The Berkley Fire Department was organized in 1947 shortly after the annual town meeting on March 3, 1947 in which the vote taken was unanimous by the voters in attendance. We have been unable to find documentation of the first couple of Fire Chiefs of Berkley, perhaps they were Selectmen, but the names Swift and Homes appear in some records.
1949-1953 Albert Bindon
1953-1965 Garland Templeton
1965-1971 Francis Fournier
1971-1989 James Barrow
1989-1992 Alfred Townley
1992-1993 Dwight Fournier
1993-2003 Kevin Partridge
2003-2007 Robert Milne
2007-2011 John Franco
2011-Present Scott Fournier
Before Station 1 was built in 1953, handmade fire apparatus was housed in private barns and garages around town. 1953 also saw the purchase of a factory-built fire truck–a 1953 Ford-Farrar.
Station 2 was built in 1957 and it received the second factory-built firetruck–a 1957 Ford-Darley.
In 1960 the Town got a “Red Network” phone system installed. The system consisted of nine phones connected together and a radio dispatch installed at the then Fire Chief Francis Fournier’s house. His wife, Marietta, served as the only dispatcher for several decades and continued after his death.
The Red Network had phones installed in key fire department members’ homes so they could be notified in an emergency and then they could run to each station and “pull the hook” which would activate the roof sirens at each side of town.
The early 1960s brought change to the department with the addition of an ambulance–a used Packard was obtained and was run by first responders.
The town upgraded in the late 1960s with a used Cadillac Ambulance that could be staffed with EMT’s and first responders.
The 1970s brought in a brand-new ambulance and a brand-new engine. The ambulance was a factory-built Dodge van equipped with oxygen and trauma supplies. The engine, also a 1970, was a factory-built Ford Farrar that carried 1,000 gallons of water–much more than most engines of that era.
The 1980s saw another new ambulance and the addition of two tankers. One tanker was housed in each station, a system that was devised by Chief James Barrows and is still used today.
The 1990s saw the new public safety building designed and built. Berkley also added another ambulance and received Advanced Life Support status.
The early 2000s saw the implementation of the SAFE Program.
As the second decade of the 2000s rolled in Berkley was in need of more staffing and updated equipment. Chief Fournier was hired to oversee this and currently we provide 24 hour a day Fire/EMT/Paramedic service .
Berkley Fire-Rescue has four full time personnel and approx. 45 on-call members.