Fire Company Inc.
of the Chenango Fire Company Inc.
to either one of the fire companies being organized, fire protection
was provided by the Port Dickinson Fire Company. To obtain their
services a resident had to call a member of the Town Board of Chenango,
who in turn notified the Port Dickinson Fire Company. Needless to
say, because of this delay, fires usually got beyond control of
the firemen. Under the original plan of establishing a volunteer
fire company in the area, it was proposed that the town purchase
an inexpensive piece of apparatus equipped with a chemical tank.
It was to be located near Hinman's Corners, where it would be central
to practically all sections.
The first organizational meeting of the Community Volunteer Fire
Company of Nimmonsburg was held on March 1,1939. The first President
was James Phipps who appointed a committee of five to take the necessary
steps to incorporate the organization. The company was incorporated
on March 17,1939 at a cost of $40.00.
The first organizational meeting of the Community Volunteer Fire
Company #2 [Hinman's Corners] was held on March 10,1939. The first
President was RW. Benjamin. At a meeting held on March 6,1940, Al
Abair was elected President and appointed a committee in regards
to incorporation papers. The company was incorporated on March 15,1940
at a cost of $40.00.
In 1940 regular meetings of the Hinman's Corners company and the
Board of Directors were held on a weekly basis. The first contract
for a fund raiser was signed on June 6,1940 with the James E. Strates
shows for a carnival to be held June 17 through June 22,1940. On
June 28,1940 the Community Volunteer Fire Company #2 leased the
Quinn barn for $15.00 a month for five years for their first fire
station. On this same date they ordered their first fire truck,
a 1940 Brockway 500 gallon per minute pumper, at a cost of $8,500.
One month later on July 26,1940, they bought a 1934 Ford for $185
which they made into a 1,000 gallon tanker. Insurance on the trucks
for $10,000-$20,000 coverage in the year 1940 cost $84.95.
Karl Hendrickson was elected the first Chief of Hinman's Corners
on August 21,1940. He would officially start directing fire fighting
operations January 1,1941 when the first contract, with the Town
of Chenango, went into effect. The contract was for $500 per year.
Fred Kunkel was elected First Assistant Chief and Willis DeSilva
was elected Second Assistant Chief at this same meeting.
During these early years the companies had many hard working and
dedicated members which assured the success of the two different
departments for the future. One member, Fred Kunkel of the Hinman's
Corners Fire Company, was responsible for a considerable amount
of fire fighting equipment being donated to the company from the
Rockville Centre Fire Department to help in getting them started.
The first uniforms for Nimmonsburg were donated by the Deposit Fire
In 1941, the Nimmonsburg Company completed their new fire station,
which is now the Town of Chenango offices. This new structure was
40 feet by 90 feet and was built at a cost of $9,000. It had two
bays and an auditorium with a stage. During the next twenty years,
the company held dances and bingo games nearly every week for fund
raising. There also were many different shows held in the auditorium
during these years.
Nimmonsburg Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary was formed in 1941. The
first president was Minnie Kocik. They turned out to be one of the
most active auxiliaries of their time. Besides helping the firemen
with fund raising projects, they had many of their own. During these
early years they did a lot of sewing for the Red Cross. They would
meet two weeks before their regular meeting night to sew different
projects for the Red Cross.
In 1942 the Nimmonsburg Company received their first truck, which
was a Ford Sanford high pressure pumper. They also obtained a 1924
American LaFrance chain drive, right hand drive 750 GPM pumper from
the City of Binghamton in 1953. This was in service until 1957 when
someone forgot to open the engine cooling valve while at a fire
and blew up the engine.
important occasion for the Hinman's Corners Company occurred on
January 31,1944 with the formation of the Ladies Auxiliary. At that
time there were 11 charter members. Their first president was Mildred
Barriger. The Auxiliary has contributed much to the fire department
and to the community since that date. Throughout the years the ladies
have donated their time, holding many different fund raisers such
as dinners, card parties, rummage sales, flea markets, auctions,
bake sales and anything else that would raise money. They also helped
the firemen with their bingo games, pancake breakfasts, field days,
raffles and many other projects. With their fund raising projects
they have donated money to the fire company to be used for various
pieces of equipment for fire fighting and also the supplying of
dishes, etc., for the kitchen. They also help assist the firemen
by providing sandwiches and hot and cold drinks during fires. They
are presently set up and equipped to help the community in case
of a disaster or fire with food, clothing, blankets and many other
July 19,1944, the Community Volunteer Fire Company #2 voted to change
its name to the Hinman's Corners Fire Dept., Inc. The name change
became official on August 12,1944. Also on October 18,1944 the department
established a fire police unit within the company. The fire police
unit has become increasingly important over the years due to the
addition of limited access highways and interstates in our area.
