By Tanni Deb
Special to The Review
The year 2014 marks the Hamtramck Fire Department’s 100th anniversary of serving the city’s residents.
Founded on Nov. 16, 1914, the fire department made it their mission “to protect the lives and property of the citizens,” according to their website. Prior to 1914, a group of firefighters organized themselves into a company called Spouters No. Eleven in order to protect the city of Hamtramck.
When the Detroit Fire Department built their first firehouse in 1883, Hamtramck Fire Department’s “president and the clerk were authorized to enter into a contract with (them) for fire protection.”
Hamtramck’s Fire Department was eventually established in 1914, along with rules and regulations.
“We have a rich tradition here as being a full-time fire department that dates back to over 100 years ago. Our traditions haven’t changed,” said Fire Chief Paul Wilk. “We are still here to serve, and that is one of the things we hold very near and dear to our hearts.”
Having been with the city of Hamtramck for 23 years as a firefighter, Wilk said the Hamtramck firefighters are a dedicated “brotherhood here to protect the people of Hamtramck.”
John Dropchuk, a current motor engineer who has lived in Hamtramck for 21 years and has worked for the fire department for 14-and-a-half years, said he wants to see the city thrive.
“We’re here to serve the community,” as well as make an impact, he said.
In celebration of 100 years of service to the city, Wilk, Dropchuk, and the rest of the Hamtramck Fire Department, which is currently made up of 30 members, will be planning events throughout the year.
“This being the centennial, it’s a big deal. So we want to make a big deal about it,” Dropchuk said. “We want the public to come out and celebrate with us.”
Further events are currently in a development phase, but in the meantime the fire department is discussing and working with their crew and local organizations about plans.
“We’re working together to make sure to get everyone involved,” Wilk said.
Be sure to visit the Hamtramck Fire Department’s website and social media sites, as well as read The Review to find out what events the fire department will host and when they will take place.