Holy smokes! Smokestown Fire Co. celebrates new pumper

By on September 26, 2018
The fire crew, pictured in front of the new truck, are (front row, left to right) Tanya Reynolds (secretary); Barry Rehlich (president); Roxane Shiplett (vice president); Lindsey Hartranft (captain), and Jill Hartranft (treasurer). (Back, l-r) Glenn Heinsey (firefighter); Gerald Hartranft (assistant engineer) , Ben Hall (firefighter); Joel High (deputy chief); Lester High (chief engineer); Eric Shiplett (trustee); Gordon Whitehill (firefighter); Donny Stover (chief); Carl Haberman (fire police captain); Justin Lausch (trustee), and Jim Cataldi (fire police lieutenant). Photo by Aubree Fahringer
The new 2018 Pierce Enforcer Pumper.  Photo by Aubree Fahringer

The new 2018 Pierce Enforcer Pumper. Photo by Aubree Fahringer

Smokestown Fire Company celebrated their new 2018 Pierce Enforcer Tanker on Sept. 15 with an open house, held at the fire station.

President Barry Rehlich has been involved with the fire company for 34 years and he has witnessed the evolution of trucks and equipment the station has used. Rehlich understands the importance of having dependable equipment, even if it comes with a hefty price tag.

“We applied for grants, utilized township money and used our truck fund,” said Rehlich, in regards to the fundraising process. “Our chicken barbecues keep the building running and go towards equipment.”

Obtaining the new pumper from Pierce Manufacturing was a three to four year process, from the time it was first discussed in a township meeting to the time the truck went into service on Aug. 27 of this year.

The culmination of the open house was the traditional “housing” of the truck, when the firefighters gathered to push it into the firehouse.

The fire crew, pictured in front of the new truck, are (front row, left to right) Tanya Reynolds (secretary); Barry Rehlich (president); Roxane Shiplett (vice president); Lindsey Hartranft (captain), and Jill Hartranft (treasurer). (Back, l-r) Glenn Heinsey (firefighter); Gerald Hartranft (assistant engineer) , Ben Hall (firefighter); Joel High (deputy chief); Lester High (chief engineer); Eric Shiplett (trustee); Gordon Whitehill (firefighter); Donny Stover (chief); Carl Haberman (fire police captain); Justin Lausch (trustee), and Jim Cataldi (fire police lieutenant). Photo by Aubree Fahringer

The fire crew, pictured in front of the new truck, are (front row, left to right) Tanya Reynolds (secretary); Barry Rehlich (president); Roxane Shiplett (vice president); Lindsey Hartranft (captain), and Jill Hartranft (treasurer). (Back, l-r) Glenn Heinsey (firefighter); Gerald Hartranft (assistant engineer) , Ben Hall (firefighter); Joel High (deputy chief); Lester High (chief engineer); Eric Shiplett (trustee); Gordon Whitehill (firefighter); Donny Stover (chief); Carl Haberman (fire police captain); Justin Lausch (trustee), and Jim Cataldi (fire police lieutenant). Photo by Aubree Fahringer

Two East Cocalico supervisors were present — president Alan Fry and Romao Carrasco — as well as firefighters, their families, and members from the community.

Chief Donny Stover shared about the greatest need of local fire companies — volunteers. “We are 100 percent volunteer,” said Stover. “It can be tough to get younger guys involved. But there are multiple ways to volunteer, like computer tech or helping with fundraisers.”

“We rely on the community and on donations,” said Rehlich. “But everyone works together, and we’ve got a good crew.”

“We’ve got a great group,” agreed Stover.

For more information, visit Smokestown Fire Co on Facebook.

Aubree Fahringer is the Cocalico editor for The Ephrata Review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *