Queensbury Central Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.
 
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Queensbury Central Volunteer Fire Company History:


   

Queensbury Central Volunteer Fire Company was founded in 1947.

The organization’s mission was, and remains today to prevent loss of lives and property, to preserve good order and equalize duties.

The following information has been compiled from documents discovered in the fire company archives. It is a brief history taken from original documents dated 1948 - recorded facts, carefully selected and supplemented by information garnered from men who took an active part in the early talks and meetings that led to the organization of this company.


When the Glens Falls City Fire Department found that they could no longer, in any way guarantee the Town of Queensbury fire protection, plans to furnish our own protection became necessary. The idea of forming a Fire Company, to be located outside the city has been discussed for a period of years. One of the ideas explored was to have one company with the fire truck housed in some central location and the personnel to be drawn from the entire Town of Queensbury. It was suggested that the Town (of Queensbury) buy a truck and house it in the city (of Glens Falls). Then one or two city firemen would drive it to our fires. Our volunteer firemen would then take over the job of actually fighting the fire. These and some other ideas were discussed and abandoned. Finally the western part of the town formed a company known today as the West Glens Falls Volunteer Fire Company. For a while they tried to protect the town with a homemade truck. This proved inadequate.

Early in 1948, a few men met at the home of Bernard Codner on Mountain View Lane. It was at this meeting that a definite decision to organize a fire company in the Town of Queensbury was made. While we all knew we had a job on our hands, I doubt if any one of us realized just how big that job was to be. We don’t have a definite count of the number of meetings and gatherings held, but I feel confident in saying that, few if any days passed that some steps towards its forming was not taken by somebody. Subsequent meetings were held about the area. Some were at Dr. Wiswall’s pet hospital on Glen Street, in the Pine View Road School on Pine View Road, in the Glenwood School, in the school at the corner of Aviation Road and Mountain View Lane (known today as the Prospect School) and in Owen Kane’s garage on Bay Road. As our efforts began to take shape, these meetings grew in number of men attending and in enthusiasm. More men who had belonged to the volunteer fire company joined in the work and were a big help. On October 26, 1948 an application for incorporation was signed by:

Edward C. Bennett Owen Kane

Bernard Codnar H. Dewey Miller

Charles Chamberlain C.H. Olmsted

Arthur Goldman Leland Pierce

Wallace Hall J. Floyd Sleight

Wheeler Howe Jesse Smith

Charles Howe George Stewart

Curtis Harrington Howard Wallace

R. George Wiswall

On October 29, 1948 the Queensbury Town Board composed of H. Russell Harris, Curtis Lampson, Meridith Bentley, Raymond Walkup and Henry Sleight officially approved our organization.

On October 30, 1948 Supreme Court Justice D.F. Emery approved our Incorporation.

Our charter is dated November 19, 1948.

On December 14, 1948 at a meeting held at the present day Prospect School at the corner of Aviation Road and Mountain View Lane, our final organization was accomplished. The following names were listed as Active and Charter Members:

Alfred Abrams Owen Kane

Karl Anderson John Lanfear

Raymond Bates Fred Leuenberger

Charles Chamberlain Harold Dewey Miller

Bernard Codnar Daniel Morrell

John Curley Sr. James Mulholland

John Curley Jr. Warren Northup

John Dunn Leland Pierce

Harold Gardner J. Floyd Sleight

Arthur Goldman Jesse Smith

Wallace Hall Robert F. Stott

Louis Hartman Sr. Edward Trombley

Louis Hartmen Jr. Norman Walbridge Sr.

Zenie Hewitt Norman Walbridge Jr.

Wheeler Howe R. George Wiswall

Charles Howe Howard Wallace

The following Officers were elected and installed:

Chief - Bernard Codnar

1st Assistant Chief - Owen Kane

2nd Assistant Chief - Raymond Bates

President - R. George Wiswall

Vice President - Arthur Goldman

Secretary - Wheeler Howe

Treasurer - Fred Leuenberger

Director (One Year) - J. Floyd Sleight

Director (Two year) - James Mulholland

Director (Three Year) - Louis Hartman Sr.

 

We do not have the exact date or the names of all the men who might have been present at the meeting at the Codnar home, however it has been established that the meeting was arranged by Bernard Codnar, Jesse Smith and Arthur Goldman. It is also known that Wheeler Howe, R. George Wiswall and Robert F. Stott attended this meeting. If anyone was omitted, we are sorry.

On January 11, 1949 the Fire Company joined the Fireman’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY). On January 21st of the same year, the first fund-raiser, a dance held at the Mohigan Grange Hall netted a profit of $75.24.

On March 12th, the Board of Directors met with the Queensbury Town Board and two more Fire Companies were formed - Bay Ridge Volunteer Fire Company and South Queensbury Volunteer Fire Company. This brought the total to five.

April 4th saw the purchase of an F.W.D. fire truck for $10,822.00. It was equipped with 1000’ of 2-½" hose, 400’ of 1-½" hose, two booster reels with hose and two Hardie Fog Guns. It was to be painted red, trimmed with gold leaf and lettered QUEENSBURY CENTRAL VOL. FIRE CO. on the doors, the number of the truck on the cab and the letters Q.C.V.F.Co. on the hood. The number "1" was assigned by the company and number "317" was assigned by the Warren County Organization.

In November 1957, Queensbury Central took delivery of a Chevrolet truck ($4,463.00). It was given a designator of number "2" in house and "318" countywide.

