Roslyn Fire Company No.1 has proudly served the communities of Roslyn, Crestmont,

Willow Grove, and surrounding areas for nearly a century. During our rich history we have overcome various obstacles to reach the dreams of our founders. Our roots trace back to the early nineteen twenties, where the growing community of Roslyn came to the realization that a fire service was needed. In 1922, the community of Roslyn observed the Weldon fire company rush to a call in their community along Easton Road.

The community was heavily influenced by these gentlemen. Only a few weeks later, on Monday, January 23, 1922, a meeting was called in Perry Greenspan’s real-estate office to present the ideas of the residents, and pick the first officers of their company. The first elected officers would help to bring the vision of the community for the company to life.

Following this first official meeting, various officers began to meet in a mechanic’s store, Schultz’s Garage, as a temporary “official” hall. In one particular meeting held in February 1922, the officers had planned a successful carnival which took place soon after, raising the first funds of the fire company, $350.00. The news of the hard work of these officers quickly spread around the community which gained the attention of Mr. Riggs of Ferguson and Johnson whom donated a lot to the company, along with an option of purchasing the adjoining lot for $600.00.

With all of the work and the ideas coming together, the officers got together to write-up and approve the by-laws on April 24, 1922, inspiring the women of the community to assist these men by creating the Ladies Auxiliary only a month later.

The Ladies Auxiliary organized yet another successful carnival which raised $820.00 which would go to the first official truck of the Roslyn Fire Company. The truck was a Brockway Apparatus which was purchased from the Philadelphia Naval Yard for $700.00 and stored in Schultz’s Garage as a temporary holding spot. Plans were discussed for the building of a housing station and tools were bought to equip the new apparatus.

Calls were made over the next year using the community for help and support as more money was raised to help the company grow by events such as carnivals, gambling events, and selling of bricks which would be placed on the front of the new fire house, and the start of the Roslyn Christmas Tree Sales. The money raised helped to bring along the day of April 23, 1923, when the foundation for the fire house was begun.

The project would be completed by December 10 of the same year, when the first meeting was held. The months in between were exciting as the Charter for the Fire Company was granted in early November and two more adjoining lots were purchased for future use by the company. During this time another donation was gratefully accepted, being a Paige Touring Car, donated by Charles Reuter. The car was quickly renovated and became a chemical truck for the company. 

The beginning years for the company brought many obstacles. By 1925, Roslyn Fire Company had been running fire alarms for the past couple of years. It was not until May 25 of that year that Abington Township recognized Roslyn as actual company. After partial recognition from the Township, the company organized a Fire Police Unit in July of the same year, which would be under the direction of Captain Stein.

As the company clearly had reached the necessary elements of a complete fire company, Abington Township eventually offers Roslyn a part in in the Abington Township Firemen’s Relief Association. Over the next years, Roslyn expanded with purchases of two more lots and the purchase of a Hahn 500 gallon pumper to replace the Brockway, bought on February 2, 1926 for $5,300.00.

As the company progressed the first approved fire district was given to Roslyn and the need for yet another apparatus, shortly after, came in 1929 with the purchase of a Hahn 350 gallon pumper per minute. As the company progressed the first approved fire district was given to Roslyn and the need for yet another apparatus, shortly after, came in 1929 with the purchase of a Hahn 350 gallon pumper per minute. With the two new trucks, this also meant new equipment, and places to store these utilities which led to the erection of a hose tower on March 10, 1933.

Years after the founding of our company, in 1936 a banquet was held for the active crew and other members of the community who had helped to build the company. To add to the tactility of the company, a La Salle Ambulance was purchased to meet the growing needs of the community. Not to soon after these events, was the 25th anniversary of the company which brought with it two new trucks.

