Welcome to the Website of the
Keystone Water Rescue Inc
formally known as
Keystone Steam Fire Engine Co. No. 1-
marine unit division
surface rescue & underwater recovery
call sign station 16
“When Duty Calls ‘Tis Ours to Obey”
For over 143 years the Keystone Steam Fire Engine Company has served the residents of the Borough of Boyertown, Pennsylvania. The Company has provided not only fire protection to the citizens but meeting areas for fairs, festivals, exhibitions, receptions, and parties of all types. The station is currently located at 240 North Walnut Street in Boyertown and offers two rental halls with banquet facilities for public meetings, wedding receptions, etc. The station also houses a six-lane bowling alley that is open to the public as well as social quarters for its members.
Feel free to browse our sister sight site ! click KFC link below for more information on our facilities and policies – we look forward to helping you make your next event a success! – link — KFC
A Brief History of the
Keystone Fire Company No. 1*
In 1873 an application was made to the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County for the incorporation of the Keystone Steam Fire Engine Company, the preamble of which reads — “The usefulness of association for the extinguishment of fires having long since influenced the citizens of the Borough of Boyertown to form themselves into a company for that purpose.”
SOMETIME in or around 1865 two gentleman fighting in the civil war had meet each other ! 1 from Norris town and 1 from Boyertown ! after some discussion about there fire department and the others lack there of became friends and Sometime later meet up after the war and “they” helped Boyertown establish there own fire department ! On May 15, 1873 a No. 2 Silsby Steamer, a hose truck and 600 ft. of leather hose was purchased by the company at a cost of $6,000. The first president of the Keystone Fire Company was I.B. Hankey and the motto “When Duty Calls ‘Tis Ours to Obey,” was adopted.
For six years this apparatus was stored in a house leased for that purpose and in 1878 a parcel of land was purchased. In 1879 a two-story building was erected on this land, the first floor for the housing of the apparatus, and the second floor for the use of the company for meetings and recreation, a part of this second floor was also reserved for the use of the Town Council.
By the year 1899, Boyertown had grown into one of the most solidly built, clean and healthiest towns in the state. Boasting good schools, strong banks, industrious merchants, and manufacturers whose products were then being distributed throughout the United States and even into foreign lands, and also two excellent volunteer fire companies. On July 4, 1899 the first Fireman’s Parade was conducted by the Friendship Hook and Ladder Co. and the Keystone Fire Company. Fire companies from Pottstown, Royersford, East Greenville and Pennsburg also participated. For this special occasion a souvenir book was prepared, and in the forward of this book, the General Committee stated most prophetically “should fire in its ghastly ravages make an appearance, the Boyertown Fire Department will be on hand.” On January 13, 1908 these words were very forcibly fulfilled, when one of America’s most serious fire disasters occurred in Boyertown. The Boyertown “Opera House” fire in which 180 persons lost their lives.
On April 27, 1914 the Company bought the land for its next home, from the William Binder estate at a cost of$5500 and on April 26, 1915 the building was ready for the housing of the company’s apparatus. The first chemical and auto truck was purchased December 27, 1920 for $12,500. In 1961 the Company purchased an International Utility and Brush truck. In 1973, the Centennial anniversary of its founding, the Company added a Ward LaFrance 1,000 GPM Pumper truck. The fire apparatus has been consistently modernized so that today Boyertown can pridefully boast of having a Fire Department consisting of the most up to date fire fighting equipment manned by highly trained volunteers well prepared to render efficient and effectual service to this community.
In 2004 the keystone started up a special water rescue team and later began and acquired a underwater dive team
In 2013 finding the need to combine the 3 fire departments in Boyertown they began the merger of the 3 departments into 1 now known as the Boyertown fire department station 95
the special teams water/ marine division became a separate newly formed company as there own entity and company and filed there newly formed company and articles of incorporation
2015 becoming Keystone Water Rescue Inc retaining there call sign as station 16
In addition to affording the citizens of Boyertown protection against fire, the Keystone Fire Co. has also rendered a distinct service in its contribution to all worthwhile causes and in its financial assistance to needy families.
The Keystone Fire Company has also rendered a further service in providing for entertainment not only to the members but at various times for the entire community. The first Basket Ball Games, the first movies, the first boxing exhibitions in Boyertown, have been staged in the auditorium of the Keystone Fire Company. Other forms of entertainment such as Indoor Circuses, Fairs, Festivals, Card Parties have at different times been presented in this auditorium. At its present location the Company offers auditorium and banquet facilities as well a bowling alley to the public and a social hall/taproom to its members.