Pleasantville Volunteer Fire Department

   Venango County Station 16 - Crawford County Department 36   

Become a Member Today!

We are always looking for new volunteers!


EMTs, firefighters, and fire police!

Training provided. 

Social Members

Social members can attend meetings like all other members, give your ideas/opinions, and help out at our functions!

If you or anyone you know is interested, 

please email us at [email protected] or contact Jeff Presto at 814-657-7244



About Us

     We are an all volunteer fire department located in Pleasantville, PA, Venango County. We cover parts of Venango, Crawford, Warren and Forest Counties. Our coverage area is mostly rural.

     Our dept. consists of Firefighters, EMT's, Fire Police, Junior Firefighters and a supportive Ladies Auxiliary. If you live in our coverage area and are interested in joining as a firefighter, EMS provider or just helping out at fundraisers, feel free to attend one of our meetings or talk to any firefighter and they will point you in the right direction. Our meetings are held every first and third Thursday of each month. We'd be glad to have you.

     Our equipment includes: 2 pumpers, 2 tankers, 1 brush truck, 1 rescue unit, and an air cascade trailer. Pictures and details of this equipment can be seen on our Photos Page.

     Our normal mutual aid fire companies are: Titusville F.D., Hydetown VFD, Cherrytree VFD, Tionesta VFD or Grand Valley VFD. Other occasional mutual aid companies include Cornplanter VFD, West Hickory VFD or Tidioute VFD.

     We do not provide ambulance coverage. We provide a BLS QRS service, responding to medical/rescue calls to provide immediate patient care until an ambulance arrives. Ambulance coverage is normally provided by Emergycare Ambulance which is based in Erie, PA, but also has a Titusville operation, which is 6 miles away.

     We provide the services of Firefighting, Medical/Rescue, Search & Rescue, Heavy Rescue, Public Services, Education and just about anything else that may arise.


      The PVFD was formally organized in 1932.  Prior to 1923, fire protection came from the Titusville Fire Dept. or impromptu fire brigades.  In 1923, local citizens purchased a two wheeled hose cart and a wheeled fire extinguisher.  They were kept in a shed behind the old Borough Hall on Main Street.  One year later, the townspeople organized a Forestry Crew for fighting woods was the first of it's kind in Pennsylvania.  Local resident William Field was the first Fire Warden.  He was stationed at the Tionesta Fire Tower, in Harmony Twp., Forest County during the spring and fall forest fire seasons.  (This fire tower is still in use today, staffed by Dept. of Forestry personnel, but usually only during the high forest fire season every spring.)

      Then, in 1932, the Pleasantville Vol. Fire Dept. was officially formed.  A 1929 International delivery truck was purchased and converted into a fire engine.  It was named the "Red Robin" and was in service until the 1950's.

      A steel tower was built and an electric siren was mounted on top to alert firemen of fires.  (This same siren still serves the PVFD to this day, however, it is now used mainly for weather alerts and other such emergencies, to notify the public. Firemen are alerted for calls using pagers.)  Prior to this, church and school bells were used to alert firemen.

      Meetings were held in the Borough Hall and the truck was kept in the old IOOF Building on South Main Street.  Then, a new combined Town Hall/Fire Station was built on West State St., near the middle of town.  (This building is still in use as the Borough Hall.)  It was built out of stone and housed Borough Council rooms, a meeting room for the firemen and space for 2 trucks.

      In 1936, an International convertible pumper was purchased.  This allowed the F.D. to have a pumper for house fires and the Red Robin for woods fires.

      In 1955, a bell system was purchased for alarms.  Bells were placed in each of the fireman's homes and wire was ran from the siren to each of these bells.  When the siren blew, the bell in each fireman's homes would ring also, alerting them to a fire.

      In 1954, a flatbed Ford truck was purchased to replace the aging Red Robin.  This was used for woods fires and a garage was built behind the then, Borough Building/Fire Station to house the new truck.  The Red Robin was sold to a local resident, who drove it in parades for years to come.

      In 1956, a Ford truck was purchased and built into a pumper by Howe Apparatus Co. and it contained a 1000 gal. water tank and a 500 gpm pump.

      In 1964, a three bay steel garage was built on W. State St. just down from the Borough Building to house the new and bigger trucks.  Meetings were still held at the Borough Building.

      A 1967 Ford pumper was purchased which had a 300 gal. water tank and 500 gpm pump.  (After years of good use, it was sold to a private individual in 2001.)

      In 1972, another pumper with a 1000 gal. water tank and a 500 gpm pump was purchased.  (It has since been sold to the Grand Valley VFD and is still in service today.)

      In 1977, a rescue squad was formed.  A 1978 Chevrolet pickup was then purchased and converted into a Rescue Unit.  The medical equipment was in the back of the truck and was protected by a truck cap.  Some of the firemen were certified as EMT's to respond to medical calls.  After it's use as a rescue unit, it was converted to a brush truck. (It was eventually sold to a private individual in 2001.)

      In 1979, the 1956 Ford was overhauled by Four Guys Co. in Somerset, PA, into a tanker truck with a 1600 gal. tank and 500 gpm pump.

      In 1981, since the fire hall was now becoming to small, the Sharp Convalescent Home property across the street was bought and razed.  Construction was started on what is the current fire station in Pleasantville.  It was finished by the spring of 1982.  It had 4 bay doors, meeting room, restrooms and a large social hall.  Since then, 2 more bays and doors have been added to house equipment.

       The 1956 Ford tanker was taken to four Four Guys, had the Ford chassis replaced with a 1984 GMC chassis and the same tank was placed on this chassis and a 1000 gpm pump was placed on it.  (It is still in use by the Dept. today.)  The 1956 then had a 6X6 Army truck bed put on it and was used for a brush truck.  (It has since been sold to a private individual.)

