Who doesn’t love a bright red fire truck (or as we call them in my native land – UK – “fire engine”.
“As the Village of Dobbs Ferry was expanding during the late 19th century the need for formalized fire protection became more evident On May17,1883 the Board of Trustees led by President (Mayor) Downey held a special meeting of the board in Huber Hall which was located at the comer of Chestnut Street and Main Street to address the issue. A petition was presented by 25 residents of the village asking to be organized into a fire company to be known as the Resolute Hook and Ladder Company No. 1. The petition was promptly granted by the Board of Trustees. President Downey then called for an election of a foreman and assistant foreman. Mr. Joseph Embree was elected foreman and Mr. L. W. Boyle was elected Assistant Foreman. President Downey then turned the meeting over to the membership who elected John R Ackerman chairman, Joseph Gillispie Secretary and John Ebenspacher Treasurer. A committee was formed to work with the Village Board to purchase a fire truck and to develop company by-laws.
The first organizational meeting of the company was held a week later May 24, 1883. It was decided at this organizational meeting the company would hold a monthly meeting of the membership on the second Monday of the month. This meeting schedule has remained in effect for 125 years. During its first year of existence Resolute responded to two fire calls.
The first piece of apparatus purchased for the company was a hand drawn, hook and ladder wagon and was housed in the company’s first firehouse located on Cedar Street at the location of the present-day Allstate Insurance Office that used to be the old Streb Realty building.
In February 1891, the company sent a letter to the Mayor stating they were dissatisfied with their present quarters and needed a more suitable location. Space was made available in the Village Hall located at 63 Main Street in the building presently housing the Niji Sushi restaurant, next door to the Rembar building. Resolute occupied the ground floor and shared the space with the Villages newest fire company the Livingston Hose Company which was formed in August 1888.
By the time Resolute relocated to 63 Main Street horses were being used to pull the apparatus. The horses were kept in the John Best Livery Stable located at 32 Main Street. The horses were alerted to a fire by banging a metal hoop with a hammer in front of the firehouse. Mr. Best would let the horses loose and they would charge up the street to the firehouse. The company voted to give a reward of five dollars to the first man to get to the firehouse and have the team of horses hooked up ready to respond.
In February 1898, the company began a quest for a new apparatus. Looking for a more modern piece of equipment the company requested the Village appropriate $2,500.00 for a new piece of apparatus. In an April referendum the proposal was voted down by the residents of the Village. In 1909 the company finally did take ownership of a new modern apparatus. The company received their first motorized apparatus when a gas-powered Mack tractor was purchased to replace the horses. The tractor was hooked to the company’s original trailer. While happy with this new equipment the company never forgot that their original request for a new apparatus was voted down by the residents of the Village several years earlier.
In June of 1917, the company took ownership of a new modernized tractor drawn tiller apparatus with a 100-foot aerial. This was the start of an 85-year tradition of tractor drawn tiller fire apparatus utilized by the company. This tractor drawn apparatus served the company during many large fires in the Village including two devastating fires on Main Street in 1918 and 1948.
In 1927 Resolute moved for the final time to their present firehouse in the Village Hall at 112 Main Street. The company shares the firehouse with the Livingston Hose Company. Mr. F.Q. Brown donated the land valued at $30,000 to the Village. Upon completion of the firehouse members of the company voiced displeasure with the design of the apparatus floor which had no dividing wall between Resolute and the Livingston Hose Company.
In 1948 after 31 years of service the first tractor drawn tiller apparatus was replaced with a new tractor drawn American LaFrance tiller with a 100-foot aerial ladder. The apparatus cost the Village $35,000. The trailer portion of this apparatus would serve Resolute for 44 years. The tractor was replaced in 1971 with a new enclosed cab and the open cabinetry on the trailer was replaced with new closed cabinets. This overhaul cost the Village $50,000.
The tiller drawn aerial went through one final overhaul in 1983 in time for the 100th anniversary of the company and the Westchester County Volunteer Firemen’s Convention that was hosted by the department in September of 1983. The overhaul involved a new red and white paint scheme and a new 100-foot aerial ladder.
In 1990 Resolute formed a truck committee to develop specifications for a new apparatus. The recommendation of the committee was to purchase a Mack Tower Ladder with a 95 boom and bucket and end Resolute’s 85-year tradition of tractor drawn tiller fire apparatus that required two drivers. Tower Ladder 23 was placed into service in February 1992 and has served the company for the last 20 years responding to some of the biggest fires in the Villages history as well as to numerous neighboring communities on mutual aid. At the December 1997 Rosalind Gardens fire, members of Resolute were credited with utilizing the Tower Ladder to rescue a woman trapped by fire on the fifth-floor fire escape.
Over the last 125 years Resolute has served the Village in many fashions outside their traditional firefighting role. In 1886 due to the lack of a formal police department the company formed Vigilance Committee to patrol the Village at night. During World War II the company assisted Air Raid Wardens and responded to alerts. They have assisted in building playgrounds and have supported numerous civic organizations throughout the Village. They have played an integral part in the social and political fabric of the village by being resolute in their desire to help the residents of the village at a moment’s notice 24-hours a day seven days a week.” (Dobbs Ferry Fire Department Site).
Taken with a Fuji X-E3 and Fuji XC 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OSS II