Spring Brook Fire Company’s History
Previous to this, there was no fire equipment other than bucket brigades or equipment drawn in from neighboring communities. The first piece of moving equipment was a pumper purchased second hand from Vigilant Fire Company of Ebenezer, New York. This could be drawn by men or horses and required four men on each side pumping and a bucket brigade to keep the tank full. The pumper was kept in various barns around the Village and in Amos Wilson’s Blacksmith shop which is now the location of the Louis Reitmeier property. After being retired from service, the piece of equipment was moved from place to place, barn to barn, and finally disappeared.
There was no fire hall and meetings were held in St. Vincent’s Parish Hall, the Odd Fellows Hall, the old No. 10 School House and Westons Hotel, which is now the Spring Brook Hotel. No one remembers the names of early Presidents of the Fire Company. There are no minutes of early meeting proceedings or early fire records.
In 1925 the first Fire Hall was built to house a modern Fire Truck, a Larabee built in Buffalo, NY. This truck was equipped with four sixty gallon chemical tanks.
By 1940, the Larabee truck needed replacing and a G.M.C. truck chassis was purchased from Wolf Motors, in Tonawanda, NY for $400.00. This was converted into a Fire Truck at Cayasler MFG. Co. on William St. in Buffalo, NY by lengthening the wheel base and then fabricating the additional super structure of a Fire Truck at a cost of $2,800.00. For many years this was our only piece of equipment capable of pumping while in motion and was used in great advantage in fighting grass fires. This truck could draft water from a pond or creek. It could take water from another pumper or direct from a hydrant if needed. A very versatile piece of equipment and a proven workhorse of its day.
In 1950 the residents of the District voted a bond issue for the purchase of a Ford John Bean Fire Engine. This was a high pressure fog unit which will convert water into vapor, thus making it possible for firefighters to work close to the fire reducing loss.
An addition was built to the existing one bay fire hall and the building was renovated in its entirety in 1951. There was enough room to house three pieces of fire equipment. The Hall was dedicated in 1962.
In 1961, a large International pumper was acquired from the Young Fire Equipment Co. in Lancaster, NY. A Ford Vanette for first aid was purchased which transported all first aid equipment and lighting equipment.
The property on Pound Road, The Spring Brook Firemen’s Park was acquired in 1947 through a tax sale. In 1954 a bar building was erected. In 1957 a kitchen building was constructed. In 1958, a water system, restroom and rewiring of the grounds was completed. In the 1970’s Mr. George Horn donated additional property to the grounds. The property on the corner of Pound Road and Seneca Street was purchased from the Poppenbergs. A recreation building was erected in 1980. In the mid 1980’s the Schettlers donated property to the firemen.
In 1989 it was imminent that a new Fire Hall for fire equipment was in order. Property became available from Robert Mairchier, bordering Seneca Street, Entire Old Pound Road and Pound Road. The Fire District purchased this location for $40,000.00 to build a new truck garage and future development. Ground breaking took place in 1991. It was occupied in November of 1992. The old Fire Hall on Seneca Street was sold to Reid’s Tires.
A 1965 Heavy Rescue Ford was replaced in 1997 by a 1996 Heavy Rescue Truck (KME). In 1998 modernization took place within the hall. During this year improvements were also made. In 1998 a new Ford Explorer Chiefs Vehicle was purchased, a first for Spring Brook Fire Company.
December of 1999, Nancy Thompson was elected as the first female Chief. She took office in 2000. During this year our 1989 Ford Ambulance had to be replaced. A new Braun Ambulance was purchased and put into service.
The kitchen at the recreation hall on Pound Road was remodeled in 2001. Plans for the construction of an addition to the Truck Garage at 70 Pound Road were formulated and ground breaking took place in October 2002.