Organization Profile

Hockessin Fire Company

On September 6, 1936 in the small village of Hockessin, Delaware, the Hockessin Supply Company burned down, nearly taking the nearby property with it. Five men with strong visions of Hockessin having its own fire company met in Charles Gormleyys store and later adjourned to his house to further discuss the problem. The five men laid plans for the new fire company and generated interest from the community. The founders held their first official meeting on October 15, 1936 in the Lamborn Library. At that meeting temporary officers were elected; President Clarence Collins, Vice President Charles Gormley, Secretary Elmer Taylor, Treasurer Robert Kelton, Surgeon Dr. Jess Selinkoff, and Financial Secretary Clarence Highfield. Once other companies heard that Hockessin was forming a fire company, Cranston Heights Fire Company offered to loan one of their fire engines until Hockessin could purchase their own. A lot was purchased from the Hockessin Community Club on November 27, 1936 to build a firehouse. They bought the lot for $600.00. On December 29, 1936 the first permanent slate of officers to include the temporary officers were elected. Added were Fire Chief John Winners and 1st Assistant Chief Charles Gormley. On July 13, 1937 John Winners resigned as Fire Chief. Oliver Eastburn was then elected as the fire companyys second chief. In August of the same year, the company purchased its first fire engine from Kennett Square Fire Company. With the help of the companyys Ladies Auxiliary money was put towards a new fire engine on May 2, 1938. The new Autocar 750 gpm pumper didnyt arrive until 1941. This diesel fire engine was the first of its kind in the state. The year 1950 started a legacy that still exists today. The Hockessin Fire Company elected M. Fred Roser to succeed the 12-year reign of Oliver Eastburn. In 1952 the company purchased a Dodge Power Wagon brush truck, which was one of the first of its type in the state of Delaware. In 1957 the ambulance service was instituted along with the purchase of a fully equipped Cadillac ambulance. The 1960s brought the expansion of the new firehouse built in 1955. This expansion added administrative offices and the Hockessin Memorial Hall. In 1971 the fire companyys second brush truck arrived. The fire company put into service a 1971 GMC brush truck. While responding to a house fire in 1972, members had to rely on their intuition and training to save the house and their chief. As Chief M. Fred Roser made his way into the house, which was under construction; he fell through a hole in the floor. Chief Roser suffered a broken hip and cracked a vertebra. Members were able to extract Chief Roser out of the basement and contain the fire at the same time. A year later, David P. Roser took over his fatherys position as Fire Chief. This brought the end to a twenty-three year era as fire Chief. 1977 brought the arrival of a 1976 Autocar Heavy Rescue truck. This was the first of its kind in the state. 1989 was a big year for the fire company. Fire Chief Emeritus M. Fred Roser passed away. Hundreds attended the full firemanys funeral. Chief Emeritus Roser took his last ride on engine 19-2 to his final resting place. Not long after the passing of Chief Emeritus M. Fred Roser, Hockessin was hit by a tornado. Along with damaging many residents, the tornado destroyed Sanford Schoolys new gymnasium. The tornadoys debris path was so intense, that firefighters had to park on Lancaster Pike and walk to Sanford School. The 1990s started off with the housing of Tower 19. The hundred-foot ladder tower was put into service in May of 1990. In early 1993, the Number 5 Mill at NVF was hit by fire. Firefighters had to deal with extreme cold, snow and partial building collapses while fighting the fire. On February 6, 1996, the fire company responded to a motor vehicle crash involving a bus. Little did the responding members know, that this would be the most tragic day in the companies

Animals, Disaster & Emergency Services, Environment, Health & Wellness
Animals, Families, Immigrants, Refugees or Ethnic Groups, Low-income Communities, People with Disabilities, LGBT(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,Transgender)
Hockessin, DE, 19707