When the Millville Volunteer Fire Company formed in 1936, they had 23 members and a barn. This weekend, more than 150 active and lifetime members will celebrate the company’s 75th anniversary.
On Saturday, April 16, the public is being invited to an open house honoring 75 years of fire service and 50 years of ambulance service. Complete with food and demonstrations, the all-day festivities begin with a parade at 10 a.m.
Spectators can see fire equipment from local companies, including the original antique chemical tank wagon that the Town of Millville first purchased in 1922.
The parade will start at Railway Road and follow Route 26 east toward the fire company, ending at Old Mill Drive. (Route 26 will be closed for the parade, and other roads impacted by traffic restrictions. See map for details.)
Visitors may give contributions during the event, but the open house is primarily a celebratory event, not a fundraiser.
“It gets the public involved, and they get to put a face to the company,” said member Harold Lloyd. “It kind of puts a human factor into fire service.”
A guest speaker and Public Information Officer Bob Powell will present MVFC’s history. At 1 p.m., parade prizes will be awarded.
Various demonstrations will educate the public on behind-the-scenes emergency response. Sussex County Emergency Medical Services will display a mobile command post, so guests understand how dispatch works, from the 911 call to paramedics’ arrival.
Firefighters will perform a vehicle extrication exercise at 2 p.m., demonstrating how they rescue people trapped in cars. The Delaware State Police helicopter will also be present.
While most events will occur outside, the firehouse will be open for tours, with memorabilia, documents and equipment on display.
Food will be offered by fire company neighbor Fat Tuna Grill. The company will sell commemorative 75th anniversary booklets for $5 and MVFC T-shirts. The Ladies Auxiliary will also host a candy sale. Free smoke detectors are available for those needing one.
Marshall Lewis, chairman of the 75th Anniversary Committee, explained the importance of the event.
“It’s for the members and pride in our company. And for those who have gone before and made this possible.”
Powell said, “These are the people who often don’t get paid a cent” for the unique service of volunteer fire protection.
The event will end at 3 p.m. In case of inclement weather, there will be a rain date of Saturday, April 23. For additional information, visit www.Millville84.com.