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

Wed. Dec 31st 2014
Now Accepting Clothing and Shoe Donations

Got unwanted clothing or shoes lying around?  Whitney-Hostetter VFD is now accepting donations of clothing or shoes. Rec...

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Tue. Oct 7th 2014
Fire Prevention - Westmoreland Mall

Mark your calendars and bring the kids out to meet the volunteers in and around your area! Fire Companies, EMS, Police, ...

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Sat. Aug 16th 2014
First Annual Poker Run and Pig Roast

Whitney-Hostetter VFD in Conjunction with the Midway-St.Clair VFD present our first annual Poker Run and Pig Roast!!! The Eve...

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Whitney-Hostetter VFD
155 Smolleck St
Whitney, PA  15693



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Tour of Duty

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 Fallen Firefighters
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Dec 09, 2014: Joyce Craig-Lewis, Firefighter - Philadelphia, PA

Dec 09, 2014: Gus Losleben, Firefighter - Savannah, TN

Dec 03, 2014: John Burns, Lieutenant - Myrtle Beach, SC

Nov 28, 2014: Tom Rhamey, Firefighter-EMT - Lakeville, OH

Nov 20, 2014: Samir Ashmar, Fire Marshal - Allenton, PA

Nov 19, 2014: Arthur Treon, County Fire Coordinator / Deputy OEM Coordinator - Cape May Court House, NJ

Nov 18, 2014: James Foote, Firefighter - Summit, NY

Nov 16, 2014: Alejandro Castro, Pump Operator/Paramedic - Brownsville, TX

Nov 15, 2014: Christopher Hunter, Lieutenant - Cinnaminson, NJ

Nov 15, 2014: Richard Weisse, Sr., Firefighter - St. James, NY

Fall Safety Tips

Fall 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!!!!

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Sat. Jul 12th 2014
Youngstown Boro House Fire

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Fri. Jul 11th 2014
Crash in the First Due

Yesterday The Chief and Rescue went to Colony Lane near the Valley Dairy for a reported 2 vehicle crash with entrapment. Asst...

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Tue. Jul 8th 2014
Physical Rescue In the First Due

This morning the Engine and Chief along with Rescue 39 went to a residence in the first due for a physical rescue. The homeow...

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2014 Call Volume
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Mar 24
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May 24
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Total 203

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