WESTERLY — In July 1942, founding members of the Dunn’s Corners Fire Department came together under the direction of their first chief, Edwin Green, to establish a volunteer fire service in the community.
Within a year, the volunteer group established a home at the site of the former Dunn’s Corners School at the intersection of Post and Langworthy roads, secured a truck and set up a full fire response system. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Dunn’s Corners Fire Department will celebrate its 75th anniversary on Sept. 22, opening its door for a special celebration. District Fire Chief Christopher DeGrave said the event will focus heavily on the founding members, volunteers and the community as a whole.
“We wouldn’t be here without the years of dedication and support that the agency has received from the community,” DeGrave said. “We wanted to do something to say thank you and show our gratitude, especially to the founding members who made all this possible.”
According to the department’s website, its founding followed the creation of the Civilian Defense Organization at the onset of World War II. The department was given a 1936 Ford pumper truck and soon bought the property where the current station still stands. The department was run almost entirely through volunteers and has remained that way through the years.
Today the firefighters operate from two stations handle more than 700 calls per year.
Lt. Jeffrey Thomas, the department’s training officer and event co-coordinator, said the primary goal of the open house is to give the public a chance to see the ins and outs of the department, check out the equipment and meet the firefighters.
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include a presentation with state and local officials at 11 a.m., lunch at noon, station tours, various firefighter and EMS demonstrations, games for children, and fire safety information.
“It’s an event that lets us pay tribute to all those who served in the past, are serving now or will serve in the future,” Thomas said. “For us, this is really a chance to show the public what we are all about.”
The event is open to the public, free of charge. For more information, visit the Dunn’s Corners Fire Department Facebook event page at facebook.com/events/487937508325983.