IAAF - Dispositif Pinel

The Harrisburg Professional Firefighters, known as Capital City Paid Firefighter’s Association IAFF Local 428 represents the 78 career firefighters of the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The City of Harrisburg is the Capital City of Pennsylvania. The 2010 census reveals a population of 49,528. This ranks Harrisburg as the 9th largest city in the state. Additionally, the weekday workforce increases the population to approximately 150,000.

Our members provide around-the-clock fire suppression, vehicle rescue, water rescue, advanced tactical rescue and emergency medical services. Operating out of 3 fire stations we staff 1 Rescue/Engine, 2 Engines, and 2 Tower/Ladders. Our average annual call volume is 3,400 dispatched calls for service. We also provide regular dispositif pinel inspection services, pre-incident site surveys, public safety education and community relations activities. Special Operations include tactical rescue with Rescue 1 and PA Task Force 1 Urban Search & Rescue.

How does the Pinel law work?

The Pinel law is a legal device that allows you to reduce your tax in return for an investment in rental property. You will be able to benefit from this law by respecting certain conditions related to:

The condition of the accommodation (new, off-plan, old),
To the income of tenants,
To the geographical area of the accommodation,
In the amount of rents.
Housing condition
No need to go to Wikipedia to understand how the Pinel law works : we tell you everything! To begin with, you must either acquire new housing or buy off-plan housing that has been or will be completed within 30 months of purchase. We speak of Sale in Future State of Completion (VEFA).

It will then be necessary to rent your property to fully benefit from the tax advantages offered by the Pinel law: depending on the rental period , you may receive a proportional tax reduction, as indicated below:

Are you looking for a rental investment in 2020? An investment that allows you to both build up assets while reducing your taxes? Presentation of the most famous property tax exemption system in France: the Pinel law. What is the Pinel law and who can benefit from it? This article explains in detail how to invest in Pinel law in 2020 and benefit from a tax reduction thanks to rental investment.

It will then be necessary to rent your property to fully benefit from the tax advantages offered by the Pinel law: depending on the rental period , you may receive a proportional tax reduction, as indicated below:

Tax reduction Rental period
12% 6 years
18% 9 years
21% 12 years
The rental period for your new property, known as the commitment period , is determined in advance, but you can extend it later. An investment in the Pinel law over a period of 12 years thus allows you to benefit from a tax reduction of € 63,000 maximum over these twelve years.

Who can hire in Pinel law?
The Pinel law is accessible to any tax resident in France. Each French taxpayer can thus invest in rental property through the Pinel system , as long as the housing is new or off-plan, until December 31, 2021.

Who has the right to the Pinel law?
Housing acquired in a real estate program under the Pinel law must be rented out to people whose income does not exceed a certain ceiling. These ceilings have been revised upwards compared to the old Duflot system , in order to allow more families to find housing. The calculation of a maximum Pinel rent ceiling can be broken down into 3 stages according to the law:

We start by calculating the useful surface of the accommodation ...
Then, we calculate the multiplying coefficient ...
Finally, the rent ceiling is calculated by applying the Pinel scale.
Pinel Law: tenant resources ceiling 2020
To calculate the annual amount of rents, a multiplier is applied to the scales presented in the table below ( updated in 2020 ):

Household composition Zone A Bis Zone A Zone B1
Single person € 38,465 € 38,465 € 31,352
Couple € 57,489 € 57,489 € 41,868
Single person or couple + 1 child € 75,361 € 69,105 € 50,349
Single person or couple + 2 children € 89,976 € 82,776 € 60,783
Single person or couple + 3 children € 107,463 € 97,991 € 71,504
Single person or couple + 4 children € 120,463 € 110,271 € 80,584
Additional dependent + 13 421 € + 12 286 € + € 8,990
This accommodation must also be located in an eligible residential area in Pinel . We explain to you.

Please note: as the owner, you must rent your accommodation as your main residence, and rent it bare, that is to say unfurnished.
Pinel Law: the 2020 zones
The Pinel law was created with the aim of combating the rental real estate crisis that certain areas in France are experiencing. Thus, it is no surprise that we find a division of French territory in this device. Understand by this that not all cities in France are eligible for this finance law, which focuses on areas where low- income households struggle to access new housing.

