West Goshen residents are protected by not one, not two, not three but FOUR fire companies! Township residents west of 202 are roughly covered the West Chester Fire Department (made up of the First West Chester, Good Will, and Fame Fire Companies) and the Goshen Fire Company roughly covers township residents east of 202. (Exact boundaries are available by contacting the township.)
“But really,” says Fire Chief Jonathan Stafford, “we all work hand-in-hand. Each fire company has its own territory and specialties, but we all have each other’s backs and the same goals.”
As Fire Chief of the West Chester Fire Department, Stafford coordinates the efforts of the three firehouses in the West Chester FD and assumes the administrative duties such as budget management & being the liaison with the municipalities (like West Goshen) that the department serves. The Chief position is a three-year term and rotates between the three companies; Stafford comes from the Good Will Company.
All three West Chester FD companies are 100% volunteer. Together, the three companies boast a fleet of 20 vehicles including 5 Class A Pumpers, a 137′ Ladder Truck, Heavy Rescue, Air/Light Unit, 3000 gallon Tanker, Brush Truck, 3 Squads, 2 Boats, trench and collapse rescue trailers, 4 Chief’s vehicles, and a Traffic Unit.
Likewise, the Goshen Fire Company protects residents with its two stations housing 15 pieces of fire apparatus including 3 engines, 2 ladders, 1 rescue, 4 EMS units, 1 traffic unit, 1 brush truck, 1 support unit and 2 chief response vehicles.
Fire Company Profile: Fame Fire Company Number 3
West Goshen’s Assistant Fire Marshal Mike McCarthy has served with the Fame Fire Company for thirty years. “I grew up at the firehouse and knew it was something I wanted to do. I always like to remind young people that you can start training with us as soon as you are 14 years old.”
Another way Fame is getting the next generation of firefighters involved is through inviting West Chester University students to volunteer for their company. Their upcoming expansion of the firehouse includes creating bunk rooms for live-in student interns.
Fame’s President Don Powers shared, “The expansion has been a long project but we are so excited about all that is going to give us… 2 huge drive-through bays to store our state-of-the-art equipment, training space, and bunks for our members and students.”
While Fame looks ahead to the future with groundbreaking for the expansion on April 25th, it also honors its rich past with its “Hall of Fame” Museum at the firehouse. There, key pieces of Fame’s 181-year history are on display such as the Silsby Hose Carriage from 1884 and helmets of past chiefs.
“We welcome the residents we serve to come join us. We are 100% volunteer—even our officers and our chief— so whether you want to train with us regularly or want to volunteer once at an event, every little bit makes a difference,” says McCarthy.