Firehouse Renovation Capital Campaign

Background

In Pennsylvania, over 96% of all fire departments are volunteer-run. The approximately 1,500 Pennsylvania volunteer fire departments produce a tax savings of about $6 billion a year for state and local governments, according to a recent report by the Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee. However, many volunteer departments are struggling because of decreases in both volunteerism and funding. Pennsylvania has gone from about 300,000 volunteer firefighters in the 1970s to less than 50,000 today. These problems have seriously strained the volunteer fire service in areas throughout Pennsylvania. Companies that have traditionally been separate now are merging into larger departments in an attempt to combine money, manpower and general resources.

Alert Fire Company was formed in 1918 by a group of community members who wanted to provide fire protection to the Village of Emigsville and the surrounding areas. The company operated out of temporary quarters with equipment staged throughout the town until 1920 when the first firehouse was opened on North George Street across from the ACME Wagon Works. Over the years the company and community continued to grow and the need for updated equipment and facilities became apparent. Spurred on by the major fire at the ACME Wagon Works in 1951 the fire company purchased a plot of land further south on North George Street and began construction of the current firehouse in 1954. The doors were opened for the business of protecting the community on New Year’s day 1955. Alert Fire Company currently operates as a part of a regional combination fire department, York Area United Fire and Rescue. Being a combination department, we have a mix of full time career staff and volunteers who serve in the department. Unlike the other firehouses in the department we are unique in the fact that we are the only all-volunteer station. We also house a paramedic ambulance which is staffed by providers from LifeTeam EMS.

The Challange

From opening day 70 years ago the firehouse has only undergone one renovation/addition to expand from 2 bays to 4 and add square footage to the social hall and living quarters in 1972. Since 1972 there have been no major changes to the current firehouse. In those 52 years many things have changed operationally within the fire service and there are many health and safety standards that we are not able to meet under current conditions. Apparatus has also undergone many changes over the years. The living quarters are also extremely outdated with one unisex bathroom serving the entire facility, no kitchen for crews to prepare meals, and no sleeping accommodations for female members. The combination of all these factors make it almost impossible to operate a modern fire company out of the facility and also discourages an already dwindling volunteer base from coming on board.

The Solution

Alert Fire Company’s station renovation project involves a full renovation of the existing facility. This project includes modernizing the existing living quarters and rebuilding the layout to the interior of the building. This will help bring us into compliance with all modern-day ADA and code requirements, including installing new HVAC, wiring, insulation, fire alarms, and sprinklers. In addition, the engine room at the station will be renovated. All new HVAC and electric will
be installed, as well as ADA compliant features, to bring the building completely up to current code requirements. All apparatus bays will be repaired and receive new overhead doors, allowing us to accommodate modern apparatus. Once completed, the newly renovated firehouse will be a staple within the community, and a centerpiece for fire protection in the area.

Statement of Effect

This project will not only decrease the annual financial burden on the department with a more efficient building, but allows for more effective and efficient day to day operations. A new ventilation system, breathing air cascade and decontamination room will increase safety for our volunteers and staff. As mentioned earlier, one of the greatest challenges to fire companies throughout Pennsylvania (and the entire country) is volunteer recruitment and retention. An updated firehouse with modern amenities will decrease the need for constant upkeep and repair, not only easing the financial burden on the department, but allowing the volunteers more time to focus on the actual mission of saving lives and property. Updated, attractive and efficient facilities will also provide more space for ongoing drills and training, and will increase the possibility of attracting new volunteers.

    Sponsorship Levels

    Captain Level Sponsor: 1,000 – $4,999
    In addition to all the benefits of a Lieutenant level sponsor your companies name will be placed
    on a plaque to hang at the firehouse upon competition of the project.

    Lieutenant Level Sponsor: $500 – $999
    Your companies name and/or logo will be posted on our companies Facebook page and website
    as a sponsor of the building construction project PLUS your companies name and/or logo will be
    placed on our digital sign and advertised as a sponsor of the building construction project.

    Firefighter Level Sponsor: $100 – $499
    Your companies name and/or logo will be posted on our companies Facebook page and website
    as a sponsor of the building construction project.

    Conclusion

    We thank you for your consideration, and hope that we can count on you as a partner in upgrading our facilities to modern standards. This will help us operate more effectively, ensure greater volunteerism and increase safety for the entire community. Your tax-deductible gift can be sent to the following address or you can make an ONLINE DONATION.

    Alert Fire Company

    Attn: Capital Campaign

    PO Box 136

    Emigsville, PA 17318

    ** Under the Pennsylvania Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act, Section 10 P.S. §
    162.6, Alert Fire Company is exempt from registration with the PA Department of State as all
    fundraising activities are carried on by volunteers, members or an auxiliary of First Alert, with
    those engaged in the fundraising receiving no compensation directly or indirectly for their fundraising.

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