The history of career fire protection in Chambersburg dates back to the late 1800’s. As far back as anyone can remember, there has always been someone paid. It wasn’t until January 18, 1960 that the paid apparatus drivers in Chambersburg formed what was then known as the Chambersburg Paid Fire Apparatus Drivers Association.
In June of that same year, a motion was made by a member of the fledgling association to contact someone from the International Association of Firefighters. The purpose of this inquiry was to determine the cost to the association to join the IAFF and what benefits the IAFF could provide. In October of 1960, after much deliberation, the association decided not to join the IAFF at that time.
At that same meeting, a letter was drafted by the association and sent to the Borough requesting that the Borough recognize the association as the collective bargaining unit for the apparatus drivers. This represented yet another hurdle in getting us where we are today.
Between 1966 and 1968, the members of the local continued to inquire about joining the IAFF. Several meetings were held with IAFF staff members. It was through these meetings that the IAFF advised the association to change their name. On May 15, 1968, the association formally applied for status as the Uniformed Firemen’s Association of Chambersburg, PA.
Finally, on December 2, 1968, the association received its charter from the IAFF and the name changed yet again to The Uniformed Firemen’s Association of Chambersburg, PA IAFF Local 1813. With this came negotiations for the first contract.
The first contract was ratified on December 18, 1969. It is with this contract that the 18 members of the local received their first full set of turn out gear. Prior to this, the members were forced to wear whatever gear was assigned to their open cab piece of apparatus regardless of size or condition. This contract also brought about an improvement to the pension plan. According to this contract, the base pay for a probationary fireman in 1970 was $5,800.00 annually.
In 1971, the local opted to join the Pennsylvania State Fire Fighters Association, which later became known as the Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association. Currently, the IAFF Local 1813 also belongs to the Central Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association.
Over the last fifty five years, great strides have been taken by the local on behalf of its members. This included a trip to arbitration that proved successful. The local was able to have the residency requirement lifted thus allowing American Citizens to live where they want no matter who they work for.
Currently, the local has 26 members who serve on numerous committees to keep the local running. Our members work 24 hours on and 72 hours off (24/72). The members are assigned six to a shift. Each member of the local is assigned to a piece of apparatus. The two junior members are assigned to the ambulance which runs over 4,500 calls per year. One member is assigned to an engine at Headquarters Fire Station. One member is assigned to the tower at Headquarters Fire Station. One member is assigned to the McKinley Street Fire Station driving an engine. Another member is assigned as Shift Captain.
Members recently settled a new contract for 2022-2025. Through this contract the local members have made many changes to our memberships health and well being. The officers and members of our local continue to strive for the best of our members and the community we protect.
Page Last Updated: Jan 13, 2023 (10:48:26)