Ladder 6 Clarence Center Volunteer Fire Company Engine 2

History

The Clarence Center Improvement Company was formed in 1901 to study and discuss better fire protection. Seven years later in 1908, the first fire company in the town of Clarence was formed. This stock company held its first organizational meeting on May 21, 1908 and elected David Weidmen as President, John Schetter as Vice President, George Schmitt as Secretary, Charles Foote as Treasurer, Albert Zurbrich and Peter Croops as Auditors and George Herdegen as Fire Chief.

 
George Herdegen
1908
  David Wiedman
1908

By forming a stock company they were able to purchase a number of chemical fire extinguishers and a hand drawn hose cart. Local businessman E. W. Eshelman offered the site to the company for the construction of the first fire hall. A building fund was started and the first fundraising effort was a Fireman’s picnic which took place in July of 1908. Fireworks and dancing on the out door dance platform brought the first picnic to a successful close.

The building fund swelled when Wesley Williams, a salt road farmer, gave a large sum of money to erect the new building which became known as Williams Hall.

To further assist the stock company, the Clarence Center Volunteer Fireman’s Association was officially organized on October 5, 1921. Its first dance called a Holiday Dance netted $44.13 in profit with waltzing and cider until 4:00 a.m.

In February of 1922 the Clarence Center Volunteer Fire Association purchased its first fire truck; a 1922 Reo chemical truck.

At the August 1922 regular monthly meeting the association approved holding the first Labor Day Picnic. This tradition has continued to this date with the exception of a short break during World War ll and a few years break during the mid to late sixties.

On July 8th a motion was made and seconded that each fireman supplies two chickens for the Labor Day Picnic.

In July 1928 the Reo was traded in for a Buffalo truck equipped with a 500 gallon per minute pump at a cost of $5,000.00.

In 1931 the present day gazebo was built for $396.33.

The organization of the Ladies Auxiliary took place on January 17, 1933. The purpose of the organization was to assist at picnics, and other social functions sponsored by the volunteer firemen. Their slogan was “ever ready to assist.”

In 1934 the Fire Company Drum Corps was started.

Due to the increased population in the Town along with the acquisition of more property and fire fighting equipment by the Volunteer Fireman’s Association, it became necessary to form a membership corporation. This was accomplished in May, 1938 when the association was incorporated as the Clarence Center Volunteer Fire Company Inc. Serving as Officers then were: President Alvin Riegle, Vice President Lawrence Reinhard, Secretary Carlton Schaad, Treasurer Lawrence Hartwick, and Chief Peter Heiman.

Mr Carlton Riegle who is still on the active rolls today was a charter member when the department was incorporated.

A Fire Police squad was organized in the mid 40’s to assist and protect men and equipment responding to alarms.

In 1948 a KBS-7 International truck was placed in service complete with a one thousand gallon tank.

In 1951, recognizing the needs of the community, the Clarence Center Volunteer Fire Company purchased their first ambulance, a 1951 Chevrolet at a cost of $4,123.00. The Company established a trained first aid squad and inaugurated emergency first aid service for the entire town on June 7, 1951.

In 1952, the Fire Company built a new three bay truck room for $7,957.00 to house their equipment and moved out of Williams Hall.

In 1953 the company purchased an additional 13 acres of land for $6,400 to be used as a parking lot for Labor Day Picnics.

In 1963 an addition was built onto the truck room which more than doubled its size for a cost of $27,600.00.

The annual fund drive began in 1966 which allowed the Fire Company to purchase needed supplies not covered in the Town budget.

In 1974 a second addition was added to the truck room providing a recreation room and banquet hall / meeting room.

Our most recent renovation took place in 2001at a cost of 1.8 million which added much needed office, training and storage space and now provides the next generation with a state of the art facility for the protection and benefit of the continually increasing population of our fire protection district.