Goodwill Fire 18

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Historic picture of our department.


The Goodwill Fire Company of New Paradise was organized on July 13, 1879 with Mr. D.M. Loucks as the first president. At a meeting on January 29, 1892 it was decided to build an engine house. This building was to be built of corrugated iron, measuring 16' x 22' in size and to be built on the Edward Myers lot. It was also decided at this meeting to purchase a 22' and a 20' ladder plus 6 fire hooks on poles of various lengths. A membership fee of $1.00 was agreed upon and enacted at this meeting.


On February, 5 1892 it was reported an estimated cost for a one story building at $116.31 and a two story building for $210.50. The building committee was also instructed to find a different location for the building.

On February 12, 1892, a meeting was held and the building committee reported that a lot of John Snyder's was for sale for $75. It was decided to buy the lot and this is where the first engine house would be built. At this meeting, it was also decided that the building committee would become the trustees of the company. A committee was also appointed to draw up by-laws for the company.

On February 19, 1892, the first Constitution and By-Laws of the Goodwill Fire Company were read and approved.

On March 18, 1892 it was decided that all the members would pay monthly dues of $0.05 and the motto "WE STRIVE TO SAVE" was adopted.

In April of 1892, the membership approved a contract to plaster the inside of the engine house for $10. The newly constructed engine house was to be insured for $300. and the contents for $50.

On October 1, 1892 the first fund raiser, a picnic, was held. 1200 tickets were printed and raffled for items such as a walnut table, a $5.00 gold piece, 1/2 barrel of flour, a $1.00 gold piece and a box of cigars. The picnic committee reported a profit of $0.73. Other fund raisers were things such as buggy whips for $0.25, fire hall rental at $0.50 for other organization meetings and an oyster bake. With funds raised, a coal stove was bought for the engine house at a cost of $5.


June 7, 1894, plans were discussed to purchase a new piece of fire apparatus, and costs were to be obtained before a final decision was made. In the meantime, a second picnic was held on July 7, 1894 to raise money for this new piece of apparatus and a profit of $1.50 was made. Finally in October it was decided to purchase another fire apparatus with a new pump, the cost of which was $11.13. Membership at this time was 29 men.


In August 1897, a special meeting was held to discuss the purchase of a bell for the engine house. After much discussion it was decided not to buy the bell at that time.

In June of 1899 it was again discussed on the possibility of purchasing a bell for the engine house. Two committees were appointed, one to get costs on a bell the other to get costs on building a bell tower atop the engine house. In August of 1899 , Noah P. Keener was awarded the contract for the installation of the tower at a cost of $20.50 and by September 1st the bell committee reported finding a bell weighing 175 lbs. at a total cost of $7. and it was decided to put this bell on the fire station. After the bell was installed, the janitor would ring the bell at half past six and the again at seven o'clock on meeting nights and the meeting would be called to order at the last ringing of the bell.


May 1904 saw many building repairs. A new slate roof was installed and the building was raised about 10" at a cost of $121.13. The treasurer reported a balance of $0.08 in the treasury. Membership at this time was 25 men. No records were able to be found about the companies activities from 1908-1916.

But, by 1916 an auditing committee reported a balance of 103.74 in the treasury. Also in 1916 more upgrades to the engine house were made including some cement work, twin windows installed in the rear of the building, new weather boards were installed over the iron sheeting, the exterior was painted and the words, "Goodwill No. 1" were printed on the outside above the big doors.


In 1921, the engine house was wired for electricity and lights were installed, and in 1922 the first floor of the engine house was concreted.

In March 1925, a committee was appointed to investigate the purchasing of another piece of fire apparatus, and in May 1925 a motion was made to purchase a piece of apparatus from American LaFrance for $2,500.00.

October saw a new heating plant installed in the fire house and in December, S.P. Shearer was elected Fire Chief.

During the years of 1925, 1926 and 1927, fund raising activities were held in the way of picnics, festivals, oyster suppers and band concerts.


July 1931, the membership was again looking to buy another piece of apparatus. A bid of $125.00 was sent to the Union Fire Company of York for a piece of apparatus they were selling. A committee was appointed and granted to spend up to $200.00 for an apparatus and in December, the committee reported purchasing that apparatus from Union Fire Company for $330.00.


At the February 1935 meeting a committee was appointed to gather information on obtaining a charter for the company.

July 6, 1936, a motion was approved to buy a new chassis for the apparatus and sealed bids should be obtained from three local dealers.

