Alert Fire Co. No. 1
122 W. Pennsylvania Ave.
Downingtown, PA 19335
Phone: 610.269.0454

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Welcome to Alert
The mission of the Alert Fire Company Number One of Downingtown, PA shall be the preservation of life and property from the destruction of fire in the Borough of Downingtown, PA and vicinity. Also, the care of such apparatus and equipment as may be placed in its charge.

 ~ Serving Downingtown and East Caln Since 1887 ~

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 
Just after 9:30 PM, the Rescue 45, Engine 46-2, Medic 46 (Minquas Fire Co. No. 2) and three ambulances from Station 87 (Uwchlan Ambulance Assoc.) were dispatched to assist Ambulance 46-1 with an auto accident on E. Lancaster Ave. (Bus. Rt. 30) near Bell Tavern Rd. When Ambulance 46-1 arrived on location, they found that a car and a local transit bus had collided. As a result, the crews from Rescue 45 and Engine 46-2 assist EMS with triage and patient packaging. A total of nine patients were transported to local hospitals by EMS units from 46, 87 and 55 (Good Fellowship Ambulance Club. Photos are courtesy of Irish Eyez Photography.

Saturday, August 23, 2014 
The Alert Fire Co. No. 1 hosted the Annual Chicken Bar-B-Que Fundraiser on a rainy Saturday afternoon! The dinner included a hearty half of chicken, a baked potato, corn on the cob, apple sauce, dinner roll, a drink and a dessert, for a donation of $13.00. Our guests had an opportunity to eat at the firehouse or take their dinner out. This was also a great way for neighbors to socialize with each other and meet some new friends. We thank all of you for supporting your 100% volunteer fire company by having another SOLD-OUT Chicken Bar-B-Que. This is the fifth consecutive year that we sold-out before 6:30 PM!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 
The DFD hosted the 16 hour Pennsylvania State Fire Academy - Basic Rigging For Rope Rescue training course, with many newer and experienced members of the DFD attending the course. The students learned many things such as the different rope characteristics, rope hardware and various knots and hitches. In addition, several different methods of patient packaging and practical haul systems and their uses.

Sunday, August 3, 2014 
It is with deep regret that the Alert Fire Co. No. 1 of Downingtown, PA announces the following:

Whereas, the Almighty God, in his infinite wisdom has removed from our midst on Sunday, August 3, 2014, one of our beloved brothers and Life Member, G. Bruce Nixdorf, who was always found faithful in the discharge of his duties and whose every thought and purpose was for the welfare of his company and department.  And, while we deeply regret and mourn the loss sustained in the death of our late brother, we bow in humble submission to the Divine Will.

Therefore, be it resolved that we, the members of the Alert Fire Co. No. 1 of Downingtown, PA, do hereby extend and convey to the bereaved family and friends our deep and heartfelt sympathy.


Bruce passed away at UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill, NC after the result of an accident. He was the loving husband of the late Judith B. Nixdorf.

He was born on November 2, 1940, in Philadelphia, PA to the late George E. and Eloise Nixdorf and then moved to Downingtown as a child, and lived there until after his retirement, where he and Judy moved to Stacy, NC with his daughter Shannon and family. Bruce was employed at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Philadelphia, PA until his retirement, and then he did consulting work.
Bruce was a 1959 graduate of Downingtown High School, and he was a veteran of the United States Army. Also, in 1959 (55 years ago) he became a second generation firefighter of the Alert Fire Co., then became an active member as a Fire Police Officer in the 1960’s. He retired from the daily activities of the Downingtown Fire Police after being on the front lines for more than 50 years, after moving to North Carolina, but continued to visit Downingtown and could be seen volunteering on the streets with the DFP for special events. Bruce visited the firehouse as often as possible and helped out with various tasks that needed to be done when he was in town.

Following the footsteps of his father George, Bruce played a major role in helping to shape the company; he held several officer positions since joining the company in 1959. They included, Fire Police Lieutenant and Captain, Trustee, Vice President and President. In addition to volunteering at Alert, Bruce was a long standing brother of the Free Masons and Past Chaplin of Williamson Lodge No. 309, F. & A.M. of Downingtown.
Mr. Nixdorf is survived by his daughters, Dana Reinhart of Norristown, PA, Lauren N. Riddell of New Castle, DE and Shannon N. Wright of Stacy, NC; brother, John Nixdorf of Naperville, IL; sister, Virginia Laughlin of Leesburg, VA. Also surviving are two grandsons, Leo M. Wright, IV of Stacy, NC and John Graham Riddell, III of DE.
In addition to his parents and wife, son-in-law Leo M. Wright, preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, August 6th, at the Otway Christian Church in NC.  A celebration of life, for those who wish to pay their respects and honor his service will be held on Saturday, August 16, 2014, from 1:00 until 5:00 PM, at the Alert Fire Co. No. 1 in Downingtown, PA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Alert Fire Co. No. 1, 122 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Downingtown, PA 19335.

