History

As the Village of Dobbs Ferry was expanding during the late 19th century the need for formalized fire protection became more evident. On May 17, 1883 the Board of Trustees led by President (Mayor) Downey held a special meeting of the board in Huber Hall which was located at the comer of Chestnut Street and Main Street to address the issue. A petition was presented by 25 residents of the village asking to be organized into a fire company to be known as the Resolute Hook and Ladder Company No. 1. The petition was promptly granted by the Board of Trustees. President Downey then called for an election of a foreman and assistant foreman. Mr. Joseph Embree was elected foreman and Mr. L. W. Boyle was elected Assistant Foreman. President Downey then turned the meeting over to the membership who elected John R Ackerman chairman, Joseph Gillispie Secretary and John Ebenspacher Treasurer. A committee was formed to work with the Village Board to purchase a fire truck and to develop company by-laws. The first organizational meeting of the company was held a week later on May 24, 1883.

As further growth of the village occurred during the late 1880's the need for additional fire protection became apparent. To meet this need Livingston Hose Company No. 1 was organized. The original company roster consisted of 10 members.These charter members were Lawrence W. Boyle, Thomas Dunworth, Arthur Guden, Joseph Clough, Patrick Gillispie, John J. Francis, John Cane, Walter S. Paulsen, William Lintland, and John R. Ackerman. After formalizing their charter and being recognized by the Village of Dobbs Ferry, the men of Livingston Hose Company elected its first set of officers. These were Foreman Arthur Guden and Assistant Foreman John J. Francis.

Resolute Hook and Ladder and Livingston Hose developed friendly rivalries over the years often racing each other to the scene of fire calls. Each company maintained there own seperate firehouses for years in different buildings throughout the downtown business district. In 1927 the Village built a new firehouse for both companies at 112 Main Street. Both companies are still housed in this building and it is also serves as department headquarters.

Ogden Engine was the last company of the Dobbs Ferry Fire Department to organize. With the Village expanding eastward and the population growing a need arose for additional fire protection in the Village. On January 6, 1898 a letter was read from the Secretary of the Fire Department to the Village Board advising them that as a result of a meeting of the Fire Department, approval was given to create a new company. A group of citizens came forward wanting to form a hose company to be known as the Ogden Hose Co. On March 30, 1898 an organizing meeting was held and the company name of Ogden Hose Company # 3 was formed

On April 17, 1898 the Village Board confirmed that Ogden was now part of the Fire Department. Ogden was now a company but lacked an apparatus and a firehouse. In May of that year the company agreed to lease a building located on Ogden Place East at a cost of $120.00 a year to be paid in quarterly installments. A hand drawn horse jumper, used as the apparatus of choice in the area was assigned to the company and Ogden hose Co. began responding to calls in the Village.

As time progressed, Ogden became an integral part of the department. At the August 11, 1906 meeting it was decided not to renew the lease of its quarters and a committee was formed to work with the Village to find new accommodations for the company. Additionally in 1906 in anticipation of the arrival of a new apparatus the company changed their name to the Ogden Engine Company #1. In December they placed into service their new horse drawn chemical engine.

In 1910 after two years of committee meetings and two successful Village referendums a lot on Ashford Ave opposite Ogden Place West was secured by the Village construction was begun on a new firehouse. The first meeting in the new firehouse on Ashford Ave was held on October 10, 1910 - the site of today's firehouse.

Resolute Hook and Ladder, the Livingston Hose Co. and the Ogden Engine Co. all have rich histories that have developed of the last 128 years of the Dobbs Ferry Fire Department. These histories are still going strong and the men and women of these companies will contiue to protect and serve the residents of the Village of Dobbs Ferry.

