Fire departments are steeped in honor and tradition. They have always been the critical hub of any town as a stable and reliable institution, called on when danger strikes. It is today little appreciated that in the era of the American Revolution, fire companies comprised a ready pillar against the forces that threatened Colonist's property and domestic security. These were sacred belongings, and every early American firefighter was sworn to protect them, “for the better preservation of our own and our Fellow Citizens’ Houses Goods & Effects.”
The progressive nature of the Wyndmoor Hose Company has been evidenced from the very beginning. The men and women who comprised this fire company have consistently strived to provide the finest most up-to-date equipment and strategies available. The sole and overriding concern has been to provide our neighbors with a safe and reliable fire service.
Wyndmoor Hose Company (WHCo) is a 100% volunteer department. More than 25 members who make up the working force are notified by digital paging systems, day and night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year of community members who dialed 911 in urgent need of response.
Outside of emergency response - fire suppression and rescue activities - WHCo is active in the community in many other ways. Fire prevention programs have always been a primary focus. The company keeps a busy schedule with weekend birthday parties held at the station for young children, sometimes multiple parties each day. The parties often include a 30-minute presentation on fire safety. Throughout the year WHCo presents various fire prevention programs and demonstrations to local schools, camps, day-care facilities, and other businesses and organizations at no charge. For decades, the department has been partnered with The Boy Scouts of America to provide annual training. These programs share not only messages about general fire safety, texting or drunk driving, but also proper use of equipment, and tools, etc.
Equally important, WHCo has forged relationships with other non-profit organizations that last decades. Notably, in the mid 90's the company had partnered with UCP - United Cerebral Palsy. UCP, renamed Blossom Philadelphia, was an organization blocks from the fire station, in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, who provided direct services to over 2,400 adults, children and their families with a variety of disabilities including cerebral palsy, head trauma, stroke and spinal cord injury. Groups of Wyndmoor firefighters could be found at any one of the organizations six annual fundraising events throughout each year, or even assisting at the organization's headquarters with everything from fire safety demonstrations for clients and staff, to helping to cook lunch. Unfortunately, Blossom has since closed and Wyndmoor volunteers miss the relationship.
The volunteer firefighters support several other charitable organizations however possible. From assisting the staff from the Ronald McDonald's house with their annual "plane-pull" fund raiser at the Philadelphia airport, to helping Community Partnership School in North Philadelphia raise money to build a much-needed new facility at their annual auction.
Of course - the membership never loses site of the primary mission. Monday nights are busy nights for Wyndmoor volunteers. Almost fifty weeks a year, Wyndmoor firefighters meet Mondays from 6:45PM through 9:30PM to maintain, test, practice, discuss, and plan for fire and rescue-related events. Beyond these evenings, special joint training sessions might be scheduled for weekends or other evenings throughout the year. While all firefighters must engage in no less than 140 hours of academy training before stepping foot on a fireground, the reality holds true that the training never ends.
In the late 90's it was decided that the fire company would add emergency medical services to its already expanded list of rescue operations. The company purchased the QRS (Quick Response Service) unit that houses enough basic life support and first-aid equipment to compliment the Ambler Community Ambulance Association's arrival.
Shortly after WHCo sent a crew to Ground Zero following September 11, 2001's terrorist attacks, the Hazardous Materials operation also expanded. Wyndmoor teamed with the Montgomery County Hazmat Team as Eastern Montgomery County's primary decontamination service. A larger environmental response trailer was purchased to accommodate the increased quantity of equipment needed. A much more in-depth training program was enforced and all WHCo members were required to complete advanced levels of hazardous materials training.
Today Wyndmoor Hose Company, No. 1 is equipped to respond to virtually any emergency. From building fire to vehicle rescue, from hazardous material to emergency medical situations, Wyndmoor has personnel that are well-trained and highly-skilled prepared to act.