If you look at the members of Pond Hill-Lily Lake Fire Company you may see a group of individuals that are just trying to get by, however, this is far from the truth. An aging fire station, a list of needed supplies that can’t even fit on a single piece of paper, and one of the smallest groups of members in the area; the challenges for PHLL’s firefighters seem endless. However, when you ask one of them how life at the station is going you get a different attitude, a mindset that you do not see much of anymore. You get a response that makes you feel like their station is brand new and their numbers are endless. No member seems to complain about the old equipment, but instead they look forward to the new gear their next grant will get them. Their members are happy to work for what they have and seem willing to work past all the issues.
Why is this? This is caused by a sense of brotherhood in the firefighter life. Most of these members could easily blame the economy or funding, but instead they mention how dropping out would hurt the members who stay around. Their trucks are all ready to go aid someone in their time of need and their spirits are high. And even with most of them working over 40 hour weeks to support their families, they will still be there when some of the worst situations imaginable happen.
Hopes remain high as members of PHLL explain how the past two state level grants have been used to nearly triple their ability to fight a fire and how future grants are already preplanned to modernize all of their fire trucks. With the additional gaming grant funding out there, the members are very hopeful they can work with their township to replace the aging station.
Membership is always a necessity and this group of a few remaining fire fighters is always willing to accept new members into the firefighter life. In 1977, there were 300,000 volunteer firefighters in PA. Today, the number is closer to 50,000. The day may come when someone dials 911 and no one shows up, but Pond Hill’s firefighters are aiming to prevent that situation for their community.