Firefighting, Past and Present

Was on
Thursday September 15, 2022

At the Harvard Historical Society, 215 Still River Road, Harvard MA 01451
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The Harvard Historical Society hosted the Harvard Fire Department to clebrate the department’s 100th anniversary. The program featured a film created by Harvard resident, producer/filmmaker, and firefighter, Robert Curran. The evening opened with the arrival of “Antiquey,” driven by Lt. Tony Shaw, and Engine 1 at the front of the Meetinghouse.
Thanks to Harvard Cable TV for recording the event.Robert Curran's film starts at 01:51.

Engineer Curran, who is lead driver and in charge of maintenance on Engine 2, runs his own commercial film production company (FIRE ENGINE Productions, Inc.), and he made the film to celebrate the department’s 100th anniversary.

The film begins with clips of society board members, one of whom is the late society president Doug Cregar, describing early methods of firefighting, such as bucket brigades and the use of chemicals. Old pictures showed former buildings on the Common that burned in significant fires. 

The film goes on with late Chief Peter Warren describing his long connection to the department and how members and their families formed a tight-knit community, meeting socially almost every weekend. He also noted several families in Harvard with more than one generation of Harvard firefighters.

Some officers from the Fire Department  participated in a panel discussion after the film. Deputy Chief Charlie Nigzus, Lt. Tony Shaw, Lt. Andrew Perry, and  Lt. Brian Perwak described some events from their years in the department, including fighting the fire at the Still River Meetinghouse in 2008.   They recounted changes in the department over the years as it has grown to meet the current needs of the town.

Questions from the audience concluded the lively program.

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