On March 1, 1892 when Engine 40 was organized at 6440 Woodland Avenue in the existing settlement of Paschallville in Southwest Philadelphia, there were only 2 other engine companies in all of West Philadelphia. A little over a month later, Engine 41 was organized in the northwest section of West Philadelphia. The two stations gave better coverage to the outer areas of West Philadelphia.
Engine 40’s original apparatus was an 1891 horse-drawn Silsby 4th sized steamer, and an 1892 department-made, 2 wheel hose reel cart. The original roster was a foreman, engineer, driver, fireman (to stoke the boiler), and 4 hosemen.
Engine 40’s first motorized apparatus was a 1918 American LaFrance combination hose & chemical wagon, and a 1918 American LaFrance 900 gpm pumper.
On November 10, 1954, Engine 40 moved into a rented garage at 6307 Grays Avenue so that Engine 40’s station could be demolished and a new station built on the site. On July 9, 1956, the new station was opened on the southeast corner of 65th & Woodland Avenue, sharing its building with the 12th Police District. The address of the new station was 2213-15 South 65th Street because the apparatus bay door fronted 65th Street.
At the same time Rescue 3 (heavy rescue) was moved from 50th & Baltimore Avenue into Engine 40’s new station (probably to be closer to the rapidly expanding Philadelphia International Airport). However, it would only remain there a little under 5 years when it returned to 50th & Baltimore.
On September 18, 1961, Ladder 4 moved into Engine 40’s station from 6th & Locust Streets in Center City. This gave Southwest Philadelphia better ladder coverage where ladders were few, and distant from each other.
On April 4, 1988, Rescue 19 (light rescue) moved into the station from Engine 69.
Today, Engine 40, Ladder 4, and Rescue 19 continue to serve Southwest Philadelphia from this station.
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