On July 13th the company awarded Innerst Auto Company at a bid of $560. for a new chassis.

In August, it was reported the new chassis was delivered and it was approved to be sent to the York County Convention in Wrightsville. After receiving back 57 responses to a questionnaire, the membership adopted a new annual membership of $1 in March 1937.

July of that year, the first house siren was purchased for a price of $37.50 from W.S. Darley Co. and installed. This new siren was tested every Saturday evening at 6pm.

March 1939, the relief association was established pending approval by the Borough Council.


December 7, 1941, immediately following the declaration of war with Japan, a special meeting was called for the purpose of trying to meet the defense needs in the community. A new 2 1/2 HP siren was purchased for $175.00. Air raid wardens were appointed and a system was devised to designate whether a fire was in town or out of town and cards were distributed giving the fire and air raid signals. One long blast indicated a fire in town and two short blasts indicated a fire out of town.

During the war years of 1942-1945 it was reported that many of the members were in the Armed Forces serving their country. There are no available records for the period of November 1945 to December 1950 and it was during this time that the present fire hall was built and dedicated at 1 South Main Street.


In 1951, a Volunteer Medical Service Corps was established and first aid and medical training was given to those serving in the corps.

In 1952 the discussion was of purchasing an ambulance. It was decided to first conduct a survey to see if enough favorable interested would be shown.

In 1953, radio communications became available for the fire departments and plans were made to investigate the possibility of purchasing a transmitter and a receiver.

May 1956, the membership approved the purchase of a 1946 flat bed truck for $175.00 to be converted to and used as a water tanker. Also in 1956, the fire department responded to a fire at Spencer Ferree's that had an estimated loss of $13,000.

In 1958, the department responded to 4 fire calls and 3 assisting calls with a loss of $286,750.00.

In 1962, the department responded to 10 fire calls and 3 assisting calls with a loss of $10,000.00.


July 1966, the Goodwill Fire Company #1 Junior Firefighter Organization was established.

April 1967, the department approved the purchase of a 1967 GMC cab and chassis for $6170.00 and a quote from W.S.Darley for $10,000.00 was received for a 750 gpm pump and a 1,000 gallon tank. The new fire truck was received on February 21, 1968.

In 1969, the department responded to 13 fire calls.

In 1975, the department responded to 21 fire called with a loss of $15,500.00.

In 1977, the department responded to 26 fire calls with a loss of $30,450.00


In 1979, the department celebrated 100 years of dedicated volunteer service to the community.

In 1991, the department purchased a retired 1981 FDNY American LaFrance engine and had it refurbished and placed it into service. With the arrival of our first 6 person enclosed cab engine the practice of riding the tailboard was discontinued.


In 1996, another retired 1981 FDNY American LaFrance engine was purchased, but this one was rebuilt from the frame up. Upgrades included, re-powering with an 8V92 Detriot motor and Allison automatic transmission, installing a 1250 gallon poly-tank, and replacing the 5" pump intakes with 6" intakes bringing the pump to a certified rating of 1250 GPM. The suspension and axles were also replaced with new components to handle the increased weight. A new fire body was constructed along with raising the rear cab area 10 inches. This engine was completed and placed into in 1997.


July 2004, the department celebrated their 125 anniversary of dedicated volunteer service to the community

2005 brings to the department more growth and improvement to the building that was built in 1950 and an engine committee to spec. out a new engine for expected delivery for some time in 2006.

In March 2006, a 2002 American LaFrance 2000 GPM engine was purchased from the Mt. Pleasant Township Fire Department in Hickory, Pennsylvania and our 1981 American LaFrance Engine (Engine 18-1) was sold to the Seven Valleys Fire Department in Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania.

In 2007 we began remodeling the kitchen in our social hall, with final completion in 2008

In 2008 we made a commitment to improving our water rescue capabilities. We acquired a used ambulance that we turned into a water rescue support vehicle, added two additional boats, and additional water rescue equipment.

Throughout the years, the company has received a wide-array of rewards in regards to serving the community. Morever, the company's water rescue team has proved to be extremely valuable over the past couple of years when surrounding areas have been flood stricken.

As an all-volunteer organization, the Goodwill Fire Company of Jacobus is comprised of roughly many active first responders who volunteer their time and effort to serve the community. Additionally, the organization is comprised of numerous fundraising and administrative personnel who work diligently to carry out the necessary roles and responsibilities outside of responding to calls.

.....................To Be Continued.