Find below the municipalities eligible for the Pinel scheme in 2020:

Zoned Eligible municipalities
Zone A bis Paris and its 29 surrounding municipalities
Zone A Île de France, the Côte d'Azur, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier and the French part of the Geneva agglomeration.
Zone B1 All the metropolises of more than 250,000 inhabitants, the greater Parisian crown, and some cities where real estate prices are high (Bayonne, Saint-Malo, La Rochelle, Annecy, Chambéry, Cluses, Corsica as well as the other islands not connected to the mainland, but also the overseas departments).
Revision of Pinel zoning: which municipalities are concerned?
The distribution of Pinel zones changed in 2018 . For cities located in zones A bis, A and B1 , nothing to report: they remain eligible for the system . For towns located in zones B2 and C , the device is no longer accessible . A revision which should allow a better adaptation compared to the current market. Around 1,200 municipalities are affected and will be reclassified in a new Pinel zone that better matches the realities of the market.

What are the consequences of this new segmentation? In 2020, only three areas are eligible for the Pinel scheme . With the exclusion of zones B2 and C; are eight million taxpayers who will be excluded from this tool of tax exemption for rental investors. These zones represented 90% of the territory (around 80% for zone C and less than 10% for zone B2).

► Read also : The Pinel law in your city

How are rents set in the Pinel law?
Finally, the last condition to be able to invest in Pinel: you must also respect a ceiling for the rents required. The idea is to make it easier for families to access housing. Too expensive rents would even go against the Pinel device. Even with capped rents, any Pinel law investment simulation shows that this capping makes it possible to obtain a good rental yield.

The price per m² is calculated according to the area where the accommodation is located. Here is the rental scale of the Pinel law for the year 2020:

Zoned Rent price per m²
Zone A bis € 17.43
Zone A € 12.95
Zone B1 € 10.44
The tax reduction is always calculated within the limit of two ceilings:

€ 300,000 per person per year;
€ 5,500 per m² of living space.
Another limit: the tax reduction applies to a maximum of two housing units per year and falls within the overall ceiling for tax loopholes set at € 10,000 per year.

You can estimate the maximum rent amount (excluding charge) possible in the context of a rental property investment under the Pinel law: a multiplier factor comes into play to give the following formula:

0.7 + 19 / area = maximum amount of rent .

The floor area (the ground) is the area to be taken into account for this calculation, but it is not the only one: the area of ​​the annexes is divided by half to also enter the calculation (a balcony for example), in the limit of 8 m². Thus, if the accommodation you have just purchased has an area of ​​62 m² and there is also a balcony of 6 m², the area to be used for this calculation will be (6/2) + 62 = 65 m² .

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is a concrete example of calculating the maximum rent as part of a Pinel investment:

You become the proud owner of a T2 in Lyon in zone A .
The apartment cost you € 279,000 and has a total surface area of ​​40 m² .
You perform the following calculation: 12.95 x (0.7 + 19/40) = 15.21.
You multiply this value by the area of ​​the accommodation: 15.21 x 40 = 608.4 € .
Via your Pinel investment, you will not be able to set a rent higher than € 608.4.
► Read also: Pinel law: explanation, evolution and eligibility conditions

Housing construction times
In addition to the conditions related to the housing itself, the future owner must also take into account the duration of construction of the future property. In fact, to be able to claim to invest via the Pinel system, certain construction deadlines will have to be respected, which differ according to the type of housing:

In the 30 months following the signing of the deed for a property in off-plan .
Within 30 months of the date of filing for a building permit for property built by a private individual .
No later than December 31 of year N + 2 of that of the purchase of the home for the rehabilitation and renovation works .
Simulate your Pinel tax reduction
What are the advantages of the Pinel law?
The investment law Pinel brings you many benefits. In addition to the tax reduction, you can build up a wealth , prepare for your retirement and even protect your family by renting your property to them, since the device allows the owner to rent his home to his ancestors (parents, grandparents) or to his descendants, as long as they are not present in his fiscal household.

But above all, the Pinel law makes it possible to make a sustainable investment with little or no contribution. On this point, taxpayers who wish to invest in Pinel are advised to take out a mortgage with the bank rather than tap into their personal savings . The reason ? The interest on the mortgage is deductible from the rents received .

Attention , this investment also supposes on your part to have some notions in real estate and to be vigilant. If this world is foreign to you, it is better to be accompanied by a specialist advisor to avoid falling into the classic traps of this type of investment.

► Read also: Saving for retirement

Proof by example!
Here is an example of an investment with the Pinel law: imagine that you invest € 300,000 in an eligible Pinel property that you rent for 9 years for € 800 per month.

In this case, you benefit from € 6,000 in tax reductions per year. You can add to this all the rents you will receive, ie more than € 85,000 over 9 years . In the end, you become the owner of a new apartment for a few hundred euros of savings per month!

You will find a complete Pinel law simulator on this page.

