Tuxedo Park Fire - History

Maltese Cross


The Tuxedo Park Fire Department was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York, May 23, 1901. The incorporators were: Richmond Talbot, Charles S. Patterson, G. O. Bush, Ernst Myer, N. D. Phillips, and C. P. Hotaling. On May 25, 1901, the first regular meeting was held, at which time officers were elected and twenty-seven men signed as charter members, and were duly elected at the following meeting held on July 5, 1901. The first officers elected were: Richmond Talbot, President; Charles S. Patterson, Vice President; C. P. Hotaling, Secretary; N. D. Phillips, Treasurer; Charles S. Patterson, Chief; G. O. Bush, Deputy chief, and Ernst Myer, Foreman.

Fire-fighting equipment in service at this time consisted of one horse-drawn two wheel cart containing a hand pump and fifty feet of hose. The cart was housed in a barn on the site now occupied by the Masonic Temple. Several hand-drawn carts were also placed in strategic sections of the Incorporated Village of Tuxedo Park. A few years later, two steam pumpers and two hook and ladders were placed in service. One steam pumper and one hook and ladder were stationed in a barn on the site now occupied by the Masonic Temple. The other steam pumper and hook and ladder were stationed on the present site of the village office in the Incorporated Village of Tuxedo Park. The steam pumpers were drawn by three horses and the hook and ladders were drawn by two horses. The first automotive fire apparatus used in Tuxedo was in approximately 1917 and consisted of a Ford Truck that was converted to carry water. The first engine-driven pumper went into service in about 1923. It was an American LaFrance four cylinder chain drive with solid rubber wheels.

The first alarm system in Tuxedo consisted of a steam whistle on top of the “Electric Light Plant” off Route 17. This structure is now a sub-station for Orange and Rockland Utilities. If assistance was needed by Tuxedo firemen, they would call the Suffern Fire Department by telephone.

During its first years of existence, the number of alarms responded to by Tuxedo firemen were few and varied. This is perfectly illustrated in a paragraph taken from the 1907 annual report of the Tuxedo Park Fire Department: “There were five fire alarms: One from the Cutting Cottage, one from the Hull Cottage, one from the Lee Cottage, one from the Havemyer Stable, and one to hunt robbers; no total losses except the robbers.”

In 1903, the Tuxedo Park Fire Department moved into one-half of what is now the Tuxedo Park Library. The firemen used the library building for meetings. The horses and the fire apparatus were housed in a barn on the site now occupied by the Masonic Temple. In 1927, the firemen left the Tuxedo Park Library Building and moved to the upstairs of the Storage Company Stables, then called the Tuxedo Garage (now Torsen Welding). In 1964, the Tuxedo Park Fire Department moved to its present quarters on Route 17. The construction of this firehouse was completely financed by the members of the Fire Department and not at the expense of the tax payers of Tuxedo. This firehouse was formally dedicated on June 13, 1965.

This firehouse served Company #1 well, however, the garage was designed to house and maintain two fire trucks. In time, we grew to three emergency vehicles including a ladder truck. The resulting space limitations caused a potentially dangerous situation for our volunteers so we embarked on a project to tear down the original garage and replace it with a much larger facility with sufficient space to safely house three vehicles as well as additional state-of-the art equipment. This re-building project took approximately one year, and we proudly dedicated our new facility on July 10, 2004.

Fire fighting apparatus now in service in the Tuxedo Park Fire Department includes:a 2015 1,000 gallon KME Engine, a 2019 675 gallon KME 103 foot Ladder Tuff Truck.

The current membership of the Tuxedo Park First Company is 40 members, including junior firemen. Provisions for accepting junior firemen started in 1975. Fire Police for the Tuxedo Joint Fire District was also organized in 1975.

Last Revised 01/08/2022 | 2023 - 2024 © Tuxedo Park Fire | Tuxedo Fire District