Wise Av­enue VFC to cel­e­brate 75 years of ser­vice

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By NI­COLE ROD­MAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com

The Wise Av­enue Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany will mark its 75th an­niver­sary in grand style with a pa­rade and cel­e­bra­tion event on Oct. 7.

The com­pany, which serves much of Greater Dun­dalk and sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties, was formed on Feb. 22, 1942, dur­ing a meet­ing of lo­cal air raid wardens in the com­mu­ni­ties of Rose­wald Beach and In­ver­ness.. As it was World War II, the threat of en­emy air strikes was fore­most in peo­ple’s minds, and a num­ber of new fire com­pa­nies were formed dur­ing this era.

The com­pany filled a ge­o­graphic need. The next clos­est sta­tions were Dun­dalk Fire Sta­tion 6 in Old Dun­dalk and the North Point-Edge­mere Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment (which cel­e­brated its 80th an­niver­sary last year) in Edge­mere.

The com­pany started small, with 25 mem­bers and no fire equip­ment. After a year, the com­pany re­ceived a skid-mounted trailer pump from Civil De­fense. Later, the com­pany would pur­chase a 1937 Stude­baker truck on which to mount the pump, mak­ing it the com­pany’s fire mo­tor­ized equip­ment.

In June 1943, the Wise Av­enue Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany ac­quired the land at its cur­rent lo­ca­tion, 214 Wise Ave., for $466.88. Us­ing a metal garage at first, the com­pany would open a per­ma­nent build­ing at the site.

In the years that fol­lowed, the com­pany would con­tinue to grow, se­cur­ing new mem­bers and more — and bet­ter — equip­ment. The build­ing was ex­panded to in­clude a hall and hose tower in 1971.

To­day, the Wise Av­enue Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany em­ploys two en­gines, an am­bu­lance, a brush truck and a util­ity truck in its ef­forts to keep the commu- nity safe.

Its an­nual Christ­mas train gar­den, large and in­tri­cately de­tailed, has de­lighted thou­sands of vis­i­tors each sea­son for more than 35 years.

In recog­ni­tion of its 75th an­niver­sary, mem­bers of the Wise Av­enue Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany have been cel­e­brat­ing with a se­ries of events, in­clud­ing a flea mar­ket in Au­gust and a ban­quet for mem­bers and their fam­i­lies in Septem­ber.

The largest cel­e­bra­tion, how­ever, will be held this week­end.

On Satur­day, Oct. 7, at 9 a.m. a pa­rade will kick off from Wise Av­enue and Grays Road, trav­el­ing down Wise Av­enue to Church Road, where the cel­e­bra­tion will cul­mi­nate in ap­pa­ra­tus dis­plays, demon­stra­tions, a flea mar­ket and other fes­tiv- ities on the grounds of the North Point Gov­ern­ment Cen­ter at Wise Av­enue and Mer­ritt Boule­vard.

Pa­rade par­tic­i­pants will line up on Grays Road at 8 a.m. Events at the Gov­ern­ment Cen­ter will con­tinue un­til 3 p.m.

For more in­for­ma­tion, or to par­tic­i­pate in the pa­rade, con­tact Jeff at 410-284-2469 or jv­mo­gush27@com­cast.net.

For ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion on the Wise Av­enue Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany, visit www.wavfc.com.

PHOTO BY BILL GATES

The Wise Av­enue Vol­un­teers dis­played some vin­tage equip­ment dur­ing this year’s July 4th pa­rade.

PHOTO BY BRAD KRONER

A model of the Wise Av­enue Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany graces the com­pany’s an­nual Christ­mas train gar­den.

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