County fire, EMS show off their sirens

  • The annual EMS parade came down Main Street in Greenfield on Sunday, including antique fire equipment. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

  • The annual EMS parade came down Main Street in Greenfield on Sunday, Sept. 9 featuring dozens of fire trucks from throughout Franklin County. Staff photo/Melina Bourdeau

Staff Writer
Published: 9/10/2018 12:58:12 AM

GREENFIELD — In any other case, seeing Main Street lined with emergency service vehicles complete with sirens wailing and lights flashing, there would be cause for alarm.

But the annual EMS parade is a time when local fire departments and ambulance services get a chance to be recognized and celebrated by the community.

Firefighters from a variety of departments throughout Franklin County were represented, from Leverett, Whately and Sunderland to Warwick, Erving and Northfield.

Brian McCarthy, of the Turners Falls Fire Department, said the parade is a long-standing tradition that allows the firefighters to connect as well.

“It’s great to see all the different towns get together,” McCarthy said. “We have pretty busy schedules and it’s great for our departments to see others that we’ve built a camaraderie with and great for the community, and those we serve, to see us.”

McCarthy said this year the department was able to bring out two antique fire trucks, one from 1925 and the other from 1927.

Parade watchers came for a variety of reasons, whether it was because of family, tradition or because they enjoy fire trucks.

Kirsten Mattison said she had three family members from the Colrain Fire Department walking in the parade, so she came to see them.

“I came to support my family. We have three family members on the force,” Mattison said. “The youngest is almost ready to join the junior department — he’s 13.”

While waving at the trucks, Allyson Hurlburt and her family came because Hurlburt’s 3-year-old son loves fire trucks.

“This guy is the reason we’re here,” Hurlburt said, motioning to her son in a carriage. “He said when he wants to grow up he wants to be a fireman and my parents live here in Greenfield so we came to spend time together and see the fire trucks.”

Kyle McDonald said he was watching the parade because he always tries to support the fire departments.

“My ex-father-in-law was a fire chief in Buckland,” McDonald said. “So I’m out here to support the local firefighters. It’s important, these guys run into burning buildings to fight fire, the EMTs help save people’s lives.”

Zackary Lastowski, a volunteer firefighter from Gill, said he was working and couldn’t participate, but watched and waved to support his fellow firemen.

Longtime Greenfield resident Rocky Gove said he was brought up in town and traditionally supports the firemen because his father was one.

“My father was a volunteer firefighter for 30 years,” Gove said. “I like to come support them. It’s a big parade this year. It’s a good chance for people here to see what tools they have as far as fire protection.”

Maine resident Julie-Rose Jarrett-Utgard said watching the parade brings back memories from when she used to march when she was a firefighter.

“We were in the area, and decided to come see the parade,” Jarrett-Utgard said. “The parade has really grown over the years. I walked in the parade as a firefighter. This brings back memories.”

Her daughter, 10-year-old Jill Utgard said she enjoyed seeing all of the fire trucks as well.

“And I like getting candy the firefighters throw,” Utgard said.

Ed and Robin Sargeant, of Turners Falls, said they came to see the parade because they haven’t been to it in a while.

“There is a beautiful variety of towns here,” said Robin Sargeant. “We enjoyed the enthusiasm from everyone. There’s lots of pride here.”

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