Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department Museum

Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department Museum A Place to Preserve the Rich History of a Nationally Acclaimed Volunteer Fire Department. Over 100 years of Photos, Memorabilia, Apparatus, and Documents.
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The Greensburg Fire Department Museum was started in 1969 by older members of the fire department wishing to keep alive the history of the fire department maintaining artifacts and antique fire department equipment. In the mid-80s, the fire museum was closed due to space requirements of the City. The museum was moved to the Troutman's Department Store. After the store's closing, the contents were then moved to the Royer's building for safekeeping. In 1998, space was again provided by the City to house the museum's collection. Since then, a small group of dedicated firemen and other interested citizens have been working to renovate the museum's new headquarters. Work is completed and the grand re-opening was in September, just in time for the City's Bicentennial celebration. A new name was given to the museum, Station #4. The committee chose Station #4 for two reasons: the museum is located in the fourth ward (behind City Hall), and the Greensburg Fire Department does not have a Station #4. If you'd like to schedule a visit at the Museum, call 724-832-7904 to set up an appointment.

02/02/2019
Timeline Photos
04/11/2017

Timeline Photos

04/27/2016

As Director of this Museum, dedicated to the preservation
of the history not only of our City's outstanding fire dept.
but of other surrounding fire companys, I am so proud to
have been asked to take the Director's position, back in
1995, I had no idea what I was getting into, but with the
help of folks like Judy O'toole, Barb Jones, and P.J.
Zimmerling of the Westmoreland Museum of American
Art, and that coupled with my business experience. made
what seemed to be a daunting task, do able. It has
truely been learning process, but now it seems to me
to be "old hat". My job has been made much easier
thanks to the many dedicated volunteers, that help keep
our Museum humming. They truly are some of the best
people I have ever had the privledge to work with, and
I can't say enought about how they eagerly perform
their duties, and many fine comments have been made
by visitors about their experience of touring our
Museum. I see only bigger and better things for out
facility. If you want to see fire fighting history at it's
best, then you owe it to yourself, to call our Museum
number (724) 832-7904, and set up a tour for your-
self. Stay safe!!
Bill Rudolph

The 2015 photo of the apparatus.
07/20/2015

The 2015 photo of the apparatus.

A REALLY CLASSY PIC: from among Leroy Smeltzer's photos is this one of Hose Co. No. 3 in the 5th Ward on Grove st. The l...
07/09/2015

A REALLY CLASSY PIC: from among Leroy Smeltzer's photos is this one of Hose Co. No. 3 in the 5th Ward on Grove st. The little boy being held by his father in the middle is still among us. That's Ed Hutchinson held by his father, Walter.

Our display of a 1970's era parade uniform belonging to the Chief of the Department.
06/29/2015

Our display of a 1970's era parade uniform belonging to the Chief of the Department.

Firemans convention October 7 1937.
06/25/2015

Firemans convention October 7 1937.

Photo circa 1925. Description below the photo.
06/22/2015

Photo circa 1925. Description below the photo.

The photos are only marked as 'glass house fire'. Unknown year or photographer.
06/18/2015

The photos are only marked as 'glass house fire'. Unknown year or photographer.

Click on photo description is below the display.
06/15/2015

Click on photo description is below the display.

One of our current displays. The models are of past and present fire houses. L-R Central fire station (home of Truck 2, ...
06/11/2015

One of our current displays. The models are of past and present fire houses. L-R Central fire station (home of Truck 2, the quarters of 8 Engine, the former quarters of 3 Engine, the former quarters of 6 Engine, the quarters of 8 Engine and the former Quarters of 7 Engine.

Members of the department marching in a parade. Circa 1939.
06/08/2015

Members of the department marching in a parade. Circa 1939.

Central Fire House. From left to right. Truck 2, the Chiefs Car and Engine 1. Engine 1 has been relocated to the Northsi...
06/04/2015

Central Fire House. From left to right. Truck 2, the Chiefs Car and Engine 1. Engine 1 has been relocated to the Northside of the city but firehouse still serves as home to Truck 2, Foam 2, Air 2 and Utility 2.