This has led to a large increase in traffic, which they help to
control at the scene of accidents and fires. They also help control
the public and seal off the areas of fires and disasters when directed
to by the Chiefs.
In 1945 the two companies made some joint moves to provide better
service to the community. On August 18,1945, the Board of Directors
of both companies, at a joint meeting, voted to sign a five year
contract for Hinman's Corners to lease the Nimmonsburg station and
truck for $1.00 and letter the 1942 Ford with both companies' names.
On August 22,1945, 20 members from the Nimmonsburg Company were
accepted into the Hinman's Corners Fire Dept. to start on January
1, 1946 and to operate the Nimmonsburg truck under the chief of
In 1946, a new fire station for Hinman's Corners was started at
1326 Front St. The building, which was completed in 1947, had two
bays with a kitchen and a hall underneath them. The cost of the
building was $12,000 and the interest rate at that time was 4%.
During the 1950 years, there was a number of things happening for
both companies. In 1951, Hinman's Corners signed a five year contract
with the Town of Dickinson to provide fire protection to the Sunrise
Terrace community. Hinman's Corners Station #2, in Sunrise Terrace,
was opened on October 10,1954. On January 1,1954 the Nimmonsburg
Company was awarded its first contract with the Town of Chenango
for $2,600. The Nimmonsburg Company in 1957 purchased land at 1135
Front Street and, by themselves, built the station, which is now
Chenango Fire Company #2. The company in 1959 then leased the old
building to Marine Midland Bank for $150 per month for two years
and $200 per month for the next two years with an option to buy
for $55,000. Also in 1959 the company signed a new five year contract
with the Town of Chenango for $5,000. During the 1950s, the two
companies bought a total of five trucks between them. The Nimmonsburg
Company, in 1958, bought two GMC American LaFrance 750 GPM pumpers
at a cost of $7,500 each. One of the three trucks Hinman's Corners
bought was a 1953 Ward LaFrance 500 GPM pumper that carried 1,000
gallons of water. The cost of this truck was $16,000.
the sixties, both companies worked hard to build up their memberships
especially during the daytime hours when there was a serious shortage
of manpower. The Hinman's Corners Company added two more trucks
and at the same time started making plans to build a new station
#1 to replace the old one. They were outgrowing the two bay station
and there were rumors that Front Street was going to be widened.
This would create a problem with the ramp on the present station.
In 1964 Hinman's Corners held their first field days which lost
$500. In 1965 they did a little better. They only lost about $100.
After that they started showing a profit for their efforts.
The Nimmonsburg Company decided in 1964 that they had to sell the
old station so that they could pay their debts on the new building
and on their trucks. They sold the station to the Town of Chenango
for $37,000. In 1965 they then were able to add a kitchen to their
station at a cost of $10,000.
The seventies started out with Hinman's Corners moving into their
new four bay station #1 that had cost $60,000. The station was built
on property that was obtained from the Chenango Plaza in a swap
for the Front Street property and $32,000 cash.
The first contract with Broome County for fire protection for the
Front Street Jail and Broome Community College was signed on September
21,1970. The contract would cover a period of five years at $4,000
per year. This made the fire company the only one in New York State
to have a contract with a county.
August 15,1978 is a day that will never be forgotten by anyone who
belonged to Hinman's Corners at that time. The Hinman's Corners
fire station #1 burned. The first firemen on the scene did not dare
open the doors to try and get the trucks out. They had to wait helplessly
until the Chenango Bridge Fire Company arrived on the scene and
got a charged line ready. They then proceeded to open one door at
a time and got the trucks out. The day before, all of the paper
products, booths, counters, etc., were stored away from the field
days that had just ended. It was suspected that a cigarette in the
paper products started the fire during the night. It cost $35,000
to repair the station.
On January 1,1979 the Nimmonsburg Company put their Hurst Tool [Jaws
of Life], that they had purchased in 1978 from a local rescue service,
into action. They removed a person from his car which had been in
a head on collision. Total cost of the equipment was $7,500. This
was the first fire company-owned Hurst Tool in Broome County. Also
in 1979 the company undertook the project of restoring the 1942
antique Sanford fire truck. It took the members three years of scraping,
welding and painting, but when they were finished they had done
an excellent job and had something they could be extremely proud
of. They had finished it in time to show it at the Oakdale Mall
Fire Prevention Show. Cost for the project was less than $500.
