Alton Volunteer Fire Department

At a meeting held April 11, 1943, the Alton Volunteer Fire Department was created.  As a result of the tenacity of residents of that community, it grew to eventually be included as part of the existing Hope Valley-Wyoming Fire District.

The first officers were: Oscar Pratt, William Noyes, Charles Moen, Reginald Beers, Joseph Vigue, and Walter Collins.  Drivers were:  Joseph Bruseau, Robert Anderson, and George Baton.

 There was no budget, as there was no taxable income.  Money was raised through the gathering and selling of scrap metal, rags, and anything else of value.  A piece of land was donated and raffled off to raise funds.  Remember, at this time most of the goods we take for granted were earmarked to the War effort.  As part of the documents, there are waivers  from the Federal Government allowing the Fire Department to purchase certain materials (such as foam) necessary in fighting fires.

The original “fire station” was a two car garage and the addition used for a kitchen, was a building that had been damaged during a hurricane.   A Ladies Auxiliary was formed and suppers were held to raise money.

It is through the dedication of members of the small community of Alton that allowed fire coverage for the hazards located nearby.  In addition to a textile plant, a radioactive recovery plant, a chemical plant, railroad, large farms, and fuel storage facility, the Chariho Regional High School was also located within the boundaries of the Alton District.

In 1978,  the Alton Fire District boasted the youngest Fire Chief in Rhode Island.  Timothy Brusseau, an Assistant Fire Chief at age 19, assumed that position on the death of former chief, Francis Fleck.

We are very fortunate to have the donation of these records and thank Richard Heines, former Alton Fire Chief and “the last active member of the Alton Volunteer Fire Company before its induction into HVWFD” for his preservation of these records and  their donation to us.

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