A fire truck with bells ringing and horn blowing races down the street! All eyes are upon it. Where is it going? Where is the fire? Whose house is it? Anxiety and excitement go with this truck as residents wonder about this latest challenge for the firefighters of Company No. 1 of Henrietta, New York.

Each time they are called to action, they never know what they will find out. It could be a small fire or a huge conflagration. Whatever it is, they come prepared. For they have had excellent training over the years, they come with the latest equipment, and a strong determination to carry out their job. They don’t think about the dangers. They just act!

The residents of the town of Henrietta have been fortunate to have had the services of the volunteers of Company No. 1 for 100 years! What a record!

On November 3, 2007, the present members of No. 1 celebrated this anniversary with a dinner at locust Hill Country Club. They reminisced over old times, citing the most important fires they helped to contain. They also talked about the parades, the rescues, the medical emergencies, the fundraisers, the parties, the fun and camaraderie among the firemen, the friendly rivalry between the various companies, the banquets, the turkey parties, the corn and sausage roasts, etc. They were reminded of all these things by the program that was presented that night by George Haberberger. It was a pictorial history of their company from 1907 to the present time and the members enjoyed seeing again many of their events and accomplishments. Each person was presented with a replica of their first fire truck. The 100th anniversary logo was displayed on it.

Organized fire-fighting started with Benjamin Franklin. He promoted the formation of the first volunteer fire company in Philadelphia in 1736. They had bucket brigades that were later replaced with modern equipment. Company No. 1 followed suit. Their first equipment was a hand-drawn cart with a 50 gallon tank. Prior to this was a bucket brigade provided by the neighbors. Next came the four man pump mounted on a wagon. Then they added horses to their wagon to carry men and equipment. Now they have the latest in fire trucks.

They needed a place to store their equipment. This included the helmets, clothing, hoses, ladders, fire trucks, etc. A wooden building was erected at 3129 East Henrietta Road and served their needs for some time. When new trucks and equipment were desired, a new three-bay firehouse was built. The old one was removed and sold. This new fire house has seen many new additions made to it, such as two more bays, meeting rooms and even a museum depicting the history of Company No. 1.

The success of the first firehouse company in Henrietta is due to the dedication, courage, and skilled administration of the volunteers. In 1946, a ladies auxiliary was formed to help the men by providing coffee, donuts, etc. at the scene of the fire, plus conducting fundraisers and dinners for Company No. 1.

Two other fire companies exist. They are the West Henrietta Volunteer Fire Department , which organized in 1925, with their station located at 774 Erie Station road. The Genesee Valley Volunteer Company was established in 1940. All three companies are included in the Henrietta Fire District that was started in 1969. Governing the district are five Fire Commissioners. They maintain stations 4 and 5 at 850 Bailey Road. A fire marshal operates out of town hall.

We owe so much to the people who operate the Henrietta Fire District, Henrietta Fire Company, and the Genesee Valley Fire Company. They have saved lives and property and never look for adulation. Yet, without them, we would be lost. Thank you all for what you do!

Congratulations again to Henrietta Fire Company No. 1. May you enjoy many more years of success!


George Haberberger: Power Point Presentation