A century of service to the Fallon community was recognized last week when the Fallon/Churchill Volunteer Fire Department dedicated their new memorial to retired firefighters.
“We’re here to dedicate this service memorial to all the men who have come before us and made this department the success that it is through their volunteer spirit,” said Jared Dooley, third assistant chief and an organizer of the memorial.
The memorial recognizes firefighters who retired after 20 years or more of service, with the highest period listed at over 50 years.
“Anybody who’s served over 20 years and reached retirement is eligible to be on the plaque,” said Chris Henning, another of the organizers.
The memorial features the names of past fire chiefs, the story of the department’s founding with the names of the charter members, and the names of the retired firefighters.
Henning added this is a living monument, meaning there is space to add more names to it in the future — there is additional room on the original plaque of names as well as a full blank one.
“What we’re hoping is to get 200 years of service on here before we have to do anything to it,” he said.
Construction on the memorial, which faces Williams Avenue from in front of the firehouse, began in 2014. Construction was arranged as part of the department’s century of service — the department first opened in 1914. Work on the monument went for three years, finishing at the start of 2017.
While construction has been over for several months, Henning said they wanted to wait for the state convention when many of the retirees no longer in the area would be back.
Funding for the memorial came from donations collected at a golf tournament, a street fair and other fundraising efforts. A number of entities, from the city of Fallon to private citizens, also contributed resources for the project.
“It’s been said that generosity is the heart of humanity,” Dooley said. “I like to think that’s what fueled a lot of us today … I think most volunteers here, deep down, derive a great deal of pleasure from service — helping someone or a family when they need it most. The satisfaction of serving your fellow man is second to none.”