West Babylon Fire Dept. Beaver Engine Co. 2's History

Co 2 Patch

At the August 1947 meeting of the West Babylon Volunteer Fire Department, it was decided to split the membership into three separate engine companies, two companies from the residents living south of Sunrise Highway forming Station 1, and one company north of Sunrise Highway forming Station 2. The first year and a half was a difficult time for the new fire companies. The companies did not have their own place to hold meetings; the members of Company 2 held their monthly meetings in the Ezra Park Civic Association Clubhouse. A number of individuals were assigned the job of locating a suitable site for the construction of a fire house. The biggest obstacle was money. The fire department was not officially taxpayer funded until January of 1949. Before that date, all funds had to be raised through voluntary contributions. At the same time, the department owned some fire fighting equipment which was assigned to each company. This equipment was not new, with the exception of the Army surplus engine assigned to Company 2, and had to be repaired at each company's expense. Throughout this period the company minutes mention expenses encountered in repairing, painting and purchasing oil and gasoline for the fire engines. The final problem the company, (in fact the entire department,) faced was recruiting and retaining members. It is hard, even today, for an active fire department to maintain its membership, but it was even harder to retain members in an inactive fire department. The men were expected to do a lot of work to create a fire department: raise funds, get petitions for the new district signed, train in fire fighting, repair the equipment, and recruit new members. In return for all this work they were forced to watch other fire departments combat fires in their neighborhood. The turnover rate is hard to determine, but appears to have been a persistent problem since it was discussed at many of the early meetings.

Despite these problems the members did what they could to have a good time. One of the first committees formed was a refreshment committee for the next meeting and at each meeting for the first couple of years, the minutes reported the name of the member who donated a keg of beer for that meeting.

On Sept 15, 1947, the first meeting of Company 2 was held at the Ezra Park Civic Association Clubhouse (this was located across the street from the east side parking lot of the present Fire House). This meeting was conducted under the direction of Chief Ellison Driscoll of Company 1, 1st Assistant. Chief William Froehlich of Company 3 and 2nd Assistant Chief Thomas Simon of Company 2. The main business conducted at this meeting was the election of officers and appointing of a By-law and refreshment committee. The 30 members present elected: Captain William Krollage Sr., Assistant Captain Phil McGuire, Treasurer Roland Scott, Secretary Stephen Byrnes.

The company began raising money as best it could by running a paper drive ($10.33), a rummage sale ($36.00) and ran its first dance and raffle on December 20, 1947. Between October and December 1947 the treasury rose from $14.44 to $110.95. The company also began its search for a fire house site. Th