Five generations of Schellhammers have passed through the ranks of Cover Hill Volunteer Fire Co., which is celebrating 100 years of battling fires, floods and other tragedies.
The Schellhammers and others recognize the strong bond among the families that have labored side by side since 1923 in Conemaugh Township, Cambria County.
“We try to keep the family tradition going,” Assistant fire Chief Shaun Schellhammer said. “It’s like the whole family is basically involved in the fire company.” Shaun’s wife, Gina, is the fire company’s recording secretary. His brother, David, is the treasurer. His father, Ronald Schellhammer, was active in the fire service until his death in 2020 at age 85.
The fire company responds to calls in Conemaugh Township, which has 1,800 residents, and Daisytown Borough, with a population of 300. As with many small fire companies, recruiting and retaining volunteers is a challenge. Family ties are crucial.