A full century of fighting fires

Parker Dennis (7) was all smiles as she got suited up in genuine fire fighter gear by Ben Minniges.

Photo by Partick L. Sullivan

A full century of fighting fires

FALLS VILLAGE — The Falls Village Volunteer Fire Department kicked off its 100th anniversary year with an open house at the Emergency Services Center Saturday, Jan. 13.

The doors were open in the bays so visitors could get a good look at the equipment.

Younger visitors were provided with red plastic fire helmets.

Tim Downs gave a little boy the rundown on the various pieces of equipment stored in one of the fire trucks, including a chain saw, fans for clearing smoke, and a suction strainer.

Bill Beebe and Carson Lotz demonstrated the proper use of an inflatable device to lift vehicles off people trapped underneath. Beebe said rescuers usually only need a few inches of lift to get someone out.

Ben Minniges got young Parker Dennis outfitted in full firefighting regalia, and showed another visitor the air dryers used to get firefighting clothing dry in a hurry.

The fire department was founded in 1924. Asked when the ambulance service was started, there was some scurrying.

Downs said, “I got it written down in that cabinet,” and disappeared.

But Michele Hansen and Andrea Downs beat him to the answer, consulting a booklet and finding the date, which is 1956.

In the meeting room, people gathered for refreshments and conversation. Jim Hutchinson from Sharon Hospital was on hand, and state Sen. Steve Harding (R-30) dropped by around 2 p.m.

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