Focus on the tax advantages of Pinel
When will I benefit from the Pinel tax reduction?
This is one of the most interesting arguments of the Pinel device: the tax reduction offered in exchange for your rental property investment allows tax exemption while building up assets and creating a source of additional monthly income . But when does this reduction come into play?

The answer differs depending on the nature of your real estate acquisition. Indeed, if you become the owner of a built home , the date of purchase will serve as the basis for calculating the application of the tax reduction. Conversely, housing bought off-plan will see the year of completion of work as a basis for this calculation.

Declare your Pinel investment
Obviously, a real estate investment in Pinel law must be declared to the tax authorities at the time of your income tax return , in order to benefit from the promised tax advantage. How to do ? Follow the guide :

The first year of your investment (year of end of construction works in VEFA or year of the real estate purchase if the housing is built), complete the 2044 EB form to notify the tax administration of the different characteristics of the housing as well as the duration of engagement.
Get the 2044 or 2044 SPE form and indicate the balance sheet of your Pinel investment (taking into account the deduction of charges from rental income).
In form 2042 (income tax), write down your property result.
Enter the amount of the tax reduction that you must have the 2042 C form .
Note that, during the first year of your investment , you will need to specify what is called the cost price of the property: purchase price + notary fees + other charges. This cost price will serve as a reference for the tax administration to calculate the annual amount of the tax reduction from which you can benefit.

From the second year, all you have to do is enter the amount of the tax reduction that appears on your tax notice for the previous year.

The reform of Pinel
After several postponements, the announced end of the Pinel device was recently postponed for the last time: the Pinel will therefore officially end in 2024 , rather than in 2021 as planned. A boon for real estate developers, but also for taxpayers who will be able to continue to combine rental property investment and tax reductions.

On this point, the Pinel offers several notable changes : the tax reduction offered to investors will decrease depending on the year of purchase of the property. Thus, in 2023 , the tax benefit will take the following form:

10.5% tax reduction for a 6-year rental (compared to 12% currently),
15% tax reduction for a 9-year rental (compared to 18% today),
17.5% tax reduction for a 12-year rental (compared to 21% in 2020).
These figures are doomed to fall a second time, from 2024, to reach 9, 12 and 14% tax reduction respectively. Note that, in the event that the property meets certain energy performance standards , your investment will not undergo the changes mentioned above, and the tax reduction rates will remain the same.

Overseas and SCPI: two special cases
If you buy and then rent your property in the French overseas departments and territories, you benefit from the Pinel Outre-Mer law . You can reduce your tax at an even more advantageous rate than in metropolitan France! The other conditions are the same as for an investment in classic Pinel law.

Finally, it is possible to invest via a Société Civile Immobilière or Placement Immobilier, that is to say via a SCI or SCPI under Pinel law . However, different conditions will have to be met for each of these companies. The tax advantages you can benefit from are also specific to each type of civil society.

The old Pinel law
The Pinel law in old real estate is slightly different from the classic Pinel law . To take advantage of this law, you must of course invest in an old asset. It must also require heavy work to rehabilitate or transform it.

As its name suggests, the old Pinel law (also called Pinel rehabilitated in the land deficit ) offers taxpayers the possibility of investing in old housing, and not in new construction. Like the Pinel, it requires certain conditions:

Old housing should be considered unsanitary and uninhabitable in good condition. The owner therefore undertakes to do renovation work.
Once the work is completed, the property must be subject to real estate VAT .
Once rehabilitated, the housing must have an energy performance equal to that of a new housing . It must have the Low Consumption Building Renovation 2009 label (BBC) or the High Energy Performance Renovation 2009 label (HPE).
In addition to benefiting from the tax credit offered by the Pinel law , renovating old housing for energy optimization will allow you to save money in the long term. For example, the estimated depreciation period for interior wall insulation work is 6 years. Thus, the difference will be easy to see on the bill from your energy supplier, whether EDF, Engie or Direct Energie . Indeed, the BBC and HPE labels guarantee that your home will consume less energy, through its insulation and the use of renewable energies in particular.

Please note : this investment is capped at 300,000 euros .

