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Cheswold Vol. Fire Co.
371 Main St.
P.O. Box 186
Cheswold, DE 19936

Phone: 302-736-1516
Fax: 302-736-6237

Company History
On May 18, 1963 Fire Chief Jim Roy explained the new dispatch system to the company at a special meeting. All calls on the Cheswold emergency number would be answered by Dover. They would activate the siren. The first member to respond to the station would call Dover on the radio to take the call.

At the regular company meeting on December 20, 1963 it was approved to purchase a new fire engine. A new 1964 Ford chassis with a 534 cubic inch V-8 motor was purchased from Bolan Motors of Dover for $7,100. The American LaFrance Company installed their fire equipment package on the chassis for $27,400 making the total cost for this engine $34,500. The package installed included a 1000-gallon water tank, a 750-gallon per minute pump, booster reel, and a canopy cab. The engine was delivered by railcar in Dover in June of 1964. The International Latex Company (now Dow-Reichhold) donated a large deluge nozzle for the new engine (the first for Cheswold). This was Cheswold’s first modern fire engine and has been the template for each engine we have purchased since. It was number 43-2.

On February 10, 1964 it was approved to purchase the Learnard property on the east side of the firehouse for $10,000. A one-car garage on that property was used to house one of the ambulances. The house on that property was sold in July of 1965 for $250 and moved by the new owner.

The Cheswold, Leipsic, and Camden-Wyoming fire companies hosted the Delaware Volunteer Fireman’s Association annual convention in 1967.

On January 15, 1968 at a special meeting, it was approved to purchase a new 1968 ambulance. A Cadillac ambulance was purchased from the Ritter Miller-Meteor Company for $14,235. Instead of trading in the 1958 Cadillac ambulance, it was decided to keep it for a backup, since ambulance service was being provided for Dover Downs racetrack on a regular basis. The new ambulance was put into service on May 7, 1968.

At a special meeting held on March 25, 1968 it was approved to build a new two-car garage to house both of the ambulances at a cost of $1,200. This new garage was built next to the old existing garage, which was torn down.

On November 10, 1969 it was approved to purchase a new American LaFrance fire engine for $51,874.64. It was ordered with a 671 Detroit Diesel 238 inline, 5-speed transmission with 5th over, 1000-gallon water tank, 1500 gallons per minute pump, and a canopy cab. The new engine was delivered in March of 1971 by railcar to Dover. It was one of the first diesel fire engines in the state and would be known as 43-1. It was also Cheswold’s first white fire truck.

At the first regular monthly meeting held during the 1970’s, two major purchases were approved. On January 12, 1970 it was approved to buy a new 1970 Superior Cadillac ambulance from George Bryson of Smyrna for a cost of $14,600. The 1958 Cadillac ambulance which served the company for twelve years, was sold for $131. The second major purchase approved was a 1953 Reo rescue truck. This truck was purchased from the Seaford Volunteer Fire Company for $1,850.

On April 13, 1970 it was approved to sell the farm property purchased in September of 1962 to the Dover Associates, Inc. for $80,000. Four acres of the 37-acre parcel were retained by the Cheswold Volunteer Fire Company for future use.

During the regular monthly meeting in September of 1970 it was approved to build an addition to the east side of the existing firehouse. Saxton Lambertson was contracted to build this addition for a cost of $104,331. The garage used to house the ambulances was move across the street from the firehouse to make room for the new addition. The new addition was completed in January of 1971.

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