History of Our Department
The Hopkins Hill Road Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1952 by its first Chief, Clifton H. Barbour. Note that originally, the name included the word "Road", which was probably appropriate for the time. Since then, growth in the area dictated that "Road" be eliminated to more properly describe the area served.
Assembled in front of garage at the Barbour Lace Mill are the original members and equipment of the Hopkins Hill Road Volunteer Fire Department. Left truck - 1946 Ford. Driver is Arthur "Bud" Miller. Standing near the cab is Art Rathbun.
Behind Art are John Swiencki and Leo Gorton. On truck, L - R; Rene Brunette, Mederic Maguire and H.J. "Bo" Beauchaine (Secretary). Middle truck - American La France 1916. Standing on left side; Bernard Norman, Jesse Rathbun, Cliff Barbour (Chief). Driver; Herbert Norman, sitting; Ralph Murphy. Standing in rear, L - R; Ralph Carlson, Benjamin Dzialo (Treasurer). With elbow on truck; Level Hopkins. Right truck - 1942 Dodge Truck on right. Around it, L _ R,; John Murphy, William Sundelin, Bernard Harrington, Howard Barbour, Joseph Swiencki, Al Plackett. Buzz Barbour is in the cab.
The first apparatus of the Hopkins Hill Road Volunteer Fire Department was converted farm equipment. Other older equipment include a 1916 American La France, a 1942 Dodge and a 1946 Ford.
In 1973, the Department took delivery of it's first Class A custom pumper, Engine 6, at a cost of approximately $40,000.00. This truck was not only a first for the Department, but it was the first diesel powered pumper in the Town of Coventry.The first rescue vehicle was a Cadillac Rescue, but the level of training and care offered by the Department at that time was basic first aid.
In 1997 the Department purchased a five function vehicle, known as "Quint 1", at a cost of $360,000.00. It is a state of the art Pumper/Aerial vehicle which carries 500 gallons of water on board and was also the first of its kind in Coventry.
A Jeep Grand Cherokee, acquired in 1995, functioned as the first Chiefs vehicle and Fire Marshals vehicle before being replaced in 2008.
In 1996, the Department acquired a Bombard Model 5001, rescue boat. It is a 10 foot long, a semi rigid, inflatable craft with a hard bottom and is equipped with a Johnson 8 hp outboard engine. It has a capacity of 600 - 700 pounds and can accommodate 3 personnel, all fully outfitted in cold water survival gear. The craft is transported on a NorEaster Trailer.
The original fire station was nothing more than a converted barn which was located approximately 100 feet south of the current station on Hopkins Hill Rd.
The current fire station was built in the early to mid 1950's. It was remodeled in 1986 and now contains a four bay apparatus (vehicle) room, a tool/repair room, kitchen, offices, bunk room, lounge and a training/meeting room, which is available for public use.