July 17, 1931:
A meeting was called by the Reverend David Yale to discuss fire defense for the Westfield District of the City of Middletown. A committee headed by Ed Nedley was formed to organize a fire company. Eleven days later the committee proposed that they recruit some young volunteers for a fire company.
August 3, 1931:
The Westfield Voluntee Fire Department was founded with 15 men joining on the first night. An election of officers was held that night and Ed Nedley was elected the first Chief of the Department. The first meetings were held at the Lecture Hall, the Westfield School's Grange meeting room, George Vogelmann's garage and Ray Brittingham's barn. Charter Members of the Department include:
William Ackerman, Marty Bacon, Edwin Brechlin, Raymond Brittingham, Theodore Bysiewicz, Robert Congdon, Fred Congdon, Charles Crowell, Stanley Czech, Karl Dickes, E. Dreckler, Edwin Dunn, John Dunn, Mike Dunn, Harry Flynn, Archie Fulton, Stanley Gilbert, Richard Hermann, Richard Hinz, Sheridan Hunns, E. Kilby, E. Laviana, George Lohmann, Cliff MacDonnell, George Matterson, Herber Michalke, Milton Mount, Edmond Nedley, Stanley Petrosky, Henry Plumb, Mike Rizza, Sheridan Roberts, Steve Sokol, Edmond Sokolowski, and Charles Vogelmann.
A place to meet and store equipment was provided by Robert Addis. A small barn facing Smith Street became the first Westfield Fire House.
The first piece of equipment designated as a Westfield Fire Department piece of apparatus was a Pierce-Arrow limousine given by Ed Meehl and converted into a fire truck with two soda-acid chemical tanks and a 150-foot hose reel. In November Articles of Association were registered with the Secretary of State and the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department was legally incorporated.
Fred Congdon was elected as the second Chief of the Department.
Archie Fulton was elected as the 3rd Chief of the Department. The Department also added a 1925 Sanford pumper and a Federal Emergency Truck with a generator.
Thomas Flynn joined the Department. Tom continues to attend Department events to this day (2013).
Under the leadership of Archie Fulton, a building committee headed by George McCarthy built a two-bay, two-storey firehouse on Miner Street. That building stands today and is used by a private business as a senior center. Alfred Rasch joined the Department.
A Henry hearse, donated by George McCarthy, was converted into an ambulance. City-wide ambulance services were started by Mrs. Florence Addis. Both Mrs. Addis and Mrs. Henery Plumb took emergency calls, activated a siren and provided nursing care.
George McCarthy was elected the 4th Chief of the Department. The City of Middletown accepted ownership and maintenance of the Westfield Ambulance Service.
Papers of incorporation were drawn up with a Board of Directors to administer running of the Department. John MacDonnell was elected the 5th Chief of the Department. Membership in the Department rose to 50 members, including the addition of Robert, Edward and James White. Ed and Jim continue to participate in Department events to this day (2010).
Ambulance services were discontinued. Robert Bumstead ("Bum") and Paul Dickes, Sr. joined the Department.
Westfield's first custom piece of apparatus, a Ward-LaFrance pumper with a 750-gallon tank was purchased. The "'54 Ward" technically remains in service to this day (2013) and is designated as Westfield 1. Under the leadership of Chief MacDonnell, a two-bay addition to the fire house on Miner Street was completed.
Theodore Bysiewicz was elected the 6th Chief of the Department.
William King and Leo Smollen joined the Department.
An auxiliary siren was installed on Sisk Street and a 1200-gallon International pumper was purchased.
An International emergency/rescue truck was purchased. Ross Andrew, Jr., Lamont Benedict and Sidney Harmon joined the Department. With the Westfield District rapidly changing from a farming community into a more heavily populated suburban area, the City of Middletown required the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department to pursue one of three options - to merge with the Middletown Fire Department, to sell its services to the City, or to establish a separate fire district. In October, the Department's Board of Directors asked State Senator William Miller to investigate procedures to establish a taxing district. Bill Miller, Bill Briggs and Bill Lawrence did yeoman's work in establishing the Westfield Fire District.
In September, residents of the Westfield District voted to createthe Westfield Fire District. A Board of Commissioners comprised of 9 members was nominated to run the business of the District. From 200 families in 1931, thirty years later, the District had 1,000 families in Westfield's 12 square miles. With that critical mass, there was a sufficient tax base to generate the funding to support current fire coverge needs and to support future growth. Doug White joined the Department.
