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 and other emergencies in the Borough of Downingtown, PA and vicinity.

~ Serving Downingtown and East Caln Since 1887 ~




The all volunteer, Alert Fire Co. No. 1 of Downingtown will be hosting the Second Annual Alert Fire Co. Golf Outing at the Downingtown Country Club as a fund-raising event and we are asking for local and national sponsorship for this event.

The outing will take place on Monday, May 4, 2015 - Happy May 4th!  Yes, we will have a “May The 4th Be With You” theme for the day!!!

This is where we need your help.  Attached, is a four page information handout.  This attachment has all of the info about the starting time, great prizes (such as a new car for a Hole-In-One and a “May The 4th Be With You” prize), sponsors and golfer registration.  Please consider joining us for the day, either by being a sponsor or getting a foursome together to play a round of golf.  You can either complete the attached sponsor and/or registration forms and send them in by mail.  Or, visit  www.alertgolfouting.org   for our on-line sponsorship and registration before April 26, 2015.  The  www.alertgolfouting.org  website is update daily, showing our sponsors and golfers when they register.  Please check the golf outing website for the most up-to-date list of sponsorship availability.

We do already have some great sponsors already partnered with us.  In addition, we are seeking door prizes from our local businesses, to give away during our Awards Ceremony, as well.  And, you would get full recognition for your sponsorship, with door prizes.

We look forward to seeing you on May 4th at the Downingtown Country Club.  All proceeds will benefit the Alert Fire Co. No. 1, directly.  Alert is 100% volunteer and a non-profit organization.  Also, please visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/alertfireco .

Alert Golf Outing Info Package - 2015

Alert Golf Outing Posting-2015



Recently, some of the officers of the Downingtown Fire Dept. traveled to New York City to get trained and pick-up the new Firehouse Innovations Corp. ( www.firehouseinnovations.com ) “Multi-Force” Forcible Entry Door Systems Prop.  Firehouse Innovations and the Mulit-Force Door System were created by Mike Perrone, who is a 32 year member of the FDNY and is currently with Ladder 175 in Brooklyn, NY.  The DFD team spent several hours with Mike, in his driveway, learning new techniques in forcible entry, on our new prop, from a an expert that does this everyday!

This new door prop is a valuable training tool for the volunteers of the DFD and it allows us to do much-needed forcible entry training in a safe and controlled environment, whenever we want to do it, right here in Downingtown.  In the past, we would only be able to conduct live forcible entry training on acquired abandon, generally unsafe, structures, within Downingtown Borough or East Caln Twp.  And, we do not find many abandon structures structures in our neighborhoods, therefore we do not get many opportunities do have live training within our first-due district!

The following is information from the Firehouse Innovations website about the door system:  This patented door system provides the ability to force left or right-handed, opening in or opening out doors, metal or wood jambs.  All on the same door system.  You can even use angle iron on the door to simulate high security apartment doors.

This door allows you to use the gapping method and conventional forcible entry methods on opening-in metal jams (like on apartment doors).  Hydra-Rams & Rabbit Tools can also be used.
Opening-out forcible entry on metal jambs can also be used (like on commercial buildings or bulkhead doors).  Also, you can use the spiking method on the wood jamb simulator (like on private dwelling doors). 
In addition, the door is used every year to train over 300 firefighters at Fire Engineering's FDIC HOT (Hands-On Training) Forcible Entry Class in Indiana."

And, we would like to thank the Board of Supervisors of East Caln Twp. who purchased the new door system for the Downingtown Fire Dept., from the Fire Safety Fund.  The money that is in the East Caln Twp. Fire Safety Fund is paid by the commercial properties, within the township for use by the Downingtown Fire Dept., for items that are necessary for training, operations and the safety of our volunteers.  Thank you again East Caln Twp. for being proactive in establishing the fund and allowing the department to purchase these types of state-of-the-art tools.




The Downingtown Fire Dept. celebrated the accomplishments of 2014 at the 58th Annual DFD Banquet.  The guests enjoyed a buffet dinner at the Downingtown Country Club with the awards presentation and followed by dancing and socializing.

The following Alert No. 1 members received recognition for their volunteer service during 2014:

  • Bob Siter – Firefighter of the Year
  • Andy Follett – Fire Police of the Year
  • Josh Tatham – Meritorious Service and 10 Years of Active Service
  • Patrick Butler – 15 Years of Active Service
  • Pete Duca - 15 Years of Active Service
  • Jonathan Keen - 15 Years of Active Service
  • Phil Moore - 15 Years of Active Service
  • Pat Butler - 45 Years of Active Service
  • Bob Stevens - 55 Years of Active Service
  • Jim McGowan - 35 Years of Social Member – Life Membership
  • Jason Cary – Outgoing Trustee (now Vice President)
  • Susan Schoellkopf – Outgoing Financial Secretary (now Treasurer)
  • Donna Abel – Outgoing Treasurer
  • Jeff Stevens – Outgoing Vice President (now President)
  • Pat Butler – Outgoing President


We would like to thank the Lafayette Fire Co. (Lancaster County), Christiana Fire Co. (New Castle, DE) and the Amity Fire Co. (Berks County) for standing-by and running the calls for the DFD while we were out-of-service.




Just after 1:30 PM, Tower 45 and Station 46 of the Downingtown Fire Dept. were dispatched on the first due assignment to assist Station 38 (Thorndale Fire Co.), Engine 49-5 (East Brandywine Fire Co.) and Rescue 47 (Lionville Fire Co.) as RIT to a house fire on Glen View Lane, in the Downing Ridge section of Caln Twp.