       Many changes have been made over the years.  Photos of previous Fire Halls and trucks can be seen in our Photo Gallery, as well as photos of our present Fire Hall and trucks.

History of the Maltese Cross

When a courageous band of crusaders known as the Knights of St. John, fought the Saracens for possession of the holy land, they encountered a new weapon unknown to European warriors. It was a simple, but a horrible device of war, it wrought excruciating pain and agonizing death upon the brave fighters for the cross. The Saracen's weapon was, fire....

As the crusaders advanced on the walls of the city, they were struck by glass bombs containing naphtha. When they became saturated with the highly flammable liquid, the Saracens hurled a flaming torch into their midst. Hundreds of the knights were burned alive; others risked their lives to save their brothers-in-arms from dying painful, fiery deaths.

Thus, these men became our first firefighter and the first of a long list of courageous firefighters. Their heroic efforts were recognized by fellow crusaders who awarded each here a badge of honor - a cross similar to the one firefighter's wear today. Since the Knights of St. John lived for close to four centuries on a little island in the Mediterranean Sea named Malta, the cross came to be known as the Maltese Cross.

The Maltese Cross is your symbol of protection. It means that the firefighter who wears this cross is willing to lay down his life for you just as the crusaders sacrificed their lives for their fellow man so many years ago. The Maltese Cross is a firefighter's badge of honor, signifying that he works in courage - a ladder rung away from death.

The four arms:
Faith, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude.

The eight points (viewed as traits):
Observation, Tact, Resource, Dexterity, Sympathy, Perseverance, Discrimination and Explicitness.

The eight points (viewed as obligations):
 to live in truth
to have faith
to repent one's sins
to give proof of humility
to love justice
to be merciful
to be sincere and wholehearted
to endure persecution

Information gathered from various sites, including the FDNY.

Fire and Ice
By Paul Harvey

Nobody knows why firefighters are firefighters. Not even they can tell you why. It's time somebody try.

Firefighting is the most risky of all dead end jobs and yet also the one where most workers are most likely to punch in

early. It's hard enough to believe that; it's impossible to explain it. Fire and ice are uncomfortable separately or

together. Wives hate the hours. Kids love the noise. Fire and ice.

Any day at the firehouse the bell from hell puts the dispatcher on the horn with a tenement tinderbox address. Into the

bunker pants, turnout coat, grab the mask and go. Minutes later you're onsite. As others run out, you go in. You'll

need all you can carry. The four pound axe, a six foot rake, the halligan bar. The ceiling concealing the smoldering

has to come down and it's one of those stubborn tin ones. In the scary dark with the heat eating your ears, you're

gouging out and tearing loose and pulling apart, gulping air and tasting black. Your windpipe is closing and you've lost

track of which way is out. Is it worth it?

They've budget cut your ladder company from six to five, so now everything you do is 16.67 percent more difficult and

more dangerous. Your air is low. Inside your mask you're throwing up. There's a searing ember down your neck. Torn

gloves expose a smashed hand. So you emerge from the holocaust hugging, with your elbows, somebody's singed

kitten. Fire and ice.

You've had minutes of exhilaration on the bouncing rear mount of a steaming hundred foot Seagrave, hours of using

all you've learned and learning more. Now you're back at the station house. You've unstuffed your nostrils with soapy

fingers; you can almost breathe again. Next come the tedious hours as you and Brillo gang up on the grimy tools. The

cleanup crew at the firehouse is you when windows need washing and toilets need cleaning and floors mopping and

beds need making, you do it. Fire and ice, they both go with the job.

Then there's that night another engine company gets there first and you see this wet-eared rookie hot-dogging ahead;

his academy boots still shiny. You lose him inside the crackling dark and you forget about him until your helmet

warning bell says get out. The battalion chief is calling you off. You get out; the other guy didn't. He had heard a

scream from the bottom of burning basement stairs and he headed down there, when on the bubbling tarpaper roof

the three-ton compressor broke through, that day we lost two.

Oh, yes, firefighters cry, but only briefly because now comes the inevitable and evermore paperwork just in case

OSHA complains or somebody sues. Is it worth it?

Your B crew pumper swapped his day shift so some family guy could be home for his kid's birthday and then,

outbound toward a false alarm, your buddy gets blindsided by a hotrod driven by a drunk. Fire and ice.

The intercom barks again. This time it's a warehouse, a big, fast, multiple blaze, probably torched. Onsite engine men

draped with icicles dragging an inch and three-quarter hose are waiting for your big line: ladder men can't make the

building without you. Search, rescue, ventilate. Eventually it's over and out. You're smoke smudged and sleepless

and wrung out, but you won. Behind graffiti-fouled walls you saved what you could. But the raging blaze that wanted

to consume adjacent buildings did not because you were there.

Back at the firehouse before cleanup, you and the guys sit a spell, tired but stimulated, drinking coffee and laughing,

and feeling good about one another. Nobody outside your world can ever quite know that feeling. In any other uniform

you get streets named after you for killing people; in this one you risk your life to save people. Until one day you run

out of chances and at one final fire, either you buy it or you don't. If you don't, it's only eventually to be brushed off

with a puny pension. Yet there's no third way you'd ever leave this job and you're doubting even God knows why.

You're out of the shower now; most of the grime and some of the cynicism are down the drain, when you hear a

strangely familiar voice saying, "For salvaging things and people from flames, I have to rely on your hands." You look

around, still nobody. But when you get over your incredulity, you feel better. Suddenly today's crew cook in the

kitchen hollers chow. It's time to eat. It smells like roast beef today, and that'll be good. But you'll eat fast, for any next

alarm you'll want to be ready.