Burt Hale joined the Department.
Dayton St. Peter joined the Department.
Edward Dypa, Ray Jasse, and Gerald Lavoie joined the Department.
Stanley Boniewski joined the Department.
William Lawrence was elected the 7th Chief of the Department.
A custom Maxim 750-gallon pumper is purchased.
Thomas Gagnon, Fred Jones and Robert Peterson joined the Department.
Alfred Rasch was elected the 8th Chief of the Department.
A 1967 Civil Defense Jeep was donated to the Department by Chief Frank Cyrulik of the Middletown Fire Department. That Jeep serves as a brush truck to this day (2013) and is designated as Westfield 8. Joseph Passamano joined the Department.
A building committee was appointed to seek estimates for one addition to the Miner Street firehouse, a new economy priced firehouse, and a moderately priced firehouse. In April, at a special fire district meeting, the voters accepted to build a new firehouse. The City of Middletown leased the Westfield School property to the Westfield Fire District for $1.00 per year.
The building committee consisting of Chairman Lamont Benedict, Chief Alfred Rasch, Thomas Flynn, Joseph Hubert, William King, Robert White, Joel Swanson and Kenneth Kreh were instrumental in the building of the modern six bay, three story center core firehouse on East Street. John Trevisan joined the Department.
A new city wide alarm system started at the new addition to the Cross Street firehouse. In September the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department moved into the present location at 653 East Street. Also, committee was appointed to purchase Westfield’s first ladder truck.
Charles McInerney was elected the ninth chief of the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. Rick Augeri and John Ollari joined the Department.
A new 75 foot Tele-Squirt ladder truck with a 1500 GPM pump and Detroit Diesel engine was added to the fleet of vehicles. On April 23, 1978 the dedication of the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department’s firehouse at 653 East Street was held. Later that year a 1954 1 1/4-ton ton Civil Defense truck was turned over to Westfield by Civil Defense director Lamont Benedict.
A new Jeep CJ-7 was added to the fleet of vehicles. Dana Andrew, Ross Andrew and Arthur Higgins, Jr. joined the Department.
William King was elected the tenth chief of the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. The 1 1/4-ton Civil Defense truck was converted into a brush truck with a pump and a 250-gallon tank. A Hurst tool was added to the new Rescue 3. Paul Dickes, Jr. joined the Department.
A committee was formed to purchase a new tanker. A Junior Firefighter Unit was formed with 4 members attending the first meeting: Tim Dickes, Dave Peterson, Bryon Harmon and Keith Chamberland. Tim Dickes, Pete Murphy and David Peterson joined the Department.
Tom Hale and Matthew Scarrozzo joined the Department.
A new Continental tanker with a 1500 GPM Hale pump and a 2000-gallon tank was put in service. Devin Darley and Robert Zieller joined the Department.
Joseph Augeri, Brian White and Harold Holmes joined the Department.
A LOSAP firefighter service recognition program was started. A new GMC pickup truck was put in service. David Conant joined the Department.
Robert Passamano and Scott Wilson joined the Department.
Two new lieutenant positions were added, bringing the total to six. Two new Spartan/General pumpers, Westfield 2 and Westfield 5 were put in service. Each had a 1250 GPM Waterous pump and a 750-gallon tank. A 2-story addition to the rear of the firehouse was completed, adding a hose tower, a fire marshal's office, a mechanic's room and a lower storage area.
A new computer was installed in the fire marhsal's office. A new Ford LTD chief's car was put in service. Chris Augeri, Rick Comshaw, John Lockwood, Seb Marino and Joe Passamano, Jr. joined the Department.
The kitchen space was doubled and remodeled. Jeff Doskos joined the Department.
A new Ford LTD fire marshal's car is purchased. Westfield 3, a new Salisbury/General Rescue was placed in service. Wayne Hollenbeck joined the Department.
A 6-person Fire Police unit was activated and led by Dave Conant. A new Ingersoll-Rand compressor SCBA filling station was installed. The Fire District Board of Commissioners presented a plan to add 2 new bays to the firehouse. Arthur Higgins was hired by the District as the full-time fire marshal. Westfield Fire celebrated its 60th Anniversary with a parade and open house. Joe Aresco, Tony Lancia, and Rob Myjak joined the Department.
