History of the CTVFC
In June of 1959 the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company was formed after several years of planning and at least two failed previous attempts. The first ever vehicle purchased was a pumper built in 1928 by Pirsch. This truck would remain in service for many years until 1969. It has now become an extremely valuable historical treasure in Cranberry Township. A six-ton army surplus truck was also purchased and put into service as a tanker. Five acres of land were purchased on Dutilh Road as plans for a fire station were created.
During the next few years the first ever fire station in Cranberry was constructed and later expanded upon to accommodate more vehicles. A social hall was also constructed and dedicated on Memorial Day in 1964, it was the first hall available for weddings and parties in the area. In 1960 the first new fire truck, an International Howe 750 gpm pumper was purchased at a cost of $14,075. In 1965 the company's first ever brush truck was constructed. From 1966-1968 the fire phone system for alerting firefighters was placed in service and the first uniforms were purchased.
1969 proved to be an extremely busy and productive year for the Fire Company. A Mack pumper was ordered at a cost of $37,445 dollars and the Pirsch was decommissioned. The Fire Company also received a contract to respond to emergency calls on the Turnpike. The Ambulance Corp was also formed and the first ambulance, a 1963 Cadillac, was purchased for $3,700. Due to this growth the station was expanded to house two more units.
In 1970 the Junior Firefighters group was formed for teenagers age 14 to 17 (later changd to 16-17) who were interested in becoming future firefighters. A used white fuel truck with a capacity of 2,000 gallons of water was purchased and modified and put into service as a tanker in 1971. 1972 was the first year that the Fire Company approved the admission of women to the Ambulance Corp. They eventually became an integral part of the organization. A new Cadillac ambulance was also purchased at a cost of $ 16,795.25.
A celebration was held in 1974 to burn the mortgage because the building was paid off. The Company also purchased 50 tone alert monitors and the phone system was eliminated. A significant amount of time and effort would be put into determining the long term objectives of the Company over the next few years. A 1978 Brockway tanker was purchased for $70,000 to replace the aging white fuel truck.
In 1980 the Fire Company approved the purchase of a mini-pumper for $45,000. It was the first vehicle paid for by the Township. Penn State University also conducted a study on the growth of the Company. Penn State recommended one central station accompanied by two sub-stations. 1981 was an extremely special year for the Company. The decision was made to turn over the assets of the Fire Company to the Township, and a 1 mil fire tax was enacted to support the operation of the fire company with regard to building maintenance, equipment, and apparatus. This resulted in a unique contract that was the first of its kind in the Commonwealth and laid the foundation of the Fire Company's future.
In 1982 the Howe pumper was sold and the decision to build the first station that is still around today was made. The station would be built on a piece of property along Haine School Road for a cost of $303,045. The Ambulance Corp. separated from the Fire Company so they could best serve the community and themselves. In 1984 the station on Dutilh Road was sold and the new "Haine Station" was completed. The Company's first ever rescue truck and an 85' Snorkel truck were purchased in 1985 for a combined cost of $160,000. Both trucks were used, refurbished trucks that resulted in a savings of $300,000. The trucks would be delivered in 1986.
The Township experienced a rapid population growth starting in 1987. The Fire Company also purchased its first computer to store its records. In 1989 the Brockway tanker was sold and replaced by a new FMC 1250-GPM Pumper at a cost of $230,000. The Fire safety house was purchased by donations from the community and an active fire prevention program began in 1993. The 1928 Pirsch was professionally refurbished the following year. In 1995 the second current fire station, the "Park Station" was constructed along Route 19 at the entrance to the Cranberry Community Park. In 1997 the Company took delivery of a brand new 1997 KME rescue/pumper at a cost of $336,000. The company also purchased a 100' Sutphen Tower in 2000. The Snorkel was retired. In 2001 a brand new Chevrolet Squad and Suburban Incident Command Vehicle were purchased and put into service.
After serving the Township for more than thirty years the old Mack pumper was finally retired in 2003. Today the Mack serves as a training apparatus at the Butler County Community College Public Safety training facility. In July of 2003 a brand new Precision/Spartan pumper was delivered and put into service, and the 1989 FMC Pumper was moved into a reserve status.