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The Highland Hose Volunteer Fire Company Is This Week’s Volunteer Fire Company Of The Week

Highland Hose Volunteer Fire Company

Here is a history of the Highland Hose Volunteer Fire Company located in Derby, NY courtesy of firefighter Mike Wiley:

1937 A small group of men saw the need for additional fire protection in their small community. So they sought out and received their charter and formed Highland Hose.
1938 It was at this time we needed a fire truck so, we bought a very used 1928 REO Truck from the Kenilworth Fire Company. Our Ladies Auxiliary was also formed this year. Our company held a Class “C” Rating at this time.
1939 Our Firehall was under construction. During this our equipment was housed at a members house then a local gas station until the hall was complete.
1940 Our Firehall was completed and we bought a new siren from W. S. Darley Company.
1941 We needed another truck so we bought a 1 1/2 Ton Ford chassis. With a M500 Midship pump we installed and built the truck as we saw fit.
1943 Our company decided to start a newspaper called “The Greeter.” This was sent not only to the members in the area but to those that were away fighting in World War 2.
1944 We bought our first CO 2 Fire Extinguisher to be carried on the trucks. We also decided 2 things this year. First the need for a new hall because we were outgrowing our old one, Second we formed a First Aid Squad.
1945 A piece of property was donated for the new hall to be built on Washington Street.
1946 Our First Aid Squad received their Advanced First Aid cards as well as a used 1941 Ford Army ambulance. This made us the first fire company in the town to have an ambulance.
1948 The new Firehall is finished. With this we bought a Movie Projector to have Saturday morning movies for the kids and we also had a boxing ring built to hold local matches.
1949 After some great debate and research we decided to become part of the North Evans Fire District.
1952 The first radio was installed in the ambulance making it easier for the members of the squad.
1955 Our old ambulance needed many repairs so we bought a used 1953 Cadilliac from Columbus Hospital.
1956 A portable pump was bought for use in the district. It was also decided that we needed new apparatus as ours was in disrepair.
1959 We bought our first set of Scott SCBA Packs. Our First Aid Squad attended a convention held in Blasdell and test drove then bought a new ambulance. We also began a points system at this time.
1961 The need for a new pumper was realized thus resulting in the purchase of a brand new 1961 American LaFrance Custom Pumper.
1962 The need for a special rescue team was seen thus resulting in the formation of the Underwater Rescue and Recovery Team. We were the first fire company in the area to have such a team.
1964 We purchased two more brand new fire trucks this year. The first was a 1964 Chevy Step Van to be used as our Heavy Rescue, the other was a 1964 American LaFrance Pumper-Tanker.
1965 The First Aid Squad purchased a brand new ambulance now all of our apparatus was new.
1966 The company purchased 3 revolving lights for all 3 chiefs cars.
1968 We began an award for ” Fireman of the Year.” We also purchased a new ambulance and traded the old one in on it. The Town bought a Hydrant Thawer for the districts use.
1969 The new ambulance arrives. A 2500 watt generator and an Orthopedic Stretcher was also purchased.
1970 We began a Fire Prevention Bureau making us the first in the Town of Evans to have one.
1974 The MERS radio system is installed in our ambulance giving us communications with the areas hospitals.
1976 We placed a monument dedicated to all the deceased fireman of our company in front of our hall.
1977 The Blizzard of ’77 strikes resulting in our area snowbound for 6 days. We worked many man hours helping out our community.
1979 We took delivery of our new Crash truck from the Hurst Performance Corporation.
1980 We began a Cliff Rescue team due to the fact that we border Lake Erie and there are some real high cliffs.
1981 We took delivery of a new American LaFrance Pumper and a new ambulance. The pumper is our current Engine 1.
1982 Our First Aid Squad took a huge step by getting 12 members to have Advanced Life Support Certification. This made us the first company in town to be ALS certified.
1987 We celebrated 50 years of service to our community.
1988 On July 18th the 911 system was activated. Our new Heavy Rescue was placed in service and is our current rig. We also started a Firefighter Explorer Post for teenagers.
1989 Our new ambulance a Ford / Wheeled Coach was put into service.
1991 The company sponsored a full size circus in the parking lot complete with Big Top Tent and wild animals. A Pulse Oximeter was also purchased for use on our ambulance.
1992 A very serious accident happened on Jan. 18th where due to conditions at the scene we set up for the first time an Incident Command System which worked very well. We also received our second new pumper a Sutphen 10 Man Custom which is still serving the area today.
1994 We recieved a billboard which allows us to post events to the general public. On May 21st we received the “Excellence thru Teamwork” award from VFIS.
1995 On the 4th of July a fire began at Flex O Vit in Angola. This quickly turned to 2 alarms and was fought by hundreds of firefighters from all over the area. Later in the year we also purchased a new Zoll Defib Unit for our ambulance.
1996 The company entered a booth in The Town of Evans Trade Show where we hand out Fire Prevention materials to the community. We still do this every year.
1997 We sent our old Deifb Unit to the Number One Volunteer Fire Company located in Tennessee for use on their Trucks.
1998 A scholarship for $ 500.00 was made in the name and memory of Terry DeGroat the first winner of this scholarship was Michelle Rozler. Through the efforts of our Development Director Jack Kuebler we are now on United Ways Donation list.
1999 We sponsered our very first 5k run, an event we hold every year now. A new AMKUS Extrication Tool was purchased for use on our Heavy Rescue.
2001 On Sept. 11th a terrible disaster occured. We held a Candle Light Vigil to Honor those lost in these attacks. Nearly 300 people attended.
2002 Around May of this year Firefighter/EMT-D Merritt Long created the Highland Hose website launching us into the future of computers and the internet. Member Jack DeGroat was presented with the “Lifetime Achiement Award” by the Erie County Fire Chiefs Mutal Aid Association. In mid July we put our new ambulance a 1995 Lifeline/Ford Type 3 into service.

God Bless all of our firefighters everywhere. Submit your fire company by emailing your photo and bio to: johnlamond@wyrk.com

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