Chief of Fire Department

1883 to 1888 NONE

1889-1890 Charles Huber (Resolute H&L)
1891-1893 Peter Carpenter (Resolute H&L)
1894-1896 John Francis (Livingston Hose)
1897-1898 James W Elder (Livingston Hose)
1899-1900 John Francis (Livingston Hose)
1901-1902 John Best (Resolute H&L)
1903-1904 James Gillespie (Resolute H&L)
1905-1906 Anton Thorton
1907-1908 John Lange (Resolute H&L)
1909-1910 John H Lange (Resolute H&L)
1911 Peter Gillespie (Livingston Hose)
1912 Benjamin Wallace (Resolute H&L)
1913 Croke William (Ogden Engine)
1914 Thomas Kelly (Livingston Hose)
1915 James McCabe (Resolute H&L)
1916 Thomas Lee (Ogden Engine)
1917 Frank Coffey (Livingston Hose)
1918-1919 William O. Meyer (Resolute H&L)
1920-1922 William Mulholland (Livingston Hose)
1923-1924 Joseph Beigen (Resolute H&L)
1925 Thomas Elder (Livingston Hose)
1926 Otto Pfeil (Ogden Engine)
1927 John Graney (Resolute H&L)
1928-1929 Thomas Fay (Livingston Hose)
1930 Samuel Dawson (Resolute H&L)
1931-1932 Joseph Oths (Ogden Engine)
1933-1934 James Monahan (Livingston Hose)
1935-1936 Joseph Delmerico (Resolute H&L)
1937-1938 James Taxter (Ogden Engine)
1939-1940 James Brooks (Livingston Hose)
1941-1942 Willaim French (Resolute H&L)
1943-1945 Douglas McInernry (Ogden Engine)
1945-1946 Elliott Bray Sr. (Livingston Hose)
1947-1948 Louis Reader (Resolute H&L)
1949-1950 Edwin French (Ogden Engine)
1951-1952 Terrence Buckley (Livingston Hose)
1953-1954 Thomas J Connerton (Resolute H&L)
1955-1956 Herman Meyer (Ogden Engine)
1957-1958 Elliott Bray Jr. (Livingston Hose)
1959-1960 Clifton Foote (Resolute H&L)
1961-1962 Harold Bingay Sr. (Ogden Engine)
1963-1964 John Yozzo (Livingston Hose)
1965-1966 Joseph Palermo (Resolute H&L)
1967-1968 George Keiling (Ogden Engine)
1969-1970 Ted Hill (Livingston Hose)
1971-1972 Charles Schiavo (Resolute H&L)
1973-1974 Thomas Cullen (Ogden Engine)
1975-1976 Stanley Raffa (Livingston Hose)
1977-1978 Frank Cristello (Resolute H&L)
1979-1980 John H Cullen (Ogden Engine)
1981-1982 Ned Allen (Livingston Hose)
1983-1984 Dan Minozzi (Resolute H&L)
1985-1986 William O'Connor (Ogden Engine)
1987-1988 Robert Casino (Livingston Hose)
1989-1990 Edward Marron (Resolute H&L)
1991-1992 John Trenholm (Ogden Engine)
1993-1994 Jack Krocian (Livingston Hose)
1995-1996 Edward Marron (Resolute H&L)
1997-1998 Edward Hennessy (Ogden Engine)
1999-2000 Gary Gardner (Livingston Hose)
2001-2002 Neil Sweeting (Resolute H&L)
2003-2004 James Walsh (Ogden Engine)
2005-2006 Dennis Roth (Livingston Hose)
2007-2008 Joseph Marron (Resolute H&L)
2009-2010 Frank Farrington (Ogden Engine)
2011-2012 James Trezza (Livingston Hose)
2013-2015 Neil Sweeting (Resolute H&L)
2015-2016 Gerry McIlvain (Ogden Engine)
2017- Chris DeNike (Livingston Hose)

100 Years Ago

1917

January 12 2:PM

Call from Hamill, fire in store of M. Jones. Sent in alarm. Caused by some rags around pipes in cellar. Trying to thaw them. All out at 225pm. Damage about $10.