Sunday, July 27, 2014 
Just after 5:30 AM the Downingtown Fire Dept. was dispatched for a shed on fire at the Ramblewood Trailer Park on Rt. 113 in East Caln Twp. Just as Engines 45 and 46-1 (Minquas Fire Co. No. 2) went responding, the dispatcher advised that there was possible fire extension into the nearby home trailer. Lt. Wessan arrived on location first and advised that the shed was fully involved and confirmed that there was fire extension into the nearby home. Engine 47-5 (Lionville Fire Co.) and Engine 6-2 (West Whiteland Fire Co.) were requested to assist. Photos are courtesy of Lionville Fire Co.

Robert and Ryan Miller
   Robert and Ryan Miller
Monday, July 21, 2014 
The members and officers of the Downingtown Fire Dept. offer our thoughts and prayers to the Robert Miller family and the West Bradford Fire Co. for the untimely passing of Ryan Miller on Saturday, July 19, 2014.

Ryan was currently an active firefighter with the West Bradford Fire Co. and a member of the Good Will Fire Co. No. 2 of West Chester and the East Brandywine Fire Co.

Ryan’s father, Robert, is currently a Fire Police Officer with the Downingtown Fire Dept. Fire Police and a member of the Alert Fire Co. No. 1.

Saturday, July 19, 2014 
Volunteers from Alert played softball, this past weekend in the 6th Annual Bats For Matt Softball Tournament, held at the Downingtown Little League fields. The A-Team participated with 16 other teams from around the Downingtown area in the two-day slow-pitch softball tournament and had a great time.

The charity softball event, in honor of Matt Ciarlone who played baseball in Downingtown Little League and Downingtown West High School passed away in 2009 at the age of 20 after a battle with Leukemia. Each year the event raises money for cancer research, local kids who are stricken with cancer, scholarships and back to the community.

Last year, the Alert Fire Co. received a donation from the event and the members decided, without hesitation that we needed to help with this event by fielding a team to participate. The tournament, this year, raised over $10,000. in two days!

Way to go Downingtown area!  This is why we are the Good Neighbor Community!

Link to Bats For Matt Website
Friday, July 4, 2014 
The Alert Fire Co. No. 1 volunteers were very active, once again in Kerr Park and at the firehouse during the Annual Downingtown Good Neighbor Day ~ Fourth of July Celebration, today.

Starting at 6:00 AM several of the members got together and had breakfast at the diner then at 7:00 AM, volunteers split into crews that manned a water station in front of our firehouse for the annual Run-For-Life and an EMT Team in Brush 45 provided first-aid at Manor and Downing Ave's. while a crew for Tower 45 was available for emergencies. In addition, our volunteers provided emergency and fire crews throughout the day and night, during all of the events.

The day ended with the annual fireworks show in Kerr Park. The DFD would like to thank the Downingtown Area School District, Kimberton and East Brandywine Fire Co's. and Chester County Dept. of Emergency Services for loaning us the ATV's again this year. They proved to be a valuable asset. We hope that you enjoyed and had a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Saturday, June 28, 2014 
Volunteers from Alert, East Brandywine Fire Co. and Union Fire Co. of Oxford completed their all of the practical and written exams in Basic Vehicle Rescue Technician (BVRT) this week. The valuable hands-on training was being hosted by the Downingtown FD at Alert.

On the final day of certification training the students split into two groups, getting some great hands-on training, with our Hurst hydraulic rescue tools. At the end of the day, the instructors created a three-vehicle accident scene with a car on its side, into a pick-up truck on top of car that was hanging in the air over an embankment for their practical final exam. The students had to stage equipment, stabilize, extricate three victims and package the victims!

Congratulations to the following new Alert No. 1 - PA Dept. of Health Basic Rescue Technicians: Jason Cary, Brandon Ginter, Bob Siter, Josh Tatham and Mike Wolfinger. Job, well done!

