Chester VFD hits milestone

It’s not often a local group, organization or business gets to celebrate 100 years of history, but that is exactly what is happening in Chester this week as the community observes the centennial of the Chester Volunteer Fire Department.

Celebrations began Tuesday night with the kickoff of a multi-day street fair, and will continue through Saturday.

Festivities will include games, food, nightly entertainment and a parade scheduled for Saturday.

We congratulate the Chester Volunteer Fire Department, its members and the Chester community for this amazing milestone.

What is now the Chester VFD began with an organizational meeting on Jan. 5, 1914. John Allison would be its first chief, serving the “temporary” position for about two years until John Hobbs was officially elected to the office.

The department started with a hose cart, kept in a garage on Fairview Road and 25 members. It’s first fundraiser, a euchre tournament in 1915, brought in $67.50.

Today, there are 17 active volunteers, with another nine retired members, and the department routinely raises hundreds of thousands of dollars each year with its Fall Bash event, which continues to grow in size and popularity.

While we always appreciate the work of our local firefighters, whether they be paid or volunteer, the members of the Chester Volunteer Fire Department are an integral part of that community for many more reasons.

The department’s contributions to local organizations and events are unmatched, all while they continue to find ways to improve themselves through training and equipment.

We encourage all residents, from Chester and throughout Hancock County, to celebrate this milestone and show their appreciation for this great organization.