On December 21, 1946, a citizens meeting was held at McKently Hotel for the purpose of forming a fire company. The first recorded meeting was held on February 25, 1947 at the McKently Hotel. At this time Paul Knabb was appointed temporary chairman and the McKently Hotel chosen as the temporary headquarters. The following men were elected into office: President, Edgar Seyler, Jr.; Vice President, L.C. Conner; Recording and Financial Secretary, Paul Knabb; Treasurer, Howard Deysher; and Trustees, Warren Heffner, John Gardner, and Lester Baer. After much debate, it was decided to call the new fire company The Ruscombmanor Township Fire Company. A committee was formed to make up a constitution and by-laws. Shortly after this, a charter was received on April 7, 1947, and the name was changed to the Ruscombmanor Volunteer Fire Company No.1.
The first piece of equipment was a 1926 250 gal. Hahn engine that was donated to the company from the Lincoln Park Fire Company. The Hahn engine temporarily was housed in the McKently Hotel Barn.
A plot of land was then purchased from Mrs. Henry Melcher, it was located a 1/4 mile from the junction of Rt. 662 and the Pricetown Rd. toward Reading. On the land there was a small bungalow and shed, the total cost was $1800. The first truck crew was formed in May 1948 and the Hahn was put into service.
The meeting place was moved to the small bungalow on the new Fire Company grounds and the Hahn was moved to Melcher's garage and housed there for the sum of $100.00 a year. With the help of citizens and fire company members, a small addition was built on the bungalow in May 1950. Once again the Hahn was moved and was now being housed in this new addition.
To better serve the community, the men decided to try to get a Ladies Auxiliary formed. In May 1950, the Ruscombmanor Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary met for the first time.
Seeing the need to expand, on June 4, 1954 the company purchased a two story tavern and 3.77 acres of land located at Pricetown Road and Oak Lane from Carl & Naomi Weber for the sum of $16,000.The members decided to set up a mortgage by way of bonds to some of the "good standing" members. By June 23, 1954 a total of $14,900 was loaned via the bonds for the purchase of the tavern. Those holding bonds included: Ephriam Cronrath, Walter Deisher, Harvey Hilbert & Elsie Nye, Sadie Rothermel, Howard Haas, Abraham Dierolf, Oscar Leiby, John Heffner, Herber Gehrke, Henry Heffner, Howard and Pearl Gounder, Charles Schlenker, William and Louisa Lessig, and the RVFC Ladies Auxiliary.
The old fire company grounds were sold to Jacob and Magdalena Levan on July 27, 1954 for the sum of $2,900. Once again the members and citizens came out and built a small engine house next to the tavern. The tavern was named the Emblem Arms Hotel and opened for business in the later part of 1954.
To offer better protection to the community, a 1955 1200 gal. Dodge tank truck was purchased from Walter Noll a local Dodge dealer for the sum of $1696.30 on February 8, 1955. A siren and 2 way base radio were also purchased and the bartender manned the radio.
On July 1965 approval was given to order a new 1965 International Brush Truck for the sum of $10,500. It was put into service on February 12, 1965. The old Hahn was sold to a private citizen to be restored, for the sum of $200 in July 1966.
As the fire company continued to expand, a 1960 Chevy panel truck was purchased through a private citizen for the sum of $100. A sub base station radio was purchased on Jan. 1, 1972 and placed in Moyer's Store at the intersection of Pricetown Road and Memorial Highway. For the next ten years The Moyer family volunteered their time to staff the base station and dispatch all of Ruscombmanor's emergency calls.
Approval was given to order a new 1972 Ford John Bean 1000 gal. engine at the sum of $31,166. A loan was secured from the 1st National Bank of Oley and was paid off in less than two years. The 1972 Ford John Bean engine went into service on July 26, 1972. After receiving the engine, the old Dodge was sold to Mertztown Landfill for $1,000.
A Junior Fire company was organized in September 1973.
Half of the company's property was sold to the township on November 15, 1973 for $2,900, on which a new township building was built. A 1971 International walk in truck was purchased in January 1975 for $1,300. After having all the trucks repaired and lettered, the old Chevy was given to George Dunlap as payment. A proposition was made at this time to sell the Hotel and relocate.
Ronald Kelly rented the Hotel and engine house on August 7, 1976 and changed the name to the Cabaret Inn. Settlement came on September 12, 1979 and the Emblem Arms Hotel Inc. and engine house were sold to Ronald Kelly for the sum of $50,000. At this time the company could use the engine house for 18 months rent free, until a new building could be built.
A 2% state loan for $50,000 was granted to the company on August 11, 1979. Ground breaking took place on Sept. 28, 1979.
Tom Mueller Inc. was hired to build a 3 bay, 2 deep engine house for the sum of $80,425. The big day came and the company moved into its new engine house on Aug. 8, 1980. Total cost of building was approx. $95,000.