► Read also : Pinel law and commercial lease

PINEL law: the pitfalls to avoid
Very attractive, a decisive purchase criterion for 65% of individuals (according to a study conducted by Crédit Foncier), the Pinel law remains a long-term investment which requires reflection before investment. Especially since some scams , more or less detectable, are to be eliminated from the start, namely:

A poorly chosen location : project yourself into the future and put yourself in the shoes of your tenants. Most prefer accommodation in the city center, close to shops and transport.
A overestimated rent : in tense areas Aa, markets rents are often higher than the ceiling Pinel. In fact, rental yields are low and make Pinel investment unattractive.
A housing price that is too high : it must correspond to the trends of the real estate market in the area where it is located. Inform yourself carefully on this point.
A bad layout of housing : too small, you may experience frequent turnover rentals. Too large, it will be difficult to rent in some neighborhoods, such as student quarters.
The quality of construction of the property : it must be optimal, otherwise you will be quits for refurbishment and renovation work. Especially since the accommodation will be more difficult to resell, once the rental period has passed.
A bad promoter : turn to a trusted promoter, do not hesitate to refer to the opinions on the internet to help you in your choice.
Do not hesitate to consult the opinions of investors in Pinel law in 2019 or 2020, which will clarify certain points based on their experience! You will also find more information on this subject on the official websites of the Pinel law (service-public.fr or loipinel-gouv.org).

►Read also: Traps to avoid when investing in Pinel

Frequently Asked Questions
🤷 Who created the Pinel law?
The Pinel law was born with the Valls government. She was named after Minister Sylvia Pinel, who succeeded Cécile Duflot as Minister of Housing. She is the minister behind the Pinel bill for rental investment.

►Discover our complete guides :

Income tax
Local taxes
Tax exemption
Consumer credit
The repurchase of credit
Life insurance
Understanding Securities
Passbooks, plans and savings accounts
Our models of letters for credits
Our tax letter templates
All our simulators
Personal Tax Services
LMNP: understanding non-professional furnished rental
🤷 Until what date will the Pinel law apply?
The Pinel law applies to any home purchased new or in a future state of completion between September 1, 2014 and December 31, 2021 .

🤷 Which law will succeed the Pinel law?
Undoubtedly the Wargon law , according to the new Minister Delegate to the Minister of Ecological Transition, Emmanuelle Wargon, who took office on July 6, 2020. There was talk of replacing it by the Mézard law , which takes its name from the minister of Territorial Cohesion, Jacques Mézard. The latter was replaced in his post by Jacqueline Gourault. In the end, the Pinel law is extended until 2021 and supplemented by the Denormandie law , named after the current Minister for the City and Housing, Julien Denormandie.

🤷 What if the tenant's income increases during the lease?
The increase in the tenant's level of resources during the term of the lease does not call into question the tax benefit when the tenant's resource ceiling was respected on the date of signing the lease . The tenant's resources are assessed on the date the lease is concluded and not during the term of the lease. If these resources, which were in line with the threshold required when signing the lease, increase during the lease, this does not change anything for the tenant or his lessor.

🤷 What proof can I ask tenants?
The resources of Pinel rentals are capped, depending on the composition of the tax household and the geographic area of ​​the accommodation. As a landlord investing in Pinel, you have the right to require your potential tenants to provide you with proof that their income falls within the required income bracket, such as a copy of the tax notice of year N-2 of the signing of the lease.


International Association of Firefighters
Local 428 Executive Board 2017


Although at one time a large volunteer fire department, the Harrisburg Fire Bureau has had paid fire personnel since the 1870's. During that period, horses were acquired and used on a full time basis to pull the heavy steam fire engines. Drivers were also hired full time by each volunteer company to take care of the horses and drive the apparatus. In May, 1914, the City had taken over paying the driver's salaries which averaged $50.00 a month for a 126 hour work week. Beginning sometime about the turn of the century the paid fire drivers were loosely bound through a social organization known as the Harrisburg Fire Driver's Association. Very little is known of this group and it must be assumed it was more or less social in nature.

Following a court case initiated by the Fire Driver’s Association in 1931, to be recognized under an existing law pertaining to the make up of a paid fire department, the city was forced to reduce the work hours to 72 per week. On July 1, 1932, the City placed the fire drivers on a two platoon system. This necessitated the hiring of 18 additional men bringing the Fire Bureau paid complement to 52 salaried drivers.

