Truck “C” was organized on March 15, 1871 on the southeast corner of Norris & Sepviva Streets in the Fishtown section of the city. It was housed in the quarters of the Friendship Fire Company.
The original company roster was as follows:
- B. Frank Shantz – Foreman
- Thomas Miller – Driver
- David A. Sisk – Tillerman
- Joseph Roats – Ladderman
- John Roats – Ladderman
- James Campbell – Ladderman
- William McKinley – Ladderman
- William G. McDade – Ladderman
- John Hill – Ladderman
- James Gourley – Ladderman
- James Russell – Ladderman
- Martin M. Pettit – Ladderman
- Edward Duffy – Ladderman
Mrs. Jones was the matron.
The Friendship Fire Company was paid $666.66 in rent for the year.
The truck carried 8 ladders, lengths being 11, 14, 20, 26, 31, 35, 42, and 45 feet.
In 1879, Truck “C” moved to a station at 1708 Frankford Avenue.
In 1881, Truck “C” moved into a newly built station at 2003 North 2nd Street.
Numbers replaced letters for designated truck companies on July 11, 1900. Truck C became Truck 3.
On July 31, 1961, Ladder 3 moved into Engine 2’s station at 2031 North 7th Street along with Battalion Chief 6.
On April 5, 1978, all 3 units moved to a new station at 2422-32 North 2nd Street, its present location. However, Battalion 6 was deactivated on June 27, 1983.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Ladder 3 was the busiest ladder company in the city, mainly because it covered a deteriorating neighborhood with many vacant dwellings due to the expansion of Temple University, and many false fire alarm boxes being pulled.