Caln Police promptly arrived on location, reporting smoke showing with an elderly female suffering from smoke inhalation.  Shortly thereafter, Chief 39 (Law) arrived and reported fire showing from the front of the two story Cape Cod style house.  The Working Fire Dispatch added the balance of Station 45, Medic 46-1 and a second Ambulance 46, Tower 47, and Engine 49-1.

Chief 38 (Cordisco) established Command and Chief 39 was the Operations Officer.  Engine 46-2 arrived and laid a 5″ water supply line from a hydrant to the scene, with the crew advancing an 1.75″ hand line into the house for fire attack.  Engine 49-5 advanced a backup 1.75″ hand line into the house, with a second hand line to the rear of the house.  The crew from Tower 45 laddered the house and ventilated, while the team from Rescue 47 established RIT.  The crews from Rescue 45 and Tower 47 assisted with fire attack plus Salvage and Overhaul.

Due to the injuries of the victim, it was determined that she needed to be flown by JeffStat 3 (Jefferson Univ. Hospital Air Medical) to Crozer-Chester Medical Center.  Ambulance 46-2, Medic 46-1 and Engine 46-1 responded to the nearby Landing Zone.

The is being investigated by the Chester County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal.

Photos are courtesy of IrishEyez Photography and Kirk Kohlmeyer.




At 5:00 PM, the Downingtown Fire Dept. was dispatched to an outside smoke investigation in the area of W. Pennsylvania and Hunt Avenues.  The crews from Engine 45 (Lt. K. Stevens), Brush 45 (Lt. Hamilton) and Squad 45 (Capt. Wesson) checked the area and the alley’s and determined that the odor of smoke were several homes using their fireplaces!

After the department cleared the W. Pennsylvania Ave. call, Assistant 45 (D. Ashbee) was advised that Tower 45 was required as the first-due truck company to assist Station 38 (Thorndale Fire Co.) for an apartment building fire on Paul Nelms Dr. in Caln Twp.  Also, on the assignment were Station 39 (West Bradford Fire Co.), Ladder 49 (East Brandywine Fire Co.) and RIT – Rescue 47 (Lionville Fire Co.).

Chief 38 (Cordisco) arrived on location and reported that a kitchen fire, in the area of the stove was already out, with a smoke condition inside of the building.  Tower 45 (Capt. Wesson) arrived on location just after the Chief’s and set-up in the front-corner of the three story apartment building.  The crew split into two teams with the first crew going into the apartment checking for fire extension.  And, the other team, in the bucket of Tower 45 to the roof.

Photo’s are courtesy of East Brandywine Fire Co.


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Just after midnight, the Downingtown Fire Dept. was dispatched with Stations 49 (East Brandywine Fire Co.), 48 (Glen Moore Fire Co.) and RIT – Rescue 47 (Lionville Fire Co.) for a building fire at the China-Moon Restaurant, on Rt. 322 in East Brandywine Twp.

Tower 45 (Lt. K. Stevens) responded as the second-due truck company and was assigned to the rear of the building with Engine 49-1.  The crew split into two teams with one going to the roof and the other placing ground ladders.  Engine 46-2 (Lt. T. Lee, IV) was assigned to the front of the building and assisted with ventilation.

The fire was found by patrolling police officers when they saw smoke coming from the roof.  Upon further investigation, they saw flames in the area of the kitchen.  The fire was contained to the kitchen and is under investigation by the Chester County Fire Marshall’s department.

Photo is courtesy of the East Brandywine Fire Co.

China Moon-1



The Downingtown Fire Dept. will hold the 58th. Annual DFD Banquet on Saturday, March 21, 2015, starting at 5:00 PM.  All members are urged to attend the annual event to help celebrate the accomplishments of 2014, at the Downingtown Country Club.  Please see Susan Schoellkopf or Jeff Stevens for tickets before Wednesday, March 11, 2015.




During our recent extreme cold temperatures that we are experiencing, it is a good time to review our Home Heating Safety Tips, which are shown below.  When using any type of space heater, please be sure there is at least a three feet space all around the unit, do not use extension cords and do not leave the space heater unattended.  If you use an electric space heater, we recommend that you use a ceramic style of space heater.

Please do not use candles or your oven to heat your home.  And, be sure that you have working Smoke Detectors in your house.




Volunteers from the Downingtown Fire Dept. (Alert No. 1 and Minquas No. 2) Water Rescue Team participated with other teams from the Chester County Technical Rescue Task Force (Lionville Fire Co. and Wagontown Fire Co.) in an Ice Rescue Refresher Training Course.

On Sunday morning, the group met at the Lionville fire station to review our Ice Rescue techniques.  And, at 9:30 AM the group went to the Marsh Creek State Park lake for the practical exercises with the outside temperature of 9° and a -25° wind chill. Although it was very windy and bitter cold, the ice was perfect for training as it was only 3″ thick near the shore in spots, where the team conducted the training exercises.

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Just after 12:00 PM, Brush 45 and TAC-76 (Coatesville Veterans Admin.) were dispatched to assist Engine 38 (Thorndale Fire Co.) with a possible woods fire in the area of Lloyd and Manor Ave’s., Caln Twp.  It was determined that the fire was several hundred feet into the woods behind St. Martha’s Manor in Caln Twp.

Photo is courtesy of Main Line Media News.

St Martha Tree Fire_11Feb2015