February 12 9:07PM

Telephone call from Warden Hill at White Plains asking for Ogden Engine Company to assist White Plains at a fire. Chief Lee and company responded. (Rodgers)

NOTE: 12:34AM Telephone call from White Plains saying the Ogden Company has left for home. Warden Hill stated that they were of great service to White Plains. At 1:05AM Ogden reached their headquarters. (Eberspacher) **See related article**

February 13 12:55AM

Mrs. McQuestan of South Broadway called and said the house of Mrs. Williams (next door) was on fire. Put on wheel #72 and all I got was 5 blasts of the whistle. Livingston Hose, Resolute Hook and Ladder, Ogden Engine responded to the call promptly. Chief Lee reported that there was an explosion which blew out one side of the house. Damage $3,000. **See related article**

March 7 9:25PM

Mr. Rodgers of Riverview Manor telephoned a fire on Palisade Av. Turned in Alarm #67. Resolute H & L, Livingston Hose, Ogden Engine answered the call. Fire occurred in the new house under construction by Fredinand Witt, who lives in next house which was slightly damaged. Caused by a salamander which is used for drying out plaster in new building. Total loss. In going to fire Resolute H&L knocked down a gas light post on Fowler Av. Lighting company notified by Assistant Chief Meyers. (Capt. Costello) **See related article**

March 30 1:43PM

Call from A.B. Edmonds, Ardsley woods afire back of Harvey Odell's. Field Avenue. Working its way up to Herman's. Turned in Alarm #24. All Companies answered call. All out 2:30PM.

April 2 1:46PM

Call from G. R. Hasbrouck, South Broadway, Fire in his house. Turned in alarm #72. All companies answered call. All out 2PM. Damage $25. (Old Hyatt-Livingston House). Painters with torch set fire to siding.

April 5 1PM

Call from Mrs. Wittmore, Southlawn Avenue, Riverview Manor. Brush fire back of her house, working towards house. Wanted firemen. Turned in alarm #67. All companies answered the call. No damage. All out 1:25PM

April 15 12:20PM

Call from Mr. Kenworth Ives, Ogden Park, Chimney and roof afire. Turned in alarm #53. All companies answered call. All out 1:20PM. Damage $25. Singles on fire.

April 15 2:39PM

Call from Mrs. Prather, Riverview Manor, House afire. Turned in alarm #67. Chimney and roof afire. All out 3:05PM. All companies answered call.

May 10 7:35PM

Telephone call, fire in Mrs Bazzini store, Main Street. Turned in Alarm #53. All companies answered call. 7:45PM all out. Caused by a cigarette being thrown on awning, back of store. Torn down and put out without using water. (Fay)

May 12 4:45PM

Call from Mrs. Barrett, Bellevue Hotel. Ashford Avenue. Chimney afire. Turned in Alarm #31 (Howell) **see related article**

May 15 11:30PM

Call from Mr. J. L. Travis, Broadway. His chimney afire. Turned in alarm #32. All companies answered call. (Rodgers)

July 12 4:40PM

Call from Mr. Goodwiss, President, Village of Hastings. Fire at 121 Warburton Avenue. Asked for help. Notified Trustee Graham. Ordered Resolute H&L and Livingston Hose out at 4:52PM. Chief Coffey asked for Odgen Engine which answered call. All companies back 6PM. **See related article**

August 15 11:55AM

Call from Pfeil, Ashford Avenue, fire at William Brown house, LeFurgy Avenue. Turned in Alarm #31. All companies answered call. Caused by sparks from brush fire. George Brown was burning brush. Damage to roof and water inside. All out 1PM **See related article**

October 7 11:05PM

Telephone call from Hill Garage, Automobile afire. Turned in Alarm #63. Livingston Hose, Resolute H&L and Ogden Engine responded to call. Officer Rodgers reports fire all out at 11:18PM. Auto owned by Messmore Kendall.

