On November 2nd, 1942, a group of citizens in Hanover Township, many of whom were air raid wardens, formed a group known as the Hanover Township Fire Protection Association. They shared their belief that a Fire Protection service was required with other residents of the township and 28 interested citizens became charter members of the Hanover Township Fire Protection Association.
At this time the Fire Protection Association did not have a permanent meeting space, and frequently held their meetings ar the Crystal Jade Inn. After careful consideratrion, the group traveled to Telford Fire Department, Telford, PA, and purchased a 1928 Hahn Fire Truck for approximately $100. The fire truck was housed at various locations for the next 3 1/2 years. At times it was housed in the barn on the Palmer Laubach farm; at other times in the barn at the Willard Koehler farm; and at other times, it was housed in Leo Rheiner’s garage on the Bath Pike. The means of dispatch was radically different from what we use today! At that time, residents called the fire chief and his family started calling the fire fighters on the telephone while someone else ran to activate the siren. Mr. Koehler fondly remembers how well this fire truck pumped, but noted that it drove so slow. There were many times the truck had to be pushed to get it started. Truman Ritter was the first fire chief.
In July 1946, Mr. Preston Koehler donated 4 1/2 acres of land to the Fire Protective Association and a new firehouse was built by Bethlehem area contractor, Howard Schwartz. The new building was built off what is now known as Stoke Park Road just west of Bath Pike. The volunteers paid off the mortgage by running a variety of fundraisers, like carnivals and dances. The Ladies Auxiliary also sponsored suppers. This group of volunteers, and others that joined them, protected the township over the next 20 years by purchasing used equipment as funds became available. The only new piece of apparatus purchased during this time was a 1953 Howe Defender Fire Truck purchased by the Hanover Township Board of Supervisors.
The alerting system was “upgraded” during this time to 3 telephones and one telephone at the fire house with a siren button. Generally, housewives took the emergency calls and set off the sirens from their telephones. They started calling the fire fighters by phone after the siren was sounded. In 1970 this system was replaced by radio activated alerting system maintained by the Northampton County Fire Control Center. This agency accepted all calls and activated home plectron (pager) receivers. This same system could remotely activate the roof-top siren with coded radio signals.
In 1965, Northampton County Court issued a new charter changing the name of the organization to the Hanover Township Fire Company, and in 1976 issued a new charter renaming the organization to it’s current name: “Hanover Township Volunteer Fire Company #1 of Northampton County”.
In 1965, the Bethlehem Jaycees donated a 1956 Cadillac Ambulance to the fire company. Several members took “the” first aid course and responded to the fire calls with the ambulance to serve fire fighters on the scene. Emergency ambulance service for residents was inaugurated July 4, 1969.
HTVFC – Timeline
1943 – (March 22nd) – the Hanover Township Air Raid Wardens receive their charter.
1968 – Two old water tankers were scrapped and a new 1968 Ford 1300 gallon water tanker, purchased from fund driver receipts, was placed into service.
1969 – (Nov) – A new 1969 Hahn 1000GPM Pumper, purchased by the Board of Supervisors, was placed into service.
1970 – A 1965 Cadillac Ambulance purchased from St Lukes Hospital with fund drive proceeds was placed into service.
1970 – The telephone based alerting system was decommissioned and replaced with alerting by the Northampton County Fire Network.
1971 – A new Oldsmobile Ambulance purchased with fund drive proceeds was placed into service.
1972 – A new 1972 Ford Heavy Duty Rescue Truck purchased with fund drive proceeds was placed into service.
1973 – A new 1973 Mack 1250GPM Pumper, purchased by the Board of Supervisors, was placed into service.
1976 – A new GMC Transmode Ambulance purchased with fund drive proceeds was placed into service.
1977/1978 – A Seagraves 100′ Aerial Ladder Truck was purchased from the City of Bethlehem, and placed into service.
1981 – A new 1981 Ford Yankee Coach Ambulance purchased with fund drive proceeds was placed into service.
1989 – A new 1989 Mack/Ward 79 Custom Pumper, purchased by the Board of Supervisors, was placed into service.
1989 – A 1979 GMC Oil Tanker purchased with fund drive proceeds was converted into a 2000 Gallon Tanker, and placed into service.
1989 - The fire company base unit number was converted to 4 digits due to the rapid growth of fire equipment, ambulances, and fire police.
1992 – New Ford E350 Excellance Ambulance purchased with fund drive proceeds was placed into service.
1993 – New Simon/LTI 85′ Aerial Tower, purchased by the Board of Supervisors, was placed into service.
2011- EMS started a career portion to its company, to ensure the proper responses during the day to the residence of Hanover Township.