Fire School History

The Cambria County Regional Firefighters Association (previously known as the Volunteer Fireman’s Association of Cambria County & Vicinity) was chartered on June 30, 1942. The first President of the Association was William Richards of the Lilly Vol. Fire Company. The first convention was held in 1922 and hosted by the Lilly Volunteer Fire Company. The first Cambria County Fire School was held July 28, 29, 30, and August 1, 1954 at the Cambria County Fairgrounds. A total of 700 registrations were received at a cost of $15.00 per company. The director and advisor for the school was Captain George Cartwright of the City of Johnstown Fire Department. The first fire school committee consisted of Chairman Clarence Wirfel, Brownstown, Tom Buck, Carrolltown, Anthony Fiasco, Hastings, Columbus Lisherall, Patton (Zone 1), Robert Pierce, Dunlo, Richard Logue, Portage, Robert F. McCaa, Gallitzin (Zone 2), Clair Cook, Nanty Glo, Mike Stanislawczyk, Conemaugh, and Charles Gilbert, Upper Yoder Twp. (Zone 1). Cambria County Fire School was sanctioned by the Pennsylania State Fire Academy in Lewistown, along with the support of Cambria County Commissioners Pat Farrell, Tom Owens, and Hiram Ribblett. No amount of funding by the commissioners was noted. Cambria County Fire School was held at the Cambria County Fairgrounds from 1954 – 1971. Cambria County Fire School was moved to Admiral Peary Vo-Tech in 1972 and remained there until 1994. It became affiliated with Williamsport Community College (1980 – 1989), Harrisburg Area Community College (1990 – 1993), and Bucks County Community College (1994 – Present). Cambria County Fire School was moved to its current location at Cambria Heights High School in 1995.

Mission Statement
The objective of this association shall be the general improvement of the firefighting service throughout the county and vicinity; to afford protection to disabled fireman and to those dependent upon them, through legislative enactment, to open discussion upon the best manner and means for the fighting of fires and their prevention; to promote the organization of fire departments in towns and villages now without such protection; to encourage a fraternal friendship among firemen; and to promote education and training of fireman.

The Vol. Firemen’s Assoc. Historical Committee developed a commemorative book on the History of the Volunteer Firemen’s Association of Cambria County and Vicinity.

This book was published in 2018 and can be viewed at the local library.



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