In the fall of 1944 the Harvey C.D.C (Civilian Defense Corps) and the Harvey Improvement Association agreed to transfer all firefighting equipment and activity to a local fire department if such were formed. Accordingly a public meeting was held in Taylor Hall on November 13th, 1944. During this meeting a local fire brigade was formed under the Province of New Brunswick Fire Prevention Act comprised of 9 elected Fire Wards. The Fire Wards are as follows:
Dave Cole representing Acton
Harry Swan representing Harvey Station
M.H. Lister representing School District #2
Austin Moffitt representing Manners Sutton
Sterling Little representing Coburn
Howard Little representing York Mills
James Kingston representing Wilmot
Earl Swan representing Tweedside
Arthur Cleghorn representing South Tweedside
Upon approval of the County Council the 9 Fire Wards held their first meeting on November 21st, 1944. Hartley McGee was elected as Fire Chief; Austin Moffitt was elected as Deputy Fire Chief with Willis Moffitt and T.Kay Craig as Captains.
By April 17th 1945 all Civilian Defense Corps equipment held by the Harvey C.D.C was paid for and turned over to the Harvey Fire Brigade. The equipment so transferred is as follows:
1 Truck with all attachments
1 Wajax Pump
300 feet of hose
Two lengths of intake hose
10 rubber coats
30 stirrup pumps
10 pairs of rubber boots
1 first aid box
2 first aid haversacks
6 first aid pouches
1 Y-Connection Coupling wrenches
All incidental equipment owned by the C.D.C
Each Fire Ward was asked to have 3 men for hose and 3 men for salvage chosen by May 15th 1945.
By June 7th 1945 the Fire Wards added two more Wajax pumps to their equipment list at a cost of $69.15 each and had purchased 4 new tires for the truck. They were also meeting regularly each month to discuss equipment, membership and fund-raising issues.
The Fire Wards received funds for the purchase of equipment by organizing and hosting an Amateur Program. This program consisted of musical entertainment from local / amateur entertainers followed by refreshments and a dance.
On June 15th 1948 T.Kay Craig was elected as the new Fire Chief. The Wards met on this date to also discuss that residents of the Lake George Road now have telephones. It was determined that if residents of that area wished to receive benefit of fire coverage from the Harvey Fire Brigade that they should be allowed to do so on payment of $4 for each house or family.
By 1948 the Harvey Fire Brigade had two trucks. The coverage area had expanded to include Lake George, a portion of the Parish of Prince Williams and associated school districts. The tax assessment for fire protection was $700. If the Fire Department was called by other residents other than those paying their assessment, a minimum charge of $20 would be made for each call. The practice of pumping basements, ditches and wells for non-emergencies was discontinued (even if paid for) as it determined to be harmful to the firefighting equipment.
On January 21st, 1952 The Fire Wards met to discuss inviting Brockway, Magaudavic and Cork to join the Fire Wards association and receive fire protection.
On June 10th, 1952 a notable fire destroyed the excelsior mill owned by Kenneth Little. The Fire Wards met and a committee was appointed to make a collection for the mill owner as this was the tradition.
On February 5th, 1953 the Fire Wards had the first documented discussion regarding fire and smoke masks for the protection of Firefighters. Annual operating costs were set at $500 and $400 was set aside to purchase new hose.
By 1955 the Harvey Fire Brigade was formed. The Fire Wards were still responsible for the operating costs and equipment purchases but the Brigade began operating as a separate entity. The first documented meeting of the Harvey Volunteer Fire Brigade was held at the Fire Hall (T. Kay Craig’s Garage). The Brigade consisted of the Fire Chief, Assistant Chief (Ward Little), Salvage Captain (Burt Swan), Chief Engineer (Earl Patterson) and 4 companies. Each company was assigned a Captain and Lieutenant. The first company officers were as follows:
No 1 Company: Captain: Gordon Swan, Lieutenant: Willis Moffitt
No 2 Company: Captain: Carl Byers, Lieutenant: Roderick Little
No 3 Company: Captain: Earl Swan, Lieutenant: Austin Moffitt
No 4 Company: Captain: Claude Little, Lieutenant: Edgar Dorcus
In 1957 authority was given to the Fire Brigade to ring the Church Bells in the community if there was a fire at night to notify members to respond as a siren for the department was deemed unnecessary due to expense. Also in 1957 Chimax masks were selected for purchase over pocket-type breathing apparatus for Fire Fighter protection as pocket-type masks did not have eye protection.
On January 4th, 1960 a general meeting was held. This meeting is the first documented meeting in which the Harvey Volunteer Fire Brigade became the Harvey Fire Department.
Also in the 1960s, the Fire Department discussed placing underground storage tanks in the community for storing water and purchased the first two-way radios for the department.
On August 1st 1960 a general meeting was held in the Creamery (Old NB Dairies Building) which was adjacent to the former Fire Hall which was located within T.K. Craig’s garage. The Garage had caught fire and resulted in a devastating loss to the Chief’s business while he was away at a Fire Chief’s convention in Newfoundland. The membership gave thanks to Orlie MacLean (HVFD Firefighter) for his quick action in rescuing the apparatus from the burning building.
