Friday, December 15, 2017


Firefighters, along with other emergency personnel, protect the citizens of their local towns and cities.  They save lives on a day-to-day basis all around the world, but how much do people really know about their local firefighters?

For 125 years, the Washingtonville Fire Department, also known as Monell Engine Company, has done a marvelous job keeping the Washingtonville community safe. The first meeting that ever took place for Monell Engine Company was held on December 8th, 1892.  At this time, the station’s equipment was stored in a small building in the heart of the town, which now belongs to the Spear Printing Company.  Twenty years later, they were relocated to the building that is now home to the Washingtonville Police Department.

Monell Engine Company’s current location was built in 1975 and has been standing strong ever since. The firefighters are not the only ones involved with the local department; the fire police and fire commissioners play a crucial role as well.  Each of these jobs help to keep the community safe.

Fire commissioners and fire police take care of much needed responsibilities in the fire department.  The fire police have a very important job.  “[They] secure the scene, redirect traffic around the fire scene, and watch over the fire department apparatus and equipment at the scenes,” explains William Wilson, three-year volunteer at Washingtonville Fire Department. In addition to these jobs, fire commissioners are in charge of fire prevention and fire safety for their local towns.

There are approximately ninety members of the Washingtonville Fire Department and it is continuing to grow.  The members and volunteers of the firehouse attend monthly meetings and weekly drills, held by Chief James Skelly and his fellow officers.   These brave men are always prepared for whatever their job tosses their way.  According to Jaden Breyette, senior at Washingtonville High School and near two-year member, “There is a lot of hands-on and book work involved in training to become a firefighter.”
Everyone welcomed into the Washingtonville Fire Department community has a different reason as to why they joined.  William Wilson, retired NYPD detective “joined because [he feels] like it is always good to give back to the community that you live in.”

During the holiday season, the Washingtonville Fire Department is always thoroughly involved in Washingtonville’s Christmas Parade and in the local elementary schools.  It is not only the children who get excited to see their heroes at the parade and in their schools, but the firefighters themselves are excited to be a part of it all.  Jaden Breyette finds it “cool to get to ride in one of the trucks or park at Dunkin' Donuts and watch everyone go by.”

Being involved in the Washingtonville Fire Department teaches the volunteers and members a plethora of life lessons.  William Wilson expressed that he has learned “to have teamwork [which is needed] to be able to work on all different types of emergency scenarios.”

Everyone involved in the fire department “gets along well,” as Jaden Breyette explains.  William Wilsons adds that his favorite part about being a volunteer is “all of the friendships that he has made.”  

It is very crucial that the people of Washingtonville know the importance of the Washingtonville Fire Department.  The community is glad that they will continue to grow and serve the village of Washingtonville to keep it safe from harm.

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