A Brief History in Words & Pictures

In the early 1920's our area had no fire company, and people stood helpless while several local landmarks burned to the ground. The largest of these fires was the Hasbrouck Feed Mill fire located on Route 44-55 in Modena. These fires prompted a meeting of a half dozen locals during the winter of 1928. They wanted to help their neighbors in times of need. In May of 1928, the Hasbrouck Chemical Company was formed. The original department consisted of 33 active members and a used 1924 Dodge Chemical Truck stored in a garage on Route 32. Through various fund raising efforts, enough money was saved to build the main core of today’s firehouse in 1932. The building consisted of a small meeting room and one small truck bay.

During the Depression it became nearly impossible to obtain money to operate the fire department. The Modena Fire District was formed in 1936, funded by taxpayer money. Throughout the years the taxpayers have approved additions to the firehouse and the purchase of equipment to meet the needs of a growing community. In 1963, the Ladies Auxiliary was formed by the wives of the firemen, and they continue to meet the needs of the department through fundraising efforts.

In 1965, the members of the department organized the creation of the Modena Rescue Squad, providing medical care for the community. With the formation of an ambulance corps, the Modena Fire Department became one of the first departments in the area to accept women as members. In 2002, the department voted to consolidate services and brand themselves Modena Fire and Rescue.

Today, Modena Fire and Rescue operates two engines, a tanker, a rescue truck and an ambulance responding to approximately 125 fire calls and 400 ambulance calls annually. Modena Fire and Rescue has been able to operate 100% volunteer for 85 years thanks to the dedication of our members and the generosity of our community. Here are the selfless individuals who have led our organization over the years:

Fire Department Social Rescue Squad
1928 Dubois Grimm
1929-1930 W.F. Miller
1931-1933 Burton Ward
1934-1937 Lester Wager
1938 Harold Paltridge
1939-1940 Lester Wager
1941-1948 Burton Ward
1949-1963 Eldred Smith
1964-1968 William DePew
1969 George Dougherty
1970 William DePew
1971-1972 George Dougherty
1973-1978 David L. Winters
1979-1980 Wayne Smith
1981-1982 James R. Palen
1983-1984 Robert Roberts
1985 Larre Smith
1986-1991 Michael D. Croce
1992-1994 Dwight A. Dougherty
1995-1999 Tom Nelson
2000-2008 Jeffrey M. Zupan
2009-2011 James Nelson
2012-2014 Jeffrey M. Zupan
2015- Andrew Croce
1928-1932 Paul W. Wilbur
1932-1934 J.E. Hasbrouk, Jr.
1935-1948 Eldred Smith
1949 Leonard J. Coy
1950 Emmatt Hyatt
1951 Dewitt Hoffman
1951-1957 J.O. Hasbrouch
1958-1959 Russell Croce
1960-1961 Gordon Rhodes
1962-1964 George Dougherty
1965 Fred Riley, Sr.
1966 George Dougherty
1967 Larre Smith
1968 Richard Taylor
1969-1971 Bob Henry
1972-1973 Virgil Ronk, Sr.
1974-1975 Bob Boylan
1976 Gordon Rhodes
1977-1978 Virgil Ronk, Sr.
1979 Gordon Rhoades
1980-1983 Alvah Corretty
1984-1985 Virgil Ronk, Sr.
1986-1990 Larre Smith
1991 Larre Smith/Gordon Rhoades
1992-1995 George Eason
1996-1997 Michael D. Croce
1998 Dean A. Depew
1999-2000 Robert Roberts
2001-2010 Michael D. Croce
2011-2013 Scott Ward
2014 - 2015

Dennis Pfleger

2016- Jeffery Zupan
1971-1973 Robert Varela
1974 George Dougherty
1975-1978 John Sutton
1979-1980 Monte Smith
1981-1990 Wayne Smith
1991 John Sutton
1992 Sharon Ostrander
1993 Wayne Smith
1994 Doug Foster
1995-1997 Robert Werlau
1998-2003 Kelly Nelson
2004-2007 Shawn Winters
2008 Samantha Smith
2009-2011 Robert Egan
2012-2013 Kelly Nelson
2014 Doug Foster III
2015 Robert Egan