For the next three years, a number of these newer men agitated the old Fire Driver's Association and looked to the International Association of Fire Fighters for recognition in their fight against City Hall for better wages and working conditions. On March 15, 1935, the newly organized Capital City Paid Fireman's Relief and Pension Fund Association Local 428 was formed. All vestiges of the Harrisburg Fire Drivers Association were rolled into the new organization. In the ensuing decades, the presence of the Local within the Fire Department united those paid fire drivers to work through City Hall and slowly reduce their work hours and better their wages. One milestone passed on November 10, 1948, when the City lowered the work schedule to 56 hours a week by instituting a three-platoon system. During the two decades of the 1950's and 1960's, the salaried personnel handled more and more of the fire activity as the once plentiful volunteers became less and less active. In 1959, by ordinance of council, the fire drivers officially became fire fighters. In 1968, Local 428 participated heavily in the landslide passage of Act 111. This monumental piece of legislature in essence requires binding arbitration between Pennsylvania's policemen and firemen and their municipalities to settle wage and working condition disputes. Following on the heels of this Act, Local 428 negotiated its first Basic Working Agreement with the City of Harrisburg in November 1970. Probably the bleakest and also a high point in the history of Local 428 occurred late in 1982 after newly elected Mayor Stephen R. Reed assumed office of a city in financial ruin. He had plans to slash twelve jobs from an already short handed Fire Bureau. Through a very well organized public campaign led by President Barry Buskey, the Union fought and kept those jobs. Since that time the City and the Union have met numerous times at the bargaining table or before an arbitrator to resolve labor disputes and better the working conditions and wages of the members of the Fire Bureau. During the past four decades, union members have garnered a steady increase in benefits and compensation. Two noteworthy issues won were a further reduction of working hours to 42 a week with the addition of D Platoon in 1979 and a minimum manning clause stabilizing the manpower on duty at 16 firefighters and a command officer in 1994. As Local 428 passes it's 75th Anniversary, it has become generally acknowledged that the 88 or so career members of the Fire Bureau are virtually Harrisburg's sole means of fire protection, the volunteers but a mere speck of their past. Local 428 is also represented annually in the Harrisburg community through their participation in the Muscular Dystrophy collections for Jerry's Kids, sponsorship in scholarships to Harrisburg high school students, gathering and giving food baskets at Thanksgiving, giving away of Senators tickets, and many other related activities. The first home of Local 428 was the Hope Fire Station No. 2. Later meeting and office space was secured in the Allison No. 12 house. In 1980, the firefighters moved into new City Station No. 2. With cramped quarters and the relation strained seriously with the City, Local 428 opted to move to 2915 N. Front St. where it rented space in the basement. In 1988, the local was again forced to move. For one year it rented space at the Spanish Speaking Center on S. 13th St. The following year the local moved to 522 S. 22nd St. and shared space with the Central Labor Council Blood Bank. In 1995, Local 428, through the auspices of its brother organization, known as City Firefighters, Inc. purchased the old Royal Fire Station No. 14 at 2048 Derry St. During the summer and fall of 1996, extensive renovations took place utilizing the trade unions as much as possible and in December, the local moved in. This has become hopefully the Local's last permanent home. Currently the building houses office and meeting space on the second floor with the spacious apparatus room serving as a hall for retirement parties and other larger social events.


We Do More Than Just Fires

The Firefighters of the International Firefighters Association Local 428 respond to a multitude of emergencies and non-emergencies while on-duty for the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire. The Harrisburg Bureau of Fire could be more correctly named Harrisburg Bureau of Fire and Emergency Services to reflect the fact that any emergency that does not involve Law Enforcement or transporting a patient to the hospital fall into our hands.
Firefighting is our core service. Extinguishing fires and rescuing people trapped in fires is our most basic service.
We are trained in and respond to vehicle accidents with injury and confinement/entrapment.
We assist the Ambulance on all calls where someone has no pulse and is not breathing as well as requests for assistance from the Ambulance personnel.
Harrisburg Firefighters are trained in water rescue and are the first to reach the River when dispatched for emergencies on the Susquehanna River. The Bureau of Fire has two boats and one raft for water rescue as well as equipment for ice rescue during the winter months.
Technical rescue is another service provided. Training and equipment is provided for all personnel in the areas of rope rescue, trench rescue, confined space rescue, and building collapse. This service is available to not only the City of Harrisburg and it’s residents but also mutual aide to Dauphin County with the requested response of Rescue One.
Hazardous Materials is yet another area of training and response from our members. The most advanced trained members are also members of the Dauphin County Hazardous Material Response Team.
Response to acts of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and suspicious packages are also included in what we do and train for.
Non-emergency responses include things such as smoke detector installation, public safety education, working with troubled youth who set fires through the Juvenile Fire Setter's Program and the 911 caller who has a problem in their home and doesn’t know who else to call. Our members provide a professional and courteous service to such callers.
So if you are a resident or worker in the City of Harrisburg or just visiting the City of Harrisburg your Public Safety is our concern. We are there for your safety.



The Harrisburg Bureau of Fire operates out of three stations and the Office of the Fire Chief, which is located in the McCormick Public Safety Building at 123 Walnut Street in downtown Harrisburg, PA.
Office personnel are the Fire Chief, Deputy Chief, Fire Safety Education and the Fire Inspector.

