Transcribed by Sharon Palmateer from the Greene County Volunteer Firemenís Association 1889-1989 One-Hundred Years of Fire Service History
The Earlton Fire Department was originally organized as an auxiliary of Hose Three Company of Coxsackie, with an active membership of twenty-five men. There was a small truck and fire house assigned to the department by Hose Three.
In January of 1964, the Earlton Fire Department was incorporated as an independent fire department. This action led to an increase in active fire fighters from 25 to 50. After the incorporation, Earlton Fire Department, Inc. negotiated with Hose Three and the Town of Coxsackie for the purchase of the fire house and the appointment of a Fire District, respectfully.
In February of 1964, the newly incorporated fire
department obtained a contract for a specific section of the originally Number
Three Fire Protection District from the town of Coxsackie.
With an area of its own to protect, the Earlton Fire Department purchased
the only high pressure pumper in Greene County.
It was capable of pumping eighty gallons of water per minute at nine
hundred pounds of pressure.
After the purchase of the land, fire house and one small truck, the Earlton Fire Department, felt there was a need to provide more service to the community and added, what was to be called their number one truck. This truck provided the fire department with the ability to draw draft from ponds and use hydrants, as well as being used in relay systems. This number one truck, purchased in June of 1964, was also equipped with a radio to transmit and receive. In addition to the purchase of the truck, the large siren for the fire house was also purchased to enable the volunteer men to hear the call to action when the need arose.
In May of 1965, the construction of the new Earlton Fire House was begun. The work was done by the volunteers and the monies needed for the project were collected through donations and various fund raising activities.
A strong and often unspoken part of the Earlton Fire Department is its Ladies Auxiliary. Organized in February of 1962, with a membership of twenty-five, they are on call 24 hours a day. They are involved in fund raising activities, host dinners for the community and provide the back up and support of the fire department. It is always nice to know, that on a cold night during a long battle with a fire, the Ladies Auxiliary is there with hot coffee, sandwiches and the dedication to service that have made them a fine example of volunteerism.
In 1970, the department purchased a new Ward LaFrance Pumper with a 1000 gallon per minute pumper. In addition to standard equipment, the truck has been refitted with new hose, air-pacs and a variety of the latest turn-out gear. The department is noted for its constant research and study of the latest equipment and what is best suited to the needs of the district the department serves. With a limited number of hydrants, mainly one, in the district, the fire fighters must have the knowledge of water source and location to draw draft and or shuttle water from a source to the fire scene.
The Earlton Fire Department can boast being a modern, nondiscriminating organization. In April of 1981, the Earlton Fire Department, accepted its first and only female fire fighter. A smooth transition and overall acceptance made the department a model among rural volunteer companies. In December of 1984, the second female fire fighter would join the department and the door is always open to all those committed to serving with the department.
In February of 1989, the Earlton Fire Department celebrated its 25th Anniversary. It was to be a night to remember with the honoring of the men and women who had selflessly served the department for 25 years.
The Earlton Fire Department has seen a lot of changes over the past 25 years and compared to some, are still in their infant years. The dedication, commitment and faith of the founders is the corner stone of the Earlton Fire Department. As they embark on the next 25 years, looking back and looking ahead, they will always continue to protect and serve faithfully the community and fire district -- most of all the people Ė thatís the history of the Earlton Fire Department, a history of people who care.
*Authorís Note: It is my honor and privilege to have been the first female fire fighter to serve the Earlton Fire Department. The last eight years have been truly a great experience. As secretary and aught, I dedicate this history to all those members, past and present, who have served the Earlton Fire Department, Inc..
Respectfully, Bambi A. Baehrel