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Franklin Twp. fire company wants to buy new truck, outlines fundraisers

The Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company wants to buy a new firetruck, and is asking the community for its support.

With its 2021 fund drive underway, the fire company could use as much help as it can get, according to fire Chief Lynn Diehl.

“As we all know, between the pandemic and the economy, 2020 was a terrible year for everyone,” Diehl said. “Your fire company was no exception.”

Diehl said the fire company responded to nearly 200 calls last year, including dwelling and structure fires, motor vehicle crashes, vehicle fires, brush fires, trees and electric wires down, automatic smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, assisting EMS at scenes, gas odor investigations, provision of smoke detectors (and installation if needed), water rescues and an elevator rescue. It also provides mutual aid to nearby fire districts when needed.

He said the department’s volunteers put in many hours annually for emergency calls, equipment and facility maintenance, along with working at fundraising events, while training is always ongoing, conducted both locally and by outside groups. Franklin Township firefighters hold training each Monday evening for about three hours.

Diehl said the fire company could also use more members.

“We are always looking for volunteers for every part of the fire company,” Diehl said. “Almost every other nonprofit is in the same situation.”

Diehl said the fire company hopes to purchase a new firetruck.

“We are also currently in the planning stages of a new pumper-style firetruck at an estimated cost of $750,000 to $800,000,” he said. “That is a large payment, so we need to continue raising funds.”

Diehl said that most of the fundraising events the fire company typically would have held last year had to be canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“But our expenses have continued, and the fire company has steadily lost money during the past year to fund our continuing operations,” he said. “This has eaten into the funds needed to finance new or upgraded replacement equipment and facilities.

Events include dinners, pizza sale, block party and more.

Chris Lilly, president of the Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary, said more events will be announced in the future.

“The fire company and auxiliary, as always, are grateful to those who have supported their efforts in the past and look forward to their continued support,” said Lilly. “The firefighters, fire police and auxiliary members contribute their time and efforts on a volunteer basis.”

Lilly added that anyone who would like to be part of “these winning teams” should contact any member for an application and specify where they would like to apply for membership.

She said those who don’t know a member of any of these branches may contact her at 610-377-8573 and she will route the request to the proper branch.

In addition to sending a check in the enclosed envelope, anyone interested may donate online at the fire company’s new website, https://www.franklintownshipfireco.com, using the PayPal system.


The Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company and Auxiliary have started planning a full calendar of events for 2021:

• Bingo on Thursday evenings. Doors open at 5 p.m. and regular games start at 6 p.m., rip open tickets and special games. Due to the gigantic yard sale in August, there will be no bingo on Aug. 12 and Aug. 19.

• Takeout dinners: The first dinner will feature a choice of baked haddock or meatloaf, mashed potatoes or filling with gravy and comes complete with corn, applesauce, bread and butter. Wednesday is the order deadline for Friday’s drive-thru pickup. Anyone who would like to place an order should call Mary at 610-377-0755 or Pat at 570-778-9229. Be sure to leave a callback number if there is no answer.

• Mother’s Day dinner on May 7 will feature a choice of ham or baked haddock, macaroni and cheese or filling with gravy, green beans, pickled cabbage, bread and butter. Orders are to be placed by May 5. Other Friday night takeout dinners will be held on June 4, June 18, July 16 and Aug. 27. Menu items and sides will be announced at a later date.

• Outdoor flea market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 15. Participants must bring their own tables. Anyone wishing to rent a spot should contact Diane Highland at 610-377-2015, or Lilly 610-377-8573.

• The fire company will host a Life Line Health Screening on April 27. Screenings are being held for carotid artery/plaque, heart rhythm, abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral arterial disease and osteoporosis risk. This visit is fully booked, however, a second screening will take place on Aug. 25. A discount certificate is available on the fire company and auxiliary Facebook pages.

• A community blood drive with Miller-Keystone Blood Center will be held from 2-6 p.m. June 4. Anyone who would like to donate must schedule an appointment with MKBC at 1-800-223-6667, ext. 2, or visit GiveAPint.org and use sponsor code 2524. Appointments will be required.

• Car show and breakfast, June 6. Breakfast items will be available from 8 a.m. to noon. The kitchen will be open from noon to 2:30 p.m. for regular menu items. There will be a themed basket raffle, yard sale. Registration through Allen Goodhile, 570-657-0538.

• Pizza sale, July 9 and a block party from 4-11 p.m. July 30 and 31, with food stands, games and bingo, crafters, entertainment and gigantic chance auction. Friday night fish dinner from 4-7 p.m.

• Giant yard sale Aug. 20-22. It will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 20 and Aug. 21, while discount hours will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 22. Donate items from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 6, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug 7, and 6-8 p.m. Aug. 11 and Aug. 12. The fire company will not accept TVs, computers or exercise equipment, and is asking that donors respect the hours when donations will be accepted and are asked not to drop items at the fire company at any other time. Volunteers who unpack and display the items are scheduled to certain hours.

Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company has a membership fund drive underway. They are looking to buy a new pumper-style firetruck at an estimated cost of $750,000 to $800,000, and plan to host a two-day event July 30-31 that would be similar to its block party.