It was a cold winter night in Philadelphia back in 1921. Firefighters were hard at work battling a large waterfront fire as a group of spectators looked on. As they watched, the group wondered amongst themselves how the firefighters could do their job in the midst of such cold temperatures. But rather than just wonder, the people decided to take action.
The group went to a nearby restaurant and carried cups of coffee to the firefighters. That one act of kindness soon evolved into repeated acts, as members bought hot food and beverages with their own money and took it to the scenes of fires and accidents. This eventually turned into a permanent association, giving birth to the Second Alarmers.
Since that fateful day in 1921, the Second Alarmers have responded to fires of two or more alarms in the region. The group provides aid to both crews working at the scene as well as victims. The group is funded by donations from the police and fire department.
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On Friday, the organization celebrated its 90th Anniversary at Romo’s Catering in the Juniata section of Philadelphia.
Former Phillies player and former president of the National League, Bill White, made an appearance at the event. 2nd Alarmers George White and Joseph Farley were both honored for a combined 125 years of service. White was appointed in the group back in 1948 while Farley was appointed in 1949. Both men are still active in the association today.