The Killingworth Volunteer Fire Company, founded in 1946, provides fire, rescue, and haz-mat service to Killingworth, CT, a residential town in south central Connecticut occupying 36 square miles with a population of approximately 6500. In addition, we have mutual aid agreements with departments in Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Durham, Haddam, Madison, and North Madison.
A Brief History of the Killingworth Volunteer Fire Company
Around 1945, after watching a house burn to the ground and the Madison Hose Company soak it down, a group of young Killingworth men started the first Fire Company. The Company included Ray Burghardt, Don Walton and Wayne Slipp. They incorporated in January of 1947 using equipment donated by other area towns, with the first truck being a Flat bed Model T Ford with a Crosley portable pump.
Donald Walton was the first Fire Chief, with the firehouse located in Winkels garage. The building is now used by the Lions Club for it annual Christmas tree sale. After the Center District School was closed, it was moved across Rte. 80 to the converted school house, where the resident trooper’s office is today.
Firefighters were alerted by an Alert Siren, as well as a ‘fan out’ call system. There were several “Fire Phones” located in private residences. When an emergency was received the “operator” would call a designated group of firefighters, who would in turn call more firefighters.
There was no town funding to start, all funds were raised by members. Early fundraisers included the Firemen’s Ball, fireworks and the sale of fire extinguishers. With 1957 came the first commercial built fire engine, as well as the beginning of the Jr. Fire Company. The first self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) was purchased in 1958, followed by the building of a second station located on Little City Road.
In 1968, alerts came from a new tone alert system. Dispatching came via the Clinton Dispatch center. Clinton dispatched Killingworth until 1980 when those duties were switched over to the Valley Shore Emergency Communications Inc. located at Troop F in Westbrook.
The Station 1 firehouse remained at the traffic circle until the current headquarters was built on Rte. 81 in 1971.
There have been many milestones registered by the KVFC, but one that stands out is the formation of the Rescue squad in 1977. Soon after its creation, the Company received a Hurst vehicle extrication tool from the state, the first in the area. Rescue Squad members were then required to travel to area towns with the Hurst tool to assist in vehicle extrications.
Station 1 Officers
Station 2 Officers
Interested in becoming a Volunteer?
This business is not for everyone. You need more than just a desire to help people. You need courage and dedication, assertiveness, and willingness to learn new skills and face new challenges. And you need to have the time, for training sessions, meetings, emergency calls, maintenance of equipment, and other duties. The fire and rescue service is not for the meek or timid or for those who lose control during times of crises. Our service is one which calls on its members to perform hot, sweaty, dirty, and strenuous work, often in uncertain and hazardous environments.
The personal rewards and satisfaction received from the fire and rescue service are often beyond description. There is a sense of accomplishment after controlling a building fire, joy and elation when a child is born, compassion for accident victims, and fulfillment in teaching fire safety. This list goes on and on.
The bottom line in our business is measured by the loss of life, pain and suffering, and property damage we have prevented or reduced. We are here and prepared for one reason, and that is to provide service to the people.