06/02/2015

Over the next week or so you will see new pictures of former Chief Utz, fires and parades. The Greensburg Fire Department along with the Museum Board would like thank Tracy Lawson-Montgomery for sharing the photos with us.

Chief of the Department Al Utz along side the Chief's car. Circa 1938-1942.
06/02/2015

Chief of the Department Al Utz along side the Chief's car. Circa 1938-1942.

The former quarters of Engine Company 6. Located on West Otterman St (sixth ward) circa 1927.
05/30/2015

The former quarters of Engine Company 6. Located on West Otterman St (sixth ward) circa 1927.

Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department Museum's cover photo
05/28/2015

Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department Museum's cover photo

In1894, Greensburg Fire Department acquired its first hand-pumper, the Pat Lyon, when it annexed the Boro of Bunker Hill...
05/28/2015

In1894, Greensburg Fire Department acquired its first hand-pumper, the Pat Lyon, when it annexed the Boro of Bunker Hill. At that time, the Pat Lyon Hose Company, named after its hand-pumper, became Greensburg Hose Company #3. The Pat Lyon is restored and displayed in our museum.

Dive Team HistoryThe Greensburg Fire Department Rescue Dive Team has logged over 1000 recoveries including drowning vict...
05/26/2015

Dive Team History
The Greensburg Fire Department Rescue Dive Team has logged over 1000 recoveries including drowning victims, vehicles, stolen property, weapons, and miscellaneous items. In addition to the recoveries, the team has provided a valuable service to industries and water authorities by plugging leaks, closing valves, locating underwater drains, and performing various repair operations.

The Dive Team was given life by Chief Ed Hutchinson. Originally formed as a body recovery unit, the team's value in performing a myriad of underwater jobs became evident later on as the team grew and developed.

In order to find a replacement for "dragging," it was necessary to get firemen interested in "skin-diving." The team started with a core of 10 or 12 candidates who received the best training available at the time. The team tried to keep abreast of constantly changing equipment, developments, and technology. Older types of life vests were replaced by buoyancy compensatory which allow smooth underwater depth changes in addition to emergency ascent capabilities. Thanks to the Fire Department Board of Control, the Dive Team has always been able to purchase the safest and most updated equipment.

The team's equipment is carried in a special "Dive Truck." The truck carries tanks, underwater suits, an underwater communication system, lighting, ropes, and all necessary support gear. It also carries strobe lights, brush axes, a metal detector, Lowrance Sonar, and an underwater camera.

All of the divers have a nationally recognized certification being either NAUI or PADI. Training sessions are held at the YMCA pool, local ponds, and rivers for weekly drills. The ultimate objective of the team is to make a recovery quickly enough for resuscitation to be possible. Much of the success of any diving operation depends on the evaluation of the recovery site prior to the start of any operation. Eyewitness accounts are invaluable in sizing up any recovery operation. There is a certain amount of danger involved in diving operations, which is minimized by training, education, and experience. It takes about five years to develop a good diver.

Occasionally the Dive Team works as a valuable adjunct to one of the Fire Department's other operating units such as the Bloodhound Team. In some cases, the trail will lead to a body of water and the dogs will stop. It is then up to the divers to complete the search.

An important part of the dive operation is the support crew, which accompanies the team on calls. The crew is comprised of non-diving volunteer firemen with various expertise in fire service. Some are experienced in rope rescue, EMT or paramedics, river rescue, auto extraction rescue, and firefighters that specialize in scene management.

Even though the Dive Rescue Team has toughed out four decades underwater, they have gained valuable experience and have been constantly upgrading their equipment. The toughest challenge the team faces is finding motivated and enthusiastic firefighters to continue its service to the department and to the community in the years to come.

The Greensburg Fire Department Bloodhound Search and Rescue Team was formed by Chief J. Edward Hutchinson in the 1960’s ...
05/22/2015

The Greensburg Fire Department Bloodhound Search and Rescue Team was formed by Chief J. Edward Hutchinson in the 1960’s to facilitate in the search for lost persons.

