CROUSE â€” It was a 10-year-old dream, and 35 years ago it came true.
The Crouse Volunteer Fire Department celebrated its 35th anniversary Tuesday night.
The department was chartered in 1959, but it took 10 years to get the first fire truck, chief Milton Sain told the crowd gathered at the station Tuesday.
â€œWeâ€™ve accomplished many great things,â€ Sain said. â€œWithout the dedicated leadership and people who started the fire department, we wouldnâ€™t be here.â€
Sain presented plaques to the three charter members who are still active in the fire department.
David Rutledge, Glenn Reep and Paul Reep have been with the volunteer fire department since it began.
Sain also honored members who have been with the department for 25 years or more.
John David Ingle, Jerry Cook, Michael Huss and Clyde Ledford Jr. received certificates for their service.
Also attending the celebration was Crouseâ€™s first fire chief, Oscar Sappenfield.
â€œThis department is growing,â€ Sain said.
Today, the 30-member department has the distinction of being the first fire department in the country to receive federal money for a fire truck during the first round of grants given by the Firefighters Grant Program, funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security.
The department was awarded the $201,600 grant in June. The money will be used to replace a 27-year-old tanker truck.
The new pumper truck the department will purchase will cost about $208,000, and Crouse VFD will buy an additional $20,000 worth of equipment to go on it.
The truck should be delivered by the end of January, Sain said.
Before the crowd of firefighters and their families dug into hot dogs and hamburgers provided by the Homeplace Restaurant, Sain thanked all of the members for their dedication and service to the community.â€œThis community has an excellent organization, and Iâ€™m proud to be a member,â€ he said. â€œThis department has a bright future in front of it.â€by Alice Smith