1948,  Post War America, Greene Township a small rural farm community, was struggling to become better.  In an effort to progress forward, a group known as the “East Greene Community Organization” consisting of husbands and wives, who had been meeting for several years decided to start a Fire Company.  Prior to the Kuhl Hose Company if there was a fire or other emergency in Greene Township, companies from Belle Valley, Wattsburg, Stancliff (Waterford,) or North East were summoned to help.  By the time those Fire Companies arrived there was not much to save due to their distance and no prompt way
to notify them.

This group of 11 men at a meeting October 31, 1948, signed the paperwork for a charter and sent it along with $35 of their own money to Harrisburg.  The dedication of the men from the first meeting continues today in the organization that they built, Kuhl Hose Company.

Those Members who signed the Charter were:
Michael Samokar Jr
James Maloney
Willard Gibbons
John Suscheck
Father Francis J Schlindwien
Howard Francis
George Jud
Bernard Krasneski
Walter Moritz
Earl Francis
John Dietrick
Jim Hodapp

The Community Organization Group’s president was Mike Samokar, and he continued as the new Fire Company’s President.  In past years the group didn’t meet during the winter months due to poor condition of the township roads.  This didn’t stop the new members of Kuhl Hose to work hard the next several months.    In addition to the Charter, discussed at the first meeting also included a possible raffle at St Peter’s hall, and to make sure the word about the Hose Company gets out to township residents on election day.

 Discussion was also held about Jim Hodapp & Willard Gibbons collecting donations such as chickens door to door for the raffle.
The initial donations collected door to door in the first few weeks included $160.50 from 40 township residents.  Also donated were 54
Chickens, 3 Ducks, 1 Rabbit, 2 Squash, 1 basket of Carrots, 1 pig, and a $5 discount on 2 pigs.  Some of these donations were made by the same members of the hose company, who also collected the produce and livestock and were also more than likely some of the same that bought the chances at the fund raising events.

During the second meeting the members were notified that the hall rental at St Peters Church was approved for the 1st fund raising raffle for Saturday November 6th.  Notifications would be posted at Elections and by going door to door by the soon to be firemen.   Now with less than a week, there was a lot of work to put the raffle together.  Discussion continued about a New Years dance, and it was decided to sell all but 20 chickens, 10 to raffle off, and 10 to hold for future raffles/fundraising.

At the 3rd Meeting the amount of $460.75 is listed in the treasury, with a bill of $3.75 for Chicken feed noted.  A tour to Mill Village, Wattsburg, & the City of Erie to review fire engines was taken and the firemen from Girard came to discuss firefighting equipment and conduct training.

Over the next several meetings members discussed and actions were taken on a possible surplus truck, a building, and both new senior and junior members.  Crown Bottling donated soda for the next fundraiser and a quote for a new truck was received for $8,379.40.

Mrs. Earl (Mary) Francis was the secretary of the Community organization and at the time the hose company was made up of only men, James Maloney took over as Secretary.  Mary continued in her community dedication and went on to help establish the Women’s Auxiliary with the help of most of the other firemen’s wives.

John Suscheck was elected Fire Chief for 1949.  December 3rd, 1948 minutes show that the treasury had a balance of $582.19.  The 1st Dance netted $120.60 with the remainer of the money being from dues, donations, and other raffles.

At the end of 1948, the members of Kuhl Hose were still waiting for their charter, discussion about land for the firehouse possibly next to St Peters Church, and a fire truck from Erie, Wattsburg and even Fredonia NY continued.  Records show 20 active members, 8 junior members, and several social members to begin the New Year.


In 1949, KDKA TV in Pittsburgh became the 1st on air local TV station.  President Truman was sworn in for his 1st full term in office, the inauguration was the 1st ever televised nationally.  The threat of a growing communist community, and with the threat of a conflict in Korea and the Cold War looming, America again was facing challenges.  The Fire Company also faced challenges as it worked to get on its feet and begin providing valuable services to Greene Townships residents.  Fire Chief Hodapp and newly elected President Earl Francis lead the new organization in it’s infancy during the 1st year.  Arthur Will was contacted about purchase of land next to St Peters Church on Kuhl Rd.  The Charter was reported on file in Harrisburg and the members were hopeful they would receive it soon.  A Bazaar was planned for the summer ahead.  For immediate funds, dances were held each week, and there were sales of
Fire Extinguishers door to door as well.  With these funds a 1928 Graham Fire Truck was purchased from Wesleyville Hose Company for $200.  Plans were made to equip the truck, and letters were to be delivered to all township residents along with information about the extinguisher sale.  By-laws were written, plans were made to hold meetings weekly on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m.

