The Ross Township Fire Police is to operate and respond as one emergency unit, to enhance safety, communications, equipment and training of its officers for the protection of not only themselves but for firefighters and all other emergency personnel as well as all citizens at emergencies or details.
HIGHLIGHTS OF EARLY AND RECENT YEARS
1977 December… Superintendent Grabenstein of Ross Township Police Department requested Sgt. Richard Moran to explore the possibility of fire police in Ross Township to respond as one unit, an idea that had been discussed eight years earlier by the police department. Sgt. Moran met with Public Safety Chairman Arthur White to discuss this possibility and received approval to move forward. Sgt. Moran along with William F. Linkenheimer Jr. of BHFC, Robert Schellhaas of BHFC and Harold Sarver of QVFC continued discussions over several meetings with the chiefs and the presidents of all eight Ross Township fire companies. Their approval was given to proceed. This same group met several times with the Ross Township Commissioners to discuss and explain what fire police do in accordance with Pennsylvania law. The commissioners recognized the value of fire police responding as one unit and gave their full support to proceed with forming the emergency organization.
1978 January 28…First organizational meeting was held. Linkenheimer served as Acting Chairman and Sarver as Acting Secretary. Sgt. Moran had been assigned to be the Liaison Officer for Ross Police.
1978 January 28…Founding Members: W. Linkenheimer Jr. BHFC, H. Sarver QVFC, R Schellaas BHFC, G. Fazio EVFC, J. Brenckle BHFC, R. Moran RPD, R. Benna PVFC, D. Cooper BHFC, P. Kennedy LGVFC, M. Kruychak SVFC, B. Leonard EVFC, A. Astorino EVFC, H. Fisher QVFC, W. Hibbs QVFC, M. Lowrie FVFC, T. Delaney FVFC, W. Barnes BHFC, E. Baldauf EVFC, R. Schweitzer SVFC, F. Leiterman QVFC, T. Vitunic EVFC and C. Zoeller BHFC.
1978 April 25…Requested $100 from each fire company for financial aid.
1978 May 16…First meeting. Linkenheimer elected as President & Sarver elected as Secretary. Requested financial aid from Ross Township. First Board of Directors was established. Each Ross Township Fire Company shall have one director and only permitted one vote regardless how many members they may have.
1978 June 20…By-Laws drawn up.
1978 September 11…First Members Sworn In as Ross Township Fire Police
1978 September 26…By-Laws accepted.
1978 October 31…First Halloween Patrol.
1978 December 19…Linkenheimer elected President & Sarver elected Secretary/Treasurer for year 1979.
1979 September 18…Received $3,000 from Ross Township for financial assistance.
1980 January 15…CB License issued to Ross Township Police Department for fire police use. Fire police purchased 15 two-way CB portable radios with 15 more to follow.
1980 March 30…Linkenheimer elected President & Sarver elected Secretary/Treasurer.
1981 March 31…John Brenckle elected President & Harold Sarver Secretary/Treasurer
1983 January 18…Ross Fire Police shall serve under the direction of Ross Township Police Dept. and Ross Twp. Public Safety Committee.
1983 March 19…Sgt. Moran approved one red light per company for fire police.
1983 October 18…Fire police are to be dispatched over the Ross Fire Band.
1985 August 30…Discussion held with West View on Mutual Aid.
1987 February 4…Ross Police Chief Dwight Guthrie instructed fire police will not serve on any detail where alcoholic beverages are served or dispensed.
1987 October 10…Approval received Ross Township Commissioners to use the Ross Community Park building for meetings and the garage for storage of equipment.
1988 April 14…Entered in to agreement with Shaler Twp. for mutual aid.
1988 September 27…State Representative Dave Mayernik installed as First Honorary Member.
1988 November 15…Ross Police Officer R. Muchenski replaces Lt. R. Moran as Liaison Officer.
1990 November 16…Ross Township Commissioners approved the release of two 1985 Ford Crown Victoria’s for fire police use and placed into service 2/1/91.
1991 May 1…Joint meeting with 13 surrounding communities to discuss mutual aid. In attendance were the police chiefs from Ohio Township, Reserve Township and West View Borough. These communities eventually formed the Greater North Hills Fire Police Association on March 16, 1992. John Brenckle was the first president and held that position until his death in 2004.
1993 March 23…Fire police request parcel of land from Ross Township Commissioners for a possible building site.
1994 June 28…North Hills School Board approved availability of property for a Fire Police Building if needed.
1994 June 30…Letter sent to Ross Township Commissioners requesting property to erect a building adjacent to the Public Works Department on Cemetery Lane.
1994 September 7…Submitted bids to Ross Township Commissioners for the proposed three bay building.
1994 September 16…Fire Police Building approved by Ross Township Commissioners to be located at 235 Cemetery Lane adjacent to the Ross Township Works Department.
1994 September 19…Fire police officers began clearing site for building.
1994 November 14…Bids opened for construction of the Fire Police Building.
1994 November 29…Bid for the construction of a shell pole building awarded to A & W Builders, New Kensington, PA in the amount of $23,960.
1995 January 14…Ground broken for Fire Police Building on Cemetery Lane.
1995 January 17…Building extended by 8 feet. Size to be 40 feet X 56 feet. Phase one was completed on February 21. 1995.
1995 May 15…Dedication of the Ross Township Fire Police building .
2001…Construction of a fourth work bay completed.
2004 SEPTEMBER 23…IN LINE OF DUTY DEATH OF CAPTAIN JOHN A. BRENCKLE CAUSED BY DIRECTING TRAFFIC IN THE FLOODWATERS OF HURRICANE IVAN ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2004.
2004 September 23…Vice President William F. Linkenheimer Jr. immediately assumes the position of President. At the October 2004 Company Meeting appoints John Brown Sr. to the position as Vice President.
2005 May 5…Ross Fire Police Building was re-named the John A Brenckle Memorial Hall in Honor of His Ultimate Sacrifice and Service to the fire police.
2009 October 3, 4 & 5…Finally, after receiving denial after denial, and never giving up the fight, Amy Warrick, daughter of Captain Brenckle, received notice from the Department of Justice notifying her of their decision to recognize the In Line of Duty Death of her Father Captain John A. Brenckle. His name was placed on the National Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial in Emmitsburgh, Maryland on Sunday, October 5th. Fire Police Officers in attendance were Paul Warrick, Greg Szmyd, Carl Lundberg and William Linkenheimer Jr., who was given the honor to serve as Amy’s Escort throughout the weekend.
2010…Current Administrative Officers are William Linkenheimer Jr., President, John Brown Sr., Vice President, Lorenz Stocker, Treasurer and Janice Belke, Secretary