Fire protection became a concern of a group of citizens in the Selkirk area during the latter part of 1925 and early 1926. Interest increased and a group of interested residents assembled at the West Shore Railroad Passenger Station in Selkirk.
At this first meeting it was decided that the boundaries of what would become the Selkirk Fire District would be North to Myers Corners on N.Y.S. Highway 9W, West to and including the Charles D. Niver farm on N.Y. Rt. 396 in South Bethlehem. Also North to and including the Williams Gibson property on N.Y. Rt. 144, South to the Town Of Bethlehem line on Rt. 144, and East to the Hudson River.
In early December 1926 an election was held in the new proposed District to elect a Board of five Fire Commissioners to conduct business until the new fire district was made official. On March 12, 1928 a deposition was prepared, signed by T.B. Vanderzee of the Board, and filed with the Albany County Board of Supervisors. The Board adopted a resolution establishing the Selkirk Fire District soon after.
At a meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners on January 7th, 1928 it was voted on to purchase a Childs Fire Apparatus 602-C demonstrator model for $6,250.00 and equipment for it costing an additional $1257.70. This piece of apparatus is still owned by the District and can be seen in various parades. Click HERE to see what it looks like today.
A meeting was held on March 27, 1928 to discuss the organizing of the fire company. T.B. Vanderzee was appointed the first Fire Chief and the following were appointed Chief Mechanic and Drivers: A.J. Lehmann, William Pausley, Ross G. Mathusa, Raymond Golden, and George Coonley.
Action was also taken to purchase Lot #2 on Maple Ave. from Mrs. Bull as a location for the new fire house. Bids for the new fire house came to $6500 total. Contracts were signed and the construction started on April 7, 1928. Soon after a 5 H.P. Siren was purchased at a cost not to exceed $810.
On July 3, 1928 a meeting of the residents of the Selkirk Fire District was called for the purpose of organizing the Selkirk Fire Co. #1.
Records show that the first fire alarm took place on November 16th, 1928 and was a hay barn on the Wilsey farm. On January 29, 1929 the first house fire alarm came in. On June 14th, 1929 a barn and corn crib at the Henry Meter farm was lost.
At the July 9th, 1929 a meeting a motion was made and carried to authorize the formation of a Ladies’ Auxiliary.
On November 11, 1952 a resolution was made by the Board of Fire Commissioners establishing Selkirk Fire Co. #2 in Glenmont. 24 men from the area were appointed members to organize the new company.
On January 29, 1953, at a Board of Fire Commissioners Meeting, Harold L. Williams was designated Chief in Authority over all Fire Companies that may be established in the Selkirk Fire District. This made Mr. Williams the first “District Chief” of the department.
On April 7th, 1953 the Board of Fire Commissioners received a gift of land located on Rt. 32 at Weiser St. in Glenmont from Jacob Wiggand to be used as a fire house for Selkirk Fire Co. #2
A fire protection areas covering South Bethlehem and South Albany, was brought into the Selkirk Fire District on July 1st, 1955
On February 1, 1956 the Board of Fire Commissioners adopted a resolution to organize a third fire company in South Bethlehem. This was to be known as Selkirk Fire Co. #3.
A resolution was also adopted at this meeting to form the first Fire Police Squad of the department.
The Selkirk Fire Department continues the proud tradition that those first firefighters started over 80 years ago. We currently have over 80 dedicated men & women doing their duty of protecting our community everyday.