October 23 5:27PM

Call from halfway house Ardsley Club Grounds. Fire in William Rochesters new house. Turned in Alarm #36. All companies answered call. Cause of fire Electric light wire.

November 3 5:40PM

Telephone call from Mr. Belmar, Riverview Manor. Roof of House next to him afire. Turned in Alarm #67. All companies answered call. Chief Coffey reports damage about $20. (Clamp) Chimney fire.

November 10 6:20PM

Telephone call from Miss S. J. Russell, brush fire in Ogden Park. Livingston Hose answered to still alarm call. 7:05PM Chief Coffey ordered alarm turned in as the men could not handle fire.

November 19 8:25PM

Call from Mr. Franklin Carter, Ogden Park. The dump was burning and if the wind should start blowing the houses were in danger. Notified Alswoth and Chief Coffey who attended to same. ( Clamp)

November 22 1:05PM

Call from Mrs. Robert Davidson, Palisade Av. Riverview Manor, House full of smoke. Wish to have firemen. Turned in Alarm #67. All out 1:45PM Flue fire.

November 26 2:30AM

Fire Alarm from Box #41. Automobile on fire in front of the Misses Masters school, Clinton Av. Livingston Hose and Resolute H&L responded to call. All out when they arrived. Ogden Engine stalled on Ashford Av. and Washington Av. Towed by Livingston Hose Co. (Eberspacher/Rodgers)

SPECIAL NOTES:

September 13 7:30PM Accident between Ogden Engine Company Car Driven by Hiram Odell and John Ryan on motorcycle. Corner of Ashford Av. and Washington Av. Ogden came out of Washington Av run into motorcycle. Damaging rear of same. Ryan has small cut on right leg below the knee. Matthew Weider was riding on foot board of engine was knocked off bruising and wrenching right leg. Attended to by Dr. Denniston. On engine was Edward Frank, Charles Siess, Matthew Weiderhold and Hiram Odell.

September 28 3AM Notified Chief Coffey, Manilla Anchor Brewery called stating that pipe that feeds the fire whistle was leaking. Will be shut off. Chief Coffey said in case fire call, Call #95, B. O'Toole for Livingston Hose, #301 R. Wilsea for Resolute H&L and
#396 Charles Seiss for Ogden. (Fay)

December 24 7:45PM President Brown notified headquarters, He had arranged with Father Smith, in case of fire, the village could use the church bell in case whistle didn't blow. In case of call of fire, notify Frank Hill, telephone #169, he will ring bell. Tomorrow night Christmas Eve, church bell will ring at 11:30PM for midnight mass. Pay no attention to same. No fire. (Graney)

____________________________________________________________________
Article 1

Dobbs Ferry Register February 16, 1917

Another Large Fire in White Plains

A Fire which caused a loss of $80,000 took place Monday night in White Plains and in a couple of hours reduced the handsome Jerome Apartments at the corner of Lexington and Martine Avenues to a mass of smoldering ruins. They were comparatively new, having been built only about three years ago by Sam Ellis.

The blaze was seen for miles around and a great crowd collected to see it. As the building was situated in the heart of the city and likely to do extensive damage. Assistance was asked from contiguous cities and villages, and soon there were companies present from Scarsdale, Port Chester, New Rochelle, Tuckahoe, Tarrytown, Mount Vernon and elsewhere. Ogden Engine Company, of this village was in attendance.

The fire started in E. A. Wilsey's paint shop on Martine Avenue, and it is attributed to spontaneous combustion. This was about 9 O'clock and it is said that there were several explosions heard at about the time the flames burst out.

The Yonkers Statesman February 13, 1917

...All the city companies were called out in the bitter cold by a general alarm and were soon at work. Twelve families were burned out and they were taken care of temporarily by those living nearby. As far as known, no person was injured.

