On January 22, 1896, nineteen prominent businessmen of Cold Spring met under the suggestion of a local banker David W. Harkness to form a fire brigade to be known as the Cold Spring Hose Company, No.1. The company, renamed Cold Spring Fire Company No.1 in 1900, is now in it’s 115th year of service to the community. Now serving the Villages of Cold Spring, Nelsonville and a district in the Town of Philipstown.
Cold Spring was the only fire company in the western part of Putnam County at the time of their formation. The first piece of equipment, a hose cart, pulled by the members at times of fires was purchased and housed in the rear of J.G. Southard’s office on the corner of Garden Street until the first firehouse was built on Garden Street in 1898. A horse drawn hook and ladder was donated and put into service in 1899. In 1923 the first motorized piece of equipment, a Brockway Chemical Truck was secured and since then the trucks have been replaced or added at a 10 to 15 year interval. With the completion of the new Municipal Building in 1926 the village provided the fire company with it’s first modern quarters.
From 1952 to 1964 the company provided ambulance service as a backup to Butterfield Hospital’s ambulance and for transportation to and from other hospitals. The ambulance a 1941 Buick was donated to the company by a local lawyer and member Captain Francis C. Dale. In 1974 the company moved to it’s present quarters on Main and Church Streets. Formally Post’s Garage, the building was bought by the village and renovated by the members of the fire company. Today the company has four main pieces of equipment, the newest a 2010 Smeal Pumper/Tanker/Rescue, a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 4 wheel drive Brush Truck, a 2001 Smeal 1250 gallon/minute Pumper and a 2005 Polaris Ranger and Rescue Ops Trailer.
The Company’s membership has ranged from the chartered nineteen to 250 members in the late sixties and early seventies, today it stands at approximately 130, with sixteen of these members having 50 years or more in the company. Dominick Dirito who passed away June 16, 2000, served the company the longest, 75 years of membership. Mr. Dirito held the rank of Honorary Foreman and was the Grand Marshall of the 100th Anniversary Parade held on October 5th, 1996, leading the company through the streets of the Village at it’s proudest moment, in front of one of the biggest crowds (if not the biggest crowd) to assemble in Cold Spring. There have been over 50 members to reach the 50 year membership plateau, the first being Rev. Elbert Floyd-Jones a Charter Member who wrote a book on the company’s first 30 years of service, and the latest members being, Father John Mills, George Baltich and Sam Sunday Jr. who received the honor in 2011.
In 1896 the leader of the company was the Foreman. Charles Miller was the first Foreman, later the Foreman position was split into two offices, Captain and President. The Captain was in charge of the firematic end and the President in charge of the administration. In 1952 the company elected it’s first Chief, John Merante. Today the Chief is Christopher Tobin, the 25th man to hold the position and Michael Bowman is serving as President.
Through it’s 115 years the Cold Spring Fire Company No.1 has tried to provide the best fire protection possible and has achieved this goal through the generosity of the people it has served and we thank you for your kindness.