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Fire Co. Holds 3rd Annual Open House

The Goshen News - Staff Photo - Create Article
Dive Rescue gear on display at the Goshen Volunteer Fire Co. Open House
Staff Writer

On May 19th the Goshen Volunteer Fire Co. held its 3rd annual open house at its facility at 181 Sharon Turnpike. By mid-afternoon, just under 100 guests had visited the firehouse, with more still arriving. Interactive demonstrations were conducted throughout the day, including a mid-afternoon fire extinguisher session with Fire Marshall Bob Diorio. A couple of lucky kids got to pull the pins on two different types of extinguishers and let fly their flame-arresting contents. Later, with the help of a young volunteer “victim”, EMT’s demonstrated the equipment that secures a medical patient and lifts him into the back of the ambulance.

The Company’s full array of equipment was on display. The Goshen News spoke with Chief Barry Hall, who quickly pointed out that while the firehouse looks big when all the equipment is outside, quarters are actually very tight, and the firehouse is in need of expansion. “The town is growing, and call numbers are growing”, Chief Hall told us. With an aging population, the highest growth is in medical calls, which represented roughly ¾ of all emergency calls in the past year. The Chief quickly knocked on wood when we asked if there had been any structural fires in Goshen in the past year. At the current pace, Hall expects the Company to answer roughly 500 calls this year.

While the Fire Co. enjoys strong public support, Chief Hall warned against taking it for granted that the volunteers will always be there. All Company members are volunteers, receiving no benefits or pay. “What we get out of it is a ‘Thank You’, and that’s enough”, he said.

But volunteerism is on the decline, nationally, Hall told us, and he pointed to the recent change in nearby Sharon from a volunteer ambulance service to a paid professional service. “The taxpayers of Sharon will pay for that”, he said.

Goshen’s volunteer service personnel are aging, too, and maintaining full readiness will be a challenge without new volunteers. “We’re always open for membership,” the chief said. The Fire Co. meets every Wednesday evening at 7 PM, and he urged anyone who thinks they may have an interest in joining the Company to come down and visit. “Someone will be there to talk to you”, he assured us.