Centennial Fourth: Friday Harbor Fire Department celebrates its 100th

In July 1909, the Friday Harbor Town Council approved the organization of a fire department and began service with the purchase of a hose cart and 600 feet of hose.

Buckets to hold 21/2 gallons of water were ordered for a bucket brigade. Volunteer “boys” responded to a bell and lined up to pass buckets of water from the harbor up to 10 brave souls to pour on flames.

Today, firefighters train with aerial pumper apparatus that puts 1,000 gallons of water per minute on a fire. They wear special bunker gear and breathing apparatus and are trained to find the source, do interior attacks and learn when and how to use either water or fire suppressant foam.

During Fourth of July weekend, the town fire department will celebrate its 100 years of service to the community with several events. On July 3, a dozen antique fire trucks will arrive by ferry from Canada and the U.S. A spaghetti supper will follow at the fire station at 5 p.m.

The antique trucks will participate in the Fourth of July parade down Spring Street, followed by lunch at the fire station.

After lunch, you can inspect the vehicles at the Antique Fire Apparatus and Car Show and watch firefighter teams compete in such games as bucket brigades and hose lays. That evening, a tri-tip barbecue dinner will be served at the town’s Fire Station.

On Sunday, the volunteers will host their traditional Pancake Breakfast with firefighters from District 3. The final event will be Sunday afternoon at the port with the Ceremony of Recognition of Fallen Firefighters, a cannon salute and official recognition of the Friday Harbor Volunteer Fire Department’s 100th Birthday.

Income from the meals and the sale of Centennial memorabilia (hats, shirts, mugs, books, photos) will help support the Fire Fighters Association.

A complete guide to Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor’s Fourth of July festivities will be published in the July 1 Island Scene.

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