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Chester County Press

Oxford Union Fire Company No. 1 delays 150th anniversary celebration due to COVID-19

08/16/2021 05:26PM ● By Steven Hoffman

For three years, the Oxford Union Fire Company No. 1 members had planned for the 150th anniversary celebration in 2021. But fire company officials recently decided to postpone the event planned for Sept. 11 because of concerns about COVID-19.

The celebration was scheduled for September 11 as a way to honor all those who died in the terrorist attacks against the U.S. that occurred on September 11, 2001. Helping the fire company with the anniversary celebration was Boy Scout Troop 13. Recently, the leaders and scouts from Troop 13 gathered at the firehouse along with Vince Brown, a longtime fire company member, to discuss plans for what they hoped would be an epic event.

Even though the scouts who were present were all under the age of 20, they knew and felt the impact of the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The adults all remembered where they were and what they were doing when tragedy struck that day. Both groups were anxious to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Union Fire Company No. 1 by remembering and honoring all those first responders who were called to duty when the United States was attacked. Young and old agreed that the tragedy of that day united all Americans. 

The fire company is hopeful that next year they will continue with their anniversary celebration. And Troop 13 will continue to work with them. The scout troop has previously honored first responders each September 11, during a ceremony where the timeline of that day was read. Union Fire Company and the Oxford Police Department are also involved in that ceremony.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of September 11, and it is fitting that two entities steeped deep in volunteerism were planning to mark the day.

Even though the planned event of that day has been cancelled, Brown, who is the chair of the anniversary celebration, wants the community to know that the celebration will happen, and Union Fire Co. No. 1 still continues 150 years later to provide protection to the Oxford area. 

There is no better time than now to look back on the history of the fire company, and to honor the current and past volunteers. Union Fire Company No. 1 has served the Oxford area, protecting and saving the lives and property of those residing in the southern Chester County community. The services provided include fire and rescue, which today still consists of a completely volunteer staff. Also included are emergency medical services, (EMS), which is provided by combined paid and volunteer crews. Few people in the area haven’t used the services of the fire company, either when coming into this world, or at some point during their lifetimes. 

The fire company is the fourth-oldest company in Chester County, and covers approximately 92 square miles. This makes up the largest district for any one company in Chester County. The district is comprised of the Oxford Borough, and the townships of East Nottingham, West Nottingham, Elk, Lower Oxford and portions of Upper Oxford.

The fire company serves the community from two locations: the midtown station located in the Borough of Oxford and the Nottingham Station in the village of Nottingham.

The company became an official organization on February 6, 1871, when about 20 men agreed to approve the formation of Oxford Fire Company. That name lasted only a few days as the Union Fire Company No. 1 became the official title. The name change was because some of the equipment obtained in Philadelphia came from the city’s Union Fire Company No. 1. It was more expedient to change the name of the fire company than to change the name on the equipment.

And 150 years later the name has remained.

For more information on donating to the fire company or to become a member, visit the website at


The Union Fire Company No. 1 in Oxford uses various means of advertising and recruiting volunteers. This includes a video of the fire company, yard signs, presentations at career days in the schools, and others. The Legacy and Junior programs were established to allow younger people (under the age of 18) to apply and participate in various, but limited, activities with the hope that they will continue their involvement when they reach age 18.

Applications for membership are available on the fire company’s website (  Paper applications can be obtained through a member or by calling the firehouse during business hours at 610-932-2411.