Danbury volunteer fire battalion ‘stronger’ after consolidation

DANBURY — Years of work to consolidate seven of the city’s 12 voluntary firefighting companies will be recognized and completed Wednesday during a ceremony at Danbury City Hall.

In 2019, Padanaram Hose, Water Witch Hose, Germantown Volunteer Fire, and Beaver Brook Fire companies were consolidated into the 31st Battalion and Wooster Hose, Citizens Hose, and Phoenix Hose companies were consolidated into the 19th Battalion the following year. Now, consolidation has been formalized through city codes.

“Talks of consolidation is nothing new, but it has been dormant, and we got together as volunteer firefighters a few years ago to really go after it,” said 31st Battalion President Frank Salvatore Jr., citing dwindling volunteer numbers as one of the drivers of consolidation.

With volunteers “in scarce supply” for years, Salvatore said Danbury’s volunteer companies had been competing for membership.

“Instead of fighting over members, seven companies as two battalions can reap benefits from membership,” he said. “You could say the battalions are in conflict with each other. Yes, there will be some overlap – but the beautiful thing is that we are talking and working with each other.

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