History of Six County Firemen’s Association
During the winter of 1903-1904, the Hazleton Firemen’s Relief Association sent letters to all fire companies in Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Schuylkill Counties. The purpose was to unite firefighters into one organization in order to have a larger say in the State Firemen’s Association of Pennsylvania, to wrestle control of the Association from “Big City” Fire Department. The first meeting took place June 2,3,4, 1904 at the Diamond Fire Company in Hazleton. At these meetings it was decided to form the Four County Firemen’s Association. The first officers included.
President: John Spohr, Hazleton
1st Vice President: William Perry, Hazleton
2nd Vice President: George Sterner, Bloomsburg
3rd Vice President: John Keil, Ashland
4th Vice President: Victor Burschel, Dunmore
Secretary: B.E. Youngman, Hazleton
Treasurer: M.J. Murphy, Mahanoy City
In 1906 it was decided to ass Montour and Northumberland Counties to the fold thus changing the name to Six County Firemen’s Association.
At the 23rd Six County Convention in Shamokin, a motion was made to allow the wives of the Assoication’s members form a Ladies Auxiliary.
First officers were:
President: Mrs. Victor Burschel, Dunmore
Secretary: Mrs. Lewis Broadtail, Hazleton
Treasurer: Mrs. R.D. Zimmermand, Shamokin
Chaplain: Mes. C.M. Nicholas, Pottsville
Over the years, the Six County Firemen’s Association has implemented programs to help reward and promote the good work of the Fire Service. The Association awards Valor and Courage awards to firefighters within the Six counties. Also the association Sponsors the Sawchak Memorial Fire Prevention Award. The award is named for past President Walter Sawchak of Olphant, is presented to individuals and organizations in the field of Fire Prevention.
In 2010 at the McAdoo/Hazleton Convention the association voted to accept junior Firefighters into the association.
In 2011 at the Danville convention the association voted to add a Scholarship to provide funds for our younger members. The Mark Coons’ Scholarship is named after Past President Mark Coons of Jermyn, Lackawanna County.