The trucks included two new Hahn pumpers; a 500 gallon per minute and 750 gallon per minute. The grand total for both the trucks was around $32,000.00 in 1947. The following year brought in prosperity for the company, leading to the construction of a brand new fire house for the company. Along with the new trucks and equipment, to keep the firemen up-to-date, was the purchasing of an Ahrens Fox pumper. The LaSalle Ambulance was also replaced in 1953 with the state-of-the-art Cadillac ambulance. Within that same year, the mortgage from the first members was burned, as it was paid off.

 The members now considered regular replacement of equipment to ensure good fire protection. On December 27, 1955, the company purchased a 750-gallon Seagrave pumper and in 1956, the company sold the 1924 Ahren Fox. The years 1957 through 1963 saw normal operation and continued growth of not only the fire company, but also the community we serve. In 1963, additions were made to the present fire house building when an addition to the rear and second floors were added. On November 25, 1963, our first meeting in the new building was held. During the construction to expand the building, a committee was progressing toward the purchase of two new fire trucks, and on December 14, 1965, the first of the two new Mack pumpers arrived. The second followed shortly thereafter.

In the meantime while the trucks were being built, the company was forced to purchase a 1939 Mack pumper for temporary service until the arrival of the new apparatus. Also in  1964 the company had decided to sell  our ambulance to the Civil Air Control, which created  a need of some type of replacement apparatus. In 1966 we received a Chevrolet panel truck, which was placed into service as a utility piece of equipment.

On April 30, 1966, the company held a building dedication and apparatus housing for the two Mack pumpers purchased in 1965 and the Chevrolet panel truck purchased in 1966. The years 1966 through 1972 were devoted to normal fire department operations and preparations for the celebration of our 50th anniversary in 1972. On June 9, 1972, the company celebrated its 50th celebration in grand fashion with a parade. On June 16, 1972, we held our 50th Anniversary banquet at the Treadway Fiesta Inn in Willow Grove in which there were 360 people in attendance.

In 1972 a committee was formed to purchase another pumper. After investigating many manufacturers, it was decided that Mack Fire Apparatus would be the supplier for our new truck. The new apparatus would be an MB611FC diesel-powered pumper; a unique design that was similar to those used in collecting refuge, hence the nickname of “The Trash Truck.” Also in that same year, renovations were started to allow offices for the executive and line officers. In 1973 the decision was made to purchase two Mack CF686F, 1000 gallon per minute pumpers to replace the 1965 pumpers. The 1977 Mack pumpers were received and placed into service; a housing ceremony for the apparatus was held on June 4, 1977. The need for a utility apparatus was investigated and a committee formed in 1978; subsequently, a 1979 GMC utility truck was placed into service.

After a few more years of normal operation for the company, a meeting which was attended by company officials, was held for the purposed shopping mall on the grounds of the then-defunct Willow Grove Park. The location contained a former amusement park which had fallen victim to many fires in recent years. In September 1979, a contract was signed for alterations to the front of the firehouse, allowing for an expansion of the garage doors from two to the current three and an entrance to the engine room from the side parking lot.

In 1981, an investigation and committee recommendation, a contract was signed with Mack fire apparatus to build a CF686F, 1250 gallon per minute pumper. It was also agreed to sell the 1974 MB fire truck for the sum of $39,000.00 to the Avoca Fire Company in the Northeast Pennsylvania. These new purchases of the recent apparatus was all due to the fundraising of the Active Crew and Ladies Auxiliary. On top of the regular events other activities were started such as Ham and Oyster Suppers and solicitations to residents in our communities. Additionally, the Ladies Auxiliary was instrumental in providing donations of financial resources or equipment to the Active Crew, as a result of their fund-raising efforts.

