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Volunteer Fire Company Of The Week: The Scranton Volunteer Fire Company

Congratulations to this week’s Volunteer Fire Company of the week:
The Scranton Volunteer Fire Company was formed in 1933. Shortly after, the company purchased its first piece of motorized fire apparatus, a 1914 Ford Model “T” Chemical Truck from the Village of Hamburg for $1.00. The Fire Company still owns this important piece of history and it is the focal point of our patch and Company letterhead. The “T” can be seen in many of the local parades and shows in which it has won many awards for Antique Fire Apparatus.
In 1934, the Scranton Ladies Auxiliary was formed. They have faithfully assisted the Fire Company with fund raising activities. During larger scale incidents, the Auxiliary Squad 10 assists us by providing refreshments and food to our members during extended operations.

The Fire Company continued to grow over the years. Initially, the Model T was housed at the members’ residences until 1937. Through hard work and fund raisers, the Fire Company eventually built a building on the current property at 5395 Scranton Rd. During the 1940s through the 1960s, much growth was seen. Additions were built along with newer buildings and additional fire equipment was purchased.

On June 6, 1959, the Fire Company formed a 1st Aid Squad under the American Red Cross and purchased a 1954 Pontiac Ambulance. The Fire Company has stayed active with EMS and was the first Advanced Life Support Unit in the town in 1982. In 2000, Scranton was certified to Paramedic level. In 2007, due to declining membership and the rigorous standards set forth by the state, Scranton has dropped its Paramedic level but has maintained an Intermediate Life Support (ILS) level of care and is backed up by Rural Metro Services.

During the early stages of the Fire Company, in order to notify members of a call, Hamburg Fire Control would call Goddard’s Store which was a few houses away from Station 1. The Goddard’s, in turn, would respond to the hall and hammer on a section of rail track to summon the other members. This section of rail is displayed in our Memorial Park as our “First Fire Alarm.” In the early 1960′s, the Fire Chief received the first 2-way radio for his car which provided a more rapid response. In 1967, the members received home receivers (Plectrons) to notify them of a call. Eventually, voice minitors were purchased. An upgraded version of these minitors are still used today along with alpha numeric pagers and group texting to cell phones by Hamburg Fire Control. Scranton was among the first Fire Companies to work towards establishing a Town Air Bank to refill the Scott Air Packs. In 1969, the Scranton Benevolent Association was formed for the purpose of financial and other relief to members in need.

The construction of the New York Thruway divided our Fire Protection District in half. In 1974, a 3-bay sub-station was built on College Street in the Carnegie area to improve response time. This station houses a pumper, ladder truck, and ambulance.

The 1980′s was a memorable decade for the Fire Company. An addition of a new meeting room and recreation room was added at the main station in 1981. In 1983, we celebrated our 50th anniversary. In 1986, our first ladder truck was purchased, a 1981 Baker-Mack 75′ Aerialscope from the New York City Fire Department. In 1989, 2-Sutphen pumpers were purchased. This was the company’s first totally enclosed cab apparatus. Along with apparatus, improved equipment and rigorous training elevated Scranton to become one of the most aggressive, well-trained, and well-recognized companies in the area.

During the 1990′s, the members of Scranton continued to improve their firefighting skills and expanded their training to the field of auto extrication. In 1994, a hydraulic rescue system made by Amkus was purchased. This system is similar to the “Jaws of Life.” The members quickly learned this system and began attending auto extrication competitions throughout the Northeast, winning many trophies and awards. The competitions honed our skills for use on the street and again raised the proud reputation of Scranton.

The new millennium brought new challenges and the Scranton Fire Company continued to meet and exceed the increasing standards required for firefighting and EMS during this time. Due to declining memberships throughout the area, the Fire Company along with the rest of the Town Fire Companies began working together to overcome these deficiencies. Through the Town of Hamburg Fire Chiefs’ Association, many committees were formed. These committees standardized town-wide trainings, group purchasing, and a structured mutual-aid response was enacted. In 2002, the latest renovation was completed to our Scranton Road station converting the banquet hall into offices and a 3-bay addition. In 2008, we celebrated our 75th anniversary.

As we enter another decade, the members of the Scranton Fire Company are ready to meet the challenges ahead. They have at their disposal an impressive arsenal of the latest firefighting equipment and superb training to complete this mission.

- Mike Guadagno, Company Historian

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