The business places burned out on the ground floor were: A. S. Miller, grocer; The National Biscuit Company; The Singer Sewing Machine Company, on the Lexington Avenue side, and the Wilsey Paint Shop on the Martine Avenue side. The fire was stopped at Edward Bergan's Garage, on the Martine Avenue side, and the thick party wall of the Irving and Ruth Apartment's on the Lexington Avenue side, stopped the progress of the fire any further towards Main Street in that direction.

White Plains State Journal Saturday, February 17, 1917

...There were six alarms sent in. The first was sounded at 8:40 o'clock, From Box 32, Brookfield Street and Martine Avenue. Soon after the arrival of Commissioner Calhoun and Chief Griffin a second alarm was sent in at 8:46 o'clock, followed by a third at 8:50 o'clock, a fourth at 8:53, a fifth at 9:10 and the sixth at 9:25.

...The call for aid to nearby cities and villages brought the Ogden LaFrance pumping engine from Dobbs Ferry, with Chief Lee in charge, that made a quick run to the scene, Scarsdale Engine No. 2, Chemical No. 4 of Mount Vernon, Phoenix Hose and Hope Hose of Tarrytown, Waverly Engine of Tuckahoe, Engine Company No. 2 New Rochelle, with Chief Ross in command, Reliance Engine Co., The Steamer Co. No. 2 and the Reliance Steamer Co. of Port Chester.

Deputy Chief Baker of Port Chester, offered his assistance and came here with a number of members of Harry Howard Hook and Ladder Co. The outsiders gave assistance in fighting the blaze, the steamer companies aiding in securing higher pressure. Warden John F. Hill secured the Dobbs Ferry Company.

____________________________________________________________
Article 2

Dobbs Ferry Register February 16, 1917

Explosion Wrecks Dwelling

The explosion of a copper-hot water boiler in the residence of Miss S. P. Williams on Broadway at one o'clock Wednesday morning, practically wrecked the whole building, and the occupants, Miss Williams, her brother and his wife and two children, who were visiting her, miraculously escaped injury. A visit to the premise only can tell the true story and one of the many remarkable incidents is that fire did not ensue.

_____________________________________________________________
Article 3

Dobbs Ferry Register March 9, 1917

Fire on Wednesday evening about 9:30 o'clock totally destroyed a large residence in the course of construction in the Riverview Manor section of the village. How the fire started is a mystery as the workmen claims that when they left the building about four o'clock everything was all right. When the fire was first noticed it had gained great headway. The members of Riverview Manor Hose Company were the first on the job. They were in the midst of a business session when the alarm was turned in. They called on Protection Engine Company of Hastings, and the local department was also notified. All the companies responded but by the time they got to the scene the building was doomed.

The exact loss is not known but will doubtless amount to $10,000. The dwelling was being constructed by Fred C. Witt, whose residence, within a few yards of the burned building, was also damaged quite a little by the heat. The local companies has a hard time climbing the steep hills with their heavy apparatus, as the roads were in an awful condition, although street commissioner Alworth had only that day run the large snow plow through that section to make travel easier. As it was Resolute Hook and Ladder Company's truck got ditched on one of the steep grade and the members had considerable trouble getting the machine righted. Under the circumstances the firemen did fine work and received the commendation of everyone.

______________________________________________________________
Article 4

Dobbs Ferry Register May 18, 1917

Two Chimney Fires

The fire department was called out last Saturday afternoon for a chimney fire at the old Hotel Bellevue property, on Ashford Avenue. No damage was done.

On Wednesday morning at 12:30 o'clock it was again called out for a chimney fire at the residence of John L. Travis, on North Broadway. No damage was done in this case either. In both instances the apparatus made good time in answering the calls. What is the matter with the chimneys of our residents lately? It looks as if a chimney sweep should be employed to clean out some of the chimneys there by saving the taxpayers the necessity of spending their good money for gasoline and automobile tires. There have been a number of such fires lately and it is purely carelessness on the part of residents in not cleaning up the situation.

