One hundred years ago the City of Belleville Volunteer Fire Department was organized with only axes and pails.
There are no records indicating payment to the volunteers and there wasn’t a fire hall until much later.
The City of Belleville Volunteer Fire Department currently has 16 volunteers and five pieces of apparatus and a station at Second and Liberty that was acquired in 1978.
“What a milestone for this department to accomplish when we are in a time of departments closing and merging,” said fire fighter Collette McClintock, chairperson of the celebration.
The City of Belleville Volunteer Fire Department is celebrating 100 years of service to the community this Saturday, Oct. 13, with a full day’s schedule of events.
The day starts off with a pancake breakfast sponsored by the St. Anthony Boy Scouts #793 at St. Anthony’s church from 8 a.m. until noon.
At 9 a.m. Survival Flight from the University of Michigan Hospital will be on view at St. Anthony’s property.
The 100th Anniversary Parade starts at 10:30 a.m. down Belleville’s Main Street.
One of the City of Belleville’s early fire trucks, a 1923 Brockway-LaFrance (the Belleville Torpedo) will lead the parade, followed by a 100th Anniversary banner, Honor Guard, City of Belleville Fire Chiefs, the Anniversary’s parade Grand Marshalls, Mary Talaga and Millie Baker (whose husbands served 35 and 50 years of fire service to the city), past firefighters and apparatus that served the city, and then the current apparatus, the Fire Auxiliary, HVA, fire apparatus from neighboring departments, and antique apparatus from private owners.
Trophies will be given in recognitions of Longest Distance Traveled, Oldest Truck, Best in Show, and Most Lights and Chrome.
Belleville’s Harvest Fest will also be going on Saturday and the fire department will have a Kiddie Zone set up so the children can have pictures taken with fire trucks and personnel, play games, learn fire prevention tips and stay safe, free hand outs from State Farm agencies (Ryan Taylor and Jake Hunt), an anniversary cake provided by Victoria Sweets, a smoke house and a bounce house until 4 p.m.
Special commemorative Challenge coins and t-shirts will be available for sale. After the parade the fire fighters have a chance at competing in waterball behind St. Anthony’s church and everyone is invited to watch. Fire trucks will be on display.
The City of Belleville Fire Station, at the corner of Second and Liberty, will be open to the public to walk through until 4 p.m.
As the day continues, the Machine Gun Kelly band will be playing at the Fourth Street Square until dusk.
At dusk the City of Belleville Fire Department will release 100 lighted Chinese lanterns from the Denton Road Bridge and this can be viewed from various parts of town.
“We invite everyone to come out and share this day in celebration,” said McClintock.