Dana Andrew was hired by the District as the full-time mechanic. The addition of two new bays was completed. Property to the north of the firehouse was purchased by the District for future parking expansion. Dave DeMontigny and Adam Gora joined the Department.
Arthur Higgins, Jr. was elected the eleventh chief of the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. a 1954 GMC military surplus truck was purchased as a forestry tanker/brush truck. Plans were submitted to build a training tower in the rear of the firehouse property. Dan Barone joined the Department.
A new Ford F-150 pick-up truck is placed in service. The old pick-up truck was sold. Bill Balch, Stephen Hughes and Mike Trevisan joined the Department.
Rev. Marc Dunn from the Third Congregational Church on Miner Street was appointed as the new Protestant Chaplin. Father Fred Nickel from St. Pius X Church on Westfield Street was appointed as the new Catholic Chaplin. Westfield Volunteer Fire Department was asked help sponsor the State Firefighters’ Convention with Cromwell Fire Department and Portland Fire Department. Adam Kohl and Rob Tremblay joined the Department.
A new speaker system was installed in meeting room and a new tax office was opened in the rear of the firehouse. Ed Kennedy and Darrell Ponzio joined the Department.
Robert Peterson was elected the twelfth chief of the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. Ladder 6, a new 100-foot Spartan/General articulating ladder truck was placed in service. The 1978 Tele-Squiret ladder truck was sold for $75,000.00. William Gregorio and Stephen McDuell joined the Department.
A truck committee was formed to replace the pumper/tanker. A new Chevy Tahoe chief’s vehicle was placed in service. The 1988 Ford LTD chief’s car was assigned to the Fire Marshal’s office. Jeff Daniels, Mike Giantonio and Paul Heck joined the Department.
Tanker 4, a new Spartan/General pumper/tanker with a 2000 gallon water tank and a 1500 GPM pump was placed into service, replacing the 1983 Continental tanker. Nick DeJohn joined the Department.
Joseph Augeri was elected the thirteenth chief of the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. Westfield Volunteer Fire Department obtained R-1 status. Three automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) were placed in service. An addition to the north side of the firehouse was completed to house the Fire Marshal’s office, mechanic, maintenance storage, and a lower level truck bay.
The Fire Marshal’s 1988 Ford LTD is replaced with a Dodge Stratus. Scott Hall and Frank Lemay joined the Department.
Rescue 3's Hurst equipment is replaced and updated. A new Ford F-350 pick-up is purchased and put in service as Westfield 7 for medical emergency calls. The former Westfield 7, a 1994 Ford F-150 becomes Westfield 9. The former Westfield 9, a 1979 Jeep CJ-7 becomes Westfield 11. The Westfield Fire District hired Daniel Barone and Andrew Kyle as the District's first full-time Firefighter/EMTs. Kelly Brunell and Lisa DeJohn joined the Department.
Burt Hale was elected the fourteenth chief of the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. The radio system is upgraded to VHF frequency in conjunction with the rest of the departments covered by Middletown Fire Dispatch. Westfield Fire recevied a $150,000 grant from FEMA to upgrade SCBA. A truck committee was formed to replace Westfield Engine 2. William Gregorio was hired by the District as a Firefighter/EMT to replace Andrew Kyle. Kevin Geraci and Ron Organek joined the Department.
Westfield Fire received a $75,000 grant from FEMA to purchase new turn-out gear, helmets, and other PPE for all members.
John Lockwood was elected the fifteenth chief of the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. An order placed with Spartan/Rosenbauer to replace Westfield Engine 2. The Westfield Volunteer Fire Department starts a pay-per-call program for volunteer members. On August 26, 2006 the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department celebrates its 75th anniversary with a parade and party at the firehouse. Matt Holmes and Bryan Waters joined the Department.
The new Spartan/Rosenbauer Westfield 2 with a 1500 GPM Waterous pump and a 750-gallon tank with a 30-gallon class-A foam tank and a 30-gallon class-B foam tank is put in service. Jason Hurlbut, Lucas Kennedy, John Loosemore, Mark Louiselle, Jason Lubee and David Ribnicky joined the Department.
Aaron Boyce and Eric Lupone joined the Department.
