The German-American Firefighter’s Association, (GAFA) is a fraternal organization. It consists of men and women who seek greater enjoyment in life through a traditional camaraderie. As our name implies, we are comprised of members with German ethnic origins and/or those individuals who are now or once were associated in some way with the fire service. We are Americans first, but we are proud of what our German forefathers have contributed to the development of our fire service.
Because of our inclusive title, the GAFA’s membership is quite varied. Our ranks, while obviously Germanic in essence, do not exclude other ethnic backgrounds. The fire service status of our numerous members is diversified. We enjoy a mixture of paid and volunteer firefighters who are either in active service or retired. We also have on our roles members who participate in various fire service support groups and organizations.
GAFA was founded in June of 1982 with a charter membership totaling ninety-two.
Although fraternal, GAFA is also charitable in nature. Proceeds from GAFA functions have been donated to and GAFA has participated in various fire related charitable organizations.
Our principal event each year is the GAFA Muster. Public and private fire apparatus are displayed and compete for various plaques and trophies. A fire related flea market and family picnic is held concurrently. In addition to sponsoring our own affairs, GAFA attends and participates in those of other organizations: We have marched in the St. Patrick’s Parade in the spring and the von Steuben Parade in the fall; we maintain booths annually at many other fire related organization’s affairs. At our booths, we solicit new memberships, offer GAFA items for sale and generally enjoy the ongoing activities. Our club related items with our distinctive logo include T-shirts, sweat shirts, staff shirts, mugs, bags, keychains and many other items..
We also attend socially other German clubs in the area. This includes banquets and outdoor fests where entire families are welcomed. We traditionally host German firefighters who visit us for the annual “von Steuben Parade” in September and have a great deal of “Gemütlichkeit” following the parade, in the Oktoberfest beer tent.
GAFA holds monthly meetings (every 2nd Thursday of the month except December) at the VE Club, located at 130 Davisville Road, in Warminster, PA 18974. At our meetings we discuss business and enjoy gathering with friends. A newsletter is also published to inform those unable to attend our meetings of our current and upcoming activities.
Membership is not restricted to the Delaware Valley with many of our members being from various states in our country and as far away as Germany, Austria Switzerland and Italy.
The German-American Firefighter’s Association, Inc. is a unique and prospering organization. We know of none other in the United States. Whether you are of German heritage or associated in some way with the fire service, we cordially invite you to join us.