Early on in the year, extinguisher sales were closing in on 500 and the ladies auxiliary was still forming themselves into an official group. In March, Kuhl Hose applied to the Erie County Volunteer Fireman’s Association for membership, and as the new hose company was not quite ready to handle emergency calls notice was sent to Belle Valley to go ahead with their fund drive in Greene Township.  Work continued on equipment for the truck and there still was no official charter.  A second fire truck was in the works as well.

April came with some good news; land was donated by Mr. Will for the #1 firehouse.  Prices were being gathered for the 2nd truck, tanks, hoses, and equipment.  The plans for a new building were coming together fast as the equipment so far has been kept in Mr. Holdup’s barn and meetings were held at St Peters Church Hall.

The $200 Graham truck wasn’t as biggest success as first thought it would be.  Minutes report that by the time the large hose was full of water, the 100 gallon tank was empty.  The first call for Kuhl Hose was in April with discouraging results due to the cold weather and the lack of equipment and water.  The firemen also had to push the fire engine through the mud on Knoyle road to get to a fire only to be told when they arrived there was no need for the fire department any longer.  A 1939 seven ton cab over engine Dodge truck was purchased the end of April.  The deal included 2 new tires, with an easy payment plan by the seller.

May was another discouraging month.  With little money and lots of hard work the new truck was being equipped with by the members with parts fabricated in their own farm workshops.  The Charter still had not arrived and the attorney had not done anything on the land deed transfer.  The Postmaster informed Kuhl Hose that they were not able to send raffle tickets in the mail, so another door to door delivery would be needed.  The month had little progress and the members were showing there disappointment and frustration.

July 24th the charter was presented to the members, and it was decided that an assistant fire chief be elected.  Harry Paschak won the election.  The profit for the fire extinguisher sale was $1,382.70.  The deed was transferred on July 20th with quotes from minutes “THE LAND IS OURS!”  

The Bazaar was completed with another $1,647.24, with $400 being profit.  With the income new equipment was purchased.  Dances still brought in a profit each week and at the beginning of October the balance on hand was $372.01.  Mr. Forsberg offered the use of his barn on Wattsburg Road to store the large truck until the building could be built and a motion was passed.  Discussion also started about double protection with the opening of a 2nd fire station in West Greene.

December meetings were set for Sundays so the members could put up and work on the temporary building on Kuhl Rd.  Cardboard was used to line the walls for insulation, with asbestos board near the stove and chimney since it would look bad if the firehouse burned down.  So in a little over a year, the Kuhl Hose Company has its charter, two fire trucks both well equipped.
  The company owned a piece of property and a building was in the works with a total cost of $400 to build.  To be notifed of calls, John Suscheck and Jim Hodapp were received phone calls at their homes and then their families contacted other firemen to alert them of the emergency.  This alone was a project to undertake as most of the firemen didn’t have phones.

The Fifties

Early in 1951 laid the plans for a 2nd station in West Greene.  But before the fire station was built or even a location chosen, the trucks were to be housed on Barton Rd in Geroge Palmers potato cellar and later in Nick Runsers barn.  Several new members from the West Greene  area were applying and a land search in that area was underway.  Meetings began to rotate from St Peters Church in Kuhl and the West Greene Grange Hall, Hoffman’s Restaurant and Majerik’s Store.  A 1949 Model F6 Ford fire
truck was purchased and a log book was started to keep track of all incoming calls.

The 1st real fund drive was made in 1952, with pledge cards, calendars and call cards being distributed.  1952 was also the year the Graham fire engine was sold; the first aid equipment and litters were purchased for the fire houses and fire trucks.  The Bazaar attracted township residents for a good time of food, fellowship and fun and not intended to be a way for the firemen to
demonstrate their skills.  In 1954 the Bazaar was moved to the parking lot across from the St Boniface Church on Wattsburg Rd. Small disasters started, problems with water having to be carried in milk cans from the church, lots of rain and then the show stopper a FIRE!  The food tent caught fire.  The firemen had to try and save the tent before all the profits were lost.  The September meeting was canceled due to a Barn Fire at the Valimont farm.

In 1955, an International fire truck with a John Bean high pressure pump was purchased.  Fund drive was steadily increasing with $2,345 to put toward the new truck with the remainder borrowed from the 1st National Bank.  The truck was picked up in Lansing, MI by Vern Vogt, Harley Brumagin, Emil Sell and Harry Puschak.

Also that year the township purchased a resuscitator.  Notes report that they were able to choose which model they wanted to purchase and wish they hadn’t done that.  The resuscitator was so heavy that by the time the first aiders carried it to the patient they them selves needed to be resuscitated.

