06/10/11 391 W, 3 I - + 5 - 1 Moline Second Alarmers / Rochester Fire Protectives / Volunteer Auxiliaries

Let's take a trip to the Midwest, where Mr. Blogger attended a family wedding in May. This beautiful engine house in Moline, IL, served as Station 4 from 1910 to 1989. The building is presently a training facility and also home to the Moline Second Alarmers. They're a volunteer auxiliary to the Moline Fire Department, formed in 1952 with a purpose of "assisting the Fire Chief in any manner by promoting, creating, and maintaining the best interests of [the department]." Notably, this included helping at any second-alarm fire. Not fighting fire, but as runners for tools, picking up and rolling hose, helping with traffic control, and washing and hanging hose back at the station.


As their history notes, their membership began to wane in the 1970s, as the numbers of multi-alarm fires began dropping. About that time, they acquired their first vehicle for use as a mobile air unit. That was a Chevy Suburban. With their fourth generation unit, they currently provide fire scene services including breathing air support, scene lighting, and refreshments and rehab. Interestingly, they also have an ex-Quad Cities rig, a 1955 American LaFrance 700 Series pumper that served Rock Island, IL. It's used for promotions and parades. 

Moline Second Alarmers Photo

Speaking of auxiliaries, a reader recently passed along the web site for the Rochester Protectives, a volunteer group that assists the Rochester Fire Department in New York. They date to the 1858, formed as a salvage company during a fire department reorganization that year, and are the oldest volunteer fire department to serve the city. With a command structure including a Chief, Deputy Chief, Captain, and five lieutenants, they perform salvage duties at fire scenes along with smoke-ejection and scene lighting. Their other activities include pumping water from flooded buildings and securing broken windows and doors.


What volunteer auxiliaries are serving around our state? There are a wealth of ladies auxiliaries, of course. And Explorer Posts provide services on scene including helping collecting equipment and rolling hose. Locally, there's Barry's Cafe, that provides food service to firefighters and responders. Are any salvage corps still operating in these parts, or in the south in general? Here in the Capitol City, volunteer groups have assisted the Raleigh Fire Department for decades. Read this history of modern volunteers.

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