The Fire Department Open House was held on October 14. Even though it threatened rain the whole time, it was very well attended and a good time was had by all. There were hotdogs and hamburgers and lots of wonderful desserts. We would like to thank The Spot, Cozy Nail and Spa, Engine Room, Mariner/Via Emilia, S&P Oysters, Fran Scalley, David Steel, Chief Gale, Ryan's Pub, Johnson's Hardware, Spicer's Marina, Bridge Market, Pizzetta, Friar Tucks, Anthony J's, Margaritaville, Mystic River Chocolate Cafe, Mystic Pizza, Chapter One Food and Drink, Captain Daniel Packer Inn, Bank Square Books, Carson's Store, North Swell, Mystic Pet Shop, Wild Bill's, Abbott's Lobster, Costello Clam Shack, Fisherman Restaurant, West Marine Coastal, Candy Shop, Botthof's Woodworking, Trove Men's Provisions, Tidal River Clothing, Hang The Moon, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Pepper, Grass, Tulip and Crossword Picture for their generous contributions toward making the day a huge success.
Michael Gale was appointed the Noank Fire Chief effective February 1, 2022. Michael is replacing David Steel, the longtime Noank Fire Chief, who retired on that date. Michael has been a member of the Noank Fire Department since 1984. The swearing in of the new Noank Fire Chief took place on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at the Noank Fire House. There were over 30 people in attendance.
It is the mission of the Noank Fire Department to mitigate life hazards including but not limited to, the extinguishment of fires, motor vehicle accidents, emergency medical situations, hazardous material situations, water emergencies, and natural disasters. We provide these services for the safety of those in need, and the safety of the Emergency Responder by Training, Equipment, Facilities, Leadership, and Support to our Members. We achieve our mission through the cooperation of the Public and with the dedication of our selfless volunteers.
The Noank Fire Company was organized in 1895 with William Fraser as the chief of the department. At this time, Noank was primarily a fishing village. Its major industry was boatbuilding, with the Palmer Shipyard as the largest builder. A water tower was constructed near the center of the village to provide water pressure to the Palmer shipyard. There were four fire hydrants placed along the water line to the shipyard, two of which still stand. One is in front of Carson’s Store on Main Street, the other on private property on Pearl Street. Fire was a constant threat due to the significant use of wood in the construction of boats and buildings, and the use of wood and coal for heating buildings.
The first firehouse stood on or near Cedar Street near where the Baptist church parking lot is today. This was in the general area of the water tower that served the shipyard. The department, then as now, was also a social group, allowing Noank residents to get together for the common good. The Noank Fire Department has always worked with other departments in the area, sharing equipment and ideas, and responding to assist each other when a large fire occurred. We continue this today and also train together once a month so that our members can work with members of other departments and gain knowledge and confidence in working together.
Noank has seen its share of large fires over the years. Near the turn of the century, several buildings at the intersection of Front Street and Main Street were consumed. These buildings housed several businesses, the post office, a large hall for gatherings, and several residences. The Baptist church suffered significant damage from fire on Christmas Eve 1959.
Major changes have affected all fire departments over the years. With people more aware of fire prevention and the advent of smoke detectors in most homes, we are finding that fire calls have greatly declined while calls for emergency medical assistance have grown. Our department has several emergency medical technicians who respond to medical calls. Most often we are able to be on scene before the ambulance arrives and can evaluate the patient and provide care until the ambulance arrives.
The Noank Fire Department is still a mostly volunteer department and we are proud to be able to be of assistance to our neighbors, business owners, and visitors whenever the need arises, whether it be fire, emergency medical services, rescue, or any other type of aid.
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