PROTECTING LIVES & PROPERTY
We operate with 30 members, out of one station and protect a primary response area that encompasses 4.6 square miles. Our department is a public department with paid on-call members. We provide fire protection and first response EMS service to the residents of Essex Junction and respond to over 500 call per year. The department operates with two engines (one equipped with extrication equipment), a 105-foot ladder/pumper and a Utility Truck. The department responds mutual aid to the following surrounding communities when requested: Essex, Williston, Colchester, Winooski, Underhill, Jericho, Richmond and Milton.
The Essex Junction Fire Department was established on March 4, 1893 when voters approved the Charter of the Village and Essex Junction was born. We started as a bucket brigade, purchasing our first chemical engine in December of 1895 for the sum of $750.00. No fire calls were recorded that year with three calls recorded in 1896. Our first fire alarm box was put into service in 1909. A rope connecting with the striker on the Congregational Church allowed anyone to sound the alarm without looking for a janitor or someone with a key. The instructions were to break the glass and pull hard and fast on the rope. The first motorized apparatus, a Foamite-Childs pumper, was purchased in 1927. We were called to aid Burlington Fire Department twice during 1929, the first record documenting fire assistance to the City of Burlington. Our second pumper was delivered in July of 1948, an American-LaFrance pump that served the Village until 1987. Additional apparatus and equipment were purchased over the years. The first recorded department operating budget was established in the amount of $6,429 back in 1960.
On November 30, 1962, a tank truck carrying 3,000 gallons of vinyl acetate, overturned and burned near the Green Mountain Power Station on Park Street. This highly flammable liquid created one of the worst and most dangerous fires in the history of the Village. NFPA stated this was the first fire of this nature in the country. Seven people were injured, two seriously. On July 7, 1984, the department responded to the Amtrak train derailment in Williston, for which national praise was received for the rescue effort that was coordinated that day. The department supported this operation with 35 personnel working a total of 559 hours for rescue operations.
In June 2006, the station was dedicated to former firefighter Ernie Martin, who had dedicated 65 years of service to the Essex Junction Fire Department.
Our thanks to William W. Putnam and Myron Jordan, for documenting the history of the Essex Junction Fire Department for our 100th Anniversary, which was celebrated in 1993. All of the facts provided were taken from this documented history.