The Pasadena Volunteer Fire Department was established in the community during the early years of the community, shortly after the amalgamation of Pasadena and Midland in 1955. The first fire chief was Gerald Wight, who was a member of the organization from 1960-1990. Some of the other founding members of the Pasadena Volunteer Fire Department are: Ed Huxter, Bill Hounsell, Woody Eldridge, Cyril Rose, Dave Neville, Wayne Wight, Derrick Mercer, Jim Wagg, Bill Bonnell, and George Short.
The original fire department was located in the same location that it is today, on 10th Avenue, next to the Lion’s Club, and across from the Town Hall and Library. The original structure burned down, and the department lost everything. They rebuilt a structure to store their trucks and equipment, which is the left side of the building that is currently standing. In later years, the right side of the building was constructed, which includes a hall, kitchen and offices. This part of the building is currently used for meetings and social activities within the department. Prior to the construction of this new section, the department’s meetings were held in the basement of the existing recreation centre.
When the department was first established, it provided fire fighting services for the community, so it was named “The Pasadena Volunteer Fire Department”. However, as years went by, the department began to take on more responsibilities. Due to the closest place for emergency medical assistance being twenty minutes away, the department decided that it would be important for its members to receive some medical training. This expansion of responsibility resulted in the department changing its name to “The Pasadena Fire and Rescue”, which occurred in the early 2000s. Today, the Pasadena Fire and Rescue provides many emergency services to the area. They are equipped with a “Jaws of Life” which is a tool that allows individuals to be extracted from vehicles during motor vehicle accidents. Members of the department also have AED training, which allows them to use a defibrillator to assist those in cardiac arrest. Other services that the Pasadena Fire and Rescue provide for the community are open and cold water rescue.
Aside from providing the community with emergency services, the department is also known for being active in the community. They always participate in the Santa Claus Parade, creating a float for the children of the community. Also during Christmas time, the department participates in the toy drive. Johnson’s Construction, a company that was originally based out of Pasadena, is their biggest sponsor. Every year at their Christmas party, Johnson’s employees donate a children’s toy. These toys, as well as toys donated by members of the community, are donated to families in need around the community. Another community event that the department organizes is the Fireman’s Ball. The Fireman’s Ball has been a community tradition for many years, and serves as an opportunity for the community to honour the services that the firefighters provide. The Fireman’s Ball has been held in many different locations over the years, including the gymnasium of Pasadena Elementary School (Formally the Catholic School, Holy Rosary) and the existing recreation centre.
The official charity for fire departments in North America is Muscular Dystrophy. In the early days of the department, members would go door-to-door for donations. Gerald Wight, the first chief of the department, also held the title of the first honorary fire chief of Newfoundland. He would attend conventions, and participate in telethons (for Muscular Dystrophy). The department would also invite Muscular Dystrophy patients to ride in a fire truck during the Santa Claus Parade. Today, The Pasadena Fire and Rescue still actively fundraises for the charity in the community. They organize car washes, barbeques and other events, in which the community is always very generous.
Presently, the Pasadena Fire and Rescue has around thirty members. The chief of the department is John Peach and Darren Gardner is the assistant chief. The two captains are Adam Garcin and Rick Wheeler, and the three lieutenants are Cory Lane, Dan Myles, and Andy Wright. There is also a training officer, secretary and treasurer. The department prides itself on having a welcoming family atmosphere, with an excellent group of men who are happy to provide emergency services for the community of Pasadena.
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