The Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company (BVFC) was started by a small group of concerned citizens foreseeing the need for a local Firehouse after too many structures burned to the ground. Prior to 1934, there was no fire suppression organization or sufficient water supply in Brookfield to protect buildings and properties. Town fires were announced by church bells… and flames were fought by residents with brooms, shovels, and bucket brigades from the nearest water source. When there was a fire… surrounding towns would try to send trucks and bring an ample supply of water. But, by the time they got there… it was usually too late for the building.
Brookfield’s town leaders realizing this community need… made a historic decision and scheduled a meeting on a “cold and snowy” evening in March to consider the formation of a volunteer fire company. David Morehouse was elected as the temporary chairman… later to become the Fire Company’s first Fire Chief. Several committees were formed to draft a “constitution and bylaws” and appoint its first 20 members.
On May 7, 1934, the first meeting of the Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company was held at the town hall on Route 25 with charter members Clarence Anderson, Edward Anderson, Morris Beers, Clarence Bristol, Wesley Elwood, Harry Gurski, Lewis Hawley, Ralph Joyce, Edward Johnson, Gustave Koehler, Paul Kominack, Barton Larson, David Morehouse, Julius Mudry, Clark C. Peck, Harold Pinckney, Elmer Ross, Leon Stapleberg, George Waidelich and Kenneth Wildman.
In order to raise money to support the newly formed Fire Company, the Company held its first fund raiser… a Harvest Dance in the fall of 1934. Dances continued to be held at the town hall to raise money and were most successful… thanks to its supporters. In May 1935, Gene Sarazen, a famous golfer who lived in Brookfield, sponsored a movie about golf that benefited the Fire Company. He arranged a golf match between him and Babe Didrickson at Ridgewood Country Club in Danbury with proceeds of $38 being donated to the Fire Company.
The Fire Company incorporated in May 1936 as the “Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.”… and a non-profit organization. They raise money through community donations to obtain an abandoned hall and old tobacco barn on Whisconier Road… converting it to a Firehouse.
That same year, they held their first carnival and fund drive to obtain equipment for the new Firehouse. Despite other fund raising efforts such as card parties and bingo…six members of the Company signed personal notes to make up the difference between Fire Company funds and the price of its 1st “real piece” of fire apparatus… a 1937 Ford V-8 Pumper. A lot of the Firefighters often paid their own expenses with their own money (even still today) because the taxpayers could not afford a Fire Company and town money was unavailable for fire protection. Later in the 1940’s, the Fire Company bought its 2nd Fire Truck Pumper. A demonstration of the new truck was held on the grounds next to what is now the Brookfield Craft Center.