Chilmark Considers Safety Building Site
Picking up on efforts that began more than a decade ago, a committee in Chilmark is taking another stab at finding a location for a new fire station.
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Volunteer Firefighters Throw Party of the Year in Chilmark

Hundreds of adults and kids flocked to the Chilmark Community Center Wednesday for the town’s annual volunteer firefighter association’s Backyard Bash.

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Chilmark Gets New Fire Tanker Truck
Chilmark's new fire truck can carry 3,000 gallons of water and pump 1,500 gallons a minute. It was custom made by Bulldog Fire & Emergency Apparatus of Woodville.
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Four Alarm Barbecue in Chilmark

Go to a party, eat great food, hang with neighbors and do good at the same time. It is, as the saying goes, a no-brainer. Or better known as the Chilmark Firemen’s Association Back Yard Bash.

The bash is an annual event to raise money for the all-volunteer town fire department. And since it doesn’t rain anymore, except for this past weekend, that is, the fire department is more essential than ever.

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Attracting Volunteer Firefighters Becomes a Challenge for Towns

Around the Vineyard, the number of volunteer firefighters serving their communities is falling.

Ten years ago, the Tisbury fire department was running with a full complement of 51 volunteer firefighters. Today the number has dropped to 41.

Three years ago, the Chilmark fire department boasted a full staff of 38 volunteers. Today the number of firefighters responding to a call is almost half of that.

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Chilmark Fire Chief Praises Response

It’s been an exhausting week for Chilmark fire chief David Norton, but during a brief respite at the station yesterday, he took a few minutes to look back on the events, Monday afternoon that are now well recorded in newspapers and cameras around the Island and beyond.

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Volunteer Firefighters Grill and Reminisce At Backyard Bash

In the middle of March, lifelong Chilmarker Mike Holtham was pulling out from his winter home on Quansoo when a group of fire trucks sped by, sirens blaring. Curious, he made a split-second decision to follow the trucks, which were headed to a fire on a road nearby.

“I know every person that lives on that street right now,” he remembered thinking as he approached the scene. “Now there’s no excuse,” he thought.

The next day, Mr. Holtham walked into the Chilmark fire station and signed up to be a volunteer firefighter.

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Gas Grill Cause of Small Fire at Blue Heron Farm

Chilmark firefighters quickly quelled a small fire at Blue Heron Farm early Tuesday morning. Chilmark fire chief David Norton said the call came in at 3:30 a.m. from an automatic fire alarm in the farmhouse. The fire was in the wall of the main house near a porch that had a gas grill on it. Firefighters had the fire out within a matter of minutes, Mr. Norton said. “Very small, very contained, extinguished quickly,” the fire chief said. He said the cause of the fire was the gas grill.

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Fanning Flames of Goodwill At Chilmark Firemen’s Barbecue

There were plenty of firefighters, but the only thing burning on Wednesday night was the grill, as the volunteers of the Chilmark Fire Department got together to throw a Backyard Bash at the Chilmark Community Center.

It was a family affair. Kids ran around while their parents and grandparents devoured burgers and hot dogs, caught up with neighbors and old friends, and listened to The New Strangers bust out some tunes.

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Fire Extinguished as Compromise Reached in Fire Chief Negotiations

Chilmark fire chief David Norton took a little heat of a different kind on Tuesday night, as he pushed his case with selectmen for a pay raise of more than 50 per cent.

Mr. Norton’s current stipend is $21,000. He wanted it upped to $33,000. And that figure, he suggested, was giving the town a discount.

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