100 YEARS Mt. Lebanon Fire Department celebrates its Centennial in 2018. In tribute, each month, we’re taking a glimpse of local firefighting through the decades, featuring pictures and information from the municipal archives.
The Roaring ‘20s
The Commission reorganized the volunteer fire department, appointing William Phillips as the first fire chief and swearing in 19 firemen. Chief Phillips was not salaried but received $1 for each hour he worked on the equipment.
Since the first fire station at 520 Washington Road was barely large enough to house a truck, Mt. Lebanon firemen launched a door-to-door campaign to raise money to build a larger fire station.
The township erected a fire siren on the roof of Haller’s Garage on Washington Road and built a hose tower to dry fire hoses at the rear of the municipal building.
The Commission authorized a down payment of $3,900 to American LaFrance for a new fire engine to replace the original chemical engine. The new engine arrived in 1923.
The fire department continued its fund-raising efforts with a carnival.
J.P. Clark was made chief. One year later, the department submitted a letter to the township manager signed by 12 of its 15 members requesting Clark’s removal from the position. The department held an election and chose Samuel Sill as a chief in April 1929.
The manager recommended transferring J.E. Woods from the police department to the fire department. Woods would become the department’s first career (paid) chief. David Hasley was hired as the first assistant fire chief.
The new municipal building plans were approved and incorporated a fire station on the ground floor at 710 Washington Road.
LOOK UP LEBO
It’s bicycle season! First things first: Always wear a helmet. Check that your tires are sufficiently inflated, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick-release levers are closed. Carry tools and supplies that are appropriate for your ride.