Allegany Fire Department History
Willard Hook & Ladder Company formed the Allegany Fire Department on February 19, 1890. The Company volunteered for 13 years before a fire destroyed the station on February 20, 1903.
On February 26, 1909, a permanent Volunteer Fire Department and volunteers, using hand drawn-equipment organized Allegany Hose Company #1. Fire hose and fire apparatus were purchased by the village. In July, 1911, a Hook and Ladder company was organized and then merged with Hose Company #1, to form The Allegany Engine Company. On September 26, 1910, ground was broken for a new fire house at the corner of Harmon Avenue (now Fifth Street) and Main Street, and completed the following spring. The fire department now had a fire hall, elegant parlors, pool table, two hose carts, hook and ladder truck, 1,500 feet of hose, an elegant parade cart and all the modern conveniences. Fire House #1 is now the home of Catalano Plumbing and Heating.
In 1959, the Engine Company moved to a newly built Fire Hall at 10 North First Street and in 1971, began building a Club House at 45 Maple Avenue. Both buildings were heavily damaged during the flood of 1972. On June 13, 1978, the Company purchased the property at 45 North First Street. This property included a residence that was rented to St. Bonaventure University students and later torn down, the property is now the site of the Fireman's Memorial Park. The park is available to be used by the community.
In 1989 the Allegany Engine Company Rescue Squad was created and the Fireman's Community Center was built. The Community Center was designed to be used as a reception hall for the local community and for the firemen's new clubhouse. In 1996, the Fire Department renamed the Community Center the Robert H. Livingston Community Center. Robert H. Livingston was the Fire Department's oldest active firefighter at the time. Livingston was also instrumental in the design and construction of the building and was the caretaker for many years. (photo of Mr. Livingston upper right).
In 1990, the Town of Allegany formed a Fire District governed by a Board of Fire Commissioners. The Fire Commissioners are elected into office and handle all legal, financial and public affairs of the Fire Departments located in the Town of Allegany.
In 2008, a new fire hall was constructed at 186 West Main Street, to meet the demands of housing the very large fire equipment used in today's world. The new fire department building also has a training room, a board room, chief's office area, a small gym so the firemen can keep in good shape and a small kitchen. The building is also designed and kept up to date to be used as an emergency command center for any disasters that might occur in the Allegany area.
In 2011, the ambulance service of the Allegany Engine Company split to form a separate entity, the Allegany Rescue and EMS, Inc. This group is housed in the former fire hall at 10 North First Street, built in 1959. A historical note: The first ambulance was purchased by the fire department in 1949. before that, if an ambulance was needed, patients were transported in a hearse from Lemon Funeral Home.
The Knapp Creek Volunteer Fire Department is also located in the Town of Allegany and covers the southwest portion of the town. As with many of the towns around, over one third of Knapp Creek was destroyed by fire in 1890. The volunteer fire company was organized August 29, 1946, and in June, 1962 they acquired the local schoolhouse, which was remodeled to accommodate the fire equipment, which had previously been housed in an old barn. They have continually upgrade their equipment over the years, and since the creation of the Town of Allegany Fire Commissioners, contract with them for fire and ambulance protection in the southwestern portion of the township.
In 1936 the Allegany Engine Company hosted their first carnival as part of Old Home Week. Originally the carnival and other events were celebrated behind the present location of the 7-11 Store and Village Car Wash and are now located at the Firemen's Park on North First Street. Bingo served as a major fundraiser for almost 30 years until the Company replaced it by Monthly Dinners and an Annual Fifty Dollar Raffle. Other major fundraisers consist of the spring and fall Annual Ham and Turkey Parties, an Annual Chicken Barbecue and our Annual Donation Letter.