Tomorrow afternoon, the Summit Hill Fire Department hosts one of its most major events in its modern history.
It will dedicate a new station and a new pumper.
The program begins with an apparatus parade at 3 p.m. followed immediately by the dedication program. Among the key speakers will be State Rep. Keith McCall and U.S. Congressman Paul Kanjorski.
The master of ceremonies will be former Summit Hill Fire Chief George Davis, who served the community from 1966 to 1980.
After the dedication, there will be music by the classic rock band Shades of Gray as well as local organizations operating various food stands.
"We're pretty excited," said Fire Company President Larry Black as he watched a large group of members scrubbing all the fire department's apparatus, cleaning the floors of the new fire station, and tidying up storage areas.
"This is a big day for us," he said. "Usually it's only once in a lifetime that a fire department can dedicate a new building. Ours is brand new and we're proud of it."
Fire Chief Shawn Hoben said former fire chiefs have been invited to participate in the event.
He added, "We urge all non-active and past active members to join us. This is open to the whole membership and the town."
Invitations were sent to scores of other fire companies to take part in the apparatus parade. Judging will occur from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the cemeteries in the east part of the community. Participating in the parade will be firetrucks, rescue vehicles, ambulances, police cruisers, and other emergency apparatus.
The route for the parade is as follows:
* Start at the cemeteries.
* Proceed west on Ludlow Street.
* Turn from Ludlow to White Street.
* Travel on Elm Street to Hazard Street.
* Take Market Street back to the fire station.
The awards for the parade judging will be held at the conclusion of the dedication ceremony.
The pumper, a 2008 KME Predator which was purchased last year, will be dedicated to the memory of John "Jackie" Stoudt, who died on Christmas Eve in 2004 while responding to a fire alarm.
The fire station being dedicated was originally supposed to be completed in Dec. 2008. It was part of a $3.5 million construction project that included demolition of the old fire house and the construction of a new borough hall and police station.
The old fire station was rapidly deteriorating, with support beams rusting, the roof leaking, and walls developing major cracks. Also, it was too small to adequately house the inventory of equipment the fire station has.
For over two years, the fire department had no home, storing its apparatus in the borough hall and it's other equipment, trophies, and necessities in a Pod, in the American Legion Post, at Evans Fuel Oil garage, and even in some private homes.
"We're glad we have a home again," Black said.
The new spacious, five-bay station adequately serves the needs of the 50-member fire company, said Hoben.
McCall was selected to speak not only because he is a Summit Hill resident, a long-time fire company member, and the Speaker of the Pa. House of Representatives, but because he obtained a large portion of the financing for the construction project.