When the call comes in, firefighters must be ready at a moment’s notice to face an emergency. In Bedford, significant fires led to the formation of a bucket brigade in 1922. This was followed by the organization of the Bedford Volunteer Fire Department in 1939. When the Department ended in 1996 at amalgamation, volunteer fire fighters continued to serve with Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services. Today, 16 volunteer firefighters provide backup to the 16 career firefighters staffing Bedford Station 8. For 80 years the volunteer firefighters of Bedford have been an important pillar of the community. Their dedication to fire protection and community service has been unwavering.
From August 19 to the 25th, the Scott Manor House is commemorating the 80th anniversary of volunteer firefighters in Bedford.
All are invited to visit the daily indoor exhibit and appreciate our volunteer firefighting heritage by viewing photos and memorabilia from the former Bedford Fire Department in the Bedford Volunteer Firefighters Association’s collection. These items are not usually accessible to the public. Framed photos, artwork, artifacts and information panels tell the story of a highly professional volunteer force with deep community roots. Also included is a tribute to the Ladies Auxiliary that fundraised for the Department from 1962 to 1996. Explore volunteer firefighting in the last 80 years—the people, equipment, training, fire stations, changing structures and dedicated community service. The Regional Firefighters Interpretation Centre and personal collectors have lent additional items for the display. Visitors are welcome to take time to browse a collection of old photo albums covering social events, fire apparatus, and training. The exhibit will take place 10 to 4 pm daily with the exception of Wednesday, 12-8 pm.
In addition to the display, former and current volunteer firefighters will be available from 1-4 pm each afternoon to answer questions and share stories about volunteer firefighting in the Bedford community. Visit with Dave Selig, former chief (70’s and ’80s) and Lt. Robert Andrews, a current volunteer with 27 years of service. Special guests are Clarissa Cameron, one of today’s female volunteer firefighters, on Tuesday, August 20, 1-4 pm; and Barbara Hiltz Gorrell, Bedford’s first female volunteer firefighter and first female firefighter in Nova Scotia, on Wednesday, August 21, 1-4 pm.
On Saturday, August 24th from 1 to 4 pm there will be a special firetruck display on the Scott Manor House grounds. Street parking only during truck display. Rain date: Sunday, August 25. Volunteer firefighters from Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services will be there with one of today’s fire trucks. Children will enjoy the chance to check out the truck and activities provided by the firefighters. Additionally, there will be a rare showing of “The Village Queen,” one of Bedford’s first fire trucks, restored by Dave Dodsworth.