25 August 2021
Several events mark the centenary celebration
WILMINGTON, DE-August 25, 2021 – Mayor Mike Purzycki joined Wilmington Fire Chief John Looney, Executive Vice President of Local 1590 of the International Association of Fire Fighters Michael Wiktorowicz, President of the Wilmington Retired Firefighters Association, retired deputy chief Joe Kalinowski and WFD 100th Anniversary Committee Chairman Michael Hare at Fire Station No. 4 to 22nd and Tatnall Streets to announce plans for a multi-event celebration of the Wilmington Fire Department’s 100th anniversary.
On December 1, 1921, the city of Wilmington was officially served by the new Bureau of Fire, a full-time, paid, career fire service. Previously, the City was served by neighborhood volunteer businesses.
Event logos were unveiled as well as fire station signage and stickers for the device to mark the milestone. A series of events was also detailed. They include: open days in all fire stations in the city October 2 and 3rd from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Tours of the station will be offered, gifts for children and refreshments for all. A downtown PARADE along King Street will take place Saturday 23 October from 10 a.m..
The parade promises to be one of the largest in Wilmington history. Many fire departments, police departments, military bands and bagpipes have already signed up to participate. Also, October 23 after the riverside parade there will be a fire rally to include an antique appliance exhibit and a Firematic flea market. In addition, there will be an exhibition of rescue and fire boats in the water. Sunday October 24 there will be a memorial service at Sainte-Élisabeth Church. This event will be a multi-faith service honoring those who have died in the line of duty as well as those who have served and who have passed away. Ultimately, Tuesday, November 30 there will be a centennial banquet at the Chase Center on the Riverfront at 18 hours. It will be the highlight of the celebration and will include a 100th anniversary film.
“I am very pleased to announce the important and thoughtful celebration planned for the Great Fire Department and all who have served and sacrificed themselves for the City of Wilmington over the past 100 years. I look forward to participating in these events and encourage all of our residents to participate in this celebration. Mayor Mike Purzycki said. Chief John Looney added, “I am so proud to lead a ministry with such a rich and proud history. I take seriously the need to recognize this tradition and look forward to what we have planned and encourage the whole community to join in the celebration ”.
These events will celebrate both current members of the Department and those who have served. Senior Firefighter Michael Wiktorowicz on behalf of Local 1590 and retired Deputy Chief Joe Kalinowski, President of the Retired Firefighters Association, said how important this celebration is to their respective members and that they all look forward to both look forward to their participation in this historic event. Even President Mike Hare said, “We are all looking for something to celebrate in these difficult times. There is no more noble tradition than that of the firefighters. I am grateful to the many volunteers and sponsors inside and outside the fire department who make this event possible ”.
For more information or photos from the press conference, please contact Brian Murphy at [email protected].