Fire Department History

Fire Dept headquarters building 1930sFire Headquarters was located at the intersection of US Route 20 and Route 148 in the Fiskdale section of Sturbridge.  It was originally a Nash-Rambler car dealership before it became Sturbridge Fire Headquarters in the 1930's.  Two pumpers and two stake body "engines" equipped with forestry hose and small pumps operated out of this station.

The Sturbridge Fire Department owned a pair of Stake-bodied engines which carried the essential firefighting tools such as hose, ladders, handtools, lights, and a small pump.  These engines carried no number designations.  The Engines were retired from the FD, but one chassis was fitted for duty with the water department and is currently used as a pipe truck.

Stake-bodied fire engine

Stake-bodied fire engine

Engine ZeroEngine 0 (Zero) was a 1942 Ford Fire engine.  This was the first actual commercial pumper bought by the Town of Sturbridge.  It had a 300 gpm front mounted pump, with a 300 gallon booster tank on board.  This engine served the Town until 1981, then was given to the Town's Highway Department who rehabbed the chassis and still use it to this day.


Engine 1Engine 1 was a 1950 Ford Fire Engine purchased by the Town.  This vehicle had a 500 gallon water tank and had a rated pump capacity of 500 gallons per minute out of it's midship pump.  It carried a full compliment of hose, handtools, lighting , and an over-head mounted 40' ladder.  This engine was also retired in 1981.



Engine 2Engine 2 was a 1956 Ford "Big Job" 800 Fire Engine.  This engine was also outfitted with a 500 gpm front mounted pump.  The reason for this was there were many time Sturbridge firefighters were forced to draft water from static sources such as the many lakes and ponds around town.  The front mounted pump made it easier access these water sources.  The on-board water tank size was increased to 1000 gallons, as firefighters learned the advantages of having more "water on wheels".  Pictured here standing beside a brand-spanking new Engine 2 is Fire Chief Jack Cartier.  Chief Cartier was the first full time Fire Chief in the Town of Sturbridge's history.

Sturbridge's first AmbulanceThis is the first ambulance bought by the Town of Sturbridge.  It was a Pontiac (of unknown vintage) bought from the neighboring Southbridge Livery and Ambulance Service at a cost of $800.  The Sturbridge Fire Department Ambulance was put into service in December of 1959.  Standing next to the newly purchased Ambulance is Fire Chief Stephen C. Szumilas.  Chief Szumilas was the second full time Fire Chief of the Sturbridge Fire Department.


Forest Fire 1 - Fire Dept's ProjectMembers of the fire department took on a project in 1979.  They secured a military surplus four-wheel drive utility vehicle and converted it into a forest fire truck, equipped to handle some of the more rugged terrain in and around Sturbridge.  The 1954 Dodge Power Wagon was stripped, prepped, and painted; then members started work on outfitting the vehicle to handle brush fires.  A small pump and 300 gallon water tank were mounted in the utility box in the rear, along with a reel of pre-connected booster hose.  Next, members fashioned a hard top roof for the vehicle, and replaced the "rag top" roof that had been part of the original equipment.  Handtools and emergency lights were added, and Forest Fire 1 was placed in service.  Forest Fire 1 remains in service today, responding to special calls for brush fires.  Standing next to Forest Fire 1 is Deputy Chief Leonard E. Senecal.  Deputy Chief Senecal was promoted to the rank of Fire Chief in October of 1983.

Sturbridge Ambulance 2Sturbridge Ambulance 2 was a 1983 Ford class I type III ambulance, manufactured locally by Yankee Coach of Palmer, Massachusetts.  This ambulance served the Town of Sturbridge for 10 years before it's retirement in 1993 .