Interested fire department members are selected by the Chief and begin on the team as support personnel. Those who demonstrate their ability and interest are given an opportunity to become a dog handler. A huge commitment of time must be given in order to become a skilled dog handler.

Each year handlers take personal time to attend the annual training seminar of the National Police Bloodhound Association. The Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department has been a member of the NPBA for over 40 years and is the only Bloodhound Team member of the NPBA that is not 100% law enforcement.

Team searches include not only the Greensburg area, but also assistance to fire and police departments, both municipal and state throughout the tri-state area in both humanitarian and criminal search and rescue calls.

Photo circa 2006.

Greensburg No. 8's 1978 Seagrave....still alive and well Restored and a Fresh Engine Rebuild. It's job....wash down park...
05/20/2015

Greensburg No. 8's 1978 Seagrave....still alive and well Restored and a Fresh Engine Rebuild. It's job....wash down parking lots once in a while. Owned by a No. 8 Fireman.

Comapny #8 Fire TruckGreensburg Hose Company #8 was the last city fire company to be formed.  It was organized on Januar...
05/20/2015

Comapny #8 Fire Truck
Greensburg Hose Company #8 was the last city fire company to be formed. It was organized on January 23, 1906, by a group of men from the newly created Eighth Ward. Their first piece of equipment was a two-wheel cart, used until 1921 when a hose truck was rebuilt from a Peerless 60hp six-cylinder car.

Greensburg Hose Company #7’s first fire station was built in 1910.  It housed this 1926 Seagrave 750 gpm pumper.
05/18/2015

Greensburg Hose Company #7’s first fire station was built in 1910. It housed this 1926 Seagrave 750 gpm pumper.

1926 Seagrave 750gpm Pumper                                                       Greensburg Hose Company #6’s first mot...
05/15/2015

1926 Seagrave 750gpm Pumper
Greensburg Hose Company #6’s first motorized fire truck was this 1926 Seagrave 750-gpm pumper. It is shown here in front of the old fire station which served until 1953, when the current station was built farther up on Otterman Street.

Greensburg Hose Company #3’s first motorized truck was this Packard chemical truck.  It was wrecked on June 28, 1924, wh...
05/13/2015

Greensburg Hose Company #3’s first motorized truck was this Packard chemical truck. It was wrecked on June 28, 1924, while going to an alarm. Hose Company #3 was first known as the “Bunker Hill Hose Company.”

05/11/2015

Museum - Station #4

The Greensburg Fire Department Museum was started in 1969 by older members of the fire department wishing to keep alive the history of the fire department maintaining artifacts and antique fire department equipment.

In the mid-80s, the fire museum was closed due to space requirements of the City. The museum was moved to the Troutman's Department Store. After the store's closing, the contents were then moved to the Royer's building for safekeeping.

In 1998, space was again provided by the City to house the museum's collection. Since then, a small group of dedicated firemen and other interested citizens have been working to renovate the museum's new headquarters. Work is completed and the grand re-opening was in September, just in time for the City's Bicentennial celebration.

A new name was given to the museum, Station #4. The committee chose Station #4 for two reasons: the museum is located in the fourth ward (behind City Hall), and the Greensburg Fire Department does not have a Station #4.

If you'd like to schedule a visit at the Museum, call 724-832-7904 to set up an appointment.

Greensburg Truck Company #2's first ladder truck arrived in Greensburg in 1891, along with two hose carts. This ladder t...
05/11/2015

Greensburg Truck Company #2's first ladder truck arrived in Greensburg in 1891, along with two hose carts. This ladder truck could be hand drawn or horse drawn.

Greensburg Hose Company #1’s first motorized fire truck was this 1918 Seagrave pumper.  It had a 1000 gallon pump and ca...
05/09/2015

Greensburg Hose Company #1’s first motorized fire truck was this 1918 Seagrave pumper. It had a 1000 gallon pump and carried 1000 feet of 2½ inch cotton jacket hose and 200 feet of 1½ inch booster hose.

