New Stanton Volunteer Fire Department
New Stanton Volunteer Fire Department Relief Association
Westmoreland County, PA
SOME INTERESTING INFO ABOUT OUR TOWN AND THE FIRE DEPARTMENT
New Stanton Borough is located in Westmoreland County in Southwestern Pennsylvania and spans
4.4 sq. miles. It was incorporated as a borough [from Hempfield Twp.] in 1972. Here are some interesting facts about our town as reported by the U. S. Census Bureau:
- The population is 2,172. The 2016 estimate is 2,314. In 1870, there were just 145 inhabitants.
- The median age is 41 years
- 32% of the population is of retirement age (62 or older)
- There are 967 occupied housing units and 136 vacant units
- Of the 967 occupied units, 427 are renters [44%]
- 95.4% of the population are high school graduates (or higher)
- The median household income is $57,422
- 12% of the population is at or below the poverty level. For a two-person household, the current poverty level is: $18,670 and $28,290 for a four-person household
- There are 197 veterans [9%] in the borough
- There are 14.41 mi. of borough-owned roads and 5.77 mi. of state-owned roads in New Stanton
Rural Free [mail] Delivery [RFD] had it's early Pennsylvania roots in New Stanton on Nov. 24,1896 according to the Historical Marker located at the post office. The nation's first five routes started in West Virginia about a month before. See the link: http://explorepahistory.com/hmarker.php?markerId=1-A-137
The fire department still gets its mail at the post office [P O Box 20]. Earlier, mail deliveries were received near the Stanton Mill, located along the SW Branch of the PA Railroad, via train car and mail hook!
New Stanton's first playground was located on what is now the parking lot of the fire station, installed by the Hempfield Twp. Supervisors. [See photo below.] The equipment was moved in the late 1950s to the elementary school grounds because of the Interstate 70 interchange project.
Wabash Park is the name of the plan of lots that were laid out in the area surrounding the fire station. Although its name choice remains a mystery, there was a ball field area that once attracted local community baseball teams during the summer months. Much of it was located on what is now the six lanes of I 70 across from the fire station.
Rachel Drive gets its name from the wife of an early fire department charter member and land owner,
David K. Bair. Another street, Virginia Drive, is the namesake of the wife of Pete Colisimo, builder of many of the homes in the Stanton Heights plan [originaly known as the Greenbrier Plan].
High Pressure Fog [850 psi at the pump] was once a fire suppression pumping system developed by
John Bean, a maker of farm-grade high pressure spraying equipment. An orchard owner used his spraying equipment to successfully fight a neighbor's house fire and John Bean Fire Apparatus was born in the late 1930s. It was purchased by the Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation [FMC] and eventually closed in 1990, after moving from Michigan to Indiana and then to Florida. Ironically, now Ultra High Pressure Fog is making a return to the American fire service. New Stanton VFD had three such FMC units: 1957 and 1969 Fords and a 1977 Hendrickson, which may be viewed on our Apparatus Page.
Turnpike Bryant was one of the more 'famous citizens,' having been born on the PA Turnpike and appearing on a popular TV show, the Dating Game. He lived in a home not far 'up the street' from the fire station, now part of the I-70/Center Ave. intersection.
The Junior Order of the United American Mechanics, Painterville Chapter, held meetings on the second floor of what was commonly known as the Clover Farm Store [later Seehoffer's Store, then Family Market, 313 S. Center Ave., now an apartment building]. Members included: Ira Harrold and Hurley Watson, early New Stanton VFD firefighters. A small electric fire siren mounted atop a pole was also there for a time and was manually operated by the store owner, Amos Seehoffer, also a fire department member.
William and Laura Latta lived across the street and towards Walt's Garage along a portion of Main Street that was taken for I-70. Children included boys: Ferris, Paul I., Emerson L. and Charles F. and girls: Rose, Amber, Jane, Sarah and Patricia. Paul, Emerson [Augie] and Charles [Chuck] were early active members and officers of the fire department and Sarah was an active Ladies Auxiliary member who married J. Paul Calhoun, also an early member and long-time Trustee. Son, Paul 'Howard' Calhoun was also a member and officer in the department.