Station One is located at 1820 North Sixth Street. Located in the Uptown section of the City, it houses Wagon 3, Tower 2, Engine 1, Boat 1, and Tower 3 (reserve).
Wagon 3 is a 2008 Pierce Arrow XT 1500 gpm/500 gal. Pumper. Tower 2 is a 2002 KME 81’ Ladder/Tower. Tower 3 is a 1996 Sutphen 85' Tower quint.

Station Two is located at 140 North Sixteenth Street. Located in the Allison Hill section of the City, it houses the Battalion Chief, Wagon 4, Tower 1, Boat 2, Engine 2 (reserve), Rescue 1 and the Dauphin County Haz-Mat Response Unit.
Wagon 4 is a 1997 Seagrave 1250gpm/500gal. Pumper. Tower 1 is a 75’ Aerialscope on a 2008 Pierce Arrow XT chassis. The BC’s car is a 2005 Chevy Tahoe. Rescue 1 carries tools and equipment for C-space, Trench, Rope Rescue and Building Collapse.

Station Six is located at 332 South Second Street. Located in the Downtown section of the City, it was closed permanently on April 23rd, 2014. Tower 3 was placed out of service and is currently in reserve status.

Station Eight is located at 9 South Thirteenth Street in the Allison Hill section of the City. It houses Squad 8 or simply “The Squad”.
Squad 8 is a 2012 Pierce Arrow XT Rescue/Engine consisting of 1500gpm/500gal., Amkus Ultimate rescue system and an assortment of rescue tools.

Harrisburg Bureau of Fire History

The Harrisburg Fire Department as we know it today has been the result of gradual transitions from one era to another.

