DEXTER, N.Y. (WWTI) — Leaders in the Dexter community are working together to remember and honor the history of volunteer firefighting.
In 2012, the Village of Dexter and Village of Brownville Volunteer Fire Departments joined together to form the Village of Brownville Joint Fire District. The Dexter Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., then became a non-profit organization.
The organization is now launching the “Last Station” campaign, with plans to construct a wood frame accessory building next to the current Dexter Historical Society building, formerly the First Universalist Church of Dexter.
“The Last Station will be a permanent tribute to our past as we move forward as volunteer firefighters and EMS providers,” said Dexter Volunteer Fire Department Inc. member Gerry Kostyk.
This new building will aim to highlight the history of volunteer firefighters in the rural community and store “precious cargo” such as a 1929 Brockway Fire Engine and an 1865 Ramsey Hand Pump.
The Last Station project will also include improvements to the historical society’s parking lot and site, as well as provide additional storage. Handicap accessibility is also a focus of the new building with plans to build the Last Station on ground level and install a wheelchair lift up to the church connection.
With a fundraiser goal of $100,000 in mind, Kostyk focused back to the inspiration behind this project.
“Volunteer fire departments have historically been the center of the community for years and years with parades and field days and activities like that,” shared Kostyk. “They’ve always been the center of a community and, you know, today I’m afraid that people tend to forget that.”
“The Last Station will represent and display firefighting and emergency medical service history of the Dexter Volunteer Fire Department who were often assisted by the Brownville Fire Department,” he said.
The Last Station project will officially kick off on June 13 at the Dexter Historical Society, as well as the 1872 Troy Foundry Bell Dedication.
The building will be open to the public and the 1929 Brockway and hand pumper will also be on display. Lunch is available for a small fee, as well as Last Station apparel and souvenirs. All events will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Construction for the project is set to begin in 2022.