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Salisbury Mills Fire Company

Salisbury Mills Fire Company History


The need for a fire company in Salisbury Mills arose from talk at a ball game, which was being played in town in 1922. The big conversations, which lead to proceedings for a fire company, were about how the railway depot caught fire and burnt down. Through the efforts and hard diligent work by a few faithful men, the company was formed and was well on the way to become a reality in 1923. The first Chief of the Salisbury Mills Fire Company was Mr. John D. Garrison and the first President was Peter Longlow. The company started off with a 1923 American La France as their first truck. It had a five hundred gallon per minute pumper with an open cab, at a cost of ten thousand dollars. The apparatus was shipped via railroad, unloaded at the Salisbury Mills Railroad Yard, and was housed in the shed of the paper mill. The first drivers of this new truck were George Weber and George Piper.


The fire company was incorporated in 1924 under the official name of The Salisbury Mills Fire Company, Inc., which took place with the guidance of Chief Egbert Seaman. The Old Gristmill and Mechanics Hall had been acquired and remodeled into a fire headquarters with a two bay truck house. The truck house was also used as a meeting room. Mr. William Williams was then elected into the office of President and Theodore Clark as Chief. Many fires were fought with the 1923 La France, but the need for another truck was foreseen. George Brundage was elected Chief, John Hoffman elected Assistant Chief, and a 1934 Sanford pumper was purchased and put into service immediately. In addition, on November 8, 1948, around thirty women of Salisbury Mills went to the company to organize an auxiliary with temporary officers. On November 30th, the first officers were elected: President and founder, Mrs. Dorothy Brundage; Vice President, Mrs. Frances Caven; Secretary, Mrs. Bernice Fleisher; Treasurer, Mrs. Nell Chamberlin; and Historian, Mrs. Hildegard Seaman.


On March 9, 1950 over one hundred Orange County firemen who had completed the first fireman’s training school in Orange County were presented diplomas at a dinner and ceremonies held at the Salisbury Mills Fire Company.


It was around 1951, that the area began to change and grow quite rapidly and the need for another fire company for the Mountain Lodge Park area was foreseen. In order to accomplish this, it was discovered that the Salisbury Mills Fire District boundaries had never been recorded. A reorganization meeting was called by the towns of Blooming Grove, Cornwall and New Windsor to appoint new commissioners and approve Fire District boundaries; maps had been drawn up, lines fixed and all was recorded. Finally on August 3, 1951, the board of fire commissioners approved a request that Mountain Lodge Park would be authorized to establish a fire company. This was accomplished and later became incorporated under the name of Mountain Lodge Park Fire Company Inc. of the Salisbury Mills Fire District. It was assisted under the guidance of Assistant Department Chief Henry Rolufs and was approved on September 21, 1951. In 1954 the Salisbury Mills Fire Company hosted the Orange County Volunteer Fireman’s Association parade in honor of President George Brundage. George was also the First Orange County Fire Coordinator. The need for another truck was also discussed once again and brought before the board of fire commissioners. A 1952 Mack five hundred gallon per minute pumper was purchased and the 1924 American La France was turned over to the Mountain Lodge Fire Company. A 1959 Ford with a one thousand gallon tank and a seven hundred and fifty gallon per minute pump.


In 1985, the Salisbury Mills Fire Company was faced with its onlyline of duty death. A lifetime fireman and community leader, Harry Sauer, Sr., was operating at a brush fire on Highview Drive when he suffered a heart attack. Firemen and emergency medical technicians from the Blooming Grove Ambulance Corp attempted to resuscitate Harry Sauer, Sr. but were unsuccessful. At the time of Harry Sauer, Sr.’s death, he was the secretary of the Salisbury Mills Fire District and held every position in the district at the time. His son, Harry J. Sauer, Jr., currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners.


In 1988, the Salisbury Mills Fire Company hosted the 74th Annual Orange County Volunteers Firemen’s Association Parade in honor of President Bernard J. Collins. Unfortunately Bernard passed away before the parade.


In 1994 the Salisbury Mills Fire Company and the Mountain Lodge Park Fire Company combined alliances and became known as the Salisbury Mills Fire Department. (See Department History for further)


In 1994 life member of the company Michael Schiraldi, Sr. passed away. After the passing of Michael Schiraldi, Sr. the Pepsi-Company (Michael’s employer) donated monies into the Salisbury Mills Fire Company building fund, which was the start of almost ten years of saving. In 2003 the company purchased the land and in 2005 the company moved into the newly constructed firehouse.


On August 28, 2011 Hurricane Irene swept through the entire northeast causing severe flooding. The Department responded to well over one hundred and fifty calls within a forty-eight hour period. This storm was so significant because it was when we witnessed our relatively new firehouse completely flooded with approximately three feet of water. Members of the company worked feverously to get the firehouse cleaned up prior to the upcoming Orange County Volunteer Fireman’s Parade scheduled to take place three weeks later. We were able to pull through and on September 24, 2011 the Salisbury Mills Fire Company hosted the 96th Annual Orange County Volunteer Firemen’s Association Parade in honor of Past Chief Rick Lewis.


In 2012 it was brought up that our Company never constructed a memorial for Line of Duty Death Harry Sauer Sr. The Company began to sit down and discuss creating a memorial for Harry and in 2013 the final design was created. On Saturday, November 30, 2013 the Line of Duty Death Memorial was dedicated to Harry Sauer Sr. The dedication was attended by many members and a large turn out by the Sauer family.


Civil Officers

President Vincent Araneo

Vice President Tom Johnson

Recording Sec. Alyson Schiraldi

Treasurer Jeff Garfinkel

Financial Sec. Martin Kroemer

Benevolent Association

Paul Wall – President

               John Albarino – Vice-President

               Bob Johnson – Secretary

               Marty Kroemer – Treasurer

               Jose Almanderez – Trustee

               Jim McCann – Trustee

               Larry Rossini – Trustee

Salisbury Mills Fire Company

2128 St Rte 94
 P. O. Box 279

Salisbury Mills, NY 12577

Non Emergency 845-496-3251

Company Trustees

Mark Johnson

Steve Hannigan

Mark Frey

Bob Johnson

Mike Schiraldi

Hall Rental

Vist our Hall Rental Site for full details and to book your date
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