An ounce of prevention ... a pound of cure

On a visit to Boston, Benjamin Franklin noted that the inhabitants of his native city were far better prepared to fight fires than the natives of his adopted city, Philadelphia. Upon returning home, he consulted the Junto, a benevolent group dedicated to civic and self-improvement, and asked for their suggestions on better ways to combat fires.

Franklin also sought to raise public awareness about the city's dire need to improve fire-fighting techniques. In a Pennsylvania Gazette article of 1733 Franklin noted how fires were being fought in Philadelphia. "Soon after it [a fire] is seen and cry'd out, the Place is crowded by active Men of different Ages, Professions and Titles who, as of one Mind and Rank, apply themselves with all Vigilance and Resolution, according to their Abilities, to the hard Work of conquering the increasing fire."

Goodwill and amateur firefighters were not enough, though. Franklin suggested a "Club or Society of active Men belonging to each Fire Engine; whose Business is to attend all Fires with it whenever they happen."
For the February 4, 1735 issue of The Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin sent an anonymous letter to his own newspaper entitled Protection of Towns from Fire. Writing as an "old citizen" he admonished:

In the first Place, as an Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure, I would advise 'em to take care how they suffer living Coals in a full Shovel, to be carried out of one Room into another, or up or down Stairs, unless in a Warmingpan shut; for Scraps of Fire may fall into Chinks and make no Appearance until Midnight; when your Stairs being in Flames, you may be forced, (as I once was) to leap out of your Windows, and hazard your Necks to avoid being oven-roasted.
He further urged that chimney sweeps should be licensed by the city and be held responsible for their work. He noted that a neighboring city (Boston), "a club or society of active men belonging to each fie engine, whose business is to attend all fires with it whenever they happen." He noted that via practice and regular meetings, the firefighters' skills improved.

Under Franklin's goading, a group of thirty men came together to form the Union Fire Company on December 7, 1736. Their equipment included "leather buckets, with strong bags and baskets (for packing and transporting goods), which were to be brought to every fire. The blaze battlers met monthly to talk about fire prevention and fire-fighting methods. Homeowners were mandated to have leather fire-fighting buckets in their houses.

Other men were desirous of joining the Union, but were urged to form their own companies so the city would be better protected.
Within a short span of time, Philadelphians witnessed the birth of the Heart-in-Hand, the Britannia, the Fellowship, as well as several other fire companies.

Thanks to the matchless leadership of Benjamin Franklin, the dire fear of fires expired in Philadelphia which became one of safest city's in the world in terms of fire damage.

News Headlines

Thu. Jun 19th 2014
Live In Program!!!!

The membership of Whitney-Hostetter VFD is currently working on establishing facilities and programs to initiate a forma...

Read more »

Fri. May 30th 2014
Annual Fund Drive Hitting Mailboxes Soon!!!

In the first two weeks of May residents and businesses in the area should begin to see the arrival of our annual fund drive l...

Read more »

Mon. Apr 21st 2014
April Birthday!!

April 21st Firefighter Alexis Rain will celebrate her birthday!!! She has been working hard training and working towards her ...

Read more »

Apparatus Gallery
Contact Information

Whitney-Hostetter VFD
155 Smolleck St
Whitney, PA  15693



Contact Us
Driving Directions


Lower Kiski EMS

Elizabeth Twp #1 Fire Dept.

The George G. McMurtry Vandergrift 1 Fire Dept.

 Fallen Firefighters
 Print this page

Apr 21, 2014: Hugh Ferguson, Fire Chief - Damon, TX

Apr 02, 2014: George Underwood, Fire Chief - Lake, WV

Mar 26, 2014: Edward Walsh, Lieutenant - Boston, MA

Mar 26, 2014: Michael Kennedy, Firefighter - Boston, MA

Mar 22, 2014: "Lance" Wentzel, Firefighter - Youngwood, PA

Mar 17, 2014: Tom Stevens, Sr., Assistant Fire Chief - Lawrenceburg, IN

Mar 16, 2014: Wayne Jeffers, Captain/EMT - Ramer, AL

Mar 13, 2014: Joseph Bove, III, Firefighter - Spotswood, NJ

Mar 08, 2014: Bobby Mollere, Lieutenant - Star Valley, AZ

Mar 07, 2014: Jeffery Bayless, Senior Captain - Anchorage, AK

Spring Safety Tips

Spring time is a great time to clean, organize and get rid of unnecessary items in house. It is also a great time to check if your safety plans are in place and your safety equipment is in working order.

Test your smoke alarms.

Check to see if they work.

Change the battery, if necessary

Replace your smoke detectors every 10 years.

Test your carbon monoxide detectors.

Check to see if they work.

Change you batteries if necessary.

Replace light bulbs (outside and inside) – you’ll be taking out the step ladder test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, use the ladder to change light bulbs as well.

Store winter items (clothing, Christmas decorations, etc.) properly.

Check your house for broken items and discard appropriately.

Clean out your medicine cabinet and dispose any expired or unused

medications properly.

Talk to your city or county government trash and

recycling service or your local pharmacist for medicine disposal in your area.

Check your fire extinguisher.

Make sure safety seals, tamper indicators and maintenance tag are broken or missing.

Examine for signs physical damage, corrosion, leakage, or a clogged


Check the pressure gauge reading or indicator. It should be in the

operable range or position.

Recycle and replace if necessary.


Plan and practice your family escape plan.

Review your family emergency plan – a printable family emergency plan available through

Check your first aid kit and replace any missing supplies.


Remember the first step in dealing with an emergency is being prepared for an emergency!!!!

Recent Calls

Sat. Apr 19th 2014
Brush Fire Stoney Ridge Lane

Early this afternoon we were called to Stoney Ridge Lane in District 39 for a reported brush fire. Station 39 was committed t...

Read more »

Fri. Apr 18th 2014
Engine Handles Transfer to Norvelt

This afternoon Norvelt VFD requested The Engine to transfer to their area to cover while they worked a brush fire in Mt. Plea...

Read more »

Wed. Apr 16th 2014
Engine Takes in Commercial Fire in Derry Twp.

Early this morning The Engine was sent on a fill to the Deon Door Co on Powers Dr. in Derry Twp. (District 71) for a working ...

Read more »

Upcoming Events

Every Wednesday
Drill/Training Night

Every 3rd Sunday
Fire Company Meeting

Every 2nd Tuesday
Unity Twp. Fire Bureau Meeting

Picture Gallery
Search Our Site


2014 Call Volume
Jan 48
Feb 32
Mar 24
Apr 12
Total 116

View Call Volume History

Visitor Poll

Does Your Dept Perform Positive Pressure Ventilation With Coordinated Fire Attack?

Member Login



Birthdays for April

1st 2nd Lieutenant Richard Cramer
21st Alexis Rain Managed web hosting for Fire/EMS


Copyright © 2006-2014. YourFirstDue Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Content on this web site is supplied by Whitney-Hostetter VFD. YourFirstDue Inc. cannot be held responsible or liable for any content, text, pictures, or any other media found on this web site. Maintained by the members and staff of Whitney-Hostetter VFD.

This site has been
viewed 220,371 times.