OCEANSIDE FIRE DEPARTMENT, COLUMBIA ENGINE COMPANY #1
Written by: Oceanside Fire Department
UNITS: Engine 243 & Engine 249
Columbia Engine Co #1 was organized in the fall of 1902. Mr. Sanford Davison and his associates applied to the State of New York for a charter on November 1st 1902.
The first official meeting recorded was held on December 6th,1902 and the company's charter of incorporation was granted on February 18th,1903. Meetings were held in the MB Woods Hall on Atlantic Avenue.
On April 3rd,1903 the purchase of a hand or horse drawn double tank chemical engine was arranged. Efficiency of operation of this early century engine was proven when the members won first prize at the Hempstead Tournament on June 16th,1904. This performance was bettered at the Southern New York Association Tournament held at Rockaway Beach on October 20th,1904 when the members extinguished a fire in 14 seconds.
On May 11th,1905 Mr. and Mrs. Richard Poole and Stanley Poole donated to the Company a triangular parcel of land in the center of the village at Lower Lincoln Avenue. A contract was signed on June 16th,1905 for the construction of a building to house equipment and an upper floor for meetings and the like,this yellow building still stands today as Tri-Us Radiators.
On March 19th,1913 a Matthewson Hose Wagon was purchased making the Company the first on Long Island to have a motorized piece of fire apparatus. The truck was the pride of the company membership who contributed $650.00 to a fund for its purchase. When retired the truck body was later used by the Oceanside Fire Department Rescue Squad. In 1927 a Larabee manufactured by American LaFrance with 4 forty gallon tanks and two booster reels was acquired.
With the rapid growth of the village during the 1920's and the acquisition of a 1930 American LaFrance from the former Oaks Engine Company, the members again cast their eyes toward the future and on November 23rd,1931 purchased a plot of land on Smith Street. In 1947 the Larabee was replaced by a Mack with a 500 GPM pump and a 250 gallon booster tank. In the next decade the problem of housing equipment became acute due to the size of Columbia's old building. Arrangements were made in 1951 to erect a new building on the Smith Street property where Columbia operates to this day. The new building served as Oceanside Fire Department Headquarters until 1967. The Company's location in the center of town prompted our motto "Pride of Midtown". That same year the old LaFrance was replaced with a new model boasting a 1000 GPM pump which affectionately became known as the "Bath Tub". In 1959 the 1947 gave way to an Approved Fire Apparatus built to our south in Island Park. In 1964 the LaFrance was replaced by a Mack C-95 1000 GPM pumper. In 1971 the " Approved", damaged in a collision while responding to an alarm near the "Red Store", was replaced by a 1971 Ford/Young 1000 GPM Pumper. In 1977 Columbia received an Oren 1000 GPM pumper on a Kenworth chassis. The first such apparatus north of the Mason-Dixon Line and the Departments first top mount pump panel. In 1985 Columbia placed into service a Hahn pumper with Oceanside's first enclosed crew cab. A concept though rare and controversial at the time has since become the standard.
Today,105 years after our 1st meeting, Columbia firefighters continue to respond twin Pierce pumpers and remain Oceanside's busiest Engine Company
OCEANSIDE FIRE DEPARTMENT -