Moyers Corners Fire Department
The History of the Moyers Corners Fire Department
Fifty-nine years ago, this community saw the beginning of one of the finest Fire Departments in the country. Let’s go back to that cold and damp November day which found Ken Brand standing helplessly, watching Lyman Melvin’s garage burn down. He waited for the Liverpool Fire Department to arrive. The Liverpool Fire Department did arrive, but they stopped at the town line, telling Ken that they could not cross because they did not have the insurance coverage. As everyone watched the garage burn down, Ken said, “By God, tomorrow we will start our own fire department.” This was the beginning of our department today.
Ken went from house to house, looking for men interested in becoming members. They held their first meeting in a cow barn with approximately fifteen men, who all paid twenty dollar dues. After holding several meetings and a ‘public hearing’ with the Town of Clay, the search was on for a fire truck.
As luck had it, a man was stopped at the gas station on the corner with car trouble. This man told Ken that his car needed to be fixed immediately; he was heading to a town outside of Buffalo to sell a used fire truck. Ken asked him, “Fire truck, what year?” The man replied that it was a 1922 American LaFrance. Ken asked him how much he wanted for it, and the man quoted five hundred dollars. Ken then asked him, “Will you sell it to us?” And the man replied, “I’ll sell it to anybody.” Ken ran home and called four of the members, who agreed to buy the truck, and then returned with Ken to drive the man home to Buffalo. They then returned with the American LaFrance. The men now felt that they were a true fire department. The new fire truck was housed at the gas station until a fire barn could be built.
Still excited from their recent purchase, the men began planning a new fire house. All of the members volunteered their time. Some of the men, such as Ken, Earl McWithey, Fred Harke, Paul Marshall, Buck Shader, and Ed Melvin even worked through half of the night. In addition, the men worked every weekend. The building was soon completed in the fall of 1948, and the ‘new’ fire truck now had a home.
The picture below is of the original Station #1 located 150' North East of the Rt.31/Rt 57 intersection. The original building was involved in a fire in the 1980's and subsequently taken down. Today a single story pole barn is in this location. The present day Moyers Corners Station #1 is located across the street from this location.
For nearly four years, until 1952, the department operated with the 1922 American LaFrance and an old acquired oil tanker that was converted into a water truck. This tanker was purchased by Tony Lewis. In 1952, Moyers Corners purchased their first new truck, a 1952 GMC pumper, a “Jimmy” engine with a 250 gpm pump and a 500 gallon tank. It manned two in the cab, and four on the tailboard. 1952 progressed into a landmark year for the department. In addition to the tanker and pumper, the Ladies Auxiliary purchased the department’s first ambulance at a cost of five hundred dollars. All three pieces of equipment proved to be useful by answering approximately twenty-five fire calls and thirty ambulance calls.
Later that same year, the GMC was moved to Melvin’s barn on Route 57. This barn later became Station Two, which was located at the corner of Route 57 and John Glen Boulevard (just south of where Wegman’s is today). The GMC was the first Station Two engine company, and it serviced the Station Two response area up until 1981.
In 1962, the Department purchased a new engine, Engine 1. Also, at the time, Onondaga County was starting a Fire Dispatch service. Ken Brand was one of the first Fire Chiefs to have a new radio in his car. The GMC Engine at Station Two had a radio installed as well. The members could now be dispatched through Fire Control to their home receivers called Plectrons. This increased the response rate a great deal.
As additional growth occurred in the Station Two response area, and commercial development impacted the Oswego Road/ Route 57 corridor, the need for a new fire station increased. In 1962, Station Two was relocated to a double bay station on Morgan Road, near the intersection of Buckley Road. Station Two added a Haun Engine to its apparatus roster in 1963. TP-3 became a work horse for the station and saw extensive emergency and working fire responses over the years until retirement in 1969.
