Our History

Main-Transit Fire Department was formed.

In 1936, the Main-Transit Fire Department was formed, with Charles Wetzel serving as the first Chief, and Leo Gramse serving as the first president. Within the first year, the department grew to have 60 members.


April 5th, 1936

The first recorded fire alarm.

The first recorded alarm was a grass fire on April 5th, 1936, which was extinguished with shovels, rakes and brooms. The same day, the decision was made to purchase the department's first piece of apparatus, a Model "T" Ford chemical truck from Cuba, New York.

Land for Station #1 is purchased.

In 1938, the land where Station #1 now stands was purchased, and a two-bay building was erected.



Main-Transit merges with CVFD.

Early 1950's, the Community Volunteer Fire Department located across the street, merges with Main-Transit.

A new firehouse is constructed.

1954, a four-bay fire-resistant firehouse was erected.



The 1st Main-Transit Firematic Competition Drill Team is formed.

1955 brought about the origination of the Slo-Pokes" Firematic Tournament Team. Original members included Russ Swanson, George Karl, Jr., Ron Chipman, Bob Leising, Jerry Hoffman, Horace Henning, John Ulrich, Art O'Leary, Earl Metzinger, Fred Wysocki and Al Maue. Each member contributed $5.00 towards the purchase of their racing vehicle, a 1949 Ford convertible. This became the first "C" truck. The old Engine #2 was used for a "B" truck.

Station #2 is Constructed

In 1965, Station #2 was constructed to house two pumpers and one rescue vehicle. 



Start of the Annual Field Days

In the 1970's, the annual Field Days were held the second Saturday of every July. This major fund raising event involved the efforts of the entire fire department, their families, the Ladies' Auxiliary and the Exempts.

The Slo-Pokes are reborn.

1976 featured the rebirth of the "Slo-Pokes" Firematic Competition Drill Team.



Main-Transit experiences tremendous growth.

The 1980's found tremendous growth taking place all over the Town of Amherst, but the Main-Transit Fire Department experienced the fastest growth of all. Apparatus and equipment purchases were needed to keep pace with the growing residential and commercial populations, and Main-Transit increased to include 4 pumpers, 1 ladder truck, 2 rescue vehicles and 1 ambulance. Eventually, 3 chief vehicles and 2 utility vehicles were also purchased.

Main-Transit hosts their 1st NYS Championship Tournament and Parade.

The 1990's found Main-Transit hosting their first New York State Drill Team and Captains Associations' Championship Tournament and Parade. The department constructed the "George J. Karl Firematic Training Facility," named in honor of the late George Karl, Jr., past chief and former Slo-Poke team member (who was the only member of the Main-Transit Fire Department to have died in the line of duty). 2000's State Drill was the fourth time that Main-Transit has hosted the event since 1990.



Main-Transit hosts the Mercy Flight Charity Tournament

In June of 2001, Main-Transit hosts the Mercy Flight Charity Tournament. After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the department's members raised over $21,000 for the families of the fallen firefighters in NYC, and sent a crew of four EMT's in our Resce 8 to assist at the scene.


...to be continued...

. . .