POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- I recently visited with Eddie Trail, chief of the Pound Ridge Volunteer Fire Department. He showed me the emergency vehicles and explained the history and mission in serving town residents.
Some may not know our Fire Department was officially organized in 1933. Another interesting fact: in 1936 when the department was in a small structure behind Samuel Parker’s store, the fire house burned down. That incident was one of the most serious fires the town has endured and most residents would like to keep it that way. Since 1949, the department has been at its headquarters in Scotts Corners.
Many in town agree the crown jewel of our Fire Department is the newly acquired rescue truck which carries everything but the kitchen sink. What makes our fire department first-rate is the one word that makes it stand out - “Volunteer.”
According to Chief Trail, the 50-plus firefighters who serve Pound Ridge come from all walks of life and include New York City first responders who reside in the community, lawyers, auto mechanics and landscapers. Town Building Inspector James Perry, also a volunteer, was fire chief several years ago.
Our Fire Department is part of the Mutual Aid Agreement with both the county and state as well as the towns of New Canaan and Stamford. If an emergency requires additional help from another community, Chief Trail and his department will provide assistance. The furthest our department had to travel to assist in an emergency was 10 years ago during an ice storm in Lake Champlain. In response to 9/11, the department was assembled and mobilized to Ground Zero.
When it comes to fire safety, most residents think Christmas trees and holiday lights are the only issues for concern. In the middle of a hot summer, some will try to destroy backyard brush by burning it. A suggestion to the wise – DON’T. According to the chief, brush fires may appear under control but they can get out of hand very easily. “Unless a resident is cooking over an open flame, any fire started outdoors is illegal,'' Trail said.
Because our Fire Department is all-volunteer, it welcomes anyone interested in joining. There is a lot of training both in town and at the county training facility to make sure a new member passes required certification levels. For the rest of us, giving to this outstanding department during its next fund-raiser will be equally important.
Laurance Baschkin is a resident of Pound Ridge.
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