Fire stations of the world: Jamestown Fire and EMS, Rhode Island, US
Jamestown Fire and EMS is an all-volunteer organisation serving Jamestown Rhode Island and the Island of Conanicut in the US. Jamestown Fire Department (JFD) provides fire, rescue and EMS services to the Town of Jamestown. JFD is located on the Island of Conanicut situated in Narragansett Bay, between the City of Newport and the Town of North Kingstown. Jamestown was incorporated in 1678 as part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and transferred to Rhode Island in 1746. The population was 5 405 at the 2010 census. Jamestown is situated almost entirely on Conanicut Island, the second largest island in Narragansett Bay. It also includes the uninhabited Dutch Island and Gould Island. Jamestown is ranked as the 444th wealthiest place to live in the United States as of 2016. The town has an area of 91km2 of which 25km2 is land and 66km2 is water. The total area is 72,55 percent water. Rhode Island Route 138 is the only state highway in Jamestown, connecting the town and island to North Kingstown to the west and Newport to the east. Founded in 1891, the Jamestown Fire Department has been serving the residents of Jamestown for over a century. The department and EMS Division are comprised entirely of volunteers, dedicated to serving their community, neighbours and friends. The Jamestown Town Council at a meeting on 6 November 1888, moved that John J Watson a committee of one to look into acquiring a suitable engine and shed for the sum of $500 for fire protection.
In April 1890, the Town Council of Jamestown appropriated the following sum of money which was approved at a financial town meeting: engine, $200; engine house, $585-18: hose, $304-12; ladder and cart, $316-12; Total, $1 405-42.
After the purchase of the LaFrance steam engine in 1894, a petition was received from residents of Conanicut Park for the town to turn over the hand engine and 300ft of hose to organise a Volunteer Fire Company to be known as District No 2 Fire Co.
On 5 August 1926, the volunteers purchased land on Narragansett Avenue for the sum of $3 800. A request for $10 000 was sent by the Fire Department to the Town Council for the purpose of building a new fire station. In April 1927, construction of the new fire station started. The contract price was $12 680. The fire station was completed on 8 February 1928.
In 2015, a proposal for a major upgrade to the existing fire station building was approved. It was decided to add to the existing building, as the building is owned by the town, while the land belongs to the Jamestown Fire Department, so it would have been too complicated to change the arrangement. The proposal also noted the ideal central location of the station. The additions made were a laundry area, storage, elevator, lobby, stairway mechanical room, attic storage, day room/training, multi-purpose meeting room, relocation of fire offices, EMS suite area including offices, EMS storage, restrooms/showers and bunk rooms. They also added three full truck bays and two vehicle bays. The bays were designed to accommodate standard size fire truck, with plans to accommodate the ALS vehicle and rescues 1 to 3 in the smaller existing bays. The building was completed the following year, 2016.
During recent years most of the modern improvements have been acquired by money received from public subscriptions at the Annual Donation Drive. From time to time the efficiency of the department will be improved and kept up with all modern developments in accordance with the financial income. It is always a pleasure for them to have visitors call and view their equipment.
There is an enormous collection of fire department memorabilia when you visit Firemen’s Museum in Rhode Island. But many locals don’t even know that there’s a tiny museum solely dedicated to Rhode Island’s brave fire fighters. The Jamestown Fire Memorial Museum is one of Jamestown's most popular attractions. That being said, it's a bit of a hidden gem, as most people who don't live here aren't aware of it. The museum is located next door to the main station at 50 Narragansett Avenue and it's run entirely by volunteers.
A working 1859 hand tub and an 1894 horse-drawn steam pump are among the best things on display here. In fact, this little former fire station is so packed, it's running out of space. If you walk through the rooms, you'll get a glimpse of the way fire stations used to be run. If you're lucky, you can catch a knowledgeable volunteer there who will give you a guided tour.
The collection of badges is almost as impressive as the vehicles and equipment. You'll find memorabilia from fire departments nationwide. The museum’s oldest pump is an 1845 Nadick pumper that once required about 30 men to pull it and pump it. Between that and the other hand pumpers, you'll be thankful equipment has come a long way for our brave fire departments since then.
Source: Jonestown Fire Department