Recent Calls
Sun. Jan 31st 2021
At 80 units were dispatched at 2130 hours assisting Rostraver Central Fire Co with a fire alarm sounding in a local restaurant. Command arrived on scene and found cooking set off the alarm and cancell...
Fri. Jan 29th 2021
At 1335 hours 80 units were dispatched to a local grocery store for a vehicle vs pedestrian accident. 80 Assistant 1 (Ceccarelli) arrived on scene first and found the patient was moved into the store....
Thu. Jan 28th 2021
At 2230hrs 80 units were dispatched to assist Monessen Fire Companies with a fire alarm sounding in a local high rise. Crews found that smoke from a blown out candle set the alarm off. Command release...
Wed. Jan 27th 2021
At 0807hrs 80 units were dispatched to assist Monessen Fire Companies with an fire alarm sounding in a local high rise. Command arrived on scene and found a culinary mishap and returned all mutual aid...
Tue. Jan 26th 2021
80 units were dispatched to assist Belle Vernon Fire Co at 1039hrs for an alarm activation at a local high rise. Command arrived on scene and found a culinary mishap and returned all mutual aid. 80 un...
News Headlines
Sun. Jan 17th 2021
Please be careful when changing your old halogen lightbulb tubes over to LED. You need to use the conversion kit and cannot plug the LED tubes into the halogen ballast this will cause a fire.
Thu. Dec 24th 2020
The 2021 Chiefs and Business Officers were elected at the 2nd meeting in November. The Chiefs will appoint the Captain, Lieutenants, and Safety Officers at the beginning of the year.Chief Kurt Parshal...
Wed. Dec 23rd 2020
In October our members purchased a 2020 Ford F350 with a utility bed as a new Squad. The truck is in service and is continuing to be fitted with updated equipment to further help us better serve the g...
Tue. Dec 22nd 2020
Santa came to North Belle Vernon and rode around the borough with the elves from NBVFD. Our crew gave out over 200 treat bags to the children of North Belle Vernon. The officers and members had a grea...
Mon. Dec 14th 2020
We got some big news yesterday Santa will be coming to town on Monday December 21st starting at 6pm. We will be coming around on the trucks and passing treats out to all the good boys and girls.
80 Leatherheads


Chief Kurt Parshall

1st Assistant Chief Chris Ceccarelli

2nd Assistant Chief Jeff Antal

Captain Mike Ceccarelli

1st Lieutenant Kolton Ramsdell

3rd Lieutenant Colton Schmeltz

Fire Fighter Ken Ramsdell

Fire Fighter Shelby Ferguson

Fire Fighter Justin Kon

Fire Fighter Derek Reeves



History of the Leather Helmet

Jacobus Turck of New York City is credited with inventing the first fire cap around 1740.  It was round with a high crown and narrow rim and was made of leather.  Improvements on his design were made by Mathew DuBois, who sewed iron wire into the edge of the brim to give the helmet shape and strength, and to provide resistance to heat, moisture and warping.  The leather helmet, as it is known today, came from a very modest and non-fire related beginning.  The year that the traditional fire helmet was invented is mired in speculation and debate however it is generally agreed upon as sometime between 1821 and 1836.  The gentleman credited with it's founding is Henry T. Gratacap.  Gratacap was a volunteer fireman in New York City.  His made his living as a luggage maker who made a name for himself because of his innovative luggage specifically designed for ocean transit.  It was made of leather that was specially treated to offer unparalleled durability and withstood wetness without rotting.  These qualities were very desirable in a fire helmet as well.  Gratacap incorporated eight (8) combs [ a design of eight (8) segments ] into his helmet for extra strength.  It was adopted for official use by the New York City Fire Department in the late 1800's and given the name the 'New Yorker".


The New Yorker helmet has remained virtually unchanged throughout approximately 168 years of faithful and steadfast service.  The New Yorker helmet retains the same look and quality that generations after generations of firefighters have relied on.  They are made of stout tanned Western cowhide, one quarter of an inch thick, and reinforced with leather strips which rise like Gothic arches inside of the crown.  The long duckbill, or beavertail, which sticks out at the rear, is designed to keep water from running down the wearer's neck.  Originally, the helmets were sometimes worn backwards so that the beavertail would protect it's wearer from the intense heat from the fire.  Additionally, some tillermen would also wear them backwards to protect their faces from rain and snow.


During this time, two brothers named Cairns were operating a metal badge and insignia business in New York City.  The Cairns brothers are credited with the idea of mounting an identification badge to the front of Gratacap's helmets.  Today these are known as "Front Pieces".


The two companies operated cooperatively until Gratacaps retirement sometime in the 1850's.  This led to the birth of the Cairns & Brother legacy which has pioneered firefighter helmet technology ever since.  Cairns and Brother's commitment to protecting fire fighter's lives is evident in their systems, where engineered components synergistically work together for unparalleled protection in harsh environments.  The original OSHA compliant leather helmet, it remains individually hand-shaped, hand-trimmed and hand-stitched to meet the strenuous demands of todays most dangerous profession.


The "Leatherhead" is a term used to individualize a firefighter who chooses the leather helmet for protection from the hazards we face daily.  The leather helmet is an international sign of a firefighter, a symbol that is significant in not only tradition from the early years of fire fighting, but one of bravery, integrity, honor and pride.  This helmet is a sign of who we are - not what we are.


Although several types of components exist to attach the front piece to the helmet, fire fighters who truly live the tradition wear a carved brass eagle to adorn the top of the helmet.  The eagle has it's own significance in history but no traceable story through the fire service.  In approximately 1825, an unknown sculptor made a commemorative figure for the grave of a fire fighter.  It remains in New York's Trinity Churchyard today.  It shows the fire fighter issuing from the flames, his trumpet in one hand, a sleeping baby in the other and atop his helmet - an eagle.  Fire Fighters were not wearing eagles at the time and it was a flight of pure fancy on the part of the sculptor.  As the image was viewed and word was spread, the idea was widely adopted.  It has remained a traditional component of the helmet ever since.

© 2021 North Belle Vernon Fire Department