By February of 1964 construction had already begun to replace the former Fire Hall / Service station damaged by fire.
By 1967 the Harvey Fire Wards organization was no more and the Harvey Fire Department managed purchasing, operations and all aspects of fire protection in the area. In December of 1967, Company No.5 was added to the department to represent and protect Brockway. The first Brockway company officers were:
No 5 Company: Captain: Richard Johnson Lieutenant: Arnold Vail
Discussions about a building in Brockway to house an additional fire truck began in January of 1969.
At Christmas time in 1971, the Fire Department used one of the Fire Trucks to drive Santa Claus to the village of Harvey to hand out treats to the children. This tradition still exists today.
In the spring of 1975 a garage fire took place at Corey’s Service Center. McAdam Fire Department assisted in controlling the blaze. A letter of thanks was sent along with the offer of one truck and members anytime it was needed in their service area. This was the early start of a mutual aid agreement that exists today.
In December of 1975 it was approved by the membership that a fire truck be used to help flood the ice rink at the local recreation center. Yet another tradition still performed today by our department.
In March of 1977 the membership approved the purchase of Milton MacLean’s garage to use as a definitive Fire Station.
Also in 1997, Harvey Fire Department members attended their first Capital District Fire Association meeting held in Fredericton Junction. The Capital District Fire Association formed one year earlier and was reaching out to other fire departments in the area. Harvey did not join CDFA at that time.
In December of 1977, after 29 years as Chief, T.Kay Craig stepped down and Orlie MacLean became Harvey Fire Department’s third Chief. T. Kay remained on the Department and took the new role as Public Relations Officer.
In June of 1978 a grand opening was held for the Fire Station at 2234 Route 3. This building still stands today and remained the Harvey Fire Station until 2010.
A board of directors for the fire department was created in 1979 to manage the overall budget, building costs, and the relationship with the Service Station that resided in the same building now owned by the Department.
As the Fire Department and Service Station shared the same facility they also shared a unique relationship. Over the years, the Irving Gas Bar was owned and operated by various members of the Fire Department who could drive and operate the apparatus allowing us to man the station during normal business hours.
In November of 1981, Karl Byers resigned as Secretary / Treasurer of the fire department. He held the position for 21 years.
In October of 1982 large storage tanks holding 21,000 gallons of water were purchased by the department from Imperial Oil for 1 dollar each. By December the tanks were in the ground and pump houses had been built but not placed. These tanks stored water all year round and provided the department with access to water in the case of emergency. Only two of these tanks exist today.
The Harvey Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary was formed in September of 1983.
After 11 years as Fire Chief, Orlie MacLean resigned and Ronnie Messer was elected as the 4th Chief for the Harvey Fire Department.
By January of 1986, Harvey Fire Department had joined the Capital District Fire Association.
In March of 1986 the Ladies Auxiliary donated $1000 towards kitchen renovations at the hall. The money was used to purchase dishes, a fridge, a stove and materials for cupboards. Claude Swan donated a large portion of labour costs for building the cupboards. These cupboards still exist and are now used in the workshop at the new Fire Hall.
In December of 1988 an underground water tank was installed at the recreational center. This tank was smaller than the other tanks previously installed in the area but was also for storing water that can be accessed all seasons as required for fire suppression activities.
In August of 1989, the grandstand at the Harvey Lake Shore was destroyed by fire. This was a significant loss to the community as the facility was used for Community Days and Horse Hauls.
Other significant incidents in 1989 included a fire at the Fish Hatchery and a Hazmat incident involving a tractor trailer accident / spill at Coburn’s corner. By 1993 the Fire Department began revisions on titles and responsibilities of the various officers. Eventually the Officers would consist of Chief, Deputy Chief (Harvey), Deputy Chief (Brockway), Captains, Safety Officer and Training Officer.
In November of 1994, Brockway received a rebuilt fire truck and the old truck went to the local Wood Mill (Little’s Lumber). 1994 was the first year the Annual Awards Banquet was held and all members were able to attend at no charge.
In November of 1994 the Briggs and Little Woolen Mill was destroyed by Fire. This well-known business had been in the community for decades and soon rebuilt after this incident
On October 2nd 1996, Harvey Fire Department’s first certified female firefighter (Penny Coburn) joined. Now the department proudly has several female members.
In December of 1996 Ronnie Messer stepped down as Chief and Leon Nason was elected. Leon served as Chief for a short time and in the fall of 1998 Robert Jamieson took over as Harvey’s 6th Fire Chief.
Jerrad Swan became our 7th Fire Chief by spring of 2010 and is the current Chief today.
The Fire Department continued to grow and eventually the existing station was unable to store all of the apparatus and the building required significant upgrades. In October of 2011 the government officially broke ground on the construction of a new Fire Station at 2234 Route 3 directly behind the existing hall
The new station has been completed and now stores all of our apparatus including rescue boat, off-road rescue Argo unit, Command trailer, tanker and pumpers. We also maintain a satellite station in Brockway.
The Harvey Fire Department has come a long ways since 1944 and we continue to proudly serve our community.