Empire Hook and Ladder Company: Carlisle, PA 1859-2006

empire hook and ladder company by randy watts.jpg
empire hook and ladder company by randy watts.jpg

Empire Hook and Ladder Company: Carlisle, PA 1859-2006

35.00

“The Empire Hook and Ladder Company was, in many ways, Carlisle’s most humble fire company, and was, as a result, largely unsung. While the Union was arrogant and snobbish, the Cumberland “Rough and Ready,” the Good Will progressive and aggressive in it’s youth, and the Friendship brash and hard-drinking for many of its years members were reverends, tie-wearing business leaders and others who were content to support a fire attack rather than lead it. While there is nothing wrong with that, the company never really developed any noted firemen or stories that were passed down from generation to generation, nor any strong culture. They tended instead to honor those who had been members for long periods of time.

The Empire’s story is largely one of slow progression-ladder trucks for many years lasted for three decades-so it was for them to make quick or frequent changes in their apparatus. The company also seemed to eschew frequent fundraising, preferring instead to have events only as they needed to. Because they weren’t as visible to the community as other of the companies were, they were not as well supported by the public.

Carlisle has had thousands of working fires and dozens of extra-alarm major fires in the 230 years since its first fire company formed. While it is not possible to chronicle all of them herein a number of such fires are included, especially where the Empire is mentioned. The fires help the reader understand the fire department over the years, and the reader can make their own judgement of it’s prowess.”

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