WINDHAM TOWNSHIP VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY HISTORY
The need for a fire company long existed in Windham Township and action was spurred by a disastrous fire in the spring of 1968. Concerned citizens met informally on several occasions in a carwash owned by Dave Clark, to discuss the need for and the possibility of, forming a fire company. Every residence in the township was given written notice that a public meeting would be held in the Windham Township town hall to determine whether or not the citizens desired and would support a volunteer fire company. Of the twenty-three citizens attending the meeting, eighteen were in favor of the move. Plans were formulated to create the company and officers were elected as follows: Dave Clark, Chief; Dick Snedeker, President; and Jim Askey, Secretary/Treasurer. Work then commenced to draft the constitution and by-laws. Instrumental in laying out the basics was John Ryan of Sayre, State Fire Coordinator. February 18, 1969, saw the adoption of the constitution and by-laws, and on February 27, 1969, the charter for the Windham Township Volunteer Fire Company was issued by the County of Bradford, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In 1969, a group of women formed an organization to help support the newly formed Windham Township Volunteer Fire Company and they became known as the Windham Township Volunteer Fireman’s Auxiliary. Officers were elected: Carol Clark, President; Cathy Edsell, Vice-President; Lois Brown, Secretary; and Betty Wanzo, Treasurer. These ladies became an integral part of the fire company, affording physical, moral and financial support for their varied activities and needs. Several fund-raisers were held including bake and rummage sales, auctions, dinners and bazaars, as well as the printing of three cookbooks.
The first equipment acquired was a new Elmira 9 portable pump and donated hose. Then a 1957 ¾ ton cab and chassis truck was donated, to which a 275 gallon fuel tank was affixed with the portable pump, and thus the first mobile piece of equipment was created. In the spring of 1969 a second truck was purchased – a 1944 Chevrolet 4-wheel drive, ex-Army fire fighting vehicle. That fall a 1950 Ward La France 750 gallon per minute pumper, in operational condition, was purchased.
Also, in the fall of 1969, the fire company solicited the signing of a petition to allow the township to acquire the unused Windham Center school building for use as a community hall and as a place to house the fire equipment. The fire company would assume a 50% responsibility for maintenance and expense of operating. By January, 1970 the fire company had renovated the building to house the fire equipment indoors. Part of the renovation included moving railroad rails into the basement to support the weight of the fire truck.
In the summer of 1972 a new Dodge truck chassis was purchased for use as a tanker, utilizing a 1300 gallon tank previously acquired. This Dodge chassis purchase was made possible by members who personally signed the loan agreement to buy the truck.
On May 11, 1977, the Sayre Borough Council accepted our bid for $4,011.00 for the 1956 American LaFrance crusader pumper fire truck. This was the old Milltown fire truck. It was replaced in the early 80s with a 1979 Pierce engine, which is still in use.