from Inlet’s 2009 Town Comprehensive Plan page 20
Volunteer Fire Department
In June of 1923, twenty-one years after the incorporation of the Town of Inlet, the Inlet Hose Company was started and then later incorporated. The early equipment was an old Ford purchased in Boonville and had a pump installed on it.
The newly organized department needed to look at real fire apparatus, so a salesman from American LaFrance came to talk to them and produced a figure of over $10,000. The down payment was to be $3,500. The
truck was ordered due to a promise from Archie Delmarsh that he would help out if funds were insufficient.
The new truck came to Eagle Bay in a boxcar on Friday afternoon. About 10:00am Sunday morning Walt Rosa came running across the road yelling “Mingo Lodge is on fire!” In their excitement, they drove the new truck over the hill, over the cesspool and to where they could get water. The whole roof was on fire and the bid line was able to knock down the fire fast.
After the fire was out, there came the job of getting the truck back up the hill. It took fifty men, ropes, and bridging of the cesspool to get the truck out. They had the truck about two weeks when it was put to the big test. The
pavilion theater caught on fire and Fred Trottier ran across the street yelling “Fire!”
That night the town would have been lost without the fire truck. Within a few days Chief Joe Sullivan came up from Utica and looked the job over. He concluded that his men in Utica could not have saved the building, which gave the local men a vote of confidence.
Over the years, the Inlet Volunteer Hose Company has evolved into a modern firefighting unit, still maintaining its volunteer status. In 1995 the Inlet Volunteer Hose Company formed a corporation with the Inlet Volunteer Ambulance Squad, each having its own independence, but under the umbrella of the Inlet Volunteer Emergency Services (IVES).
A new emergency services building was erected on the corner of Limekiln Road and Route 28, which remains the site of the IVES. In this building is a 1936 American LaFrance fire truck that is still
working and known as “Big Red.”
The Hose Company now has an air boat for ice water rescues and remote
waterfront fires. They also have an ATV equipped with a litter for remote
rescues and a trailer hookup that is setup for forest fires. This is in addition to
their four fire trucks.