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New Haven Volunteer Fire Department Celebrates Fifty Years Of Service
photo by Mark BouvierWhere fifty years has gone, no one is certain, but every member of the New Haven Fire Department was happy to celebrate the special anniversary and looks forward to the next 50 years of serving the community.
photo by Mark BouvierAs a part of the celebration many generations honored and photographed. L-R Dean Gilmore- Second Assistant Chief, Jim Ford- Former Chief, Alan Mayer- Chief, Mark Livingston- 1st Assistant Chief.
photo by Mark BouvierPresent at the 50th Celebration were several of the original charter members of the New Haven Department. From L- R : Paul Bolduc, Rael Mayer, Les Champine, Julie Larrow, Jim Ford, Darwin Lee, John Palmer, and Peter Bolduc.
Tuesday May 23, 2017
By Cookie Steponaitis
It was a chilly January evening in 1968 when the newly formed New Haven Volunteer Fire Department became active at many levels and twenty three members were gathered at the New Haven Congregational Church about to graduate from Fire School. Deputy Chief Ray Davison, representing the Vermont State Fire School and as a member of the Vergennes Fire Department was there to award completion certificates for the men who had just completed sessions in chemistry of fires, fire equipment, rope work, ladder operations, fire tactics, water supply systems, fire problems and the practical operation and procedures of using apparatus and equipment. Members of the department who earned diplomas and State Department of Education training certificates that night were Chief Julius Larrow, First Assistant Chief Allen Noble, Second Assistant Chief Harold Danyow, Peter Bolduc, Eugene Booska, Paul Larrow, Kenneth Sawyer, Richard Daniels, Clarence French, Kenneth Shortsleeve, Ernest Dyke, Audice Goyette, Abraham Goyette, Paul Bolduc, Leslie Champine, William LaFountain, Robert Champine, Warren Whitcomb, Darwin Lee, Ward Langdon, Jr., Leonard Sears, William Jimmo and Robert Sherman. The fire department started out with a 1949 International Fire Pumper and Brockway Tank Truck, began its service to the New Haven community and made plans to join the Addison County Firefighers Association Mutual Aid Unit.
Fast forward fifty years and the day was about honoring the commitment of those first firefighters and the legacy, commitment and purpose that has sustained the New Haven Volunteer Fire Department for the past fifty years and seen the department grow in numbers, training and equipment. Chief Alan Mayer shared with the group gathered this past week to celebrate the 50th anniversary, “Fifty years ago the idea of forming a fire department in New Haven was born due to the rising cost of fire protection from surrounding towns. The cost rose from $626.00 in 1963 to $3100.00 in 1966. In May 1967 it became a reality and the first officers were elected: Julie Larrow - Chief, Alan Noble - First Assistant Chief and Harold Danyow-Second Assistant Chief. The first pieces of apparatus were purchased, a 1949 International pumper for $6000.00 and an 1800 gallon tanker for $2000.00. Those two trucks were housed at Ellen Smith’s garage on Main Street, west of Frank Porter’s House for that first winter. In March 1968 the townspeople voted $5000.00 to build a firehouse. Construction was started in August of that year and the trucks moved in on October 30, 1968.”
Chief Mayer went on to lay out for the group the major purchases of equipment, training and the last and newest piece which was the 2011 new hose reel truck at a cost of $274,512.00, with 41% of the cost of the truck having come from the fundraising efforts of the department. Mayer concluded his presentation with the remarks, “I cannot begin to thank all of the people who have helped us during the first fifty years. But you know who you are and I hope you are as proud to have helped us as we are thankful for your help. I know fifty years seems like a lifetime to some of the younger people here today, but before you know it fifty more will have gone by.”
The Valley Voice salutes the New Haven Volunteer Fire Department for fifty years of service and thanks each individual for the thousands of hours of time, hundreds of hours of training, countless missed meals, birthdays and family events for when the bell tones, they spring into action giving of themselves to keep others safe. Rooted in the traditions of fire service, community service and the brotherhood of those who serve others, New Haven Volunteer Fire Department turns fifty in a valley where service is a way of life and strength comes in generations of those who make it a part of their lives.
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