The Town & Country Fire Deaprtment was actually started as a joke, or having some fun with George Sullivan. In 1948 the Village of Elmira Heights had a old 1917, hard rubber tire fire truck for sale. So the likes of Marc Dilmore, Coozie Janson, Clive Blowers, Joe Lynch and a few others decided to get together and purchase this truck to give to "Mr. Fireman",George Sullivan, as a joke present.
It seems at about this time there was no fire protection outside the Village of Horseheads. If you wanted any you had to contract with the Village of Horseheads. Unless you had this contract the Village of Horseheads Fire Department was forbidden by the village trustees to take any equipment outside the village limits. As a result your house, barn, or whatever burned! So George's answer to this gift fire truck was "All right you S.O.B's we are going to set up a fire company." It was given the name Town and Country Fire Department hence they could go anyplace they wanted. With this Town and Country Fire Depatment became a reality. The next truck purchased was from the City of Corning Fire Department for $600.00, a 1927 American LaFrance. It was brought down from Corning New York on one of Sullivan Brothers flat bed trailers. It should be said the best thing on that fire truck were the the wheels. It looked like a piece of junk. Then the work began with George Sullivan and whatever other help that could be obtained to sand, scrape or whatever to remove paint, etc. This replaced our first piece of equipment the 1917, look at us we jumped up ten years!
At about this time we became incorporated on April 14,1949. Our first board of directors were George Sullivan, Art Sullivan, Joe Lynch, Charles Goodyear, Marcus Dilmore, Wayne Ferguson, Clive Blowers, and Harry R. Lawrence. Around this time we also picked up a chemical truck from Saranac Lake, which we used off and on but it really wasnt much good for us. This was kept at the Horseheads Holding Point Fire Station. We then sold the 1927 truck to the Village of Horseheads and obtained a 1936 fifteen hundred gallon American LaFrance pumper from Great Neck, Long Island. This piece of equipment had been in an accident, the right front side was damaged. Once again came out the elbow grease in the form of mechanics, painters, etc. This truck is stil running and is housed at the Town & Country Fire Station.
During this time you might want to know what was home for us. Part of the time it was Sullivan Brothers garage, the Horseheads Holding Point Fire Station, or underneath the Horseheads Village Library.
Where did we get money? Begged, borrowed, and sometimes even stole a little! We ran raffles, car washes, a hot dog stand at the fairgrounds each year, headed by Marc and Elsie Dilmore. Any way we could make a buck. We paid nothing for labor and all donations were greatly accepted. In the middle of the 1950's the Town of Horseheads came to our rescue and bought us some hose. This was done with the help of Herm Dunbar. Also about this time we obtained some land on the corner of Franklin Street and Gardner Road which was to be the future home of the Town & Country Fire Department. The first section was a 50' x 30' building with two bays. we got the blocks and whatever materials for cost and again got out the elbow grease. With help from cinder block layers, brick layers and whatever. The went up a building all in one day. Spurge and Ike Moss headed up the carpentry work, Harold Decker brick laying and cement work. George Sullivan headed up block work and plumbing and Coozie (High Voltage) Janson the electrical work. At this point I feel we should stop and not list anymore names as it is impossible to include everyone and say once again "Thanks" to all who helped in any way. A special thanks to the wives who fed us many delicious meals through out all these activities.
When this building was completed, in went our 1936 pumper, which looked small all alone in this building, so we let Erway Ambulance use half of the bay and keep their equipment there and also they were a big help to us on emergency medical calls.
In the late 1950's we obtained a contract with the Town of Horseheads which enabled us to buy our first piece of new equipment, a 1959 American LaFrance engine. This engine was equiped with a 750 gallon pump and a 500 gallon tank. In 1964 we purchased our next pumper a same type American LaFrance. At approximately this time we were asked to cover parts of the Town of Big Flats and Town of Veteran. So once again after the 1964 engine was paid for we purchased a new chassis for a 1967 tanker and then in 1968 we purchased a new pumper with a 750 gallon tank. In 1971 we added a Dodge pickup and had it made into a grass and brush truck to go out into the fields. In 1972 we had a new tank built for our tanker which held 2,500 gallons of water.
As you can see at this point we were pretty well set for equipment, which caused another problem, where to put it all? So once again we became carpenters, brick layers, electricians, etc. Then up went another addition with many of the original volunteers helping. In 1968 we took another step and put on first alarm attendants to answer phones and dispatch ourselves along with the Village of Horseheads. Our attendants monitored an alarm board with over fifty alarms tied into it. As time went on we grew to dispatch fire alarms for Baldwin, Breeseport, Big Flats, Millport, and Tompkins Corners Fire Departments and in addition to Erway Ambulance for medical emergencies. We continued to do so until the early 1990's when all dispatching duties were taken over by the county's 911 center.