The Pulaski Fire Company in Pine Island celebrates 75th anniversary this Saturday

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:46

    Volunteer firefighters who began in 1936 with used dump trick, 400 feet of hose and a 20-foot ladder remain a vibrant part of the community in 2011 Pine Island - The Pulaski Fire Company will celebrate its 75th anniversary this Saturday afternoon at the fire station on County Route 1 in Pine Island. The doors to the new fire station will open at 3 p.m. with the anniversary service beginning an hour later at 4 p.m. Fire company officials invite the public to celebrate this milestone with the volunteer firefighters. According to a short history prepared by Dave and Wendy Paffenroth, the Pulaski Fire Company began on Dec. 22, 1935, when “a group of men met in Pine Island for the purpose of organizing a volunteer fire company. They proposed that the men would be of good moral and honest character and prevent the spread of fire in Pine Island. Also, this would promote good fellowship among the members.” Named for a patriot With help from existing fire companies in the surrounding area, a charter was drawn and signed on Feb. 29, 1936. The men called themselves the Pulaski Fire Company in honor of Count Casimer Pulaski, a patriot of Poland and America in the Revolutionary War. The fire company was incorporated under state law as a volunteer fire company in May 1936. The line officers were John J. Bogdanski as chief, Felix Zelaskowski as captain, Walter Kiliman as first lieutenant, and Joseph Brozdowski as second lieutenant. Joseph Wisneski was chosen the first president, John Hucko the secretary and Joseph Brozdowski as treasurer. Fire school began for the Pulaski Class in February 1936 and 20 members completed instruction. In October 1937, another 20 members graduated from fire school. First equipment cost $200 The first apparatus and siren were purchased in December 1936, consisting of a used 1924 Dodge with a front-end pump, 400 feet of hose, two lengths of suction hose and a 20-foot ladder. The cost was $200, which was borrowed from the bank on a note. This apparatus was temporarily stored in the quarters of the blacksmith shop and was later transferred to the new quarters at the Pine Island School Bus Garage. In September 1936 the Pulaski Fire Company was accepted as a member of the Orange County Volunteer Firemen’s Association and also as a member of the Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association in February 1937. In June of 1937 on a vote by the taxpayers, the Pine Island Fire District was approved. In January 1939 the fire company became a member of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York. In 1957 it then became part of the Orange County Mutual Aid Program. The first new apparatus was a Sanford pumper, which arrived in March 1938. New home, long traditions In the spring of 1951 the company acquired property on then “Pine Island Turnpike” in which to build a fire house. The company turned the deed over to the district in the fall of that year. The firehouse was completed the following spring 1952. In October 2010 the Pulaski Fire Company moved into the current Fire Station (directly across from its former home), along with the Amity Fire Company, which make up the Pine Island Fire Department. Today there are more than 60 actives members on the fire company’s roster, including several third generation volunteers. Current officers The current officers of the Pulaski Fire Company, elected in January are: Civil Officers - President Floyd Morgiewicz; Vice President Clint Smith; Secretary/Treasurer David Paffenroth; Trustees George Gurda, Vincent Morgiewicz and Raymond Labanowski and Chaplain David Morgiewicz. Line Officers- 1st Captain Peter Vutianitis; 2nd Captain Ryan Blaikner; 1st Lieutenant Scott Hansen; 2nd Lieutenant Mark Mazzella; Engineer Kenneth Gurda; Assistant Engineer Daniel Morgiewicz. There are two current chiefs: PIFD Chief is Rich Koziola, Car #1; and 2nd Assist. Chief Peter O’Connor, Car #3. The 1st Asst. Chief, Car #2, is Daryl DeFreest of the Amity Fire Company.