For many years the residents of West Fairview were without fire protection except for the men and women who would form the "Buck Brigade". This mighty fine work saved quite a few houses from total loss from the fires.
At times the city of Harrisburg would send fire equipment over to help but they were horse drawn and it would take some time for help to arrive.
The Goodwill Fire Company was organized January 31, 1908, after a bad fire on the hill section of town. The first piece of fire equipment was a hook and ladder wagon which was hand drawn. The ladder wagon was built from the running gear of an old hearse, which was bought from John Miller, who ran a livery stable on Front Street. The gear was bought by Warren Smith who in turn donated the running gear to the Fire Company. Mr. Earl Givler and Daniel Stiles, both blacksmiths and residents of the borough, built the hook and ladder wagonin their shops.
In 1909, the Company decided to add a hand drawn chemical wagon, this equipment was purchased from James Boyd & Company at a cost of $650.00, these two pieces were stored at various locations in town.
In 1912, a tract of land was purchased from Sarah Heck at a cost of $350.00. This land was located on Third Street between Clay and Lincoln Streets. The same year ground was broken and a cement foundation was laid. The building was not completed until 1915, when it was dedicated in connection with old home week. The building was erected by Ira Shaull, who drew up the plans for the building. About this same time the company decided to add the third piece of equipment, a four wheel hose reel also hand drawn.
The Goodwill Fire Company was incorporated on March 4, 1913. In 1923 the company was motorized with a service combination hose and chemical truck at a cost of $2,850.00. In 1927, the host and chemical truck was replaced by one of the most modern pieces of fire apparatus on the West Shore. The new apparatus was a 1927 Seagrave Special with a 600 GPM pump and cost $8,750.00. This truck was dedicated on August 20, 1927 with fire companies from all parts of Pennsylvania in attendance. This apparatus made many calls to the City of Harrisburg and the West Shore Communities and even responded to calls in Goldsboro under fire Chief Lester "Buck" Sawyer.
The fire company later bought a Buick Pickup truck which was later disposed of. Nect came a Model T Ford equipped with a piston pump. Sometime later a Chevrolet Panel truck was added and later sold. Then a 1937 GMC Panel truck was bought and paid for by collecting newspapers. After World War II a 500 GPM pump was installed on the GMC to serve as a the secnd pumper.
In 1948, the Goodwill Social Club bought a 1937 Buick Ambulance. In 1950, this ambulance was replaced by a 1947 Pontiac Ambulance and in 1957 a 1953 Cadillac was purchased to replace the 1947 Pontiac Ambulance. In 1964, the company purchased a 1060 Pontiac to replace the 1953 Cadillac. In 1972, a 1969 cadillac was purchased to replace the 1960 Pontiac. Sometime in 1976 a Chevrolet Box Ambulance was purchased to replace the 1969 Cadillac and the Company decided to get out of the ambulance business in January 1991.
In September 1958 the company hosted the 31st Annual Cumberland County Fireman's Association Convention to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the fire company. After the convention the morale of the members was very high so the company decided to think about a new fire truck to replace the 1927 Seagrave Special. On November 11, 1958 the fire company signed a contract with the Seagrave Corporatin of Columbus Ohio for a new pumper. The contracted price was $18,500.00. This pumper would be a 1958 Seagrace pumper and it was delivered on March 11, 1959. An open house was held with a small parade through town.
Through hard work of Fire Chief S.W. Brougher, Lester George, Cora George, Lester "Buck" Sawyer, Evelyn Myers and the Ladies Auxiliary this pumper was paid off in 15 months.
Sometime in mid 1959 the fire company organized a Marching Club through the efforts of former fire Chief Sawyer, who through his friends in the City of Harrisburg were able to purchase marching uniforms from the Harrisburg Firemans's Relief Association. The marching club existed until sometime in the mid 1980's. They have been to many parades all over the state of Pennsylvania.
In 1965, a tract of land was purchased with the intentions of building a new fire station, also in the same year the 1927 Seagrave Special was given to the Pennsylvania State Museum and a reconditioned 1937 Seagrave pumper was put into service.
