Raymond Hose Co. dedicates new Warwick firehouse

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    WARWICK-Once a Warwick firefighter, always a Warwick firefighter. Last spring, Father Thomas Byrnes was reassigned from Warwick's Parish of St. Stephen, the First Martyr, to serve the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Lake Mahopac, N.Y. But on Sunday, Oct. 10, the former Chaplain of the Warwick Fire Department returned to Warwick to bless the new FireHouse, which is now home to Raymond Hose Company #2. Last August, the officers and members of the Warwick Fire Department's Raymond Hose Company held their monthly meeting at their former and historic Howe St. Station No. 2 facility. The volunteer Fire Company had used this facility since its founding on December 26, 1896. That evening, there was a motion to leave Station No. 2 and close the doors to this building forever. The entire Company and all its equipment then moved to the Company's new station at 200 West Street. The newly constructed building, a state-of-the-art facility, and its parking area are near the intersection of West St. and County 1. That somewhat sad occasion was just a fond memory as, on Oct. 10, the members of Raymond Hose Company marched down the new driveway and along West St. to participate in the Dedication Ceremony and Open House for their new facility. In blessing the new FireHouse, Father Tom gave thanks to God and prayed for the safety and protection of the members of the Warwick Volunteer Fire Department. Earlier, Congresswoman Sue Kelly made an appearance but had to leave before the ceremonies began. Orange County Legislator Ben Winstanley, a veteran firefighter, read a proclamation signed by County Executive Ed Diana. Also unable to attend, New York State Sen. Thomas Morahan sent a letter and proclamation. Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton and all Council members were on hand to honor Raymond Hose Company. U.S. Senators Hilary Clinton and Charles Schumer had been formerly invited but were unable to attend. "You couldn't pay these men enough for what they do on a daily basis," said Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard, who was not officially involved in this Town building project but whose constituents, he said, would benefit by its presence. "They could have done this without me," said architect Pete Cerrilo, "But they wanted to do it right." He and general contractor Mark Annuciata made a formal "Presentation of the Key" to the building committee. The audience was also treated to some entertaining and thoughtful firefighter songs sung by Tina Ross and Bill Misener. Father Tom concluded the ceremonies with a prayer and a reading from scripture. All guests were then invited to enjoy a barbecue.