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 Alert Fire Co. No. 1 hosted the Annual Chicken Bar-B-Que Fundraiser.  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.  Due to hard work of our BBQ Committee we were been able to keep the price, the same for three years now!

Our guests had an opportunity to eat at the firehouse or take their dinner out. This was be a great way for neighbors to socialize with each other and meet some new friends.  We would like to thank each of you for supporting the 100% volunteer fire company with our largest fund-raiser of the year.

We would also like to thank the Chester County Food Bank for allowing us to use the refrigerated truck, WAWA Food Markets for the donation of the Iced Tea, Pepperidge Farm for the donation of the Dinner Rolls and Goldfish and Sharon’s Sweet Beginnings for the donation of cupcakes for our Bake Sale. And, especially our members and their family who volunteered all day Saturday to make this Good Neighbor community event happen for 47 consecutive years!




We held our Annual Alert Family Picnic and BBQ with the Alert Fire Co. No. 1 of St. Clair, PA as our special guests.  This is a special day where our officers of the company say thank you to our members and their families for the personal sacrifices that are made to make our company a great team and the Pride of the West Ward!

Over the past few months, a few of our senior members were able to strike-up a conversation with a few of the senior members of the Alerts in St. Clair, discussing that it had been several years since we last got together!  Our company had been getting together, off and on with our sister company over the years since 1983!  For many of our visitors from St. Clair, Schuylkill County, this was their first visit to Downingtown and they had never seen our equipment or firehouse.  So, this was a great opportunity for us to visit and catch-up with each other, in addition to starting some new long-lasting friendships.  Everybody had a great time and had plenty of food to eat.

The Alert Corporate and Active Force Officers would like to thank all of our members for helpingto make this wonderful day a great success. And, a special thank you to the staff of Acquilante Foods for another great catered Pig Roast!




Volunteers from Alert played softball, this past weekend in the 7th Annual Bats For Matt Softball Tournament, held at the Downingtown Little League fields.  The A-Team participated with 18 other teams from around the Downingtown area in the two-day slow-pitch softball tournament and had a another 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, for local kids who are stricken with cancer, scholarships and back to the local community.

Two years ago, 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 $7,600. in two days!  Congratulations to Swisher Sweats on winning the tournament, this year.

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




At 2:20 PM, Tower 45, Engine 46-2 (Minquas Fire Co. No. 2), Engine 49-5 (East Brandywine Fire Co.) and Rescue 47 (RIT – Lionville Fire Co.) were dispatched on the first alarm assignment to assist Station 38 (Thorndale Fire Co.) with a house fire, just over the Downingtown Borough line, on Hillcrest Drive in the Downing Ridge section of Caln Twp.

Chief 38 (Cordisco) and Engine 46-2 (Ass’t. Chief Heininger) arrived and advised of a working house fire, with fire showing from the area of the garage in the front of the house.  Engine 46-2 established a water supply and deployed a fire attack hand line.  Tower 45 (Capt. Wesson) arrived shortly thereafter and set-up the tower in front of the house.  The Tower 45 crew split into two teams with the first team going inside for search and rescue and pulling ceilings, as the fire was into the attic space.  The second team from Tower 45 placed ground ladders around the house.

The Working Fire Dispatch brought the balance of Stations 45, 46 and 49 with the crew from Engine 45 (Ass’t Chief Ashbee) deploying a second hand line, going to the second floor for fire attack.  The crews from Rescue 45 (FF Cary), Squad 45 (FF Quinn) and Brush 45 (Engineer Panetti) all assisted with salvage and overhaul at the fire scene.

There were a total of 20 volunteers from Alert working at this Sunday afternoon fire scene.

Photos are courtesy of the East Brandywine Fire Co., Chester County Working Fires (Facebook) and Daily Local News.




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, the 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 Engine 45 was available for emergencies. In addition, our volunteers provided emergency and fire crews throughout the day and night, during all of the events of Good Neighbor Day.

In addition to the many Good Neighbor events, the Downingtown Fire Dept. was invited to represent Chester County in the nationally televised, Wawa Welcome America Parade, in Philadelphia, PA.  We were honored to participate in the nations largest Fourth of July Parade with Tower 45.  The theme for the 2015 parade was to honor emergency services and also representing Chester County were the West Grove Fire Co. and the Malvern Fire Co.  In addition to Chester County, there were a representative fire company from the Philadelphia Fire Dept, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Bucks County from Pennsylvania, plus Delaware and New Jersey.

This was a great honor to represent Downingtown Borough, East Caln Twp. and the volunteer fire service on a national stage!  And we would like to thank the organizers of the Wawa Welcome America Parade for including the DFD in this event.

