Roughly $178,179 in federal funding for the Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company and the Richmond Fire District was recently by Rep. Chris Collins’ office.
Both grants were allocated through the Department of Homeland Security Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grant Program, which is designed to help fire departments maintain a sufficient number of firefighters.
The Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company will receive $118,179 in federal funding and the Richmond Fire District will receive $60,000 in federal funding.
The SAFER Grant Program provides direct funding assistance to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase, or maintain, the number of trained first responders in their communities.
The History of the Harris Hill Volunteer Fire Company
The formation of a volunteer fire company at Harris Hill was underway in October of 1936 with twenty-three men signifying their intention of becoming charter members.
The Harris Hill Volunteer Fire company would be incorporated on January 7th, 1937, with John H. Farrell acting as President and Chief to fifty brand new firefighters. The bi-monthly meetings were held at various members homes, the school basement, or The Rose Garden on Wehrle Dr. They battled fires with one truck and didn’t even have an established district until 1939. Some of their first equipment included a dozen rubber coats and boots they purchased for $10.50.
To raise operating funds, the new fire company held "Smoker Parties" every few months. The first Monte Carlo party required an outlay of $209.55 and returned $210.85. An annual picnic and carnival was held on Saturday July 20th, 1940. The affair was open to the public and attracted hundreds. The signing of a Fire Protection contract with the Town of Clarence in 1941 eased financial worries. The Town of Clarence paid 1/10th of the assessed valuation of all homes in the district. At the time of signing, it came to about $550.00.
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