In 1791, Harrisburg became a borough with its population at 2,200 souls. In that year several concerned and leading citizens met and formed the Union Fire Company. The Union members manned a small hand pumper and were aided by the citizenry with bucket brigades to fight the few fires that happened. In 1801, the Friendship Fire Company was formed. The Upper Ward Fire Company held organizational meetings in 1812 and 1813 but never materialized. By 1814 however, another company, the Hope came on the scene. In the 1819-20 period, another company began organizing known as the State Capitol Fire Company. They too quickly faded. Early in 1829, the Harrisburg Fire Company organized, held meetings, and turned out members to alarms. The company faded into obscurity by the 1840's. In 1834, we find a fleeting glimpse of a Workingmen's Fire Company. Apparatus of the Union, Friendship, Hope and Harrisburg companies consisted of small hand pumpers which had to be supplied with water by bucket brigades and stored in small, usually frame, sheds. The next major changes appear in 1836 and 1841. By that time the Union Fire Company was living on borrowed time as was the Harrisburg Fire Company. Territorial arguments were becoming prevalent among all the companies. In 1836, several dissident factions got together and formed the Citizen Fire Company. The Citizen immediately purchased a hand pumper which could lift its own water and had several hundred feet of leather fire hose. In 1841, Harrisburg's water system was finished. With it came fire hydrants, an almost unlimited ready source of water to fight fires and the formation of the Washington Hose Company. During this period all of the engine companies began using hose and hose carriages to carry it to augment their hand drawn and operated pumpers. In 1858, after a disastrous fire plainly showed the need for ladders, the Mt. Vernon Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 formed and both it and the Hope Engine Company No. 2 placed ladder trucks in service. The companies also started using numbers. This practice would continue with city council assigning numbers as the companies were accepted into the department regardless of what type they were. The following year the Paxton Engine Company No. 6 was formed in South Harrisburg. In 1860, Harrisburg became a city and the Good Will Engine Company No. 7 formed in Verbeketown (above Forster Street). During the period of the Civil War (1861-1865) and the decades after, the city expanded into quite a railroad and industrial town. Steam fire engines replaced hand pumpers at the Friendship No. 1, Hope No. 2, Citizen No. 3, Paxton No. 6, and Goodwill No. 7. It soon became apparent that the individual companies, requesting and receiving their fiscal needs from city council, needed to be under one head. This was accomplished in 1868, when council passed an ordinance establishing a yearly convention of the "fire department's" companies to elect chief officers. In 1870, the Lochiel Fire Company No. 8 in South Harrisburg, was admitted into the fire department. Within a year, due to a massive strike at the Lochiel rolling mills, the company waned greatly but was still shown as a unit until 1883. In 1872, the Mechanical Fire Company No. 9 was formed mainly as the fire brigade of the sprawling Harrisburg Car Company (present site of HARSCO at 9th & Herr). It was listed for twenty years as part of the fire department although not officially recognized by city council. The year 1872, becomes another milestone when the Paxton No. 6 placed horses on full time duty to pull their steam fire engine. Three years later they petitioned council to meet the expenses of hiring a full time driver. Within the next decade most of the department's apparatus would be adapted for horses. Most firehouses would have stables added and the horses would be either city owned, company owned, or rented from local livery stables. By the mid 1870's, the population on Allison's Hill was growing. A movement for fire protection was undertaken due to that area being somewhat inaccessible from downtown and in 1877; the Mount Pleasant Fire Company No. 8 was organized. With the disappearance of the Lochiel Company, better fire protection was needed in South Harrisburg. So in 1884, the Susquehanna Fire Company No. 9 was formed. One year later, the West End section of the city greeted the formation of the Reilly Hose Company No. 10. And in 1888, the Shamrock Fire Company No. 11 was organized in that growing area around Cameron and Herr Streets. As the city grew from the 1860's to the turn of the century, fire apparatus improved, the fire alarm telegraph system was installed, and the water system was expanded to handle the growth. From 1888 to 1893, disgruntled factions among the companies and politics played a major part in council passing an ordinance to abolish the system of electing officers and established a fire department with the chief officers appointed, and paid, by the city. For the next fifteen years various ordinances would be put on the table to abolish the existing volunteer fire department, close firehouses and consolidate companies into an all paid force as other city's had done but they never came to fruition. In the early part of the new century, the city again exploded in development. Three fire companies were organized all at the same time and petitioned the city for new quarters and apparatus. The first was the Allison Hook & Ladder Company No. 2 late in 1905, then the Camp Curtin Fire Company No. 12, three months later. At the same time the Allison was forming, organizational meetings were occurring in the vicinity of 15th & State Streets to start the Enterprise Fire Company No. 12. The Enterprise had strong backing but council balked at equipping three companies, so within six months its effort to become the second engine company on Allison's Hill waned enough that it simply disappeared. It would be another two years before the Allison and CampCurtin would be officially accepted into the fire department as the 12th and 13th companies. In 1910, two more companies would organize. The Royal Fire Company No. 14 in the Eastmere section and the Pleasant View Fire Company No. 15 in that part of Susquehanna Township east of 18th Street having the same name. The Pleasant View section eventually was annexed to the city in 1920, but not before the Riverside Fire Company No. 15 was formed and admitted to the fire department, one year sooner. Thus the youngest company did not receive the highest number. In 1913, Pennsylvania Legislature passed what was known as the Clark act allowing Pennsylvania cities to switch to a commission form of government. Thus on December 1, 1913, the Bureau of Fire took effect and was headed by a fire commissioner. The fire chief and assistant chief remained, as did the common term Harrisburg Fire Department, and to this day both terms are correct. For almost a century each company received an appropriation from the city to pay drivers, handle maintenance on the firehouses, equipment and apparatus and pay utility bills. Gradually the city chipped away at what the companies were responsible for. In May, 1914, all paid fire drivers would be paid directly by the city. In 1917, the final year (except for the Paxton No. 6 wagon) for the horses, apparatus maintenance would be undertaken by the city in a centralized shop located at the Shamrock. The dust settled somewhat but finally in 1960, the final notice was given that appropriations would cease due in part to the lack of volunteer participation and also when