Yantic Fire Engine Company #1 is celebrating 175 years of service to the community. The all volunteer fire department is one of the oldest volunteer fire companies in Connecticut.
"There are not too many companies around that can say they were all volunteer for 175 years,” said past chief Ron Stolz, who has been a member of the fire company for 66 years. "It’s something you want to do. You want to help the people and it’s in your blood.”
The fire engine company was originally established to protect the now-vacant Yantic Woolen Mill and surrounding village. The fire company has been serving the community since the 1840s.
The fire station was built in Yantic in the early 1900s. Today, they are still in the same location and they are still strictly volunteer.
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"We have been around since 1847, 100% volunteer, and we have been serving the Norwich/Yantic community and surrounding towns nonstop," said Chief William Eyberse. “For me, it is a family thing. I’ve been hanging around this fire house since I was two. Just a lot of pride here."
Most of Connecticut's firefighters are volunteers. The Yantic Fire Engine Company is proud of its volunteer history.
To celebrate its 175th anniversary, the fire company is hosting an antique fire truck show. Antique trucks from across the region will be on display. Yantic will also be showing some of their own antiques including an 1891 Silsby Steamer.
“There are only a handful of these in the state," Eyberse said.
The antique fire truck show will be held at 151 Yantic Rd. on July 23 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The event will feature show n' shine, children activities and pumping demonstrations.