Our History


On February 20, 1928 a meeting was held in Horle’s Garage for the general public to consider purchase of a used chemical truck, as Fayette was without any kind of fire protection.

A short time later a chemical truck was purchased from Watkins Glen Fire Department, with money donated from interested persons and the few business men. This was the beginning of the Fayette Volunteer Fire Department.
The first regular meeting of the Fayette Volunteer Fire Department was held at the home of Edward Abbott on January 17, 1929. The following officers were elected:

  • Chief — William H. Miller
  • Asst. Chief —- Howard Horle
  • Sec. / Treas. —- Donald c. Wolf

At this meeting it was decided to equip the truck with wrenches, rope, lights, battery and other necessary equipment.

On April 10, 1939 the members at the meeting voted to collect dues of $0.25 every three months.

The meeting of May 1, 1939 was held in the hall above Wolf’s General Store. Every meeting after that was held in the hall above the store until a suitable building was purchased for a firehouse.
At this meeting Ex-Chief William Miller presented Joel D. Ritter with a gold plated Chief’s badge to be given to each succeeding Chief. The present Chief is now wearing it.

At the November 3, 1941 meeting, the by-laws and constitution were approved and adopted. There was a total of 99 paid up members.

In April of 1946 the fire siren was removed from the roof of the firehouse and placed on the roof of the Wolf General Store.

In October 1946 a portable pump was added to the equipment.

On March 1, 1948 the Wolf Store property was purchased with plans to convert the living quarters into a firehouse as the present firehouse was getting to small.

On Feb. 7, 1949 an army crash truck was purchased the tank removed and placed on a used GMC chassis. Fayette was the first Fire Department in Seneca County to have a tank truck. The first meeting was held in the new Firehouse.

In April 1950 uniforms were purchased with the Fire Department paying $15 toward each uniform the dues were raised from $1 to $2 a year.

In September 1950 extension to the Fire District was approved effective Jan. 1, 1951. A new GMC was purchased. The tank was removed from the old chassis and placed on the new chassis, a mid ship pump was installed making it a tanker pumper.

In October 1955 the mortgage on the Firehouse was paid off. In February 1956 the mortgage was burned at a dinner held for the firemen and their families. The only money the Fire Department received at this time was from dues and donations.

On August 7 1939 a regular monthly meeting was held and it was decided monthly meetings would be held the first Monday of every month. Plans were discussed for forming a Fire District. The total amount of money to be collected from thee Towns of Fayette and Varick was to be $650. It was decided at this meeting the ringing of the bell on the Reformed Church would be used as a fire alarm, as there was no siren or funds to purchase one.

In May 1940 the FAYETTE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT became incorporated, under the laws of the State of New York. The first directors were Lawson Lambert, Russell Jones, Victor Stahl. The old shiley store next to the grange hall was purchased for the first Firehouse.

The first meeting in the new Firehouse was held on September 9, 1940. At this meeting members were requested to help remodel the building in their spare time.

In December 1940 the Department received a gift of $100 from the Fayette Juvenile Grange to help in the purchase of a siren for the firehouse. A 2 horse power fire siren was purchased for $270 and placed on the firehouse.

At the March 3, 1941 meeting it was decided to purchase a new pumper with 350 gallon booster tank at a cost of $2,850.

In October 1959, a new International chassis, 1350 gallon Army surplus tank, and mid ship pump were purchased. A tank truck was built in the Firehouse by the Firemen. An additional bay was added to make room for the new tank truck.

In 1965 Joel D. Ritter refused to accept Fire Chief due to ill health. The Fire Department voted to make him Honorary Chief and advisor as long as he is able to act.

In October 1967 Scott Air Packs and oxygen tank were added to the departments equipment.

In September 1970 the question of a Ladies Auxiliary was discussed. A motion was made for the interested persons to secure by-laws from other Auxiliaries and meet with the Directors of the Fire Department, to report at the next meeting. At the next meeting no one reported so the matter was dropped.

In July 1972, a Ford Super Van was purchased to be used as an emergency vehicle and to carry additional equipment. A barbecue shed was built at the rear of the firehouse to be used for fund raising dinners.

In June 1980, a Sanford Mini Pumper on a four wheel drive Dodge chassis was purchased.

December 1988 The Fayette Volunteer Fire Department is completing 60 years of service to the community and is free of any debts.