A brief history of the SGVFFAA

With the entry of the United States into World War II late in 1941 the Civil Defense Service was formed. A primary concern of Civil Defense was fire protection in case of incendiary bombing. On March 9, 1942 the selectmen of the Town of St. George voted to expend $6,500 for the purchase of fire equipment for the town. A group of fire commissioners was selected under the leadership of Alfred R. Fuller. H. Alvah Harris was appointed fire chief. Prior to this time St. George had no firefighting equipment and no organized firefighting force.

On February 3, 1943 the first apparatus (a 500-gallon 1943 Mack) arrived in town. In the meantime the chief and volunteers had been trained by the Rockland Fire Department.

On March 15, 1943 a complete set of regulations based on model standards recommended by the National Fire Protection Association was read and adopted at the town’s Annual Meeting. The objective of the town’s Fire Department was the “Prevention of fire and the protection of life and property within the limits of St. George.” The town further voted to pay volunteer firefighters at a rate of $.50 an hour while on active duty.

The St. George Volunteer Fireman’s Association was formed on November 15, 1953. The first officers elected were: John Kulju, President; Alison Wilson Jr., Vice President; Arthur L. Ingersoll, Secretary and Treasurer. The minutes record: “Although several meetings prior to this date were held … it was at this meeting that organization was actually completed with officers, rules and regulations.”

The first Annual Meeting was held on April 8, 1954 and subsequently on each second Thursday of April.

The Fireman’s Association was incorporated on June 13, 1990 and changed its name to the present form.

The first ambulance was purchased for $100 on March 6, 1956. It was a 1942 Cadillac Meteor ambulance/hearse which required some additional fitting-out before taking on its tasks (e.g.: a “wheeled cot”).

The ambulance service began as a fully volunteer service entirely funded by community donations. Our first ambulance was purchased with funds raised by a house-to-house canvas by the Fireman’s Association. A total of $308 was raised in that effort. At the time the ambulance was purchased there were approximately 35 volunteers.

That first ambulance was replaced with a 1950 Cadillac on October 31, 1959. That vehicle was replaced in 1963 with a 1956 vehicle. That vehicle remained in service until 1970 and was replaced by a 1967 Pontiac.

In 1970 it was noted that a new state law required the ambulance have licensed attendants. Sixteen volunteers took a nine-week course at Knox Hospital to earn the necessary licenses. An ambulance service in the Maine tradition of neighbors helping neighbors was well and truly underway.—from the St. George Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Association website (sgvffaa.com)

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