Centre Square Fire Company is celebrating 100 years of serving and protecting Whitpain Township this year. The volunteer fire company began service in February of 1913 with 35 members.
Today, the fire company has 30 active volunteers and three career firemen who respond to an average of 600 to 700 fire calls a year.
Centre Square Fire Company is celebrating their 100 year anniversary in a big way, with events throughout the year. The two biggest events will be held in the spring, with a Anniversary Parade to be held in May and a week-long carnival to be held in June.
The parade, which will begin at 11 a.m. at Shady Grove Elementary School on Skippack Pike and end at the Centre Square Fire House. Ed O'Hanlon, President of Centre Square, said Skippack Pike will be shut down from Shade Grove Elementary to the intersection with Route 202 during the duration of the parade and the fire company will have parade viewing areas and parking areas along its route for residents to watch the parade.
For the parade, fire and ambulance companies from across the county have been invited, as well as the Whitpain Police Department and a number of marching bands.
Centre Square Fire Company will recognize three members as grand marshals during the parade: John Posen, Edward Ross, and Mel Roberts. The three members have the longest consecutive years active in the fire service.
Once Centre Square Fire Company reaches the fire house, Centre Square will hold a ceremonial housing of their new Tower/Ladder Truck and Fire Police Unit. After the housing, there will be an open house, entertainment by the David Christopher Band, food and drink.
The carnival will be held behind the firehouse from June 11 through June 16. The carnival will feature thrill rides, carnival rides, food, games and entertainment. All proceeds from the carnival will benefit Centre Square Fire Company.
Other events throughout the year include a comedy show on Jan. 26 at the fire house. Tickets for the comedy show are $20 and doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. There will be four comedians throughout the night: Grover Silcox, Mike Morse, Robin Fox and The Legendary Wid. Included in the ticket price is a free anniversary collectors cup and beer, as well as snacks and sodas.
A golf outing will be held at the Centre Square Golf Club on June 3 and the annual fire expo will be held on Oct. 4 at Wentz Run Park, with fireworks to held for the first time at the end of the night this year.
O'Hanlon said the fire company has three goals they are promoting throughout this year:
- Maintaining high membership enrollment and attracting diversity, including young and old members to the organization.
- Communicate to residents and businesses in Whitpain Township how a volunteer organization such as Centre Square, means tax savings for them
- Continue the high level of service to the community while beginning the process to build a new firehouse to house and maintain equipment and train members.
According to O'Hanlon, fundraising has not yet begun for the new firehouse and the company is still in the very beginning stages of the planning process. Centre Square's Fire Chief Lee Miller said donations collected during the 100 anniversary events will go towards the new station.
"We are very appreciative of the support we've had from the township," he said O'Hanlon.
"And all the people who've volunteered throughout the 100 years," added Miller.
O'Hanon added that the fire company is looking forward to the next 100 years in Whitpain Township.
For the most up-to-date information on events and for a full history of Centre Square Fire Company, visit their website.