a central supply room was formed to take advantage of bulk purchases. From the disappearance of the horses, through the 1950's, the makeup of the fire department didn't change much. The Citizen and Mt.Vernon lost their houses in 1917 due to the capitol expanding. In 1937, the Friendship was closed. The city paid drivers handled the apparatus and the volunteers fought the fires. Companies remained strong. Organizations such as the Harrisburg Firemen's Union (not associated with today's International Association of Fire Fighters Local 428 which organized in 1935 to represent the paid drivers), the Allison Coffee Association, the Veteran Volunteer Firemen's Association, the Friendship Home Association, the Harrisburg Firemen's Marching Club flourished as did minor and twilight league baseball teams, hunting clubs and other social entities. During the 1950's volunteer turnout generally declined for various reasons and the paid members of the Bureau of Fire had to fight more and more fires. In 1959, Robert M. Houseal was promoted to Fire Chief. He was the first chief to be promoted from the paid ranks exclusively, being Assistant Chief since 1942. In the absence of strong volunteer companies, he promoted a paid fire department organization asking more work from the career firefighters. This only aggravated the friction already in existence between paid and volunteer. During the decade of the 1960's, more neighborhoods changed in appearance as city residents sought homes in the suburbs. Several of the volunteer companies in those neighborhoods chose closing their charters instead of admitting new members. In 1961 and 1962, the Washington Hose Company No. 4 and the Citizen Engine Company No. 3 respectively disbanded and dissolved their charters. These two companies of the fire department have been the only ones to ever disappear gracefully. By the early 1970's only the Mt. Pleasant No. 8 and Camp Curtin No. 13 remained very active entities of the once grand Harrisburg Volunteer Fire Department, although the other twelve companies existed in some form. During this very busy decade and into the 1980's, membership remained strong at Stations 8 and 13. Many younger members were admitted and gained tremendous experience in fighting fires on the "training grounds" of a declining city. Engine 8 and Engine 13 rivaled Squad 1, the all paid manpower company, for excellence, camaraderie and hard hitting fire fighting abilities. In 1980, the city consolidated most of the old stations into new Stations 1 and 2. The CampCurtin lost their home. As with most of the volunteers in the past it was extremely difficult to live alongside a large concentration of career members in the same firehouse. There are fundamental mindset differences. This was aggravated over the lean years in the fiscal condition of the city. The Fire Bureau management didn't do much to help promote volunteers since the 1970's either, nor did city government. The city did however maintain the Mt.Pleasant firehouse on S. 13th Street in hopes that it would be effective in attracting more young volunteer members. In 1983, there was a reorganization within the Bureau of Fire. Apparatus was consolidated and moved around and the city went to three firehouses. The Mt.Pleasant was given its older Mack and made into a separate squad company changing their assignment. Bolstering their role, the company decided to venture into the heavy rescue business. This idea failed and interest declined.
Fourteen volunteer fire companies of the Harrisburg Fire Department "exist" today. It is doubtful that some have any living members and it is also doubtful that several have enough members to hold a legal meeting. Occasionally though, other companies will hold a banquet or annual meeting. In 1914, the Harrisburg Fire Department sponsored the State Firemen's Association convention. The parade at the end of the convention was so huge they estimated 12,000 firemen representing 141 companies and 136 bands in 14 divisions were in line of march taking six hours to pass a given point. At that time the department alone could muster probably 2,000 active members. This truly was the hey day of the volunteer fire department in Harrisburg. In the two hundred, ten year history of the Harrisburg Fire Bureau, well over 100,000 alarms have been answered with a high percentage occurring in the past 30 years. Noteworthy incidents include the Capitol fire (1897), Lochiel Train Wreck(1905), Grand Opera House(1907), Floods of 1889, 1936, 1972, and 1996, Civil Disturbances of 1968 and 1969, TRW (1985), and Vernon Industrial(1990), but this is just a mere footnote in the voluminous record of fires and incidents, of which a large amount were serious, expensive and tragic. The Fire Department is extremely proud of the fact that it has given aid outside the City to those in need from time to time. Over the past two centuries, city apparatus and manpower has responded countless times to the call for assistance within the suburban and regional area. But there were also times when aid was sent far away. Some of the more noteworthy incidents occurred in 1904, when the Hope Engine No. 2 traveled by rail to Baltimore to help fight the devastating conflagration that leveled block after block. In 1937, eighteen members and the Friendship Engine 1 spent a week in Louisville, KY on flood duty. Undoubtedly, one of its finest duties occurred following the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001. Seventeen members making up part of the PA. TaskForce1, assisted the hard pressed FDNY in searching the ruins of the WorldTradeCenter disaster for survivors, then returning two weeks later. By the turn of the new millennium, the Harrisburg Fire Bureau has evolved into a force of 100 highly trained and motivated career firefighters manning six companies in a city that has made a vibrant and tremendous comeback from the dark days of near bankruptcy of the early 1980’s. Volunteerism is in a gradual decline across the nation today and almost all volunteer fire departments feel this constriction. Harrisburg's once strong volunteer tradition is now left to those few Mt. Pleasant No. 8 and Camp Curtin No. 13 members who hold regular meetings, admit new blood, and answer alarms. And to preserve the fire department’s rich heritage, the city restored the old Reilly No. 10 house to the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum for all to enjoy.


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Pub. Safety Ed.




The Rescue One program, begun in 1992, increases the Bureau’s capacity and capability for and ability to respond to incidents requiring heavy, specialized and/ or technical rescue such as structural collapses, trench rescues, confined space rescues, high/low angle rescues, or heavy vehicle extrications. This is accomplished by intensive training of personnel and the purchase of highly specialized equipment.

The Rescue One Unit is the product of a series of major innovations and advances, making the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire one of the premier firefighting and rescue operations in the state and nation. The Rescue One Unit is a part of Pennsylvania Task Force One (PA-TF1) www.patf1.org , a designated Urban Search and Rescue Team under FEMA. Only 28 such teams exist nationwide and each is available for mobilization in response to any national emergency. The 80-member unit has received more than 300 hours of advanced technical training and was one of the first units to respond to the terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001.