When the Bergen Fire Department was formed, bucket brigades were still used to get water from cisterns and wells to a building engulfed in flames.
That was in 1861.
Now, 150 years later, the department responds to a fire in heavy duty trucks, deploys 5-inch hoses that can pump out water at more 1,000 gallons per minute and firefighters enter burning buildings swathed in protective gear.
But one thing hasn't changed about the Bergen Fire Department: It's still an all volunteer force.
On Saturday, the Bergen Fire Department celebrated its 150th anniversary with a dinner and officer installation ceremony at the Genesee Country Museum.
The department received numerous proclamations and handed out its own awards to its members.
In all, 13 past chiefs attended the dinner (pictured above). They are (in no particular order): Paul Cummings, Scott Crosier, Jim Pascarella, Carl Pocock, Norm Pimm Sr., William Kolmetz, John Zastrocky, Lewis Cunningham, Jim Keller, Merton Reynolds, Robert Bobzin, Gerald Fuerch, Larry Smith.
The 2011 officers are: Chief Paul Cummings; Deputy Chief Eric Wies; Assistant Chief Jim Bridge; captains Garrett Dean and Doug VanSlyke; lieutenants Brian Carson, Kevin Bruton and Mark Holley; EMS Chief Barry Miller and Assistant Chief Melody Kolmetz; Fire Police Captain Gerald Fuerch and Lt. Frank Watson; President Joseph MacConnell, Vice President James Ride, Secretary Gail Ride and Treasurer Wayne Keller; and Ladies' Auxiliary President Lisa Crosier, Vice President Linda Cunningham and Secretary Sharon Fuerch.
This year's awards went to:
Most Fire Calls - Gary Mielke and Jim Pascarella
Most EMS Calls - Sara Gillard, Mark Holley
Most Combined Fire and EMS Calls - Mike Crosier, Sara Gillard
Most Training Hours - Jeff Thomas
Service and Membership Awards
68 Years - Merton Reynolds
55 Years - George Cunningham, Wayne Keller
10 Years - Collette Dodson, Charles Wies
5 Years - Lisa Flanagan, Victor Flanagan
Ladies Auxillary Service and Membership Awards
15 Years - Linda Cunningham, Lisa Crosier
10 Years - Sherry Watson
To find out more about becoming a volunteer emergency responder in your community, visit ReadyGenesee.com.
More pictures after the jump: