Prior to 1925 the Town of Rindge had no formal fire protection other than, some portable equipment and three appointed “Fire Wards”, one each for three geographical areas of the town. A Fire Ward, upon being notified of a fire, would transport equipment to the scene and then solicit help from neighbors. If a fire engine were needed one would be requested from either Jaffrey or Winchendon.
Following the “Great Fire of 1925”, which consumed two residences, a general store and a barn; the citizens cried out for a more formal means of fire protection. A group of concerned citizens organized the Rindge Fire Company and by vote at a special town meeting appropriated funding for a budget and the purchase of a fire engine.
The fire company elected its own foreman, assistant foreman (later to be called Captain and Lieutenant), a secretary and a treasurer to govern their operation. In the event of a fire the company would ultimately be under the direction of the District Fire Ward. The fire company would bill the Town of Rindge annually and in turn would reimburse all company members for their man-hours. This system remained in place until 1980 when the Town of Rindge adopted the membership as
part-time on-call employees. This allowed for the Town to provide for liability insurance and for a better chain of command. Subsequently, the Rindge Fire Company was dissolved and the Rindge Fire Fighter’s Association formed. The responsibility for fire protection was now in the hands of the Town and the association provided for social activities and fundraising.
All fire equipment was stored in member’s garages, until 1956, when the first section of the Rindge Fire Station was built. In 1972, a two-story-two bay addition was added to the existing three-bay and stands today as Rindge Fire Headquarters.
Dispatching of all emergency calls for the Rindge Fire Department has evolved from local telephone operators calling each member individually – to a “Red Phone” network – to a paging system. South Western New Hampshire Fire District Mutual Aid located in Keene, NH currently provides dispatching.
In 1974 the Rindge Fire Department began providing Emergency Medical Services within the Town of Rindge. EMS calls now make up about two-thirds of the departments annual call volume. Starting with just two Emergency Medical Technicians the Rindge Fire Department now has nine EMT’s, two EMT-Intermediates and one Paramedic.
Franklin Pierce University is located in Rindge and has, since the 1970’s, operated a student fire brigade. This brigade has proven to be a big help to the Rindge Fire Department in handling minor emergencies and false alarms on the college grounds. In 1981, the Rindge Fire Department began allowing Franklin Pierce University student brigade members to become part-time temporary member of the Rindge Fire Department. By becoming members the students received training, learned about the Town’s Standard Operating Procedures and overall familiarity with the Town of Rindge. The Town of Rindge in turn received valuable weekday manpower to aid in response. This program continues today with ten student members on the Rindge Fire Department.
Today, as the Rindge Fire Department enters our seventy-fifth year, we continue to grow in membership and take pride in our modern equipment, highly trained and dedicated emergency responders, and very supportive community.
For more information on the Rindge Fire Department feel free to contact Rick Donovan, Fire Chief, at (603) 899-3324 x11
|Rickard J. Donovan||Director of Public and Life Safety|
|David Pugh||Deputy Chief|
|Casey Burrage||Fire Inspector|
|Deb Douglas||Administrative Assistant||603-899-3354|
|Marie Pugh||Entry Clerk|