Springfield Fire Company

The History of the Springfield Township Fire Company

Springfield Township was founded in 1688. During the first 250 years of the township’s existence, there was no formal fire service. That’s not to say there was no fire protection. In fact, there are many documented stories of wagon loads of men and water filled milk cans responding when called to save their neighbors’ lives and property. As the 20th century progressed, residents realized that a more modern and efficient fire service was needed to keep pace with the growing community. An organized Fire Company was the best solution to meet that need.

In response, the community’s first volunteer fire company was established in Jobstown, near the center of the township. On February 23, 1942, The Springfield Township Fire Company was officially incorporated by Mr. Ernest Cook, Mr. William McElven, Mr. Charles Wells, Mr. Remer Shivers, Mr. Thomas Horner, and Mr. Clarence Kauffman. They were led by fellow incorporator and first Fire Chief Earl Akins, Sr. With determination, some makeshift equipment, and an enthusiastic community behind them, the newly formed fire company responded to their first call a few days later; a grass fire at Tilghman’s Farm, beginning a tradition of excellence and community service that continues to this day.

Growth was slow early on for our fire company. The limited financial resources of our mostly agricultural township meant that municipal services had to do their best with what was available. Our first home was the old unused Jobstown School Building. Our first fire truck, a donated Ford flatbed loaded with water cans. For many years after, the company made due with used, war surplus, and hand fabricated equipment and facilities. Then in 1954, through the the proceeds from the annual Harvest Oyster Dinners and the generosity of the community, a new GMC/Ward LaFrance pumper was purchased. A true workhorse, it remained in front line service until 1994 and continues to serve in retirement as a parade vehicle. In 1963, a purpose built fire station was erected finally providing a suitable home for our personnel and equipment. It remains our home to this day.

For over 80 years, the members of The Springfield Township Fire Company have faithfully served and protected the citizens of our community. Company members are as dedicated today as our founders were in 1942 to live up to our mission statement “to provide our residents with the best possible first response service in Burlington County.”