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Here’s The Scoop…..VFD

LBTS….A living History…Martha E. Munzer

Chapter VIII

Our Protective Services

The Police and Volunteer Fireman

page 42-44

“Our volunteer fire department, organized in November 1959, received its charter from the state on April 2, 1961. Twenty-two men comprised the original fire fighting force with Ray Summers as its first chief.”

” At the start, a Dodge Howe Pumper truck was installed in the garage which later became the headquarters for the police department.”

In 1978 the volunteer fireman finally had a building of their own. The old firetruck was replaced with a Ford Cabover Seagraves Pumper of vivid yellow, followed by an American LaFrance in bright red, GIVEN THE TOWN IN 1981 BY A RESIDENT IN SEA RANCH LAKES, VICTOR F. TOMASSO. HIS WAS A GIFT OF GRATITUDE FOR THE FIRE PROTECTION RENDERED HIS NEIGHBORING TOWN BY OURS.”

“There have been in the course of time as many as 20 or so volunteers; the number today is 16. (1989)…They assemble regularly in an attractive meeting room for instruction and drill. THEIR COMPETENCE IS UNQUESTIONED.”

“This is the way the fire protection system works; in case of a blaze, Oakland Park headquarters sounds the alarm siren. Our men, thanks to their alerting radio beepers,dash to their bunkers in the firehouse, don their protective gear, AND ARE READY TO GO INTO ACTION IN A BREATHTAKING TWO TO THREE MINUTES.”

“There have been, in the history of the department, two large fires…(book published…1989)…one in April1963 in Grandma’s Kitchen the successor to Swiss Inn,…..it was impossible to put out – only ashes remained.”

“The other was an even larger blaze at the SEA RANCH LAKES SHOPPING CENTER IN 1977. There was heavy smoke damage and businesses were actually destroyed. In all the days of fire fighting by the volunteers, only one victim was lost because he had foolishly hidden himself in a closet of his apartment. He was discovered too late.”

“In addition to their dangerous and grueling duties, the volunteer firemen have undertaken a far more pleasant responsibility, THAT OF RUNNING THE FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION IN THE TOWN. THE YEAR 1989 MARKS THE 29TH TIME.”

“These festivites include a parade of marches, decorated floats and vehicles of various kinds accompanied by an enthusiastic high school band.”

“After the parade, all are invited- both marchers and watchers- to join the fun at Friedt Park, with hot dogs,soft drinks, pony rides, a clown, a raffle,plus games,and prizes throughout the day. THIS EVENT IS THE ONLY FUND RAISING EFFORT OF THE YEAR, A PARTIAL WAY TO PROVIDE EQUIPMENT, MAINTENANCE AND SUPPLIES FOR THE DEPARTMENT.”

BCbythesea….The VFD-SRL fire protection is a honored tradition….and should remain as such….the gift of the firetruck….just might be something that the SRL residents might re-enact…at the present time…..if they too know the history….

BCbythesea….The VFD 4th of July tradition….should continue….along with a return to it being a partial fund raiser next year….

more to come….

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