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NCRVFC History

The History of the New Centerville & Rural Volunteer Fire Company started one Sunday morning in the early part of February 1941, when a fire broke out in the home of Lloyd R. Berkey in New Centerville. A few citizens in the town went to work to put the fire out with the aid of water buckets, ladders, and fire axes of Charles L. Cramer's, until our neighbor town of Rockwood sent their firemen to the scene. It was determined by the citizens of New Centerville that a Fire Company had to be formed.

NCRVFC FiremenIn May 1948 a new Ford truck was purchased. It was driven to Chicago, Illinois by Charles L. Cramer for the W.S. Darley Company to install the fire equipment and a 1,000 gallon water tank. On January 14, 1949, Dale R. Cramer, Robert L. Miller and Jack E. Dull went to Chicago by train to learn the techniques and operations of the fire truck. The men returned home with the Company's first truck on January 16, 1949. The trucks first use was for a fire fought on February 15, 1949, at a cottage owned by Phillip Walters, Somerset, PA.

At a meeting on March 1, 1949, the Fire Company voted to petition the Somerset County Court for a Charter and it incorporated on February 18, 1949. The charter was accepted March 1, 1949 with a total of 76 firemen on the roster. The firemen answered 3 alarms the first year. The original fire fighters totaled 32 men.

The Ladies Auxiliary to the Fire Company was organized in 1949 with 32 members. The Auxiliary represents a very valuable asset to the Fire Company with multiple fund raising events and banquets to benefit the Company. They have assisted in multiple purchases of equipment throughout the history of the Company.

In September 1953, the Farmers' and Threshermen's Jubilee was originated in the field owned by E.R. Mosholder of New Centerville. The Jubilee was held there each year until May 14, 1957 when firemen bought two parcels of land from Jesse and Mary Geary and Jeremiah and Minnie Pletcher in New Centerville Boro. The company later erected a large storage building called the "Museum Hall" at this location in 1958.

In October 1961, a used Cadillac ambulance was purchased by Mr. Charles L. Cramer and donated to the Fire Company. It was reconditioned by the firemen and placed into service December 1961, to give the community an additional ambulance service.

In April 1974 a Junior Fire Department was initiated. This department is made up of members 14 to 18 years of age. Michael Drabish was appointed as the first advisor. The role of the junior firemen is very limited. Chief Cramer gave the Juniors' duties and responsibilities to learn how equipment is operated and the importance of maintaining it. Alan Reese, Jim Saylor and Clark Brocht were sworn in as the first Junior Firemen.

In 1982 New Centerville started the farm rescue team. After two fatal farm accidents, which happened in another part of the Pennsylvania, New Centerville company decided it was time for special training. Along with Berlin, New Centerville is one of only two farm rescue 'teams' in Somerset County. About half of the current active members of the department are trained for farm rescues. The farm rescue trainig started through Penn State University, but was then taken oveer by Alfred State College in New York. New Centerville's department also has certified instructors in rescues and two paramedic instructors. The department has special farm rescue equipment, including a plasma cutter which cuts metal before it heats, repelling gear, various kinds of gas monitors, a heat probe and lighting.

We currently have a Fire Hall which is utilized for meetings and banquets. We also have a Truck Room which houses 9 pieces of emergency equipment.

We cover approximately 109 square miles of rural Somerset County which includes Upper Turkeyfoot Township, Middlecreek Township, Milford Township, Seven Springs Boro, as well as New Centerville Boro. We also provide various mutual aid assist to surrounding fire companies.

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