In 1949, residents of Guilford came together to form the Broad Brook Fire Control. Two weeks later, it was re-organized as the Guilford Volunteer Fire Department.
The first fire truck was a 1949 Chevrolet truck with a portable pump, hoses, nozzles, adaptors, a siren, a red light, a flashlight, a first aid kit, a little wooden ladder, and a 500 gallon tank (formerly an oil tank). Quoting The Official History of Guilford, Vermont: 1678-1962, “strangers were sometimes surprised to see a truck seemingly pumping oil onto a fire!”
The first “firehouse” was in a barn, across the street from the Guilford Fairgrounds on Weatherhead Hollow Road, and the truck lived there from 1949 until 1950. In 1950, it was moved to an old commercial garage at the intersection of Route 5 and Guilford Center Road (the building sat approximately where Richmond Auto Repair is now). In 1951, a temporary firehouse was built off of the basement of the house on Guilford Center Road near Buck Hill Drive. In 1954, construction began on a new firehouse where the present one is located. This station was completed in 1957.
Back in the early days of the department, the firefighters were just local farmers and shop-keepers who, when the old siren on the old station rang, would go to the station, jump into some make-shift fire gear, hop on the truck, and attempt to fight the fire. Today, our firefighters have to take tests and be certified by the State of Vermont. We have gear for every firefighter, and we make sure that all gear and equipment is ready to go every week.
In 1999, we began to respond and assist Rescue Inc. on emergency medical calls in town. In 2004, we had enough members certified so that we could become the town’s Emergency Medical Service, still utilizing Rescue Inc. as the transporting ambulance.
In 2005, we began construction of a new station, when it was found to be too small for our growing fire department and we couldn’t fit new apparatus inside. For example, our current Tanker 1 is about 3 inches higher than the old bay doors of the old station. We had the old station demolished, and scattered our resources around town while the new one was being built. Engine 3 was in a commercial shop on Route 5 in East Guilford Village, Engine 1 was in a garage on Sweet Pond Road, the old Tanker 2 was at the Highway Garage on Bennett Road, and Brush 1 and the Off Road Rescue Unit were at a garage on Lowry Road. The present station was completed by 2006, and will fit our needs for years to come.