The first volunteer organization in the town of Collins began with 26 men and a hand-drawn pumper. CCFC serviced the community which extended west to Quaker Rd and south to Poverty Hill. Their horse-drawn gasoline engine was purchased in 1922, but they still could not respond to all of the town fires in a timely manner and borrowed items such as buckets and ladders failed to be properly return…ed. On April 21, 1925, the Collins Fire Company was formed to help combat this problem. In 1932, CCFC purchased a new Chevrolet Pumper, which was kept in use until 1955. In 1943, Collins ans Collins Center Fire Companies merged as the Town of Collins Fire District and each company became solely responsible for fires within their own districts and Jennings Road would become the dividing line between the two. Every call east of Jennings to the town of Concord, north to the town line of North Collins, and south to the middle of the Cattaraugus Creek would from then forward be answered by the CCFC. The Board of Fire Commissioners was established about the same time, and in 1945, the CCFC Ladies Auxiliary was established. In 1954, the property at the corner of North Division andRoute 39 became home to the brick fire hall that stands there today. On July 24, 1952, the Gowanda Psychiatric Center (then known as the Gowanda State Hospital) was made the base of operations for mutual aid runs by the Civil Defense authorities and area fire trucks were equipped in preparation for national disaster. By 1955, an area base station was added to Helmuth Fire Department and a two-way radio wasinstalled in the Helmuth Fire truck. It was October 26, 1955 when Helmuth Fire Control was created. For the first time, the new truck purchased by CCFC in 1955 contained a radio dispatch unit as well as a booster tank and first aid equipment. The Control Center became the hub for six local fire departments and was also a backup for both Gowanda and Springville Fire Control. It was during the 1960’s that the Zoar Valley Rescue Squad was formed, with many members of CCFC joining them in search and rescue operations. This specialized group was trained to rapel and rescue, long before the technique was well-utilized within fire and rescue communities. It was in the early 1980’s that CCFC welcomed their first female firefighter. Mutual aid firefighter manuals illustrate the changes that CCFC volunteers have encountered over the years: during the 1940’s, firefighters were trained in techniques of war, including disaster readiness — encompassing treatment from incendiary bomb and chemical warfare attacks; during the 1950’s, training highlighted preparing for nuclear attacks; and today, firefighting, pump operator, water supply, forest firefighting, incident command, auto extrication, search and rescue operations, and some are also trained in EMT, CPR/AED. Every member of the CCFC has specialized training as mandated by OSHA regulations, NICS, and NIMS. The NICS and NIMS courses are set to maintain a national standard for incident operations and communications, personnel qualifications, resource management, and information management across all levels of government and emergency response agencies and were developed in the wake of 9-11-2001. Our firefighters are ready to support the needs of our country as readily as our community. In 1992, war-torn Bosnia made a plea for unused fire equipment, and nearly 2/3 of the supply that arrived in their country was from Erie County Fire Departments. In 2001, a new KME pumper/rescue truck was purchased, and in 2005, CCFC was designated as a Disaster Relief site and a generator was installed to provide emergency power to the hall, an air-vac system was installed in both of our truck bays, and established the first dry hydrant site in the town of Collins. Also purchased through these years was another essential tool in firefighting: a thermal imaging camera. In 2010, CCFC purchased a new heavy rescue truck, taking the place of the old Collins Center #7, and recently acquired a new Mack Pumper, Collins Center #5.

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