of toys to good little girls and boys throughout the area.
 
The Gallitzin Fire Company responded to 105 alarms in 2009.
 
2010 - A brand new 20 kilowatt generator that was purchased and installed at the fire hall.  The new generator provides some serious power to the fire hall which can be used to power the entire fire hall, putting everything into use except for the fire siren should the power be cut off to Station 71.  Should such an incident occur, the generator will kick in just seven seconds after
the power goes out, keeping the station alive and functioning even if the rest of the town might not be. As such, the fire hall can be considered a designated emergency station, somewhere people can come in case of a town-wide emergency.  The new generator cost about $11,000, a large portion of which was provided to the firefighters by State Representative Gary Haluska.
 
March - Utility 714, 1996 Ford F-250 Pickup, is retired from active service and sold to a private owner.  It is replaced with a 1999 Chevy 3500 4x4 that was purchased from the Ferndale Fire Company in Johnstown, PA.
 
July - Firefighter Ken McCloskey was awarded the 2010 Valor Award from the Firemen's Association of Cambria County and Vicinity as well as the 2010 Valor Award from the Cambria County Commissioner's Office at the Cambria County Firemen’s Convention held at Conemaugh Fire Company. While attending a wedding Ken performed the Heimlich Maneuver on a guest, Mr. Kenneth Zitsch, that was choking on food.  Because of Ken's quick actions and training he was able to save Mr. Zitsch.
 
August - The Gallitzin Fire Company won the Central District Pumping Contest Championship at the 118th Central District Fireman's Convention held at Clymer Fire Company in Indiana County.  The team consisted of Dwayne Garman, Jim Nagle, Ricky Patterson, Alexandra Roman, Butch Garman, Chris Cox, Jack Novak and Greg Patterson.
 
September - The Gallitzin Fire Company signed a contract with Sutphen Fire Apparatus for a new engine/rescue at a cost of $454,000.00.  The new engine will replace Engine 711 the aging 1986 Pierce Arrow.
 
A great deal of work was done at the Gallitzin Fire Hall, including new paint jobs for the entire exterior of the building, the storage shed, the memorial bell and the department’s flagpole, as well as some additional work done inside the building.  All of this was accomplished with the county’s work crews.  The crew, made up of offenders willing to work off their fines, was set to tasks around the county under the orders of Cambria County Judge Timothy Creaney, continuing a long-standing tradition of getting results for communities in addition to restitution.
 
October 4 - LCPl Ralph Fabbri's body was returned home escorted by a precession from Blair County Airport in Martinsburg to Gibbons Funeral Home in Gallitzin.  LCPl Fabbri's body was escorted home by HT1 Scott Kochara from the Department of the Navy and member of the Gallitzin Fire Company.  LCPl Fabbri was fatally wounded in an attack while serving his country in Afghanistan.  Despite weather conditions streets were lined with hundreds of local residents, friends, veterans and emergency service personnel to show their respect and support for their fallen hero.  The procession passed under an American flag that was raised by aerial trucks from Cresson and Portage Fire Companies and then passed by emergency service personnel who saluted the fallen hero.

A wake was held on October 5th and was followed by the funeral service held on October 6th.  Residents, friends, veterans and emergency service personnel once again lined the streets to show the support as the procession passed from the funeral home to the Saint Demetrius Church and then to the cemetery.  The show of support from everyone for this young man and his family was overwhelming.  The members of the Gallitzin Fire Company salute LCPl Ralph Fabbri for giving the ultimate sacrifice so that we can free.

October 12 - Gallitzin Fire Company was dispatched to a vehicle accident with entrapment involving a school bus and passenger vehicle at the 800 Block of Gallitzin Road (Rt. 53) in Gallitzin Township.  Units arriving on scene found 2 patients trapped in the passenger vehicle, one patient outside the vehicle and 10 students plus the driver on the bus.  71 Chief notified the Cambria 911 Center to upgraded the dispatch to a mass transit alarm bringing 4 additional ALS ambulance units to the scene.  Personnel from Engine 711 and Engine 703 worked to free all patients from the vehicles and all patients were transported to the hospital by EMS units.  Personnel from Stations 71 and 70 remained on scene to shut down Gallitzin Road between Shaft Road and Chestnut Street while Pennsylvania State Police reconstructed the accident scene and vehicles were removed from the scene.  Engine 603 (Ashville Fire Company) provided coverage for Station 71 during the incident.  Despite all efforts by personnel on scene the driver of the passenger vehicle was pronounced dead at the hospital.  Cresson Fire Company as well as ambulances from Gallitzin, Cresson, Ebensburg and Portage ssisted at the scene while Ashville Fire Company covered for Gallitzin.

December - Once again the Gallitzin Fire Company, Dollar General and Santa Claus delivered gifts to some needy children in the Gallitzin area.  Toys donated by Doller General and members of the community as well as turkey dinners donated by the Gallitzin Borough Council, area businesses and local residents were delivered by Santa and the Gallitzin Fire Company.

The Gallitzin Fire Company responded to 197 alarms in 2010.
 
2011 - Michael Sanders is elected the 17th Fire Chief of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces James R. Nagle who held the position of Fire Chief for 5 years.
 
Dwayne "Butch" Garman is elected the 24th President of the Gallitzin Fire Company. He replaces Doug Burk who held the position of President for 2 years.
 
April 16th - The Gallitzin Fire Company takes delivery of a new 2011 Sutphen Monarch Rescue Engine.  It is designated as Engine 711 and replaces the 1986 Pierce Arrow that was retired from service earlier in the month.
 
