ARKPORT — On most days, a lineup of fire trucks as far as the eye can see is a signal that something terrible has happened; that a family has lost their home, their possessions or god forbid, a life. On Saturday however, that scene was one to celebrate.
On Saturday the Arkport Fire Company celebrated its 100th anniversary with a water ball tournament, a parade and a free community barbecue. The parade route began at Arkport Central School and ended at the community building that houses the fire department.
Chief Dan Hulbert reflected on how the company has changed over time, but he said one thing has never changed, that their "first job has always been public safety."
Some two-dozen of the 35 active members captured the moment by posing in front of a 3,000 TA-9 tanker.
Representatives from four other fire companies, Canisteo, Fremont, North Hornell, and Scio marched with members of the Arkport fire company to help honor the milestone.
The parade was a celebration of selfless people. They are volunteers that not only risk life and limb in dangerous situations, but also educate the public and advocate for better codes and safety measures that prevent fires.
More than 120 people including family, friends and supporters attended a community barbecue and picnic at the community building after the parade.
At the barbecue, a presentation of a proclamation of gratitude was made by Mike Palmesano on behalf of Assemblyman Bill Nojay, R-Pittsford.
Today, the celebration was continuing with pancake breakfast at the fire hall, and softball in the park.
Though better equipment has made their jobs safer over the years, the work of a local firefighter still involves great risk.
The company went on 159 calls in the 2013 calendar year, and 68 so far in 2014. In addition to serving Arkport, they also provided mutual aid to other local communities.