Department History

The department was formed in 1953, and at the time was a strictly volunteer organization. Members of the community donated their time, money and efforts to lay the groundwork for our current success. Those original members suffered many hardships in their labors including having the original station cave to the ground twice during construction! Undaunted, these members finally completed the firehouse and the history began.

Mifflin Fire Department has suffered its losses as well. In 1964 our original Deputy Chief Claire Messner, suffered a heart attack. Our original Chief Alvin Fankhauser, took Chief Messner’s wife to the hospital to be by her husband’s side. During this mission of mercy, Chief Fankhauser’s vehicle was broad sided and the Chief passed away from the injuries he sustained. Subsequently, Deputy Chief Messner died from the heart attack with which he was stricken. The Mifflin Township Fire Department also lost Ellsworth Spencer in 1959, Charles Majors in 1964, F.E. Backensto in 1975, John Whitcomb in 1989, and Archie Layton in 2002, in non-line of duty deaths.

In 1976, Firefighter Cloyd Pugh suffered a heart attack while building the department’s training tower. Overwhelmed with a sense of helplessness when FF Pugh died (at the time the Township had to depend on a private ambulance service from a nearby town to provide EMS) members took it upon themselves to research, purchase, and equip our first rescue squad. Additionally, these dedicated men and women undertook the task of receiving the training necessary to staff the rig.