Watkins Glen Fire Department celebrates 150 years
Despite the decline in membership within fire departments across New York State, one fire company in the Finger Lakes region is celebrating a milestone. YNN's Katie Husband has the story from Watkins Glen.
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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Firefighters and community members in the Village of Watkins Glen enjoyed emergency vehicles sounding the alarms as they paraded through the streets to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the fire company.
"Back in 1862, on March 7th I believe it was, the village passed an ordinance number seven stating that they have a village-owned fire department. It's been from that point on," said Robert DeDominick, Deputy Fire Chief.
In that year, the company started out with one bucket brigade and 15 members. Today, Watkins Glen Fire Department has nine vehicles and over 50 members. To try and keep the number of members high, the department offers incentives besides serving the community.
"It's called the LOSAP Program and it's like a retirement. That’s for recruitment and retention of firefighters. We have that available here in the Watkins Glen Fire Department," said DeDominick.
They also offer different opportunities for firefighters who want to better themselves with education through the state fire academy in Montour Falls.
Fire departments across New York State, not just here in Watkins Glen, have seen a decline in membership, making today's celebration that much more important.
"Well, it's important that we made it this far,” DeDominick said. “We should be proud, we're all proud of that. After being here for 150, we're looking forward to next 150, how does that sound?"
That sounds like another celebration waiting to happen.