1956 the first FCC license was issued to Kuhl Hose for two-way radios.  Initially they consisted of two mobile units and a base station portable power speaker. They also bought a siren control and a monitor tripping device which was used to blow the whistle at the fire house.

In 1958 the Jane Jordan answering service was used for Emergency Calls and the Rescue Truck was on standby at the Eriez Speedway on Sunday evenings during the summer.

1959 brings yet another new piece of apparatus, an FWD fire engine.  The FWD had to be picked up in Clintonville, Wisconsin.  Roy Smith, Wilbur Runser, and Tom Allgeier were sent to pick it up and were given $125 expense money for the trip.  The FWD was returned home along with $65 change from the expense money.

August 21, 1959 Hawaii was admitted to the union as the 50th State.  So early in 1960 Kuhl Hose received it’s first 50 star flag.  The flag was flown over the capital building and was secured through the efforts of Paul Valimont.

July 3, 1962 Summit Fire Control went online with Mrs. Salada being the sole dispatcher.  Each active member received a home monitor to alert them of calls.  The 1st call for help over the radio was at 20:15, of course an Ambulance call.  In the early days, firemen from Kuhl Hose and other departments who were dispatched by Summit Control, took turns manning the base on Mrs. Salada’s days off.    Mrs. Salada who operated Summit Control was referred to as Mother by all of the firemen she dispatched, and they were her “Boys.”  She was on 24 hours a day, 6 days a week.  She was moved to her new home on Townhall rd in 1973 from
her home on Perry hiway.  On most any bad winter day when the “boys” would respond she could be heard giving some advice “Now take it easy boys, it’s bad out there.”

A donation of a new inhalator was donated by the West Greene Grange to be maintained at the #2 firehouse.  1963 a Cadillac ambulance was purchased for $959.29.  The township also gave permission for the use of the township garage on Old Wattsburg Rd as the Temporary #3 firehouse until one could be built.

1966 – Another new ambulance was purchased, as well as a new tank truck went in service.  A new flag was received; it was also flown over the capital after our original was stolen.

1967 another new ambulances was purchased.  Also the same year that #2 firehouse was torn down and the current building was put up.

1968 – April 12th 6 grass fires, and 7 more on April 13th, with 25 additional grass fires in April.  Land was also purchased from Mr. Kaschak for #3 fire house.


1971 October 1971 the building plans for Station #3  were finally approved.  End of year report shows General fund $7,973.07  and a savings of $30,357.61

1972 – July 5, meeting minutes show Tom Allgeier stated “Lets all go home and say some prayers so that it stops raining for our upcoming bazaar.”  Official possession of the new #3 was taken October 1, 1972.  Apparatus took residence on the 3rd of October at 10 pm.

1974 – 25th year of KUHL HOSE

               56 active members – 6 being juniors
               $7,400 Bazaar income
               3rd ambulance purchased
               Advanced First Aid Required for members to go on ambulance calls
               Lions Club purchased and installed the emergency light on Wattsburg Rd
               3 fire stations and 7 pieces of apparatus – 3 ambulances – 3 pumpers – 1 tank truck

1976 - Ford Horton Ambulance Purchased
1978 - Ford Van Ambulance Purchased


1980 - Ford Engine - Ford / FMC
1982 - New 4 guys Tanker #7 - 685
1985 - New modular ambulance Squad 4 - 687

New Engine 1992 Pierce - 682
New numbering system adopted - 1992
1994 2 new Horton ambulances – replaced # 4, #6, & #8 ambulance's

The 21st Century
In 1999, a new Pierce Fire Engine was ordered.  A 2000 Pierce Pumper arrived in early spring 2000.  The pumper replaced 2 other fire engines, a 1980 Ford, and a 1978 FMC.  This brought the fleet of apparatus to 2 engines, 2 tankers, and 2 ambulances.
In 2004 a new Pierce tanker was purchased and replaced a 1976 tanker.  The tanker was an old milk cartage tank that was on its second chassis that served Kuhl Hose as a water tanker.  The new tanker brought advancements to rural water movement in Greene Township and surrounding communities.

2008 – New Horton ambulance 687 replaced 1994 Ford Horton
2008 – New Pierce Tanker 685 replaced  the 1982 4 guys

2009 - After various dispatch centers through the years from Summit Fire Control to Emergycare, dispatching services were taken over by the new Erie County department of public safety. In order to fully comply with the county numbering system the firehouse designations were changed. Station 3 became Station 68, Station 1 was renamed Station 69 and Station 2 was simply called the Kuhl Hose or Barton Rd Station.

2009 the 60th year 60 years of service to the community.  Our small rural community has progressed a long way but yet stayed very much the small community it was 60 years ago.

Retired Apparatus

Station History

Past Chiefs

Summit Control