The present Fire Company was organized on March 24, 1897, and named “The Hook and Ladder Co. of New Holland”. New Holland’s own Roseboro Coach Works built the first fire equipment in 1897. When the community bought it for $150.00 from the hometown industry. The Wagon was built of the best material and was finely finished, the running gear and frame of the truck being painted a rich carmine with yellow and black striping and the ladders a light blue. It carried two 20-foot ladders, a 15-foot ladder with hooks and a 35-foot extension ladder. Four dozen buckets hung along the side, with two fire axes, a crowbar and two lanterns. A grappling hook with 30 feet of chain completed this “modern” fire fighting equipment. The wagon also carried 200-feet of 1 inch hose. It was fitted with a short tongue and a long rope with attached rings for willing hands to pull.

The membership consisted of 20 men with dues set at .50 cents per year. This gave us a starting treasurers account of $10.00. The first fundraiser was June 12, 1897 and with generous community support raised $164.00.

The equipment was first used on the night of December 9, 1897, when a large brick tobacco warehouse (New Holland Tobacco), on Railroad Ave. caught fire. The equipment was helpful in keeping the blaze confined to the one building.

Other appliances were tried from time to time. The Borough purchased two chemical fire extinguishers around 1905. These were two large extinguishers mounted on a two-wheeled handcart and kept in different parts of town. The equipment was an improvement, but inadequate to cope with fires in large buildings. The fire company still has one of these extinguishers.

On January 2, 1918, the Executive Committee was authorized by the membership to secure prices for a motorized apparatus. Funds were raised through a series of carnivals and a talent show. On April 23, 1918 an order was placed for an American LaFrance Type 40 Combination Chemical and Hose truck with a 300-gallon junior pump and 1000 feet of standard hose. This unit was delivered in December 1918 at a cost of $8000.00. This truck is still owned by the fire company today.

In October 1919, a 1-½ ton International truck was purchased at a cost of $3,875.00. This was used to haul ladders and two chemical tanks were mounted on this truck. This was another step ahead for the company.

On March 9, 1920 the first town siren was purchased, this included a Federal double head siren with a remote control and two extra push buttons for a cost of $500.00. Fire calls were taken at the phone company and another business in town, they activated the siren and we would have to call them to find out where the fire was.

On April 6, 1921, a majority vote to change the name to “The Liberty Fire Co. of New Holland” was passed by 14 votes. Other names (votes) brought up were: New Holland Fire Co. (5), Community Fire Co. of New Holland (3), Good Will Fire Co. of New Holland (0) and Conestoga Fire Co. of New Holland (0). The old name being inappropriate when the hook and ladder wagon was discarded, all the necessary paper work was completed and the name was officially changed in July of 1921.

In February 1927, the need for more fire protection was seen by the membership and an order was placed for a factory refurbished 600 gallon American LaFrance at a cost of $7000.00. This unit arrived in April 1927.

In 1931, the International was showing a lot of wear, so a 1931 Chevrolet chassis was purchased for $585.00, and the body of the International was remounted onto the new chassis, they also mounted a third chemical tank on the Chevrolet. This continued to be the basic equipment until January 1945. A committee was appointed to look into prices for a new engine.

The first fire hall was at 12 N. Railroad Ave., running out of room at this location, plans were under way to locate a plot of ground for a new fire station. The company approved the purchase of its ground on E. Main St. on July 3, 1946. One month later the company bought a 750 gpm. Mack pumper at a cost of $13,323.00, which at that time was the most modern type of fire apparatus in Lancaster County.

On April 26, 1948, the new Mack pumper arrived, and plans for the new station were advanced. January 1949, the prints for a building were approved with construction beginning immediately. A major fund drive was started for the new station, the new 1948 Mack pumper and a 1948 Packard Ambulance which was operated by the Ambulance committee of the fire company. On May 20, 1950, the company held an open house for its new fire hall along with the dedication of the new equipment.

The continued growth of the community caused the members of the company to acquire an additional piece of apparatus. In October 1951, an order was placed for an Oren Roanoke body on a Dodge truck chassis. This engine was received in July 1952. This made the company one of the best equipped in the area.

New to the County in the 50’s was the start of radio communications. In 1953, the company voted on having radio’s installed in the units; this would finally allow the fire companies to communicate with each other.

In 1956, it was decided that the next pumper should be equipped with a “ladder device”, to provide access to upper floors of the taller buildings in town. This was a step toward replacing our 1931 Chevrolet. This was a very long process, and then on January 30, 1961 an order was placed for a Peter Pirsch 85 foot ladder truck with a 1000 gpm pump, at a cost of $46,300.00. This unit was delivered in December 1961, and was first used at the Nissley Gas Co. fire in Ephrata on January 27, 1962.

Rescue services have been provided to the community by the company for quite some time. Initially it was operated by the Fire Police, and then taken over by the fire company. The first rescue unit documented by the company was a Chevrolet Hearse donated to the department in August 1965. This unit was used for about six months until a Ford utility truck was purchased from a local business for $150.00. This action was taken because of the lack of space in the Hearse.

