About F.D.M.T.

Despite being a relatively "young" fire department, F.D.M.T. has already developed a rich history and a vision for the future.

 

Run Statistics:

Month
2015
2016
January
54
49
February
80
 
March
47
 
April
46
 
May
60
 
June  
July  
August  
September  
October  
November  
December  
Totals  


About Us

In the Beginning:

In mid-2001, Montgomery Township began the process of forming a combination fire department as part of a burgeoning nationwide trend prompted by radically declining numbers of volunteers.  In concert with a group of dedicated volunteer firefighters, Township officials solicited input from various sources throughout the emergency services community before deciding to form the new combination department.  The new department, dubbed “The Fire Department of Montgomery Township”, was born on July 22, 2002 with the passage of a formal resolution by the Montgomery Township Board of Supervisors.

 

The Growing Years:

Members of the newly formed F.D.M.T. began acquiring equipment and recruiting new members.  On September 11, 2002, F.D.M.T.’s charter members were formally inducted at a ceremony timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks.  F.D.M.T. officially went into service at midnight on December 27, 2002 with  newly-hired Director of Fire Services Gerald Grover, 2 career firefighters, and approximately 30 volunteer firefighters led by Chief David Vasconez and Deputy Chief Dave Trigg.  On the Executive side, Bernie Heinze was named F.D.M.T.’s first President, along with Vice-President David Hoffman.  F.D.M.T. Battalion 1 was located in the old Colmar Fire Company building at Route 309 and Stump Road, while Battalion 2 in the north end of the township was located in the single-bay loading dock of the Country Furniture store at Route 202 and Montgomery Avenue.  Battalion 2 firefighters would call this structure “home” for 21 months. 

The first apparatus employed by the department were an updated 1970’s-era Mack Tower Ladder purchased from the Fort Washinton Fire Company accompanied by a loaner pumper (Engine 82) provided by the Wyndmoor Fire Company.  Additionally, Montgomery Township acquired two new trucks, a 2002 E-One 95’ aerial platform and a 2002 Pierce Contender pumper.  The F.D.M.T. Fire Police officially went into service as well, utilizing a 1970’s-era Dodge van purchased from a neighboring fire department.  Two additional vehicles (Chevy Tahoes) were acquired free of charge after they were retired from service with the Montgomery Township Police Department.  After significant amounts of cleaning due to their prior life as K-9 Police vehicles, both Tahoes went into service as Chief 18’s vehicle and a duty officer’s vehicle.  Initially, much of the tools, equipment, and hose utilized by the department were on loan from numerous departments throughout the region. 

F.D.M.T.’s first official fire call came on December 30, 2002 when the department was summoned to the Staple’s office supply store at the Gwynedd Crossing Shopping center for an odor of something burning. 

Efforts continued towards “self-sufficiency”, and in July of 2003, F.D.M.T. acquired a 1989 Hahn pumper from the East Moriches, NY fire department on Long Island.  Additionally, F.D.M.T. volunteers acquired a Mack Heavy Rescue truck from the Kimberton Fire Company (Station 61) in Chester County, PA. 

The Fire Department of Montgomery Township Volunteer Firefighter Relief Association was chartered in 2003, and received it’s first annual allocation from the State Auditor General in October of 2003.

Flash-forward to September, 2004, which saw firefighters at Battalion 2 move into their new temporary quarters located on the property of the Country Furniture store.  This newly erected pole-barn included a porta-potty and heat…significant upgrades from the previous location.  However, it was clear that Montgomery Township needed to build a new firehouse in the very near future to accommodate firefighters and residents living in the north end of the township.  Plans soon got underway to design and build the new firehouse, which would ultimately be located on undeveloped land at the corner of Route 202 and Montgomery Avenue, just a few steps from where both temporary fire stations had been located.

In May, 2005, F.D.M.T. volunteers attended an informal groundbreaking ceremony for the new Battalion 2 firehouse, and construction began in earnest in the hopes that the new firehouse would be completed before winter set in.  Recruitment efforts continued in earnest, and in June 2005 F.D.M.T. held its first-ever “Firefighter Boot Camp.”  This free program was designed to acquaint township residents with the fire service and show them the dedication it takes to be a volunteer firefighter. 

Both Mack fire trucks would see several years of service with F.D.M.T. before leaving the department.  The original Mack Tower-Ladder now resides at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus, while the Mack Heavy Rescue was retired and sold in the summer of 2006 after the F.D.M.T. Relief Association purchased a brand new Pierce Arrow XT Heavy Rescue truck. 

The new Battalion 2 firehouse officially opened in November of 2005.

Throughout 2006 and 2007, attention turned to the need to rehabilitate the existing firehouse at Route 309 and Stump Road.  The decades-old building, formerly the Public Works building converted to a firehouse, was in desperate need of repair and updating to accommodate career staff from the Department of Fire Services, volunteer firefighters and administrative staff.

Township staff in concert with volunteer support went to work designing the new firehouse alongside an architectural firm.  A number of zoning issues resulted in delays and several false starts, but construction finally began in late 2007.  It was decided that it would be more economically feasible to keep the existing engine bays as opposed to doing a complete teardown and rebuild.  Contractors started and maintained a brisk pace, rehabilitating the existing structure and adding thousands of square feet in new operational and administrative space on both sides.

Where we're going:

The future of F.D.M.T is bright as the department focuses on recruiting new volunteers and retaining its existing membership base. If you want to be a part of it...visit the "Join Us" page of this site.

 

 

 

 

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