Saturday, June 7, 2014 
For the second week in a row, all of the hard work and many long hours of preparation paid-off, as the Alert volunteers were awarded three prizes at the 100th Anniversary Parade and Celebration of the Brookline Fire Co. No. 3 in Havertown, PA. In the line of march for the Alerts were the retired 1969 Mack Pumper, Engine 45, Rescue 45 and Tower 45. And, were honored to receive the following awards.

  • First Place: Best Equipped and Appearing Heavy Rescue
  • First Place: Best Equipped and Appearing Snorkel/Elevating Platform
  • Second Place: Best Appearing "Out of County" Fire Company with Three or More Pieces
The Fame Fire Co. No. 3 of West Chester was the only other Chester County fire company attending the Delco parade. In addition to Tower 45 wining the Elevating Platform award, Ladder 53 was awarded First Place, Best Equipped and Appearing Ladder/Quint, with Collapse 53 winning Second Place Specialty Piece and Judges Award.

We would like to congratulate our friends of the Brookline Fire Co. No. 3 for their first 100 years of service and thanks for inviting us to your celebration.

The Alert and Fame Crews
   The Alert and Fame Crews
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 
Rescue 45 and Air-Light 46 (Minquas Fire Co. No. 2) were dispatched as Special Service Units on the Working Fire Dispatch just before 6:00 PM to assist the Coatesville Fire Dept. The two house was located in the 300 block of W. Lincoln Highway, Coatesville City.

The crew from Rescue 45 (Lt. Wesson) assisted the other units at the scene with checking for extension,salvage and overhaul. Air-Light 46 set-up to fill air cylinders and the crew assisted with overhaul.

Vinny Tennis Photo
   Vinny Tennis Photo
Vinny Tennis Photo
   Vinny Tennis Photo
Sunday, June 1, 2014 
Well, the stabilization tools only stayed clean for one day after the Fleetwood parade! Volunteers from Alert, Minquas Fire Co. No. 2, East Brandywine Fire Co. and Union Fire Co. of Oxford had their first practical day of the Basic Vehicle Rescue Technician (BVRT) training class, that is being hosted by the DFD at Alert. The students split into three groups, getting some great hands-on training, in basic vehicle stabilization. Using equipment carried on Rescue 45, they used all created box cribbing, used step-chocks, Auto-Cribs, high-lift jacks, come-a-longs and Paratech Struts. At the end of the day, for the stabilization practical exam, the students had two different accident scenes, at the same time, as the photos show.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 
The Alert volunteers were invited to help celebrate the 100th. Anniversary of Berks County, Station 45, the Fleetwood Fire Co. today. The Alerts spent the last two weeks getting the retired 1969 Mack Pumper and the current Rescue 45 ready to participate in the event. Again, the hard work paid off, as Rescue 45 was honored to win First Place - Best Appearing and Equipped Rescue. Thanks to the volunteers who spent many long hours getting the trucks ready.

Kevin M. Burruss, Jr. Photo
   Kevin M. Burruss, Jr. Photo
Kevin M. Burruss, Jr. Photo
   Kevin M. Burruss, Jr. Photo
Monday, May 26, 2014 
The Downingtown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 845 and the Downingtown American Legion Post 475 hosted the Annual Memorial Parade today with the entire DFD participating.

At the completion of the parade, a ceremony to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in battle and to those veterans who passed away was held at the Veterans Memorial in Kerr Park. As part of the ceremony, DFD Deputy Chief Phil Moore, Assistant Chief Glenn Heininger and Battalion Chief Joel Swisher each placed an antique speaking trumpet of flowers at the base of the World War II Memorial to honor the deceased DFD members who served our country.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 
The Downingtown Fire Dept. was invited to attend a ceremony to honor first responders from Downingtown at the Williamson Masonic Lodge No. 309.

The event was coordinated by Coatesville Fire Dept. EMS Chief Scott Thornton, who is a member of the Williamson Lodge. The Worshipful Master Daniel Hughes presided at the event and spoke about the similarities of Free Masons and emergency responders. He then read the origins of where the first responder community began. First, was the background of the fire service which then led into the EMS history and followed by the history of the modern police departments which were read by two of the Williamson Wardens.

The service then concluded with a check presentation to each, the Alert Fire Co. No. 1, Minquas Fire Co. No. 2, Minquas EMS and the Downingtown Police Dept.

The Downingtown Fire Dept. would like to thank the Williamson Masonic Lodge No. 309 for inviting us to this ceremony, the donation and honoring those who serve the Good Neighbor Community.

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