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The History of the Scotland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.

After four large fires during 1946 and 1947, the last being Mr. Harold Kenyon's barn, the people of the Town of Scotland could no longer depend wholly on volunteer firemen from the surrounding towns. This resulted in one of the town's most active organizations.

On October 13, 1947, Mr. Robert Collins sent out letters inviting all interested people for a meeting at the town hall. Fifty-eight men and women signed up at that time as Charter Members and the association known as the Scotland Volunteer Fire Department came into existence.

The SVFD became incorporated on November 18, 1947 under the leadership of President Raymond A. Perry.

One month later, on December 18, 1947, the SVFD purchased a used 1926 American LaFrance Pump Truck, chain driven, from the Bridgeport Fire Department for $310.00. This first piece of firefighting apparatus was first brought to Perry Motors, owned and operated by Raymond Perry, who proceeded, with the help of some of the new firefighters to refurbish the fire engine. Mr. Perry built a 200 gallon water tank and installed it in the body of the truck. Other parts and equipment were installed and then the truck was stored in the town garage. The town, having only one town truck at the time, and the garage having two bays, the SVFD stored the truck in the second bay.

The First Article of the Scotland Volunteer Fire Department, Inc was received on January 8, 1948 at 3:30PM and was recorded into the Scotland Land Records in Volume 13, Page 315 and was signed by President Raymond A. Perry, Vice President David O. Shoemaker, Secretary David. D. Syme, and Treasurer Russell E. Fisher.

The search for a firehouse site was solved on August 11, 1948 when John MacGregor, a direct descendant of one of the first five settlers in Scotland, generously donated the land on which the new firehouse sits. The new firehouse was built entirely by the volunteer labor of the new fire department members and family, including a young Walter Neborsky, who was still too young to join as a member. Building was led under the guidance of members John and Charles Perry, who were local builders. Meetings were held at the Shetucket Grange until November 10, 1948, when the first meeting was held in the new firehouse.

On February 3, 1953, the SVFD purchased a new fire truck from Leonard Ford of Willimantic. It was then sent to Seagrave in Columbus, Ohio, who installed all Seagrave's fire equipment. The total cost of the new truck was $12,000. The Chief, Assistant Chief, and two of the firefighters journeyed to Ohio to pick up the new fire truck, thus saving the new fire company all shipping charges.

Until the firehouse was built in 1948, members were notified of a fire by telephoning each other. With the firehouse complete, a siren installed on the peak of the roof was activated by calling Willimantic Fire Department Switchboard, The first man to arrive at the firehouse picked up a direct line telephone to the Switchboard, who told the member where the fire was. The member would then write the location on a chalkboard for members who arrived after the truck had left, so they would know where to go. In June, 1974, plectrons were bought for it's members.

In June 1959, the one and only traffic light in town was installed in front of the firehouse.

On August 3, 1960, the first of many training drills began under the supervision of Chief David D. Syme and Assistant Chief George Lawton. Drills still take place every Monday night to keep the members abreast of the new techniques and familiarization with equipment.

In September 1962, the first alarm box was installed in the firehouse. The alarm box was used until the summer of 1997, when two separate lighting strikes rendered the box unusable.

In October 1964, the SVFD purchased a new Dodge Power Wagon for forest firefighting. At first, it was brought to Perry Motors, then operated by Russ Perry, where he and six others built the panel cabinets on the sides of the truck. They also installed the water tank and hose reel, which had been salvaged from the old 1926 American LaFrance and stored in Phellp's Barn. In about a month, the Power Wagon was moved to the firehouse and put in service. The Power Wagon, now known as Service 116, is still in use today.

In February 1967, the SVFD purchased it's first firefighting gear; eight sets boots at $20 each, eight coats at $27.50 each, and eight helmets at $18.75 each. Before this time, firefighters used coveralls and work boots to fight fires.

The SVFD placed the first Fire Police into service in August 1968 to direct traffic and control the crowds that gather during emergencies.

In 1972, an aunt of the former Assistant Chief, visiting him from Massachusetts, fell and broke her hip. Donald Glugover, orthopedic specialist who lived in town and served as our Health Officer, tried to get an ambulance from Hampton, Chaplin, Baltic and Willimantic. They told him that Scotland was out of their jurisdiction and refused to come. This made Dr. Glugover very upset, and he attended the next SVFD meeting to request that the fire department start an ambulance service. The SVFD agreed and purchased it's first ambulance, a used 1968 Cadillac from Mansfield Volunteer Fire Department for $9,000.00. This ambulance was retired from SVFD service in 1981.

In July 1975, the SVFD purchased a used 1969 oil tank truck from Potter's Oil Service and converted it into a water tank truck to provide water for firefighting apparatus. This truck was retired from service in 1980.

In November 1979, the SVFD purchased a new 1979 GMC pump tanker truck from the Middlesex Fire Equipment Co. for $84,000. This truck was sold in August 200l and is currently in service in Missouri.

Due to a change in ambulance regulations, the SVFD was forced, in May 1981, to purchase a used Ford Yankee Coach ambulance from the Marlborough Fire Department for $12,500. This ambulance was retired in 1991.

In November of 1988, the SVFD purchased a used 1986 International/Middlesex hose tender off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts for $85,000. Equipped with nearly one mile of 5" hose, Hose Tender (HT) 116 is still in service today.

Two years later, in November of 1990, the SVFD purchased a used 1985 Ford Yankee Coach ambulance from the Deep River Ambulance Association for $16,000. This ambulance, known as Rescue 516, is in service today.

The SVFD purchased a used 1971 American LaFrance Pump Truck from Glen Echo Fire Department in Maryland for $22,000. This truck was replaced by another truck purchased from Glen Echo. This one, a 1981 American LaFrance purchased in June of 1994. In 1999, this truck was replaced by a 1982 FMC Duplex. This truck, now known as Engine 116, is in service today.

In May 1995, the SVFD purchased it's first rescue truck, a used 1981 Chevrolet chassis equipped with a Ranger walk-in rescue body from the New Haven Fire Department for $3000.00. The truck has suffered damage to the box from prior accidents while in service in New Haven, and numerous SVFD members volunteered many hours doing body work on the vehicle for it to be placed into service. Rescue 116 is still in service today.

On August 15, 1999, The Scotland Volunteer Fire Department moved into it's new station on Brook Road, about a quarter of a mile from where the first station stands. The new "Station 16" boasts 7 apparatus bays, a dispatch room, a recreation room, a bunk room, and is attached to the Scotland Volunteers Memorial Hall.

In September 2001, the SVFD purchased a 1987 Seagrave cab and chassis equipped with a brand new custom 2500 gallon tank body for $130,000, and entered it into current service as Engine Tank (ET) 116.

On November 8, 2002, the SVFD placed a 1997 Wheeled Coach ambulance, purchased from the Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps, into service and became known as Rescue 516, replacing the 1985 Yankee Coach purchased 12 years prior.