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Beech Creek-Blanchard Fire Co. ­­celebrates 80th anniversary

PHOTO PROVIDED

From staff reports

BEECH CREEK — It’s been 80 years since the Beech Creek-Blanchard Volunteer Fire Company began serving the people of Clinton and Centre counties.

There have been a lot of changes in the fire department since it was founded in 1939 and purchased its first truck, a 1931 Ford feed truck.

Members of the company celebrated the special milestone recently with a catered meal provided by the Beech Creek Hotel and honors to those who have served.

Guest speaker for the occasion was PA Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego.

State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz was also in attendance and presented Beech Creek-Blanchard Fire Company with a certificate of appreciation for their dedicated service.

Also attending were members of Citizen’s Hose Company No. 5 of Lock Haven and Lock Haven City Council members in honor of an 1885 Line Of Duty Death. Beech Creek-Blanchard officials, along with Trego, presented Citizen’s Hose with commemoratives recognizing William Romig, a Lock Haven Goodwill fireman who lost his life while unloading a steamer from a flatbed railroad car at the Beech Creek train station. That steamer was used to fight a planing mill fire on April 28, 1885.

This Line of Duty Death was not known until recently. It was discovered when researching the Beech Creek-Blanchard Fire Company’s early history. It was determined that the LODD was lost due to the disbandment of Goodwill in 1909, when Citizen’s Hose was organized.

It was an event the Beech Creek-Blanchard firefighters thought was in need of recognition.

It was noted that Beech Creek-Blanchard’s new fire house was built on the location where the 1884 train station once stood, and where Romig was killed.

Many members of the Beech Creek-Blanchard Volunteer Fire Company attended the event and were recognized for their dedicated service.

A history book was given to all who attended and many old newspaper articles containing the history of the Beech Creek-Blanchard Fire Co. were displayed.

What else could set the mood for such an event, but a 911 dispatch?

That is exactly what happened. On the evening of the banquet, a 911 dispatch occurred. Thankfully, there were no services required and all returned in time to feast.

Another unique event at the occasion was a roaster full of venison for all to enjoy. It was discovered that in years past, the volunteers held an annual venison feed and on one occasion, in 1951, Citizen’s Hose had been invited also, as a kind gesture for donating uniforms to Beech Creek-Blanchard. How fitting that the 80th anniversary meal also included venison.

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