With increasing costs to operate a base station and fire phones, it was decided to join the newly formed Berks County Fire Dispatch Service. On Oct. 30, 1981 the company joined the Berks County Fire Dispatch Service.
A 1967 Ford 1800 gal. tanker was purchased through Hafer Petroleum Oil Company of Trexlertown for the sum of $500 in Oct. 1981.
On June 26, 1982, a 35th Anniversary and Housing was held for Ruscombmanor Volunteer Fire Co.'s new engine house. This was the 1st parade ever held in Ruscombmanor Township.
In 1983 the members saw a need to expand once again and our social hall was built. This enabled the members to expand the scope of their fundraising activities, and move the bingo games our main fundraiser out of the engine room and into the new social hall. This allowed the members to hold other fundraising activities that were not possible before such as, monthly breakfasts, spaghetti suppers, country line dancing, and our now famous New Years Day pork and kraut dinner that draws crowds in excess of 700 people. We also hold annual Easter egg hunts, Halloween parties and Christmas parties in the hall for the youth of the community. The hall is also rented out to the general public for private events. With the additional income from the activities in the hall the fire company was able to purchase updated equipment and apparatus to better serve our community.
In the mid 1980's several used pieces of apparatus served us well. We purchased a 1957 international four wheel drive rescue truck from Kutztown Fire Company to replace the1971 International walk in truck. Shortly after we put the International rescue truck in service the firemen's relief association purchased a starter set of hydraulic rescue tools from ESI Equipment a Holmatro Rescue Tools distributor. Members received training on the tools and they were placed in service.
The 1957 International rescue truck was replaced by a 1972 Ford rescue truck purchased from the Shoemakersville Fire Company. This rescue truck was much larger and could accommodate more rescue equipment as well as an on board cascade system to refill breathing air cylinders at fire scenes.
We also obtained a 1952 jeep Willy's from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry through a cooperative program to augment our existing brush truck. The members worked hard to repair the jeep, give it a new paint job and equip it with a water tank, pump, and brush fire fighting equipment.
The 1967 Ford 1800 gallon tanker was repowered after the transmission gave out with a 1975 GMC chassis that was purchased from DEKA Batteries.
A 1975 Diamond Rio tanker was purchased from Stonersville Fire Company to replace the GMC.
In 1991the 1972 Ford John Bean pumper was retired and replaced by our current 1991 Pierce Lance 1250 GPM pumper which was purchased at a cost of approximately $190,000.00 a group of members traveled to Appleton Wisconsin to take delivery of the new engine.
In 1996 the 1972 Ford rescue truck was sold to Spayd's Landscaping, who later sold it to John Noll's Garage in Breezy Corners. It was replaced with our current rescue truck a 1986 Pierce Dash rescue truck that was purchased from Dover Township PA Fire Company. This rescue truck was again larger than the previous one which allowed us to greatly expand our rescue tools and related rescue equipment to meet the ever increasing call volume.
In 2000 and 2001 the Ruscombmanor Township supervisors approved funding from the townships fire equipment fund to replace the 1965 International brush truck and the 1952 Willy's brush jeep. The International was sold to a community group in East Cheltenham PA to be restored and used in parades and other community events. The Willy's Jeep was returned to the state forestry department. They were replaced with a 2000 Ford F-550 KME mini pumper, built by KME Fire Apparatus in Nesquehoning PA and a 2001 Ford F-450 brush truck. The brush trucks design was developed by our members, final design and building of the new brush truck was done by Levan Machine and Truck Equipment located near Breezy Corners in Ruscombmanor Township. The cost of both these new pieces was in excess of two hundred thousand dollars. Both of these pieces are in our fleet today.
In 2005 the 1975 Diamond Rio tanker was sold to Newton Ransom Fire Company near Clarks Summit PA. It was replaced with our current 2000 gallon tanker/pumper a 2005 KME/International. The cost of this piece of apparatus was approximately $200,000 sixty thousand dollars was allocated towards the purchase of the tanker from the townships fire equipment fund and the remainder was financed by our Firemen's Relief Association through a lease purchase plan.
In 2005 our first golf tournament was held as a fundraiser. It proved to be very successful and the tournaments have continued annually, our ninth annual tournament will be held on June 10th 2013.
In May of 2011 we held our first ever cow chip bingo! A very unusual but fun way of raising additional funds. It was a big hit with all who attended and our third annual cow chip festival will be held on May 4th 2013.
In April of 2012 with the support of our township supervisors traffic signal preemption was installed at the Breezy Corners intersection this greatly increases the safety of emergency responses through this very busy intersection.
Our building is our headquarters, it is where we meet, train and plan for the future, our equipment with which we serve our community is housed there. But all off the above means nothing without the members past, present, and future. It is they and their dedication since late December 1946 that has made our fire company what it is today. For their dedication we say thank you.