Town of Berlin, CT - Incorporated 1785

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Berlin Fire House (more)
1657 Berlin Tpke
Berlin, CT 06037
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    (860) 828-7000
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Berlin Fire Department

Berlin Volunteer Fire Department Website

The Berlin Volunteer Fire Department originated in 1943. It operated out of a two-car garage attached to a barn located at 1757 Wilbur Cross Highway. Its 15 members converted a 1941 Federal milk truck donated by Ferndale Dairy into our first fire apparatus. In 1945 the membership, using their own money, purchased a building lot at 1657 Wilbur Cross Highway. This money was later reimbursed through fundraisers. In late 1947, the new firehouse was completed and the membership moved in with a 1926 American Lafrance 500 gallon per minute pumper and a 1936 Ford brush fire truck. This remains our current location.

Over the years the department raised funds through various activities such as paper drives and a carnival cosponsored by the VFW Post of New Britain. Currently we rely upon funds raised through our annual (four-department) raffle, which begins in August and culminates with the drawing held the weekend following the Berlin Fair. We also operate a french fry booth during the Berlin Fair.

This year marks fifty years of proud, dedicated service to the town of Berlin. In those fifty years we have grown to a total of forty-five members, thirty-one of which are currently active firefighters.

The firehouse has undergone some changes since 1947. We have added a third bay allowing for a total of four apparatus to be housed. We have also added a second floor, which serves as a banquet hall with a full kitchen and a location for department meetings and training classes.

Currently we operate a 1969 Mack CF Pumper, carrying 1000 gallons of water and a 1250 gallon per minute pump. It also has a 100 gallon foam tank. Refurbished in 1989, Engine 10 now has a four door enclosed cab. We also operate a 1983 Mack MC Pumper, carrying 750 gallons of water and a 1250 gallon per minute pump. Engine 8 is our first line piece. In addition to Engines 8 and 10 is Tactical Response Unite 11, a 1988 Pierce International Harvester, four door crew cab. With its 400 gallon water tank and 400 gallon per minute pump, this apparatus handles brush fires, as well as numerous other functions. Providing additional manpower at fire scenes, rescue operations, ventilation operations and providing of additional hose lines at major fires. This unit was instrumental during the June 6, 1991 flood.

We have recently put into service a hazardous materials response unit. This 1978 International Harvester Loadstar 1750 was donated by Coca-Cola of East Hartford in January of 1991. Since that time the membership has been totally reconstructing this vehicle solely through funds donated by businesses throughout the town. This apparatus will respond to all hazardous materials incidents. Some of the equipment it will carry will consist of an 8000-watt generator, four 1500-watt floodlights, a completely enclosed shower, for decontamination purposes, plus other decontamination equipment. Hazardous materials spill containment equipment and also research and chemical data information for the entire town of Berlin.

The thirty-one active firefighters spend some 400 hours a year on training. This training consists of three department drills a month averaging four hours a drill, State fire school classes for state certification and Hartford County Fire school classes. Most members obtain Fire Fighter I level by their first year in the department. With the towns of Newington, Wethersfield, and Rocky Hill, we have also constructed and utilize a training facility in Newington, which has a training tower and smoke house. This training is most important as we answered some 271 calls in 1992. Currently in 1993 we have answered some 178 calls to date.

We also sponsor a Boy Scouts of America Explorer Post. Post number 50 have approximately twenty-one members. These young citizens develop skills in leadership as well as firefighting. Many of the explorers have gone onto become full members in fire departments throughout the town.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department may contact any firefighter for information or pick up an application at the firehouse.

Several activities celebrating our 50th year have been planned. On May 21, 1993, we had an Old Timers Night. Some eighty members past and present enjoyed a catered dinner and memories of old times. On August 7, 1993 we will be holding our 50th Anniversary parade. Come join us in our celebration! The parade will start at
6:00 PM at Berlin High School. The route will follow Farmington Avenue to Worthington Ridge south to the Wilbur Cross Highway, turning north on the highway to Sage Park. In October we will be holding an open house. This will occur during fire prevention week. On November 6, 1993 we will culminate our 50th celebration and activities with a gala ball at the Aqua Turf. Furthermore, we will have a booth on Yankee Peddlar Day. We will be selling 50th Anniversary mugs, tee shirts and hats, as well as handing out 911 stickers, child finder stickers and fire prevention literature. We hope to see you there.

Lieutenant Tim Long
Chairman Board of Directors
Berlin Volunteer Fire Department
June 12, 1993