History of the Department

In 1906 after several failed attempts some fine men of West Winfield successfully organized the first lasting fire department in this village.  It was noted while a local manufacturing business was burning that there was no lack of men willing to help.  What was missing was organization and leadership. A meeting was announced, promoted and held asking all able bodied men of the village to attend and participate.  The meeting was held at the request of Mr. Norman Churchill.  Mr. Churchill believed that there was indeed the manpower and desire to form a lasting fire department.  The meeting was a success with a formula and timing that has resulted in over 100 years of firefighting excellence here in the small village of West Winfield.  The department was organized with members and officers were placed.  Mr. Churchill, it was decided, would be their Chief.  A generous donation from local businessman Henry Hiteman would get things rolling in the form of a large fire extinguisher.  In honor of his generosity the new organization had its name.  It would forevermore be known as The Henry Hiteman Engine and Hose Company.  More equipment was to soon follow.

            It was soon realized that a sufficient building would be a necessity to safely house this organization and its equipment so efforts of fund raising began.  Bake sales, plays, and other means were used to help secure the funding for a new building and in 1910 the original structure that housed the department was completed.  It consisted of two stories of masonry construction with large doors in the front allowing the largest apparatus of the day to easily pass.  It was thought that this building would stand the tests of time and would surely never be outgrown.  This was true for many years until a large addition was made in 1970.  This original fire house along with its new addition held five pieces of apparatus until it was demolished and replaced in 1992 with the current fire house consisting of a large apparatus bay, meeting room and kitchen facilities to feed an army. Inside the new building can be found the cornerstone from the original structure as well as the stone from the 1970 addition alongside a commemorative stone for the 1992 building.

            Those that have served this department as our Chief include:

Norman Churchill 1908 – 1915

E Walter Wilcox – 1916

W.C. Bullock – 1917

Lou Senif – 1919 – 1934

Jerry Barstow – 1935 – 1936

Horace Allen – 1937 – 1939

Fred Will – 1940 – 1946

Cliff Boorn – 1947

James F.Murphy – 1948

Tom Pavlot – 1949 – 1965

Richard Evans – 1966 – 1972

James Wheelock – 1973 – 1976

Stephen Evans – 1977 – 1978

Peter Smith – 1979 – 1981

Gary Moreau – 1982

Homer Coy – 1983 – 1986

James G. Murphy – 1987 – 1989

Richard Barrett – 1990 – 1993

Peter Smith – 1994 – 2002

Kevin Brown – 2003 - 2012

            The department is currently under the command of Chief Ed Woolsey.  Chief Woolsey is a two year Chief with a long firefighting past.  We house six pieces of apparatus including two engines, one pumper-tanker, one water tanker, an aerial device, and a rescue.  The Henry Hiteman Engine and Hose Co. Inc. / West Winfield Fire Department also operates an ALS ambulance serving multiple communities.  A close working relationship with the Village of West Winfield ensures the highest standard of service to our customers and the continued success of this department.