Orange’s Exclusive Newspaper | Mailed Free to Every Home & Business in Orange
Top Banner
Side Banner Right
Side Banner Right
Side Banner Left

Orange Firefighters Ran Record Number of Calls During 2021

Orange Firefighters Ran Record Number of Calls During 2021

Fire Department Recognizes Service Anniversaries, Looks to The Future

The Connecticut General Assembly recognized the work of three Orange Volunteer Fire Department members who have given a total of 140 years of work to the department.  Firefighters also learned they had responded to a record number of calls during 2021.

The honors were announced at the Orange Volunteer Fire Association’s Annual Dinner on March 8th at the Grassy Hill Country Club, during which Fire Chief Vaughan Dumas thanked the members and their families for sacrificing and volunteering their time to the department.

The members recognized for their service were:  Keith Anderson and Charles Gagel, 45 years, and John Knight, 50 years.  John Knight and Charles Gagel are past Chiefs and Keith Anderson is a past Deputy Chief.  All were presented with individual proclamations.  Anderson received his recognition from State Rep. Mary Welander, D-114; Gagel his from State Rep. Kathy Kennedy, R-119; and Knight received his proclamation from State Rep. Charles J. Ferraro, R-119.

Ferraro, Kennedy, and Welander, along with State Sen. James Maroney, D-14, spoke to the 160 people in attendance, paying tribute to the firefighters for their service and commitment to the Town of Orange.  In addition to the state officials, First Selectman James Zeoli and Selectwoman Judy Williams attended the dinner.

Zeoli said the town was continuing its search for a location for a new firehouse and praised the firefighters for their responses during the year.

Fire Chief Vaughan Dumas said the department responded to a record 685 calls for service during 2021.  He also said the department had a “robust” roster of firefighters and attributed that to the junior firefighter program established during the year, the department’s program for University of New Haven students and the Personnel Recruitment Committee.

In addition, Dumas talked about growing relationships with town departments.  He cited the working relationships with Fire Marshal’s Office, the Police Department, Health Department, and the Economic Development Committee.  “We strive to work with our community,” he said.

Dumas announced that the 2021 carnival was the most successful in the department’s history.  He also said the department was working with the town on its 200th anniversary parade while preparing for the fire department’s own centennial in 2025.

Other milestones achieved during 2021 included the transfer of two junior firefighters to active membership, ordering a new fire engine to replace a 1996 engine, improved radio technology and a new command vehicle.

During 2022, Dumas said the department will review and revise all standard operating procedures and guidelines.  New portable radios are being ordered to replace out-of-date radios.

The chief also announced that the department was exploring fixing the clock on the Orange Center Road firehouse.  In addition, he hoped the clock would be moved to the new firehouse now being planned.  “That clock was donated by one of the original fire department families, the Knight family,” he said.  “We must keep that tradition going.”

Treasurer Bert Gallant said the department had a good year financially due to successful boot drives, a successful carnival, sound investments, the annual town contribution, and the continuing generous response of citizens and businesses to fundraising appeals.

In other announcements, Assistant Fire Chief Dan Cole was awarded for his work motivating other firefighters.  Fire Department Auxiliary President Jill Gagel said the auxiliary was donating money to the department to be used to repair the clock.  She said the annual holiday program that brings Santa to town homes helped raise the money.

The 2022 Orange Fire Department officers were sworn in.  With First Selectman Zeoli administering the oath of office, the new officers sworn in were:  Vaughan Dumas, fire chief; Charles Sherwood, deputy fire chief; Dan Cole and Eric Auscavitch, assistant fire chiefs; Joseph Duplinsky and David Tufano, captains; Dan Abrams, Eric Demeraski and Vaughan Dumas Jr., lieutenants; and Leo Moran and John Hudson, executive board members.

Administrative Officers include:  Peter Daniel, recording secretary; Lisa Kaplan, corresponding secretary; Bert Gallant, treasurer; and Art Williams, assistant treasurer.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Association provides fire protection to residents and businesses in Orange and, through mutual aid, surrounding towns.  Members receive training in fire suppression, rescue, hazardous materials response, homeland security issues and other emergency services.

Operating strictly with revenues from fundraisers and donations, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department is one of the remaining few all-volunteer incorporated fire departments in Connecticut.  Active members are on-call to serve the community on a 24-hour/seven-day basis, responding from stations on Orange Center Road and Boston Post Road.

In addition, the fire company offers public education services including lectures, demonstrations and training.  For information about membership, donations or public education, call (203) 891-4703, click on or find us on Facebook.


Related posts