July 3rd - Stations 71, 60 (Ashville Fire Company), 92 (Gallitzin Ambulance) and 75 (Cresson Ambulance) were dispatched to 2187 Coupon-Gallitzin Road in Gallitzin Township for a vehicle accident with entrapment. Engine 711 and Squad 713 responded with 71 Chief having command. 71 Chief and 71 Assistant arrived on scene and confirmed one SUV into a tree with a female trapped in the passenger side front seat, one injured male patient outside the vehicle and that smoke was coming from the engine compartment. 71 Chief advised Engine 711 that the roof and passenger side doors would need removed to gain access to the patient. Engine 711 arrived on scene, stabilized the vehicle, deployed a 1-3/4" handline for fire control and the Hurst cutters and spreaders to start extrication. Engine 602 arrived on scene and deployed their Hurst cutters to assist in removal of the roof. Extrication was complete and the patient was removed from the vehicle at 0749hrs. Both patients were transported to the hospital.  Special thanks to Stations 60, 92 and 75 on the assist and an excellent job.
 
July 18th - Station 71 was dispatched to a working structure fire at 726 St. Thomas Street in Gallitzin Borough. Car 314 (Gallitzin Police) arrived on scene and notified all units that there was heavy smoke showing with fire in the attic. 71 Assistant (Cox) arrived on scene and updated that he had a working fire in a 2-1/2 story structure with fire visible through the roof all occupants were out of the structure. 71 Chief (Sanders) arrived on scene and assumed command. Engine 712 tagged a hydrant and blitzed the division 1 with tank water while water from the hydrant and hand lines were being established. An attack crew from Engine 712 then advanced a line on to division 1 and attacked the fire. Engine 711 tagged an additional hydrant and laid into 712. This hydrant was found to be damaged so Engine 602 (Ashville Fire Company) picked up another hydrant and split lay to the line that 711 had down. Personnel from Squad 713 arrived on scene and advanced a second line on to division 1 to backup the attack crew while personnel from Engine 711 established water supply then assisted with deployment of the backup line and laddering the building. Interior crews found deteriorating conditions inside as a partial roof collapse occurred and that they were backing out. 71 Chief then had Tower 707 (Cresson Fire Company) position on the A-D corner of the structure and move to a defensive attack on the fire in the attic. After the bucket knocked down the majority of the fire in the attic crews went back inside and extinguished what fire remained and performed overhaul operations. Knockdown was achieved at 0138hrs. Stations 70 (Cresson Fire Company), 60 (Ashville Fire Company), 73 (Loretto Fire Company), 72 (Lilly Fire Company), 92 (Gallitzin Ambulance) and 75 (Cresson Ambulance) assisted on scene while Station 83 (Portage Fire Company) covered District 71. A special "Thank You" to all organizations that assisted on scene.
 
July 30th - Members were awarded the Tibbot Award for the best overall participation and sportsmanship at the 90th Annual Cambria County Firemen's Convention hosted by the Portage Fire Company.  Members placed 2nd in Hose Efficiency, 3rd in Pumping Contest and 2nd in Bowling.  Chris Rhodes was also awarded High Game and High Series at the bowling event.
 
The Gallitzin Fire Company responded to 228 alarms in 2011.
 
2012 - July 20th - Station 71 was dispatched for a structure fire at 177 Stevens Road in Gallitzin Township. Initial information indicated that occupants of the structure may still be inside and that heavy fire and smoke were coming from the structure. Engine 712 responded with 71 Deputy Chief (Nagle) having command. Personnel arrived on scene and found a trailer well involved and proceeded to make an interior search and attack. Within minutes of entering the structure the roof collapsed forcing interior crews out of the trailer. 71 Deputy then advised that operations would go defensive. It was later determined that the occupants were not at home and no one was inside. The trailer and all contents were a total loss. Firefighters not only battled the flames and smoke but also the weather with high heat, humidity and heavy passing thunderstorms. Additional units were dispatched for manpower and water from Cresson, Ashville, Loretto, Lilly, Patton, Ebensburg and Duncansville Fire Companies. Gallitzin Area Ambulance assisted on scene with firefighter rehab. The PA State Fire Marshall is investigating the cause while the American Red Cross is assisting the family. All units were released at 2307hrs. A special thanks to all fire and ems units for their help. Everyone did an outstanding job under the conditions.
 
July 28th - The Gallitzin Fire Company, No. 1 won its second Grand Championship at the 91st Convention of the Volunteer Fireman's Association of Cambria County and Vicinity hosted by the Ferndale Fire Company in Johnstown, PA.  Station 71 received trophies for Pumping Contest (1st place); Bucket Brigade (2nd place); Golf (2nd place) and Bowling (3rd place).



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News Headlines

Wed. Jul 2nd 2014
Off to a Good Start at the 2014 Cambria County Convention

The 2014 Cambria County Volunteer Fireman's Convention kicked off this week hosted by the Cresson Fire Company. Members o...

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Sat. Jan 12th 2013
Gallitzin VFC makes Christmas bright for 15 families

By Justin Eger
of Mainline Newspapers

Despi te a bevy of emergency calls that kept many of his helpers from the ...

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Sat. Nov 24th 2012
GFC and Dollar General Joining Force for 4th Annual Toy Drive

The Gallitzin Fire Company, No. 1 and the Gallitzin Dollar General are joining forces for the fourth consecutive year for the...

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2014 Call Volume
  Fire EMS
Jan 9 1
Feb 5 10
Mar 10 12
Apr   4
May    
Jun    
Jul    
Aug    
Sep    
Oct    
Nov    
Dec    
Total 24 27

View Call Volume History

Contact Information

Gallitzin Fire Company
210 Saint Thomas Street
Gallitzin, PA  16641

Non-Emergency:
814-886-8010

Emergency:
911

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