Fire stations of the world: Fire station - Poronin, Poland
The Ochotnicza Straz Pożarna (OSP) Volunteer Fire Department in Poronin, Poland dates back to the late 1800s. The oldest entry in a beautifully calligraphic chronicle comes from 4 March 1900, when,"... the volunteers of the Fire Brigade in Poronin gathered, among whom the following firemen were chosen as the department: Józef Stoch, Franciszek Guta, Franciszek Dorula, Marian Galica, Stanisław Stoch, Franciszek Orawiec, Józef Marduła and after considering the members The fire brigade has chosen voluntary volunteers ".
That is how the Podhale organisation was established, headed by Józef Stoch, aged just 23, the father of the later president. Thanks to social support, the service systematically developed. Around 1911, it already had a four-wheeled water pump. With time, there was more and more equipment and the personal composition of the unit and the division of duties were also changing.
From 1921 to 1928, the second head was Jakub Orawiec and in the years 1928 - 1945, Józef Majerczyk, at the initiative of who, in 1936 the Silesia motor pump was purchased, thus significantly increasing the efficiency of carrying out extinguishing operations. From 1937 to 1945, the head was Józef Gawęda, who did not give up social service in a difficult period. Although he did not manage to prevent the weakening of the individual despite all his efforts, which depended on the occupiers, he maintained its operation. The next head was Franciszek Czernik, who held this position until the establishment of a twelve-person fire fighter's emergency service in Poronin.
At a meeting on 14 March 1954, the new commander was elected in the person of Wincenty Czernik, who held this position until 1958. In 1958, another reorganisation of fire protection took place. The duties of the President of the TSO were taken over by Józef Stoch and the head was Franciszek Dzierżęga. The ranks were visibly rejuvenated. 18 active fire fighters were subjected to systematic training. They did not have to wait long for the results. The fire fighters from Poronin took part in rescue operations, manoeuvres and competitions in a dignified way. Old Ford, thanks to the help and support of the then commander of the district fire brigade, Major Stanisław Gałek, was replaced with a modern fire engine Star 20 at that time, raising the combat efficiency of the unit. Unfortunately, the guard still did not have a fire station.
The equipment was located in rented replacement rooms. Therefore, the new management, setting the basic directions of action, set one of the main tasks to build a modern, spacious watchtower. Intensive, relentless but thanks to the successful actions of the head of Franciszek Dzierżęga, the chairman of Józef Stoch and the then chairman of the District Council Presidium, Józef Guta, resulted in the location of the planned object in 1957. He responded positively to the case of the activist People's Sports Club "Poroniec", whose president was Tadeusz Galica.
Athletes gave the fire fighters free access to part of the area previously designated for the football pitch and its surroundings, so that the station could be built on the square thus created. Engineer Jan Dziubas developed the technical documentation and on 18 August 1958, fire fighters entered the construction site, starting from the excavation of foundations. Everyone, of course, also worked in social cohesion because the workforce was almost depleted. The OSP account had only 5 000 zlotys at the time, accumulated as a profit from the fire fighting game arranged for this intention in the local Cooperative's inn. The members of the Guard started their construction with determination, which does not mean, however, that their efforts received from the beginning, the massive support of the residents of Poronin.
"The then distress of the social thought of the population (...) - it was written in the chronicle - caused that these ventures were seen with an ironic smirk, a fortune-telling."
However, initially, the modest number of assets did not break down. The TSO's income from collections, games and loans grew. Walls were also growing, increasing social interest and trust of the builders. The group of enthusiasts increased. The new chairman of the GRN Presidium, Stanisław Król, gave a lot of help to the unit, which for those already infected with the idea was another impulse encouraging the increased effort. The social act was growing and the building was growing. Working pilots assisted fire fighters from other units and a beautiful example is the fact that many works in the last period of construction were made by professional fire fighters from Zakopane and Nowy Targ. However, initially, the modest number of assets did not break down. The TSO's income from collections, games and loans grew.
All volunteers and professional firefighters, especially Stanisław Dorula "Biziom", Józef Dorula, Bronisław Orawiec, Józef Gał and others, although without payment, did not regret lending their horses and their own hands. The biggest unbelievers were broken down and help began with a wide wave. Stanisław Gałek continued his support, helping in acquiring building materials while being the promoter of numerous activities.
The deed of construction did not weaken the firemen's vigilance and their care for preventive activities. They also managed to buy "decent" uniforms (according to the chronicler), which not only added to their style but also attracted new candidates to the TSO. Another, stronger magnet was from 17 November 1963, a GBM Star 25, presented by the Krakow KWSP. On 26 July 1964, the building was officially opened for use. At that time, the construction committee estimated the total value of the construction together with land development for PLN 1 890 466 (of which then), of which the investment costs were covered, inter alia, with PZU – 200 000. The cash earned by the members of the Monetary Service Centre added to PLN 504 866 and the value of social acts was estimated at 960 000. And not only firemen in Poronin lived in the building.
Currently, the Volunteer Fire Brigade in Poronin is a unit constituting an important link of the region's operational system. Not so long ago, the watchtower continued to be on duty at the emergency department, which is a branch of the Professional Fire Brigade in Zakopane. Currently, OSP Poronin has 72 active members, 13 honorary, 10 supporting and 10 people in the MDP.
The duties of the president of the TSO are performed by Tadeusz Ciszek. Fire fighter volunteers from Poronin belong to the units with the highest level of training in the country because 35 druhów has comprehensive training in the State Fire Service. Currently, the president of the OSP Poronin and the Commander-in-Chief is Tadeusz Ciszek, whose term of office has been renewed. It is worth mentioning the replacement of the roof covering and the renovation of the room, which has been significantly enlarged, the renewal of garages and many other minor works. In 2011, a new Mercedes Atego GBA 2,5/ 24 rescue and fire fighting vehicle was acquired. The unit is still developing very dynamically. Further construction works are planned, as well as the purchase of equipment for the purpose of rescue and fire fighting operations and training.
Source: Ochotnicza Straz Pożarna (OSP) Volunteer Fire Department in Poronin