The Municipality of Monroeville is located about 12 miles east of the City of Pittsburgh, and covers an area of approximately 19.5 square miles. The normal population of Monroeville is about 70,000 during the day and 30,349 at night. The municipality is protected by five fire stations that provide a wide variety of Emergency Services. The municipality resides in close driving distance to city schools and colleges such as University of Pittsburgh, Center for Emergency Medicine, Point Park College, and Carlow College. The Community College of Allegheny County Boyce Campus is located within the municipality, providing a large variety of classes for students in many fields.
Monroeville Fire Department History
The Monroeville Fire Department Is comprised today by five stations spread over the municipality. The first station originally started out in the "old Patton Township" days of the municipality. If you would like to find out more about those days of growth, please contact the municipality for more information. We operated with a total of six stations a few years ago, but due to changes with residential / commercial growth and staffing it was decided to operate with the remaining five you see today. Each station operates with a large variety of equipment and personnel to accommodate the needs of the department as a whole. Some of the biggest accomplishments between the companies has been the ability to work together and advance in the many different fields we participate in. The companies provides many different services from Fire / EMS & Rescue, all the way to a dive team. Together the companies have instituted many different techniques to suit the needs of the residents we serve, and we continue to advance them every day.
Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company #4 History
Station 4: Monroeville Fire Station 4 was not always as you see it today, it started from it’s humble beginnings in 1955 as a small two bay fire station on Mosside Boulevard (Route 48) where CoGo’s is located today. The original Fire Chief of station 4 was Tom Spelth. He was then followed by Willard Graham. But in 1960, Gene Wagner became the company’s 3rd chief. Chief Wagner held this position for a number of years. In 1965 the fire company completed it's move to our current location on Northern Pike. The new building originally had six bays along with a large social hall where bingo’s and special events are still held.
In 1965 Jack Hileman was elected Fire Chief, a position in which he served for 15 years. Chief Hileman saw to many of the improvements not only within our company but also within the Municipality of Monroeville. One of the major accomplishments that Chief Hileman achieved was the Monroeville Fire Department/Municipality of Monroeville Fire Chiefs Agreement that is still in effect today. This agreement was instrumental to all five fire companies along with the municipality. It started a program for the Municipality of Monroeville to purchase major fire apparatus (pumpers & aerials), provide vehicle maintenance, support EMS and having fuel available to the departments. This program has helped our departments keep up to date with the firefighting techniques over the years along with providing a quality fire service to the residents and business of Monroeville. Also during Chief Hileman’s tenure several pieces of apparatus were purchased, one of which was Monroeville’s first aerial truck. The following was purchased during Chief Hileman's term:
Truck 4, a 1967 Howe Defender/Grove, 100’ Aerial,
Engine 41, 1966 Ward LaFrance Ambassador, 1000 GPM, 500 GWT,
Rescue 4, 1969 Ford C700/Doerr Bros., 12’ Box - 500 GPM, 300 GWT,
Engine 42, 1975 Ward LaFrance Ambassador, 55’ Squirt - 1500 GPM, 500 GWT,
Rescue 4, 1979 Ford C8000/E-One, 14’ Box - 1000 GPM, 500 GWT.
Several ambulances, squads and a chief’s car unit were also purchased.
In 1980 Robert Wratcher was elected to the position of Fire Chief. Chief Wratcher served 20 years in office until the year 2000. During Chief Wratcher’s term a new ladder truck was purchased, a 1982 Pierce Arrow/LTI 100’ Ladder Tower along with three new pumpers, (Engine 41 a 1981 Hendrickson/E-One 1500 GPM 500 GWT, our current Engine 42 a 1988 E-One Cyclone 1500 GPM 750 GWT, our current Engine 41 a 1996 Pierce Lance 1500 GPM 500 GWT along with a rescue truck, Rescue 4 a 1989 E-One Cyclone 16’ Box). Several new ambulances, squads and chief’s car units were also purchased during this time to keep up the fleet of apparatus to operational standards. An addition to the building was added in 1984 which included two new large bays, office space on the first floor, and a living area on the second floor. The living area included a dormitory which houses twelve beds, a locker room area that includes showers and locker space, training room, conference room, day room and a complete kitchen. Other accomplishments during Chief Wratcher’s tenure were the constant updating of apparatus in the department, expansion in EMS services, remodeling of the social hall and various other building / departmental improvements.
In 2000 Kenneth D. “Doug” Cole became the company's Fire Chief. Some of the accomplishments and projects completed under Chief Cole’s administration have been the purchasing of several new pieces of apparatus.
- Rescue 4, 2001 Spartan/Saulsbury 21’ Walk-In Box
- Ambulance 48, 2001 Ford/Medtec, Modular
- Truck 4, 2003 Pierce Lance, 100’ Ladder Tower – 2000 GPM Pump
- Squad 4, 2003 Ford F350XLT Crewcab Pickup Truck with a Reading Utility box
- Chiefs Car 4C, 2004 GMC Yukon
- Ambulance 47, 2004 Ford/Medtec, Modular
- Ambulance 49, 2007 Chevrolet/LifeLine, Modular
- Engine 42, 2008 Pierce Quantum Class A Pumper - 1500 GPM Pump
- Advanced Rescue Certification for Rescue 4
- Silver Fire Training Certification from the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy
- National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) Compliance for the Life Staff and Membership
Monroeville Volunteer Fire Company #4's role in EMS throughout the years
In the early 1960’s the members of Monroeville Fire Company #4 saw the need for ambulance service in their area due to the increase of residential homes and businesses. In 1963 a new Cadillac ambulance was purchased fully equipped at a cost of $3,000.00 and as call volume increased for it, the department saw the need for a second ambulance. In 1965 a second ambulance (Pontiac) was purchased and from that point on, Station 4 has operated a minimum of two ambulances to serve the community. From 1963 to 1973 the department tried to replace one ambulance every year, sometimes two a year depending on the call volume and the wear and tear on the units. Many styles of ambulance have served the department ranging from the old Cadillac wagons to the van styles and then to the larger modular units you see today.
Monroeville Fire Department has long been considered one of the premier emergency medical services in Allegheny County and Western Pennsylvania. Most of the first field Advanced Life Support practices in the state happened first in Monroeville. The very first intravenous line (I.V.) started in the field was by Dan Fusco, a member of Monroeville # 4. Dan used this new procedure on an incident in 1973 on Haymaker Road in the area of Kelvington Drive. The patient was involved in a motorcycle accident, having amputated his leg in the accident. Dan along with the other crew members proceeded to care for him with the new technique, and in all probability the I.V. saved the victim’s life. The first EMT II (now known as a Paramedic) in Allegheny County came from the department also. There are several members of Company 4 that are involved as instructors in conjunction with the Community College of Allegheny County and the Allegheny County Fire Academy. Many of them teach cources for Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians and Vehicle Rescue techniques.