History of Union Fire Company No. 2

 

ESTABLISHED JUNE 11, 1901

On September 27, 1855 at the address where the present fire house stands, the “Star Fire Co.” was founded and remained active until February 3, 1877 when it was disbanded because the village fathers locked the doors due to a dispute with the members of the fire company.

Between February 3, 1877 and February 7, 1877 a petition containing approximately thirty names was presented to the village fathers asking permission to form the Union Fire Co. #2.

On February 7, 1877 this permission was granted and the company operated until June 10, 1901. Some months prior to this date, the firemen had asked to village to raise the bell so it could be heard at the north end of town. Not having their wishes met they remained inactive until disbanding on this day. The next day they reorganized again as Union Fire Company #2. (No one knows if the bell was ever raised)

From 1877 to 1916 the fire company had a hose cart to carry hose to the fires which was pulled by hand. It must have been quite a feat to pull this cart through the village to a fire at the south end of town with its hills. Many firemen ended up being to tired too fight the fire after getting there.

In 1916 a motorized apparatus was purchased, a “Model T Ford”, chemical truck which was used until 1929 when the village purchased a Sanford Pumper to be housed at the Union Fire Co. station. The Sanford remained in service until it was replaced by a new 1944 Mack 750g.p.m. pumper. To complement the Sanford the comany acquired a 1929 Studebaker convertible and made it into a “squad car” which was used to carry hose back from fires and carry extra men and equipment.

During the 1950’s we started to expand from a one truck company with the purchase of a 1954 Dodge “Blitz Buggy” with high pressure pump, which changed the ways of firefighting forever. This was to be the first of three attack pumpers for the company.

In 1957 the men of the company added onto the firehouse making space for two more trucks and a larger kitchen. This addition was built and paid for by the company membership.  When the addition was finished an old oil truck was acquired to haul water to rural fires. This was the first of 3 tankers to be rebuilt by the members at the station, with only 1 still being in service. A 1934 Chevy Sanford was purchased by the company for firematic competition and many times it was called into service to pump at large fires. The addition of the fourth truck made it necessary to drive in the first truck and back it out when going to a fire.

As time passed the Fire Company began to purchase the land at the rear of the firehouse.  As of today, we now own most of the south side of Middlebrook Ave.  In 1970 the Village bought the Thomas property which bordered the north side of the firehouse. Building plans were formed by the company and after a meeting with the mayor and trustees, an agreement was reached for a two-bay drive through addition and remodeling to the front of the old station. These changes are still what the station looks like today.

A new Mack CF-600 pumper was added to the fleet in 1970, giving us 2 front line pumpers, the Blitz Buggy attack truck, and the tanker.  In 1976 the membership converted the Blitz Buggy into the lighting unit when it was replaced as an attack pumper by a Chevy powered Hammerley mini pumper.

In the 1980’s a second story was added above the 1957 addition giving the members a recreation room. In the mid 80’s a Ford van was purchased and outfitted for lighting and HazMat response.

1991 brought in a new American LaFrance pumper which forced the 1944 ‘Old Mack’ into retirement and placing the 1970 “New Mack” second in line. 1998 was the last year for the Hammerley when it was replaced by a new and improved 4- wheel drive Central States mini pumper on a Ford chassis.

In 2001 the company was proud to celebrate it’s 100th Anniversary.  A parade and other various activities were held to celebrate this landmark in our company’s history.  In the summer of 2007 the members of the company participated in the Village of Ballston Spa’s Bicentennial celebration.

Many trophies have been won at parades by the company and its band. The firematic racing team also has it’s fair share of awards and all are proudly displayed around the station. Over the years the company has had a great belief in supporting the youth of our community sponsoring numerous sports teams and events around the area.  Most of all, the company takes great pride in living up to our motto of being “Ever Ready”.