The 70th Annual Banquet took place on May 19th, 2017 at the Downingtown Country Club, more then 75 members and guests were in attendance to celebrate the company's history over the past 70 years.
The Westwood Fire Company was formed on April 30th, 1947, when twenty-four men gathered at the building known to some people as “Widdoes Hall” to elect officers for the Company and included Chester Taylor, Sr. being appointed as the first Fire Chief. This came after a fire broke out at the Janet Greenfield property and Chester Taylor Sr. extinguished the fire prior to the arrival of the West End Fire Company with his Ford Model T and a cider barrel for a water tank.
Over the course of the next 70 years a lot of history was made with the original building, renovations and additions, obtaining fire apparatus and updating, the famous blue color, grant funding and evolving into emergency medical services. The Westwood Fire Company has a rich history and was celebrated by all at the 70th anniversary banquet.
Two members received golden life membership cards, John Sly and Chris Biddle. A life membership comes after 20 years of active service to the company.
Fire Chief McWilliams presented the Chester Taylor Jr. Fire Chief's award to Edgar Ranck. It was noted all of Edgar's hard work throughout the year with running calls and maintaining our apparatus. Edgar has only been a member for 3 years now but has shown a huge amount of dedication and pride for our fire company. Adam Grossman was also presented with an award, the Firefighter of the Year award was given to him for his help throughout the year of responding to emergencies, special assignments, maintaining our website and coordination training.
President John Sly had the honor of presenting the Joe Sweigart award to life member and past EMS Chief Chris Biddle. Throughout the past year Chris has not been entirely active in an operational role but has provided great assistance in station projects such as upgrading technical infrastructures.
Fire Police Captain Dave Leary awarded Jim Pilotti with the Fire Police Officer of the Year Award for his dedication the the Fire Police division and answering the most calls.
A special presentation was given to President John Sly by Chief Mike McWilliams. It was noted that this was John's year for life membership and his accomplishments were highlighted throughout those years. John has held virtually all positions of the fire company including Fire Chief, EMS Chief and currently President. John has gone to great lengths to secure funding for our operation including over $2.2 million in local, state and federal grants. John was very vocal and involved in beginning the QRS service at Westwood which later turned into a full BLS ambulance service. For John's 20 years of dedicated service he was awarded a golden trumpet award.
Many local elected officials from our municipalities that we cover with fire, rescue and EMS services were in attendance as well as mutual aid fire companies. The night ended with a special speech by the Honorable Grover Koon on dedication and sacrifice made by the volunteer firefighter.
Numerous door prizes were given out to the people in attendance. A 50/50 was won by Glen Moore Fire Chief Mike King for $200 which he donated back to the company.
Thank you to the Valley Forge Fire Company for covering our local while our members celebrated at their 70th anniversary banquet!