In 1928, a group of men consisting of Thomas Kelleher, John R. Buchner, Philip O’Brien, Justice William E. King, William Curran, Thomas Brennan, Henry C. Farrey, James J. Murray, John Alexander, William P. Hickey, William H. White, Bernard McPartland, Rufus Tuttle, John Driscoll, James Flaherty and Joseph Tripodo began discussing fire protection for Verplanck. A fire at a two story building belonging to James Flaherty on November 7th of that year (see photo 1) moved those discussions to definitive actions. A letter was sent out to the community to announce the formation and solicit funds to get started (see photo 2). Elections were held and on March 22nd 1929, a certificate of Incorporation was granted and the Verplanck Fire Protective Association was born.
The original intent was to purchase enough hose to reach a source of water (no hydrants at that time) anywhere in Verplanck and lay the hose so a pumper from Montrose or Peekskill could hook up and provide water for a fire more quickly. Thomas Kelleher donated a used Model TT truck to serve as a hose carrier. A brick barn on Fifth Street served as a temporary quarters for the equipment. A list of instructions about reporting a fire was sent out to the households in Verplanck (see photo 3)
In the summer of 1929, all equipment was officially transferred to the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Verplanck Fire District for the sum of $1.00.
Later that summer a used 1917 Ford Model TT fire engine with two 40 gallon chemical tanks was donated to Verplanck by the Pompton Lakes, New Jersey Fire Department (see photo 4). This was Verplanck’s first commercially built fire engine.
The fledgling fire department also organized a picnic that year (see photo 5).
In the fall of 1930, after a fire destroyed a garage belonging to Frank Dahlke, it was decided that the Verplanck Fire District needed to be self sufficient. A letter of intent to issue bonds for the purchase of fire apparatus and a firehouse was sent to the community (see photo 6). The funds were raised and the purchase of the former Westchester House on Sixth St, along with a pumper and hose carrier followed. The building was renovated (see photo 7)and in 1931, the Verplanck Fire Department was in full operation as a independent fire service (See photo 8).