In 1982, the officers and members of the company began regular tours of the progress of the shopping mall to be erected at the former Willow Grove Park site. At the May 1982 executive board meeting, a discussion ensued regarding height problems encountered at “The Willow Grove.” It was felt that in order to continue to provide “topnotch” fire protection, we would need to investigate the possibility of purchasing additional apparatus such as a, “platform-type apparatus.” In June 1982, it was recommended that the company purchase a 75-foot telescopic platform from Mack Fire Apparatus. In addition to this proposed apparatus purchase, the building garage doors would need to undergo alterations to allow the apparatus to be housed in our building. The apparatuses were received and officially “housed” in a ceremony held on May 21, 1983. In 1984, the 1979 GMC utility was sold to Weldon Fire Company.

The next several years were busy for the Roslyn Fire Company as well as the township of Abington. The Willow Grove Park Mall opened on the former Willow Grove Park site; several areas in our business district sprouted new business and tenants. The township fire companies switched from being dispatched by the police department to the Montgomery County Commutations Center, eventually eliminating the five p.m. test that sent many of the area’s youths running home for supper.

The use of portable (pocket) pagers would be common place as a method for alerting our members to fire incidents and in the early 1990’s the need to keep up with technology. In the early 1990’s the need to update our fire apparatus was recognized. Many years were spent discussing the needs of the community and our needs to maintain “top notch” fire protection. In 1992 the 3-D manufacturing company was contracted to build our company two state-of-the-art fire engines. The apparatus would contain 2000 gallon per minute pumpers and provide a totally contained crew compartment that would hold ten personnel. The apparatuses were received in October 1993 and officially housed in a ceremony on June 25, 1994.

In 1996, the five Abington Township fire departments banned together and took a plea to the citizens of the township in an effort to receive a much-needed increase in the funding from the fire tax. The departments would actually be asking the residents to vote for a tax increase to help the fire departments. This risky request was met with resounding support from the volunteer fire departments and in the general election in November 1996; the referendum for the increase was approved by the voters. 1996 was the busiest year thus far in the Roslyn fire company history, with regard to requests for assistance. On September 8, 1996, the remnants from a hurricane, Fran, met with another weather front in the area of Abington Township. The result was an estimated ten inches of rain in a two-hour period. The community of Roslyn was devastated and received much of what the storm had to offer.

The year 1997 begins a milestone for the department, which is about to celebrate 75 years of continuous, volunteer fire prevention and protection services to the communities of Roslyn, Crestmont, and Willow Grove. On May 17, 1997, the diamond anniversary banquet was held at The Warrington in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. More than 200 persons attended this event, representing emergency services providers from eastern Montgomery County and political officials from the township and United States Congress. This day, June 21, 1997, we celebrate our diamond anniversary with whom we proudly serve, the citizens of the fine township of Abington. This parade contains participants that we work aside every time the call for help is issued and those whom we are always there within spirit. We especially acknowledge the members of the Roslyn Rescue Fire Company of Roslyn, Long Island, New York, with whom we have forged a special relationship that shows neither State lines nor distance impact the respect for fellow fire fighters.

In the early spring, we are honored for our 75th Anniversary when we are granted the opportunity to welcome America to the ABC television show, “Good Morning America.” Led by Chief Jeffrey Glynn, the members gathered on the ramp of the Firehouse to utter those famous words, ‘I’m Chief Jeffrey Glynn from the Roslyn Fire Company in Roslyn, Pennsylvania – Good Morning America!’ The years 1998 and 1999 continue in an uneventful manner. The community around the Firehouse begins to change, with an influx of community service grants from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The Fire Company now takes part in annual Roslyn Valley Celebrations, including the Fall Festival and Car Show that are held at the Roslyn Valley Shopping Center located at Woodland and Easton Roads. The Fire Company continues its proud tradition of delivering Santa Claus to the Shopping Center in December, just prior to the annual “Santa Run” through the Fire District. The Fire Company began the new decade, and unofficial beginning of the new millennium, with a stand-by and celebration at the firehouse. Beginning at 9:00 P.M. on December 31, 1999, the members readied themselves for the New Year.

This history of the Roslyn Fire Company no. 1 is dedicated to the members, both past and present, who have made the Roslyn Fire Company no. 1 what it is today.