The men and women volunteers of the Carlisle Fire Company “try to provide the best product, whether that be the fire and EMS response or a delicious chicken dinner that we’re selling to the community,” said Carlisle Fire Company Vice President Glenn Gillespie.
Three more Saturdays of this summer season, July 14, August 4 and 25, the fire company, including its Ladies Auxiliary will be hosting chicken barbecues in their west side parking lot. The first of the four this season took place on Saturday, June 16. The members cook 100 platters -for $6.50 each- and the event stops when they sell out.
“We feel [the barbecue] affords us the opportunity to also have interaction with the public we serve. They can ask us any questions in terms of safety, about a smoke detector, or fire prevention,” Gillespie said.
“Only a few times do we get to let the community see what we do,” said Chief Engineer Dorian Klaus.
Events hosted by the organization like the barbecues raise additional revenue that they use for operational uses or utilize for recreational activities for the collective 120 volunteers.
“It takes a very special person to perform the many tasks and functions that you are expected to do [as a Carlisle volunteer]. Each person brings their set of unique values to the organization,” Gillespie said.
The Carlisle Fire Company is the busiest fire company in Kent county and must be prepared to respond and react to any emergency in their 42 square mile district in Milford. They respond to approximately 3,000 incidents a year. Most of these incidents require the EMS services of the company. When Gillespie first joined the company in 1974, they averaged about 1,100 calls for firefighters or ambulances a year.
A fire company of this size requires a substantial amount of money to run and maintain everything. The team has to keep the trucks and equipment clean and keep everything in order and in place to use in emergencies.
“As our city grows, so comes an increase in demand for fire and EMS services,” Gillespie said.
Since it’s start in 1802 by a handful of interested citizens, the fire company has been involved in the community in many ways. It takes part in the Riverfest and the Bug and Bud Festival, as well as many other celebrations. Recently, the company took two engines to welcome home the MHS Boys Varsity Baseball Team from the State Championship Game in Wilmington.
“The Community is the heart and soul of Carlisle,” said Vice President of the Ladies Auxiliary Muriel Gillespie. “It is all volunteer. We do it because we love the community.”