On April 12th 1949 the Company held its first annual meeting. The group joined the Lower Adirondack Firemen’s Association and elected the following members on to office:

Chief - Albert Abrams

1st Assistant Chief - Owen Kane

2nd Assistant Chief - Raymond Bates

President - R. George Wiswall

Vice-President - Arthur Goldman

Secretary - Wheeler Howe

Treasurer - Fred Leuenberger

Director (3 Year) - Jesse Smith

On September 13th, 1949 the firemen participated in their first parade that earned them $25.00 for the newest piece of apparatus.

Records show that it wasn’t until September 17th that the Fire Company would see its first fire call - It was a brush fire at Robert Reed’s house on Bay Road.

On January 10th, 1950 Mrs. H. Dewey Miller requested permission to form a Ladies Auxiliary and her request was granted. On that same date, the men received the first delivery of coats, boots and helmets.

February 14th, 1950 a meeting was held at the North Queensbury Fire house that launched the organization of the Town (of Queensbury) Chiefs and Officers Association.

On February 22nd, 1950 a committee, chaired by Seward Ball and assisted by Clate Ramsey, J. Floyd Sleight, Ralph Blanchard and Jesse Smith were charged with the task of building a new firehouse. It was then that a 20’ by 40’ building was agreed upon with the materials being donated by the Woodbury Lumber Company and the A.C. Warner Company. A special meeting was held May 25th, 1950 to finalize the plans for the location of the proposed firehouse. The choices were Foster Avenue, Pine View Road, Lafayette Street or Aviation Road. None of the 51 members present considered the Lafayette Street or Aviation Road site - the majority voted to build the station at 1 Foster Avenue (ironically, the present day Station # 1 is located at 17 Lafayette Street and Station #2 is located at 145 Aviation Road). President J. Ernest Miller turned the first shovel of dirt June 8th, 1950 to break ground for Queensbury Central Volunteer Fire Company Station # 1. The cost of the site was $1000.00. At a meeting held June 13th, 1950 the membership authorized the addition viagra piller of a second story on the new firehouse. October 10th, 1950 marked the first regular business meeting held in the new firehouse. The Officers and the Building Committee asked the Ladies Auxiliary to assist in the planning of the kitchen area. It was agreed to borrow $4,000.00 from the National bank & Trust Company for this endeavor. On November 14, 1950 it was decided to install a flashing light at the intersection of Glen Street and Foster Avenue. This project was completed July 5th, 1952. It was also decided to have two men stationed at the firehouse every night. The station remained virtually unchanged until June 1957, when $3,500.00 was borrowed from the National Bank & Trust Company to enlarge the station.

Original_Station_Foster.jpg

On January 8, 1952 Queensbury Central hosted its first annual Installation Banquet on the first floor of the firehouse. 1952 marked another first for Queensbury Central when on December 26th a two-way radio was installed in their fire truck. They were the first fire company in Warren County to have such a thing.

On May 26th, 1953 the first annual banquet of the Chiefs and Officers Association was held at Karl’s Inn. In attendance were Deputy Fire Coordinator Ken Palmer, Chief Lee Richardson (West Glens Falls), Chief Doug Webster (North Queensbury), Chief Francis Malanson (Bay Ridge), Chief Erwin Harvey (South Queensbury) and Chief Jesse Smith (Queensbury Central).

The worst fire in the area as far as loss of life was at 6:40am on November 10th 1959 at the residence of Charles Harris in Jenkinsville (Bay Ridge) on the east side of town. Queensbury Central responded to a mutual aid request with one truck and several men. Eight people lost their lives, a mother, father and six children ranging in age from six months to six years old died in the blaze.

The largest fire ever in this area was in April 1962. What started out as a grass fire on Saunders Road (West Glens Falls) was driven by strong winds and an underestimation of the fire’s potential from the start, which caused the fire to spread over 720 acres of grass, brush and valuable timber. 15 homes were destroyed, 50 firemen were burned - 16 required treatment at the hospital while others were treated at the scene. 28 fire companies from Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Essex and Renssalaer counties joined the 5 Queensbury fire companies and the City of Glens Falls Fire Department in fighting the blaze. The Warren County Sheriff’s Department, the New York State Police, the Sheriff’s Patrol and the Civil Defense personnel assisted the Fire Police in keeping open fire lanes and residents and spectators out of danger. At one time, the fire front was estimated to be 4 miles wide. At its height, over 2000 men, women and teen-agers battled the blaze. The National Red Cross designated the area a "Disaster Area".


No doubt, we have come a long way. Today, Queensbury Central has the benefit of nearly a half million dollar annual budget. We operate seven pieces of modern equipment including a 95’ Baker Aerialscope out of two centrally located stations. We handled over 1500 calls in 2005, including "priority one" medical assist calls with the West Glens Falls Emergency Squad. Our territory includes the majority of the Queensbury business district, Aviation Mall, the "Million Dollar Half-Mile", Adirondack Community College, The Great Escape amusement park, several large adult homes and senior housing complexes.

The membership wishes to express their sincerest appreciation to the Charter Members of the organization.

It is because of them the Fire Company exists today.

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Queensbury Central Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.
17 Lafayette St. • Queensbury, NY12804
Station #1 - 17 Lafayette St. Phone: 518-792-8539 • Station #2 - 145 Aviation Rd. Phone: 518-798-1138 • FAX: (518) 792-1252
info@qcfd.org
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