The 'original' fire station was a small garage loaned by motel operator, Harry Smith. Smith's Rest Nest Motel was located on lands later occupied by the Conley's Motel, around the bend from the fire station.
A freak summer storm damaged the garage in August 1951, necessitating a more permanent fire station to be constructed later at the corner of Main St. and Stanton [now Stan] Ave., our current location.
Prior to the installation of the four lanes of Rt. 119 into Mt. Pleasant in the 1970s, Thanksgiving weekend traffic jams were quite a problem. Traffic would back up on 'old' Rt. 119 S towards Mt. Pleasant as traffic jammed I 70 east bound toward the Turnpike. The fire department was often called on those Sunday afternoons to re-route traffic through town to Arona Rd. then back onto the PA Turnpike. Even then, we were the Highway Hub of Western PA!
Before becoming a borough, the town [and the fire department] were part of Hempfield Twp. We were the seventh [7th] fire department formed in the township. Grapeville VFC was the first and Fort Allen VFD was the thirteenth [and, probably, the last].
The FCC issued call letters to fire departments using the low-band fire frequency 33.70 MHz. New Stanton's call letters were: KGF 560. Youngwood had KGE 879, Hunker used KK 3573 and the 'Civil Defense' office in Greensburg used the call letters: KGE 225. Mrs. Adams conducted the monthly 'air raid' county-wide siren test on the first Friday of the month at 7:00 p.m.
Monthly, we will post an article, picture or story of something of historical interest about the New Stanton VFD. Here's the latest installment.
If you have an old clipping or photo of a fire department-related nature, send it to us for consideration in a future posting. Email a .jpeg image to: email@example.com
Don't forget to include as much factual information about the item that you have, such as date, place, names, etc.
Centralized dispatching arrived in late 1971, relieving the department of handling the telephone calls for help. County-wide dispatching began in early 1979. Our emergency phone number was: 925-7232. The 'fire phone' originally was answered by the folks at Mitchell's Garage, located where the Dollar General store is now. Later, the guard at Robertshaw Controls took the calls and activated the fire whistle. We've come a long way with the implementation of a county-wide, digital, 800 MHz. communications system and centralized call taking.
The fire department received its non-profit charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on
July 3, 1951 as decreed on the 10th day of August 1951 " . . . on a motion of Howard M. Whitehead, Attorney of petitioners, it is hereby ordered and decreed that the said articles of incorporation, together with this order, that the subscribers thereto and their associates and successors shall be a Nonprofit corporation by the name and title of STANTON VOLUNTEER FIRE AND RELIEF ASSOCIATION, for the purposes and upon the terms therein stated." By the Court, John M. O'Connell, Judge. No. 498 August Term, 1951.
NEWS ITEM FROM THE PAST . . .
Coin Cards were a way to raise funds through local residents and by placing them in businesses and encouraging customers to make a small donation. In this case, 16 quarter slots on the inside and an envelope on the back for cash were provided by the printer, Don Evans Co., So. Greensburg, Pa.
Note none of the sponsoring businesses are operating today! 925-7714 was an earlier emergency number.
PREVIOUS BLASTS FROM THE PAST . . .
INTERESTING HISTORICAL NOTES WITH A FIRE DEPT. 'CONNECTION:'
The National Fire Incident Repporting System (NFIRS) has been around since the 1970s. New Stanton VFD used an early, paper-based NFIRS form long before today's computerized software made data collection much easier. Here's a report from a vehicle accident on Aug. 9, 1991. Page two allowed for the collection of local data and member signatures. Note: 16 firefighters responded back then!
Legendary PA State Fire Academy Local Level Instructor
Mr. Harry B. Dupont, N. Braddock, lectures to 37 area firefighters at New Stanton VFD in a 45-hr. Fundamentals of Firefighting class, March 1991.