In 1968, with continued growth in the community, it was decided to purchase another pumper. During the time the new engine was being built, it became known that the new unit would not fit in the present building, and plans were made to build a two bay addition to the east side of the building. The new 1250 gpm. Mack CF pumper arrived in 1969 and was housed in the new engine room.

In 1971, it was time to replace our 1952 Dodge, a committee was formed to get prices and draw up plans for a new engine. An order was placed for a 1972 Mack CF 1250 gpm pumper carrying 1000 gallons of water at a cost of $42,850.00. This unit was delivered in September 1972 and also was a part of our 75th Anniversary celebration.

In April 1976, the company approved the purchase of a GMC truck chassis and a custom-made rescue body at a cost of $32,810.00. This was to replace a 1948 Mack Rescue we had acquired from a New Jersey Fire Department.

As time moved forward our company saw a need for a second station located at the west end of New Holland to provide protection for expanding industrial and residential growth. A plot of land was provided by Sperry-New Holland, a local manufacturing firm. Ground was broken in May 1977. The building was completed at a cost of $85,000.00. The Liberty Fire Company of New Holland became the first volunteer fire company in Lancaster County to have a multi – station operation.

The company has an apparatus replacement program, which it tries to follow as close as possible and in 1981, a new Mack CF 1250 gpm. Pumper carrying 1000 gallons of water was purchased to replace the 1948 Mack engine. The cost of this unit was $98,000.00. The equipment for the Mack engine was purchased from the memorial fund in the name of Evelyn Fisher.

After three years in the making, the company had taken delivery of a 1986 Ford E-350 with a Morgan body at a cost of $30,000.00. This truck is used to fill breathing air bottles at the scene of emergencies throughout Eastern Lancaster County and parts of Chester County.

In keeping up with the apparatus replacement program, plans were underway to replace our 1969 Mack engine. In 1987, plans were drawn up and quotes received for a replacement. An order was placed for a 1989 Mack CF chassis and a custom Pierce body. This unit would be used for supplying water to a fire scene or used as a third pumper. This unit arrived around February 1989 and is equipped with 2 hose reels with a capacity of 2400 feet of 5-inch hose, a 1750 gpm pump and 500 gallons of water. Total cost of this engine was $200,000.00.

With the increasing amount of tools and equipment needed for various rescue operations, we soon ran out of room on our GMC truck, so plans were started for a new rescue unit in 1991. An order was placed in June 1992 and in March of 1993 a new Pierce Lance custom rescue was received at a cost of $305,000.00.

In August of 1996 a 1996 E-One Cyclone II was delivered. This engine is equipped with a 1500 gpm pump, 1000 gallons of water and a 60-gallon foam tank. The cost of this unit was $301,000.00.

An addition was made to the company in March of 2001. We purchased a 2001 GMC Sierra Crew Cab pickup truck. With the growth of our membership, we needed additional transportation to the transport members and equipment to and from fire scenes and training classes. The cost of this vehicle was $28,500.00.

In May of 2002 the newest addition to our fleet arrived in New Holland. Liberty Fire Company purchased a 2002 Pierce Skyarm Ladder Truck at a cost of $831,000.00. This new truck would allow us access to more difficult locations because of the flexibility of the 100 foot skyarm. We replaced our ladder truck that was 40 years old. This truck is equipped with a full compliment of ground ladders, 20KW generator, 300 gallons of water, 2000 GPM pump, 500 foot 5″ hose, attack lines, fans, saws, etc.

Our company was growing rapidly. We needed additional housing and office space. Since no renovations had been done to our station since 1976, we felt it was time to expand. In 2002 we expanded Station I by adding on 3 new bays to the east side of the building. The cost of this renovation was $300,000.00.

The Liberty Fire Company continues to provide the best possible fire protection with an up-to-date continuous training program and the constant upgrading of its equipment. Along with the fine support of our Ladies Auxiliary, which was formed in 1940 and now has over 200 members, and the support of our community.

The Liberty Fire Company would also like to salute the many businesses that let our members leave work to answer alarms, and the many wife’s who are their to take care of things at home so we can respond when needed. We dedicate ourselves to protect the citizens of the New Holland area..

Current Equipment Cost For Liberty Fire Company

1918 American LaFrance

Type 40

$ 8,000.00

2006 Peirce Enforcer

Engine 3-9-2

$ 505,000.00

1986 Ford E-350

Air 3-9

$ 30,000.00

1989 Mack CF

Hose 3-9

$ 200,000.00

1993 Pierce Lance

Rescue 3-9

$ 305,000.00

1996 E-One Cyclone II

Engine 3-9-1

$ 301,000.00

2001 GMC Sierra

Squad 3-9

$ 28,500.00

2002 Pierce Skyarm

Truck 3-9

$ 831,000.00