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A glimpse into the history of Minerva Fire and Rescue and how the department first began. 

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Fire Department History

The Minerva Fire Department was formed in 1950 by a small group of dedicated men from the community. Two years prior, a fire had struck the residence of a local family, destroying the home, and the ongoing discussion about the need for a unified fire team heightened. At the time, the community. Was covered by the Barton Fire Company from North Creek. Town Supervisor Francis Donnelly sent invitations to each family in town, inviting them to attend a meeting at the Mountain View Hotel to discuss the need further.

After a standing-room-only meeting, it was agreed that a fire company was needed. A second meeting at Minerva Central School was held to appoint the officers of the newly formed firefighting team. Normal Hall was the first fire chief and served as such for ten years.

The first problem to face the new fire company was a total lack of funding and lack of equity for securing a loan. The Town Board and Supervisor Donnelly received permission to set up a fire protection district and enter into a contract with the new fire department for fire protection for $2,000 per year. On August 9, 1950 the fire company was incorporated. That same year the Olmstedville fire house was built by Ross Winch on land donated by Helen Barnes Keenan. Originally the fire house had a flat roof. The following year, on April 30, 1951, the first fire truck to serve the department arrived, a 1951 Ford. Keep reading here.

Fire Department President and Chief list

Charter Member List

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Rescue Squad History

After the Minerva Volunteer Fire Department was formed in 1950 following a devastating 1948 house fire, it didn’t take long for the firemen to understand the need for an ambulance to serve the community. Harold Sylvester, a volunteer fireman and concerned citizen, took on the task of forming the new rescue squad. After meeting with Town Supervisor Francis Donnelly, Harold was instructed to select 20 men from the community that would serve. Harold became the first Captain with John Mullane as Assistant Captain. After a door-to-door fund drive, the fire department was able to purchase a used 1948 Buick ambulance. The volunteer squad became first aid certified through Dr. Rose, the town physician, and responded to the first call for help on Monday, December 17, 1956. 

In the late 1950s, Harold Sylvester and Robert Savarie became first aid instructors and all squad members were required to be trained. The team of 20 men housed the ambulance at the Olmstedville Station owned by the Minerva Fire Department. Keep reading here.

Charter Member and Squad Captain Lists

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Ladies Auxiliary History

For almost forty years, the Minerva Fire Department Auxiliary actively pursued fulfilling the goals set in 1960 when the group was formed. Those goals were to support the Minerva Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad in their work and to aid in any worthwhile project agreed upon by the members. This included raising money for the purchase of equipment for the fire house and contributing towards the purchase of the ambulance and fire trucks, as well as additional equipment for the vehicles. Additionally, the auxiliary regularly served coffee, ect. for the firefighters as they battled fires, packed lunches for Search and Rescue Team, assisted at the annual Spring Dance, and helped whenever needed. 

Early on, the auxiliary provided a small scholarship for a graduating senior, which later came together with other community groups known as the Community Scholarship. By 1995, their annual sponsorship contribution was gifted to the Minerva Chapter of Dollars for Scholars. Also, in 1995, the group formed the Minerva Community Decorations Committee, which planned decorations for the town for holidays and special events. Keep reading here.

Auxiliary Member of the Year List

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