Hamden Fire Department celebrates 5 years at location
By Paul McManis
Commoner Journal staff writer
HAMDEN — Residents and county officials joined together for an open house at the Hamden Fire Department on Saturday to celebrate the department’s fifth anniversary in its new building at 100 Wilkesville St.
Fire Chief Jim Beckner thanked the community and those involved in helping to raise the funds that made a new station possible.
“We’re so happy to have this new facility. … Every time we walk in we think, ‘Man, it’s so nice to have this place,’” Beckner said.
Beckner called the names of all 25 of the department’s volunteer firefighters as each came to the front to be recognized for their service.
The firefighters prepared a free lunch for community members who attended the ceremony and offered plenty of information on the specifics of the department.
According to a program, the Hamden Fire Department has two engines, one engine/tanker, one utility/brush truck and one brush truck.
The department provides fire protection to the village of Hamden, as well as Clinton and Vinton Twps. The department also provides protection to a portion of Washington Twp. in Jackson County. The department is funded by the village of Hamden general fund, a 2-mill tax levy in the village and through township contracts.
Jayson Potts, a member of the Hamden Fire Department, said the Hamden Fire Department Inc. is a non-profit organization that has worked since 1984 to raise funds for the department. He said since its formation, the association has purchased over $1 million worth of equipment and has paid more than $300,000 for the new station. He said most of that money has been brought in through grants, fundraisers and local events held by the association.
Beckner said it isn’t cheap to train staff, purchase equipment and do all that is necessary to continue providing service to an area. He said he is thankful for everyone who has been involved in keeping the department what it is.
Hamden Mayor Gary Eberts said he is thankful for the department but is also proud of the department’s efforts.
“I’m very proud to see what our fire department has done,” Eberts said. “This town has something to be very proud of.”
For Beckner, the support given from officials, community and firefighters family members is the reason the department has found success, but he said it is the time and effort of the firefighters themselves that makes the biggest difference.
“Without that we would be nothing,” Beckner said.