About Us

History of the Salisbury Volunteer Fire Department

The original name of this organization was the Salisbury Center Fire Company. The company was organized by 15 charter members. All of these original members are deceased.

Ray W. Harper                            Burton J. Austin

George E. Jennison                     Donald J. Kuehnle

Earl M. Foster                             Hilton L. Tanner

Lee E. Fairchild                           Floyd G. Leneker

Georger L. VanValkenburg           Gerald S. Tibbitts

Harry J. Kingsley                        Milford B. Jennings

Jesse D. Austin                           John A. Woolever

Jesse N. Woolever

The name of the Salisbury Center Fire Company was changed to the Salisbury Volunteer Fire Department when they applied for their charter. The company applied for their charter August 12, 1932, pursuant to section 38 of county laws. The company was incorporated for the purpose of protection of life and property from and during such fires as that may occur within the fire distract, and such fires as may be contracted for by the commissioners.

The Salisbury Volunteer Fire Department joined the Herkimer County Association on February 5, 1933.

After the company was chartered they changed their membership from twenty to twenty-five. In February, 1954 it was increased to fifty-five. At this time in our history we had a membership quota of seventy-five members. Over the period of the first forty years the fire department has had a total of 255 dedicated volunteer fire fighters.

The first meetings of this organization were held in Ray Harper’s Barber Shop. The barber shop was located where Barnes luncheonette is presently located. Following this the fire department meetings were held in the Firemen’s meeting room in the Town Hall building in Salisbury Center. In 1955, the Salisbury Corners Sub Station was built, this station is still in use today. The company had also branched out to have its own clubhouse purchased from the National Auto Fibers Association. The Salisbury Firemen’s Clubhouse was located on Route 29A by the banks of the East Canada Creek. Then in 1992 the fire department purchased the land that the Youth Center and School stood on. The Youth Center and school was torn down and the land was used to construct a new fire station which is the department’s current quarters today. This property is located on Route 29 in Salisbury Center across the road from the Grange and next to the Methodist Church.

The Fire Company was started with a Model T truck and a Cadillac. This equipment was housed in Jennison’s Garage. Later the model T and Cadillac was joined by a 1929 Packard which was built from a touring car. This truck was handmade mainly in Fay Youker’s garage and Don Kuehnle’s blacksmith shop. The next trucks to be purchased were the Swamp Angel water wagon, 1942 GMC pumper, 1943 Army truck, 1950 Chevrolet water wagon, 1932 American LaFrance pumper, 1959 International pumper, 1962 International water tanker, 1974 Ford Pumper and a 1971 International tanker purchased in 1978. An International van was also purchased to carry emergency equipment such as coats, helmets, boots, first aid box, portable generator and is to be used for protection from the elements of the weather. These trucks have since been retired from service.

At the present time the company operates with an International pumper, a KME pumper, a tanker truck, and a Chevy suburban (Click here to see our apparatus). The department is staffed with 50 volunteer members operating out of two quarters providing fire suppression and protection, emergency medical services, and specialized rescue skills to the approximately 2,000 citizens and businesses within our 108.2 square mile district.