For elementary school children, fall and spring are the seasons for field trips. With a small village like East Rochester, these trips are often walks through town. Learning about first responders and their responsibilities has always been important. And here in East Rochester, these are people we see every day.
The photograph, taken in 1952, shows kindergarteners visiting the fire hall — the old municipal building at 314 Main St. — where the fire department, police department, ambulance, village offices and library were located. In their thank you to the Fire Department, the kindergarten teachers said this about the visit: “Thank you very much for letting us come to visit the fire station. We liked all of the trucks, the pumper, the hook and ladder and the light truck. We liked
standing on the hook and ladder, to hear the bell on the big truck and to see how you open the door. Now we know how to report a fire, and we would be sure to wait by the fire alarm box.
Maybe we could come again some time. Thank Bernie — Bernard Mance in photo — and Snookie — Vincent Kreyer — for showing us everything. Perhaps we can be firemen some day.” For over 70 years, children have visited the fire department to meet the firefighters, see the trucks and learn about fire safety. Unlike the early 1950s, the volunteers are called firefighters or first responders. Fire alarm boxes are no longer seen on various corners of the village. The children also see our oldest truck — Old Betsy, built in 1925 — in a place of honor, as well as the newer trucks and equipment.
A few years ago, the East Rochester Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Committee developed a detailed sequential curriculum for grades PreK-12. Through age appropriate activities and lessons students learn about fire safety. Sometimes the children go to the firehouse, sometimes the firefighters come to school to work with the children.
Since 1978, our volunteer firefighters have committed themselves to serving our community.
In addition to their fire fighting responsibilities they have given toys to needy children at Christmastime, given food baskets to families in need for the holidays, sponsored the annual Easter Egg hunt in Edmund Lyon Park — since 1995, taking over the program from the ER Brown-Millard Veterans of Foreign Wars — worked with young people through the Explorer Post No. 479. And for a number of years the department helped create an ice skating rink in Edmund Lyon Park by flooding an area for a skating surface. We thank these volunteers for their continued service to our community.