_____________________________________________________________

Article 5

Dobbs Ferry Register July 6, 1917

A $5,000 Fire in Hastings

Three frame tenement houses on Warburton Avenue, Hastings caught fire Monday afternoon and for a time the blaze threatened to spread to other buildings in the neighborhood. The Hastings firemen were unable to cope with the situation, so they sent in a call for help from the fire departments in Yonkers and this village.

The call was received in Yonkers at 5 o'clock, Chief Mulcahey, Engine 8 and Truck 2 responding. When the Yonkers men reached the scene the blaze was pretty well under control, so that their services were not needed. The loss is about $5,000.

The local department responded promptly to the call for help, which was turned in at police headquarters at 4:40. Resolute Hook and Ladder company, Livingston Hose company and Ogden Engine company were quickly on the job. The services of all werew not needed, however, and they returned home about 5:30. How the fire started is not known and it was confined principally to the roof of one of the apartments. The buildings owned by John Medva and John Marcin were the hardest hit, both carried insurance.

___________________________________________________________
Article 6

Dobbs Ferry Register August 17, 1917

Fire Does $500 Damage

The local fire department was called out for a fire at noon, Wednesday, in the building occupied by Mrs. William J. Brown, on LeFurgy Avenue. Sparks from a bonfire set fire to the roof of the dwelling and as the weather has been dry the past few weeks the shingles soon caught and spread. The department answered the alarm quickly and was soon on the job. The firemen did good work and in on hour's time the whistle blew "all out". The apparatus experienced some trouble after turning from Ashford Avenue onto Lefurgy Avenue as that street had been oiled only about one-half hour before and no top dressing has been put on. Both Livingston and Resolute has trouble in making the turn and their machines nearly upset. The boys had a good two hours work, upon their
return, Cleaning up the apparatus. Ogden Engine company, which arrived first, had the fire well in hand, when the other companies arrived. The damage to the roof and side of the dwelling will amount to between $400 and $500. It is covered by insurance.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DOBBS FERRY FIRE DEPARTMENT

September 28, 1916
(Dobbs Ferry Register Newspaper)

Dobbs Ferry Fire Alarm Codes

Signal 36 -- 3 Whistles and a pause, then 6 Whistles indicate that fire is located North and East of Walgrove Brook. Key and Box at Resolute Hotel.

Signal 53 -- 5 Whistles and a pause, then 3 Whistles indicate that fire is located between Dock Hill and Walnut Street and Walgrove Brook. Key and Box located at James Ackerman's.

Signal 45 -- 4 Whistles and a pause, then 5 Whistles indicate that fire is located south of Walnut Street and Dock Hill. Key and Box at Dr. Hasbrouck's.

Signal 23 -- 2 Whistles and a pause, then 3 Whistles indicate that fire is located at Chauncey. Key and Box located at Chauncey Hose House.

Signal 24 -- 2 Whistles and a pause, then 4 Whistles indicate that fire is located at Ardsley and Eastern Line of Dobbs Ferry at Ashford Avenue running East and Northwest of Ardsley and Proudfoot's. Key and Box at Hallihan's Hotel.

Signal 31 -- 3 Whistles and a pause, then 1 Whistle indicate that fire is located East of Dudley Street to Proudfoot's. Key and box at J. C. Horn's.

Signal 32 -- 3 Whistles and a pause, then 2 whistles indicate that fire is located North of Belden Avenue to Northern Line of Dobbs Ferry. Key and Box at Thos. Losee

Signal 41 -- 4 Whistles and a pause, then 1 Whistle indicate that fire is located East of Broadway running North from Windy Brow to Walgrove Brook. Key and box at Misses Master's

Signal 72 -- 7 Whistles and a pause, then 2 Whistles indicate that fire is located at Anchor Brewery.

Special Calls:

No. 22 is for assistance at Ardsley N.Y.--Ogden only will answer

No. 33 is for assistance at Irvington, N.Y.-- Ogden only will answer

No. 44 is for assistance at Hastings, N.Y.-- Livingston only will answer