Fire Houses

In the Fall of 1952 a number of BVFD members set to work constructing the first fire house located on Route 64 just north of County Road 32. They performed all excavation, masonry and carpentry work. The land had been donated by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Fales and was located next to the Bristol Center Library.

In 1954 a similar building was constructed on Baptist Hill, on what is now County Rd. 2 between Oakmount and Flatiron Rds.

New Station 1

As the members grew more proficient at fighting fire in the town, they recognized the need for better equipment and the need to carry more water on its trucks. By the late 1960s, it had outgrown the original Station 1. Meetings and fundraisers were held at the old Grange Hall on Baptist Hill. Thus it was clear that a larger fire house was needed, to be centrally located in Bristol Center. Such a structure would have larger equipment bays, meeting and banquet rooms, and a kitchen. Also, the BVFD wished to have its own land for future carnivals.

With these objectives in mind, the BVFD voted on July 12, 1971 to build a new Station 1. A building committee was formed, with Joe Spencer as chair, Ken Morse, Clarence Nablo and George Lutz.

On August 28, 1973 the BVFD bought 14 acres of land from Mr. and Mrs. Glen McPherson for $9,000. This land was located on Route 64 north of Bristol Center and had about 350 feet of road frontage. This land was ideal for a new fire house location and carnivals.

By March 1974 Joe Spencer had constructed a model of the proposed fire house. Specifications were drawn up and sent out for quotations. Atlantic Building Systems proposed a building for a total of $18,733, and they were the successful bidder. A building permit was issued by the Town on April 18, 1974 and construction began almost immediately.

Army Reservists from Company D, 464th Engineer Battalion (headquartered in Canandaigua) arrived with heavy equipment to begin site preparation. The foundation for the new building had to be stable and well compacted, and fill had to be trucked in to achieve a level surface large enough to accommodate the building.

Nearly all of the work on this building – steelwork, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, drywall and heating – was done by BVFD members. Nights, weekends and holidays were spent erecting and finishing this building.

Station 1 Expansion

For twenty years Station 1 served the needs of the BVFD, however space had again become an issue. In 1995 we were parking five apparatus in the two bay garage section. First out were A-191 and MP-152; behind 191 was R-161. E-121 was parked behind the Mini and TA-141 was parked in the space between 121 and 161. Mutual aid responses were a chore, since the Mini had to be pulled out in order to get 141 out of its parking spot.

In fact, this became a safety issue particularly with the new, larger 141. One particular incident, in which the passenger door of TP-131 was neatly removed by the tanker as it was pulling out of quarters, brought home the fact that someone could be hurt in the apparatus bays. In 1996 the Pierce E-111 was delivered, and we quickly realized that the new truck was much larger than 121, which it replaced.

Thus, by 1997 we were convinced that more apparatus space was needed, and a building committee was formed to study the options. An architect was hired to prepare sketches of a new building, but this project was cost-prohibitive. The final design was proposed by Morton Building Systems for a cost of about $300,000.

Construction began in April 1999 with the disassembly of the two bay apparatus section. The contents of the truck bay were moved either into the banquet hall, station 2 or the carnival office out back. The truck bay steel work was carefully dismantled and trucked to its new owner’s site on Whalen Road, East Bloomfield. BVFD members assisted the new owner in the re-assembly of the steel support, roof and walls. Today it houses the D&D Collision shop.

From May to the end of October 1999 all Station 1 apparatus was parked behind the fire house and locked. A number of apparatus drivers were given keys to the trucks to facilitate getting the trucks unlocked and on the road. An ambulance call could be a particularly irksome experience, since all of the outside compartments had to be unlocked before the ambulance could respond.

Morton Building Systems built the main structure walls, roof and ceiling. Interior walls, drywall and painting were all completed by BVFD personnel under the supervision of a local contractor. For a two month period, a weekly work schedule of Monday-Tuesday-Thursday nights and Saturdays was followed by BVFD members in order to complete the interior work.

Finally, in the fall of 1999 all members raised a sigh of relief, as we had construction finished to the point where we could park the trucks in their new bays. The 1999 Turkey Party was held in the new truck area since the banquet hall was still full of “stuff” that had been stored there.

A Niedermann vehicle exhaust extraction system was installed using grant funds obtained through New York State. This system is required to fully comply with OSHA regulations.

Final work on the new building and grounds was completed by May 2000.

In 2005 we were awarded a Federal grant to replace our ancient emergency generator with a fully automatic, gas-powered electric generator. This automatically turns on when there is a power outage, and can supply all of the electrical needs of the fire house for extended periods.

New Station 2

The Bristol Grange Hall was located at Baptist Hill, just south of the intersection of Baptist Hill and Oakmount Roads on the west side of what is now County Rd. 2. The Grange Hall had been used for many years by the BVFD for meetings and fundraising activities. Dances, dinners and other events were significant sources of income for the department.

At some point the Grange sold the building for $1 to the BVFD. After the construction of the new Station 1, the hall was no longer needed. Also, the need for additional space to house more and larger fire apparatus was becoming evident. Thus, the Grange Hall was demolished to make room for a new Station 2.

George Ward Construction of Honeoye was he general contractor for the new building, which had two large apparatus bays. By April of 1981 it had been fully enclosed, complete with overhead doors. In May 1981 a group of members worked to insulate, drywall and paint the interior. It became the new home of TA-142 (1957 Ford) and a brand new tanker-pumper (TP-131) in 1984.

In the early 1990s the original overhead doors were removed, and the door openings widened to accommodate new, better insulated doors. These were equipped with electric door openers, which were a big improvement over the original spring-operated doors.

Station 3

In November 1975, a barn belonging to Albert Tiffany on Upper Egypt Valley Rd. was destroyed by fire. This incident prompted Tiffany and others in the area to petition the Bristol and South Bristol town boards to create a new fire district. David Jordan, then the legal advisor for the town of Bristol, declared that the petition had not been presented in proper form. He said that it had not been notarized, nor had it been determined that the signatures represented 51% of the assessed properties of the proposed district.

By the end of December the residents had dropped the petition, when the BVFD had apparently agreed to place a truck at a satellite station on the Tiffany property, located at 5141 Egypt Valley Rd. However, the next month (January 1976) a meeting was held between the concerned residents and the BVFD Board of Directors. The Directors had placed the truck commitment on hold, citing that too many prospective members (47) wanted to join, and that the BVFD protection area would extend well into South Bristol. Also, the Board stated that none of the Egypt Valley residents had previously been interested in becoming trained BVFD members.

The citizen’s group finally purchased a fire truck of their own, labeled “Egypt Valley Fire Department” stationed at Tiffany’s residence. This is as close as the residents ever got to having a fire house located in the beautiful Egypt Valley, and after some time the truck disappeared.

Today, properties in the southwestern portion of the town – including Egypt Valley, County Road 33 and Gulick Road – are protected by an automatic mutual aid agreement between the BVFD and the Richmond Fire District. This agreement has been in place since 1975, prior to the Station 3 debacle, and was signed by then-Chief John Gfeller.