West Easton Volunteer Fire Company evolves to stay afloat

Written by on April 6, 2022

West Easton Volunteer Fire Company evolves to stay afloat

By Hayden Mitman
April 6, 2022

The West Easton Fire Company is the former Safety First Fire Company. (Photo | WLVR)

WEST EASTON, Pa. – A small Lehigh Valley borough is struggling to keep volunteer firefighters so the Safety First Volunteer Fire Company in West Easton is rebranding in hopes of being able to better serve its community. 

It’s now the newly formed West Easton Volunteer Fire Company No. 1. 

Listen to the story.

Volunteer firefighters have been serving this small community of fewer than 1,300 residents for more than a century. 

William Bogari, Jr. is the fire chief and has volunteered for more than 40 years. 

“People either don’t have the desire or the time to volunteer in their community,” he said. 

Bogari said his team had 24 firefighters in the 90s. Now they have just eight.  

In recent years, the company also cut ties with an associated social club to ensure all funding went to the firefighting team. 

“We recognized we had to do something pretty bold to provide fire protection to the borough of West Easton,” he said. 

He said he knows there will still be challenges getting volunteers since time commitment is much higher than in decades past and training is much more rigorous. 

He said the move will allow them to partner with other firefighting groups to protect residents.

“It’s all about the folks. The citizens expect a service. That’s why we took the bold moves that we did,” Bogari said.

Across the commonwealth volunteer firefighter companies have lost thousands of volunteers in recent years. 

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