In 1967, the department purchased it’s first Rescue vehicle. For eighteen thousand dollars, the Moyers Corners Volunteer Fire Department purchased a 1967 Ford Saulsbury, financed with bingo game profits. The first aerial truck was placed into service in Station Two in 1969. It consisted of a state of the art apparatus design and an American LaFrance 80 foot Snorkel articulating platform. This was designated as Truck 1.
Over the next few years, further station space needs resulted in the addition of a day recreation room, a kitchen and an office inside the station. The station eventually housed the GMC Jimmy Engine Company, the 1974 and 1977 Haun Engines, and the ALF Aerial Truck. As the run volume increased, and as Fire Station Two membership expanded, so did the need for a modern emergency response quarters.
In 1980, work was underway for the expansion of the station. The new expansion included the addition of three apparatus bays, renovation of the existing recreation room into an ambulance bay, a bunk room for overnight standbys, and construction of a full kitchen, a day room, conference room and office areas.
Apparatus relocation as a result of the opening of Moyers Corners Fire Station Three. 1980
1985 Truck 2 Rehab by Younge
1989 Saulsbury Engine 21 (now Engine 22)
Apparatus relocation as a result of the opening of Moyers Corners Fire Station Four 1991
Truck 2, 1992 Sutphen
1997 Pierce Quantum Engine 21 (now Engine 32)
In July 1998, Station two was once again renovated and became a fully modernized fire station with new drive-through double bays, department business offices, meeting and conference rooms, bloodbourne decon rooms, sleeping quarters, and maintenance facilities.The station is now home to the Second Battalion, consisting of the 2006 Pierce Quantum Engine Company 21, the 1989 Saulsbury Engine Company, the 1992 Sutphen 100 foot Aerial Tower known as Truck Company 2, and a 1998 Ford Expedition, Squad 2.
The tremendous growth and increase in alarm activities, and the need for timely response to the furthest southern area of the department’s district identified the need for an additional fire station. Forover thirty years, the department operated as a two station department; this changed with the construction and apparatus assignments to Fire Station Three.
Established in 1980 on Henry Clay Boulevard, between West Taft Road and the intersection of Vine Street, Station Three was constructed as a fully operational four bay fire station with a full compliment of facilities.
As the station was under construction in the late 1970’s, new personnel were recruited to man this fire station. These new firefighters reported to Station Two for an extended period of time prior to the completion of Station Three, in order to receive the appropriate training and gain operational experience. These personnel, as well as the existing Station Two personnel who lived in the newly established Station Three response area, would eventually compromise the station’s membership.
Station Three has seen the establishment and designation of its response area as the Third Battalion. With a mixed occupancy response area, the station sees extensive box alarm assignments for mutual aid with the Liverpool and North Syracuse Fire Departments.
1990 Engine 31, E-One Hush
1990 HazMat 3, Chevrolet
Delivery of Rescue Three (formerly Squad 1/Rescue 1)
Delivery of Rescue Three 2000 Saulsbury
Presently, the station and battalion house Engine Company 31, a 2003 Pierce Quantum, Engine Company 32, a 1997 Pierce Quantum (formerly Engine 21), Rescue Company Three, a 2000 Saulsbury Heavy Rescue, HazMat 3, a 1980 International, and Squad 3, a 2000 Ford Expedition.
Fire Station Four was constructed in 1991 to meet the increasing demands associated with the growth and emergency responses in the northern and central response areas of the district that occurred throughout the 1980’s. Located on Oswego Road/Route 57 across from Seneca Mall, it has three apparatus bays, sleeping quarters, meeting and day rooms, and offices.
The fire station’s response first due district was a composite of areas formally covered by Station One and Station Two, with its first manning compliment comprised of personnel from both respective stations. Original Station Four personnel included twenty-four firefighters. Currently, Station Four has 25 members.
Realignment of apparatus assignments and box alarms place the Heavy Rescue Company (formerly Rescue Company 1) in Station Four. Presently a 2003 Saulsbury Heavy Rescue resides at Station Four, along with Engine Company 41 1999 Pierce Quantum, and Squad 4, a 2006 Ford Super Duty with custom box.