As the 1980s came upon us, none of the members of either department
could have had any idea what was in store for us. The Hinman's Corners
Company bought a 1980 Autocar squad truck for $98,000 and in 1981
added an Autocar 1750 GPM pumper, that could carry 1,500 gallons
of water, at a cost of $105,000. The field days had come a long
ways from the first one. In 1980 the field days grossed $29,632.59
and in 1981, the last one that would be held grossed $25,139.90,
even with rain on Saturday, the busiest day.
The Nimmonsburg Company decided in 1983 to develop a Med Team to
help out the Chenango Volunteer Emergency Squad answer calls. In
September 1983 the Med Team went into service. On January 14,1984
the first woman joined the Nimmonsburg Company and on October 29,1984
the Hinman's Corners Company voted in the first woman in their organization.
In 1984 both companies made a very important decision in which to
better serve their community. They voted to consolidate their two
companies into one. On April 13,1984 the Hinman's Corners Company
Board of Directors voted yes and on April 16,1984 the Nimmonsburg
Company did the same. It then had to be passed by the members of
both organizations. On August 16,1984 the Hinman's Corners members
voted yes and on August 20,1984 the Nimmonsburg members also voted
Now the hard work would start; which was to mold the two organizations
into one. At the same time the legal work would be getting underway.
A new name, Chenango Fire Company, Inc., was picked out for the
consolidated company. By doing this, both companies gave up their
former names, which they naturally were very proud of. New by-laws
had to be drawn up to run the company along with many other details
to be worked out to everybody's satisfaction. No one had any idea
of the amount of legal work that was ahead of us or that it would
take one year to complete. Finally, on August 8,1985, the Chenango
Fire Company, Inc. was official. The cost for the legal work was
$3,208.35. On August 26,1985 the first meeting was held and the
first officers were elected.
On May 23,1986 the fire company Board of Directors voted to merge
the Chenango Volunteer Ambulance Squad into the fire company. The
members voted and approved the merger on January 8,1987. The ambulance
Board of Directors voted to merge with the fire company at a meeting
held on October 23,1986. The members voted yes at a meeting held
on November 6,1986. While all of the legal work was taking place,
the fire company, on March 1,1987, started operating the squad.
The two organizations signed a contract to legally allow the fire
company to do this. Effective January 1,1988, the merger became
official at a cost for legal fees of $4324.08.
The future for Chenango Fire Company, Inc. is going to be very challenging
and exciting. We are in the middle of a fund raising drive to upgrade
our ambulance service to advanced life support for the community
and its residents' benefit. Besides being a very costly project,
it also takes some very dedicated members to volunteer their time
to take the many hours of schooling to bring their skills up to
this higher level. The company has also been doing some research
and planning for the building of a new station #1 on the corner
of Castle Creek Road and Trafford Road. This station would house
eight pieces of equipment, sleeping quarters and showers for on
duty ambulance personnel, training quarters, a hall with a kitchen,
a number of different offices for firematic, EMS and business, a
recreation room for the members and plenty of storage space. In
1988 the company had a lot, near the top of Dorman Road, donated
to us for a fire station. The company, in the future, hopes to build
a small station on this property so that we will have a truck on
top of the hill for a quick response to emergencies up there. The
company has also discussed building a smaller station to replace
station #2 after the larger station #1 is complete.
Naturally all of these plans are continually under review and are
subject to change at any time due to financial status, a better
idea or a different direction in which to go for the company. But
the one thing that can be guaranteed to our community is that the
members of Chenango Fire Company, Inc. will continue to work hard
and strong for them, in starting on our second fifty years.
CORNERS FIRE DEPARTMENT, INC.
||500 GPM Brockway pumper
Ford, 1,000 gallon tanker, tank put on by members
front end pumper, chassis only, members built the rest
LaFrance 500 GPM pumper with 1,000 gallons water
Ford 500 GPM Ward LaFrance pumper
4 WD Ford brush truck.
LaFrance 750 GPM pumper
Emergency One Minipumper
squad truck, custom built by Saulsbury
1750 GPM pumper tanker with 1,500 gallons of water
VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY OF NIMMONSBURG
Sanford 500 GPM pumper.
American LaFrance, chain drive, right hand drive.
Packard Ambulance, made into hose team truck, Garden Hose #1
and also used for brush fires.
GMC American LaFrance 750 GPM pumpers
GMC 3/4 ton, 4 WD brush truck
LaFrance Century 1500 GPM pumber
LaFrance Century 1750 GPM pumper
Rescue truck, custom built by Saulsbury