David Ribnicky was hired by the District as a Firefighter/EMT to replace Daniel Barone. Jason Hurlbut and Geoff DeFrancesco were hired by the District as Firefighter/EMTs.
DJ Zordan was hired as the Deputy Fire Marshal to replace the vacancy left by Mike Giantonio.
Jeff DiCostanzo was hired by the District as a Firefighter/EMT.
A new Ford F350 Crew Cab was purchased to replace Westfield 7. The current Westfield 7, a 2004 F350 will replace the current Westfield 9. Lieutentant Matt Holmes produced several recruiting and promotional videos. A pictoral history of the Department is posted at the top of this section. Jason Lubee was hired by the District as a Firefighter/EMT, replacing Jason Hurlbut.
A committee was established to create specifications for the replacement of Westfield 3 (Rescue). A 2013 Polaris Ranger was purchased to support incidents involving Search & Rescue operations and Brush Fires. Chief John Lockwood stepped down and Deputy Chief William Balch was appointed to the fill the Chief position and Assistant Chief Stephen Hughes was promoted to Deputy Chief for the remainder of 2013.
William Balch was appointed as the sixteenth chief of the Westfield Volunteer Fire Department. Darrell Ponzio was appointed as Deputy Chief and Joe Passamano, Jr. was appointed as Assistant Chief.
A new Spartan/Rescue1 heavy rescue was put into service in August as Westfield 3. The Department's old Rescue (a 1990 Spartan/Saulsbury) was sold to Dillon FD (Montana). The Department purchased and put into service a Lucas automatic CPR compression device.
Scott Kotowski replaced DJ Zordan in the Fire Marshal's office. Josh Leary was hired by the District to fill Scott Kotowski's position as Firefighter/EMT. Phil Coco was appointed as Deputy Fire Marshal. A committee was established to create specifications for the replacement of Westfield 5 (Engine). All units that respond to medical emergencies were outfitted with new suction units.
A new Spartan/Rescue One heavy rescue truck is placed in service replacing our old rescue truck which now serves the fire department in Dillon, Montana. The new truck is equipped with enhanced hydrualics to power rescue tools, a light tower and carries all of the tools needed to perform any type of heavy rescue operation.
With money received through a federal grant program, all of the departments self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) were upgraded with all new equipment including a new bottle filling station. The new air packs have a higher capacity allowing firefighters to work in environments that are immediately dangerous to life or health (ILDH) longer than with the old equipment. Each officer's airpack is equipped with thermal imaging capability to assist in locating hidden fire. Jason Lubee was appointed as Assistant Chief. Chief Bill Balch entered his 5th year as Chief and Darrell Ponzio entered his 5th year as Deputy Chief. Mike Trevisan was voted as Captain and Paul Heck, Dan Lubee, Phil Coco, Nicole Davis, John Kloc and Adam Kohl were voted for Lieutenant positions.
A new Spartan/Custom Fire engine was placed in service. The new engine has additional water capacity and side mount pump panel and replaces our oldest engine (Westfield 5) which now serves the Grand Isle, Maine Fire Department. A large investment was made to upgrade the departments rescue tools. New Hurst "eDRAULIC" battery powered tools were purchased to enhance our rescue capabilities by allowing faster deployment and ability to be free of hydraulic power cords run from the apparatus or a portable motor. Along with all other city public safety agencies WFD went on-line with a new state of the art radio system which offers much improved coverage inside and outside of buildings enhancing safety and increased capacity improving operations. All mobile and portable radios as well as pagers were replaced with new Motorola equipment. Each firefighter was outfitted with a new particulate blocking hood to reduce the risk of cancer from carcinogens the members are exposed to in fire situations. Funded by a grant, a new dry hydrant system was installed at Old Farms West to enhance water supply in that section of the district. Money received from a grant from the Gary Sinise Foundation was used to replace the tank, pump and fittings on our forestry truck (Westfield 10). Chief William Balch entered his 6th year of service as Chief of Department, Darrell Ponzio served his 6th year as Deputy Chief and Jason Lubee entered his second year as Assistant Chief. Joe Passamano was elected Captain and Phil Coco, John Kloc, Adam Kohl, Lucas Kennedy, Tom Hale and James Figueroa served as Lieutenants. The department responded to 1,232 calls for service.