Engine 5-14-1 was a 1948 Ward-LaFrance.
The story of the short lived White Rock Fire Company
In 1970 the Lancaster County planning commission prepared a document entitled the Community Facilities Study Plan.
Section 1 of the document was entitled Fire Protection and it identified a deficiency in fire protection service for several areas of southern Lancaster County.
At that time, the plan recommended the establishment of two new fire stations in the southern portion of the county, based upon insurance industry standards which stated that structures should be protected by fire stations located within a 4 mile
A later comprehensive plan conducted in 1975 again recommended that a fire station be constructed in the village of Kirkwood, since it was centrally located within the deficient area, and provided for easy road access to other areas that were currently under protected.
However, existing fire companies in southern Lancaster County were of the opinion that coverage for the deficient areas was adequate, and that residents of the area in question were not interested in supporting an additional fire company.
In January of 1977 a newspaper press release and questionnaire was published on the front pages of the Quarryville/Christiana Sun Ledger and the Chester County Press in an attempt to gain feedback from local residents about the adequacy of their fire protection.
Although only a couple of dozen residents from the areas in question responded, most considered their fire protection to be inadequate. Specifically, most residents from Little Britain Township and half of the respondents from Colerain Township indicated that they did not believe they were being provided with adequate fire protection.
The area included approximately 700 homes, about 2600 residents, and at least a dozen structures of historical significance, including the White Rock Covered Bridge; at the time a special study was commissioned on the status of fire protection in southern Lancaster County during 1978.
The 1978 study recommended that existing fire companies work cooperatively to station two fire engines in the area with suggested locations in Kirkwood and Tayloria/Oak Hills. This study did not recommend the formation of a new fire company because it appeared that the area in question lacked significant population and development to support such a new company.
Two substations were suggested to protect the area since the Historict White Rock Bridge provided a significant obstruction that would not allow large trucks to cross the west branch of Octoraro Creek. Therefore, the establishment of a new fire company or a substation from an existing company on either side of the creek would still leave a significant number of homeowners without adequate fire protection by insurance industry standards.
One of the reports concluding statements indicated that "nothing could be done to improve the fire protection in southern Lancaster County without the understanding and support of its citizens” How true this statement would prove to be.
Attempts to establish substations in the region provided futile, and in the late 1970's the White Rock Fire Company was chartered. From the onset, White Rock never had full support of the community. Multiple attempts to gain significant funding from Little Britain Township were rebuffed, but White rock managed to purchase two old Ward-LaFrances (Engines 514-1 and 514-2) that were stored in and next to the large garage of Dwight "skip" McCardel, a former milk hauler from Little Britain Township.
In 1981 a fire engulfed the garage and ruined both engines. The fire was ruled as arson but no one was ever convicted of the torching. An insurance settlement allowed White rock to purchase a Mack from a Dauphin County fire company, and another piece of apparatus was loaned to White Rock from a private individual.
Both of these pieces were housed within the firehouse of the Bart Fire company, a neighboring station that had offered temporary space to White Rock after the fire. However, politics and misfortune insured that necessary community funding would not be forthcoming, and white rock membership ultimately decided to disband the fire company in 1982.
White Rock's Mack was given to the Bart Fire Company and ultimately sold to Mexico City. The borrowed engine was returned to it's owner, and the balk of remaining funds were turned over to theLancaster County Firemen's Association and used to establish a trust fund. A small donation was also made to the Lancaster Forest Fire Crew, closing the books on the short-lived White Rock Fire Company.
Apparatus info from:
Bruce W. Anderson
Fire Apparatus Historian & Photographer
SE PA Region
STATION 5-14 WHITE ROCKS (COLRAIN TOWNSHIP)
ORG. – 1980 – Disbanded in 1982
1948 Ward LaFrance, semi-cab, 1000 GPM, cost $14,790. It went into service on 11/30/48. It was donated to White Rocks by a member who purchased it used from the Lancaster City Fire Department (Lancaster County) where it ran as Engine #1 in 1978 to become their 1st piece. It was destroyed when station burned down in arson fire on 10/27/81.
1951 Ward LaFrance, semi-cab, 1000 GPM, cost $16,027. It went into service on 11/23/51, model 120T, serial no. 2634, It was purchased used from Lancaster City Fire Department (Lancaster County) where it ran as Engine #3 in 1978 to become their 2nd piece. It was destroyed when station burned down in arson fire 10/27/81.
Ford chassis, was to make tanker out of, parked outside of garage, saved from the fire.
1964 Mack C-95, canopy cab, 750/750. Was purchased used after the two Ward’s were lost, fire company never received their charter from the state, sold to Bart Township (Lancaster County). It was sold in 1985 to a company in Albuquerque, New Mexico.