The day ended with the annual fireworks show in Kerr Park. The DFD would like to thank our mutual aid companies that assisted us throughout the day and evening to help the Good Neighbor Day Emergency Response Team run smoothly.  We hope that you enjoyed and had a happy and safe Fourth of July!




Just before 6:00 AM, Engine 45 was dispatched to assist Station 49 (East Brandywine Fire Co.) and Station 48 (Glen Moore Fire Co.) for Smoke in the Building, in a house on Keller Way, East Brandywine Twp.  The crew from Engine 45 (Capt. Wesson) assisted with ventilation after it was determined that the source of the smoke was a malfunction motor on a machine that was located in the basement of the house.

Photos are courtesy of East Brandywine Fire Co.




Today, the Alert volunteers and the Downingtown Fire Dept. were honored to help the Glen Moore Fire Co. celebrate their 100th Anniversary and Apparatus Housing.  The Alerts participated with two full crews for the retired 1969 Mack Pumper, Engine 45-1 and the current Tower 45.

The members and officers of Alert would like to congratulate the Glen Moore Fire Co. on this milestone.  In reading some of our past Meeting Minute Books, we found that the Alert Fire Co. No. 1 donated “some 2-1/2″ hose and a nozzle to the new fire company starting out in the village of Glenmoore”.  So, we were there to support you in 1915 and we are here to support you today!  Congratulations Glen Moore Fire Co. for the first 100 years of service and we wish you many more years of success.

Some of the photos shown here are courtesy of IrishEyez Photography.




Thanks to the help of Congressman Ryan Costello, the Downingtown Fire Dept. (Alert Fire Co. No. 1 and Minquas Fire Co. No. 2) was awarded this much needed grant. The grant will be used to replace some aging firefighting equipment that has reached its end-of-life cycle.

Below, is an article from the online news page  www.chescotimes.com

U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06) announced last week that borough firefighters will receive $33,429 for operations and safety thanks to a federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG).

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) work cooperatively with U.S. Fire Administration to provide funding critical to helping firefighters protect themselves and the communities they serve.

“I am pleased that Downingtown firefighters will receive funds vital to modernize lifesaving devices and enhance response capabilities,” Costello said. “These grants will help volunteer first responders continue to provide excellent service to more effectively protect the health and safety of our communities.”

Since coming into Congress, Congressman Costello has made it a point to identify ways to be an advocate for our local first responders. As a member of the House EMS caucus, he has called for continued support of the AFG program.

In Fiscal Year 2014, FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program will award approximately *$340 million directly to fire departments and non-affiliated EMS organizations to enhance their response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel with respect to fire and all other hazards.

The AFG will award approximately $304.5 million in competitive grants to fire departments, non-affiliated EMS organizations, and state fire training academies during FY 2014. The application period opened on November 4, 2014, and closed on December 5. Funding for vehicles is limited to 25 percent of the total 2014 AFG appropriation. No less than 3.5 percent of appropriated funds ($11.9 million) must be awarded for EMS equipment and training grants for both fire-department-based and non-affiliated EMS organizations.

Costello represents portions of Berks, Chester, Lebanon and Montgomery Counties.  VisitCostello.house.gov for more information.




The Downingtown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 845 and the Downingtown American Legion Post 475 hosted the Annual Memorial Parade today with the entire Downingtown Fire Dept. participating.

At the completion of the parade, a ceremony to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in battle during all of our past and current wars and conflicts was held at the Downingtown Area Veterans Memorial in Kerr Park.  As part of the ceremony, DFD 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.

We would like to pay a tribute to the following four members of the Alert Fire Co. No. 1, who paid the ultimate sacrifice during World War II.  They are Chester F. Harple, Herbert A. Kennedy, Dominick Marinelli and James Marinelli.  These four heros have their names permanently posted on a plaque inside of the Alert fire house.

Photos are courtesy of IrishEyez Photography and the Downingtown Area Veterans Memorial.




The Downingtown Fire Dept. was invited to attend a ceremony to honor first responders from Downingtown at the Williamson Masonic Lodge No. 309 F. A & M.

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. The Worshipful Master then commented about what it takes, the dedication, the personal self-calling and the courage to be a first responder in the world today.  The Williamson Lodge emphasized and reminded us, that they fully support all of the members of the Downingtown Fire and Police Dept’s.  He encouraged the members of the lodge to stop-by or pick-up the phone and to just say thank you to the first responders for putting their lives on the line, so others may continue to be safe.

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.

Link to the Williamson Lodge 309 Website:  http://www.williamsonlodge309.org/

In the photo below are:  Front Row – Scott Thornton, Glenn Heininger, Bob Stevens, Vince Panetti.  Back Row – Ken Boyd, Tom Lee, Dan Hughes, Jeff Stevens.


Williamson Lodge_20May2015