Celebrating 125 Years of Commitment and Tradition
After the establishment of a water works in the Village in 1897 and suffering tragic losses due to fire, it was clear that a formal group was needed to respond to fires and emergencies.
On November 29, 1898, 25 men in Pittsford activated the ‘Active Hose Co. #1 and were followed in less than two weeks by two dozen men, forming the ‘Iroquois Hose Co. #2. These two companies, along with a ladder company and a chemical company became what is known today as today as the ‘Pittsford Volunteer Fire Association, Inc,’
Our first fire hall was dedicated in May of 1908 near the four corners in the village. The fire department currently operates out of two stations, station one in the village just west of the original fire hall and station two located on the south end of Town.
On the 5th of October 1909 the Pittsford Volunteer Fire Department entered into a mutual aid agreement with the Despatch Hose Company which is now East Rochester Fire Department. It is generally believed that was the first mutual aid agreement in the country. As such, Monroe County is known as the birthplace of mutual aid, which is now a national norm.
The first recorded list of equipment included two American LaFrance hose carts, hose, buckets, and a few basic tools. To service the community with efficiency, the department currently operates with two ladder trucks, one rescue truck, three pumpers, two squad trucks, an ATV and three utility vehicles and numerous pieces of response tools and equipment. Giving homage to our past and traditions, although not in service, the two original hose carts, a 1925 restored American LaFrance pumper and a 1979 American LaFrance pumper continue to compliment our apparatus fleet.
Due to the increase in emergency response and the demands on the volunteers, over the years the leadership has evolved from a President, Foreman, now recognized as the Chief, and Assistant Foreman, to a compliment of Line Officers and Civil Officers. Currently there are three Chiefs, two Captains and two Lieutenants, who make up the Line Officers. The Civil Officers consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary and 2nd Secretary, a Treasurer and 2nd Treasurer as well as a Drill Sergeant, Sergeant at Arms and two Wardens. Additionally, there are Safety Officers and Fire Police who serve under the direction of the Chief.
Over the past 125 years some 600 men and women volunteers have served as members of the department providing dedicated service to the Pittsford Fire District Community. Currently the ranks consist of about 77 members continuing the traditions of those who served before us. That equates to thousand and thousand of volunteer hours not only responding to the many emergencies but attending training drills to learn and retain their skills and meetings to continue the success of the organization.
In 1929 it was recorded that the department responded to 9 calls or emergencies. Over the years the department has seen its share of memorable emergencies including the blizzards of 1966 and ’93, the ice storm of ’91, the fire at Irondequoit Country Club in 1936, the Pittsford Lumber Co. fire in 1941, in 1970 the fire at the Pittsford Dairy and the fire at the Presbyterian Church in 2003. Although the number of serious fires has decreased the number of other calls for emergency service have drastically increased. Last year the department responded to over 900 emergencies and calls for assistance. Whether it is a minor emergency, motor vehicle accident or a house fire, the members of the department have provided uninterrupted service to our community for 125 years.