In 1967, William A. Kindness became the President with one objective in mind, to build the new fire station on the property at Third and Abolition Streets (which is our current station). he had several older members opposed to this idea and appointed a building committee to draw up plans and how the building would be financed. Also with this property there were several issue with old trolley lines, PP&L lines and a dirt bank. Trustee Wayne R. Disney negotiated with the Railroad and PP&L to have the trolley lines and poles removed. He also contacted Rno Wolaver to take the drt bank away for fill. All of these had no cost to the fire company.
President Kindness had a friend draw up plans for the new fire station and ground was broken in August 1967. A contract was awarded to Jay Heinbaugh to pour the foundation and lay the blocks for the new building. All the other work to the building was completed by the members except for the foor of the building.
In January 1968, the fire company suffered a terrible setback with the death of S.W. Brougher who was fire chief for 29 years. His death occurred on teh scene of a fire on January 16, 1968. In February 1968 William Kindness was elected fire chief and held that position until July 1979. On September 13, 1968 in conjunction with the Cumberland County Firemans Association's Convention the fire station was dedicated to S.W. Brougher for 29 years of dedicated service to the fire company.
In March 1971 the fire company burned the mortgage on the new fire station at the annual banquet.
In 1974, the fire company purchased a 1974 Dodge Kary Van to convert into a light rescue truck and the conversion was done by the members in house. Also in 1974, the Junior Fire Company was also organized for children 14 and older to encourage the youths to become interested in the fire service. During this year the fire company received the 1927 Seagrave Special bak from the State Musuem. In December 1974, the fire company hosted a banquet to honor the ladies auxiliary for their 50th anniversary, which was attended by 250 people. Today the Ladies Auxiliary is a vital party of the fire company.
On August 12, 1977, the fire company signed a contract with the Seagrace Corporation for a new 1250 GPM pumper and payed $80,000.00. The new pumper arrived late September 1978 and is still in service today.
In 1988, the fire company purchased a used 1984 soda delivery truck from 7-UP and converted it into a Squad to replace the 1974 Dodge Rescue Truck. The conversion of this truck was done by the members in house and was in service until 2001.
In 1999, the Borough of West Fairview merged into East Pennsboro Township. With this merger many benefits to both the community and fire company have occured.
Some time in 1996, the fire company once again signed a contract for a 1997 Seagrave pumper and it was delivered in early 1998. Then due to some hard financial times, the fire tuck had to be returned in 2000. During this time the fire copmany had to sell the 1927 Seagrace Special to a private collector, this was once again another setback for the company. The 1997 Seagrace pumper is currently in service in the City of Harrisburg. Since this time the fire company has rebounded and is looking forward to the future.
In 2007, them members expressed interest in getting into the water rescue functions and in 2007 the company purchased a used inflatable boat from Monroe Township Fire Company and this unit went into service on July 18, 2008.
There are current plans to acquire a used fire engine to replace the 1978 Seagrave in the near future. This unit will be purchased by East Pennsboro Township.
In May of 2009 we were able to purchase a 2008 Ford F-250 4 door cab with an 8 foot bed to be converted into a Mini Pumper. we were able to purchase this vehicle through monies from the state grant and also fire company funds.At this time we were adwarded a $5,000.00 Hertigage Rewards Grant to be used to purchase the firefighting skid unit for the 2008 ford pickup. Also in the month of May we were also able to purchas a 1993 Chevrolet Silverado Blazer from the Vigilant Hose Company of Shippensburg for $2,000.00 this vehilce was able to be placed into service as Utility 16
On June 11, 2009 the East Pennsboro Board of Commissioners purchase a 1997 New Lexington Engine from Londonderry Township Fire Company for our use. this engine is a 6 man enclosed cab 1750 Hale pump with 1000 gallons of water. The engine was sent out to I.M.S. in Harrisburg for some minor rehab work and returned to the township in July 2009 and then the township's public works department did the lettering and graphics on this unit. We placed the engine in service on Friday September 4, 2009 at 2230 hours.
In November 2009 the 2008 Ford Pickup was sent out to have the firefighting skid unit put onto the truck. Also in November the fire company sold the 1977 ford box truck to a private citizen from Perry County
On January 6th, 2010, Good Will Fire Company #1 of West Fairview placed in service the companies very first mini pumper. The current fleet consists of Engine 16, Mini Pumper 16, Utility 16 and Boat 16.