North Farms Volunteer Fire Department
In early 1946, the Cook homestead on North Farms Road caught fire. The engine from Tibbets Hose on Main Street was dispatched to the scene, but the travel distance and lack of manpower caused the house to burn to the ground.
The residents of the North Farms area realized that their property was at risk from fire and held a meeting at the Wallingford Grange Hall to resolve the issue.
On April 1, 1946 the farmers voted to form a Volunteer fire department. George Wilkinson, a dairy farmer, was elected the first chief and Herbert Greenbacker was elected Lieutenant.
The first engine was a 1926 Maxim, which was purchased from the City of Meriden. The fire engine was kept in a barn at the Wilkinson Dairy until 1947 when A Quonset Hut was erected on land donated by George Simpson. A 1930 Packard Ambulance was purchased from Kaman’s Ambulance Service and was used as a hose wagon. A Hale Fire Pump was obtained from the Office of Civil Defense and towed behind the hose wagon in a trailer.
The Departments equipment was initially funded with donations from local businessmen and farmers. Operating funds were raised through scrap drives and barn dances.
When the funds proved to be insufficient to run the department, a tax district was formed. In 1957, the Borough and Town consolidated and funding for the department became part of the Town’s municipal budget.
George Wilkinson deeded the land at 720 Barnes Road to the Town and the Town built the present firehouse during the same year. In 1982, an addition was added and the building was remodeled.
In 1952, a new GMC Pumper built by the Farmer Company of Woodville, MA was purchased for $8,000. In 1983, an Emergency One medium-duty rescue truck was delivered and served until 1993 when a Pierce Dash medium duty rescue was purchased.
During 1956, the membership purchased a four-wheel drive army truck and built their own fire engine. In 1975, a new GMC/American LaFrance Pumper was purchased and served until 1987. A used pumper was placed in service until 1989. In June of that year, a new Pierce Arrow Pumper was delivered.
In 1975. the Town purchased a 1965 Mack oil delivery truck and the North Farms volunteers converted it to a tank truck used for rural areas that did not have fire hydrants. In 1984, the cab and chassis were replaced and in 1993, the tank was replaced with another used oil delivery tank. A brand new 2200-gallon tanker was delivered in late 1999.
The North Farms Company has specialized in technical rescue and purchased the towns first Hurst rescue tool (Jaws of Life). Today’s members are trained in vehicle extrication, ice rescue and operate confined space rescue equipment. Today, Rescue 7 is a primary responder for rescue calls throughout the community.