05/09/2015

History

The Greensburg Fire Department was organized on January 12, 1891, and included Hose Company #1 and Hose Company #2. The City's original firefighting equipment consisted of two hose carts and leather fire buckets.

In 1894, Greensburg Fire Department acquired its first hand-pumper, the Pat Lyon, when it annexed the Boro of Bunker Hill. At that time, the Pat Lyon Hose Company, named after its hand-pumper, became Greensburg Hose Company #3.

The City annexed the Boro of Ludwig in 1896 and at that time obtained their second hand-pumper, the Goodwill. Both of these hand-pumpers were purchased from the City of Pittsburgh after the "Great" fire in Pittsburgh in 1845.

The City also owned another hand-pumper, the Tuscarora; although it is not know exactly which company owned it. Originally, all of the hand-pumpers were to be destroyed, although only the Tuscarora actually was. The City still has ownership of both the Pat Lyon and the Goodwill.

Presently, the Greensburg Fire Department has a membership of 350 firefighters. Its firefighting equipment includes five fire engines, one ladder truck, three rescue trucks, two salvage units, and five additional pieces of specialized equipment.

The Greensburg Fire Department was also privileged to have one of its members serve as the Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner. Jack Simon, a member of Greensburg Hose Company #1, held this position from January 8, 1990, until April 30, 1995.

From the Department Archieves
11/16/2014

From the Department Archieves

09/15/2014

Thank you to all those who came and visited us this past Saturday. The tour guides were really busy. If you didn't get to come out, let us know and we will arrange at visit for you.

08/31/2014

September 13th, 2014 - SATURDAY from 9am to 3pm, the Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department Museum will be open for Public Viewing during Greensburg Merchants Day. Come and Tour, visit the history of a great Department. Pictures, Stories, Displays, and Apparatus from yesteryear! Many have visited and are amazed at this jewel of interest that is tucked in a building behind City Hall, 416 South Main Street. Please come and see for yourself!

08/31/2014

The Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department was organized on January 12, 1891, and included Hose Company #1 and Hose Company #2. The City's original firefight equipment consisted of two hose carts and leather fire buckets.

In 1894, Greensburg Fire Department acquired its first hand-pumper, the "Pat Lyon", when it annexed the Boro of Bunker Hill (5th Ward). At that time, the "Pat Lyon" Hose Company, named after its hand-pumper, became Greensburg Hose Company #3.

The City annexed the Boro of Ludwig (6th Ward) in 1896 and at that time obtained their second hand-pumper, the "Goodwill". Both of these hand-pumpers were purchased from the City of Pittsburgh in 1845.

The City also owned another hand-pumper, the "Tuscarora; although it is not know exactly which company owned it. Originally, all of the hand-pumpers were to be destroyed, although only the "Tuscarora actually was. The City still has ownership of both the "Pat Lyon" and the "Goodwill". Both of these pumpers are on display at the museum.

Presently, the Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department has a membership of 350 Firefighters. Its firefighting equipment includes five fire engines, one ladder truck, three rescue trucks, one Salvage Truck, two Water Salvage Extraction Units mounted in trailers, 6 utility trucks, a swift water Rescue/Dive Team with Boats and Jet Ski's, a self contained air truck, one high expansion foam truck, and a certified deputized Bloodhound Man-Trailing Search Unit.

The Museum is located behind City Hall (416 South Main Street) and is open by appointment. Call any Greensburg Fire Station for Information.

One of the newest apparatus pieces added is a RESTORED 1943 Seagrave Pumper, bought new by the City and served for many years at Hose Company No. 3 in the 5th Ward.

Address

416 S Main St
Greensburg, PA
15601

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Comments

I would like to see if any of you would like to join us in a group tour of the Firemen s Museum in Greensburg. I am thinking late in March or early April of this year. If so please post yes on the Baltzer Meyer Historical Society page , the post about this tour. Thanks
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