Past Chief James Roy
Past Chief Tucker Dempsey
in Crawford Texas
At the November 2002 company meeting, the membership voted to donate the 1964 Ford/American LaFrance (43-2) to Crawford, Texas. Crawford is the hometown of President George W. Bush and was found to be lacking dependable fire equipment. In December, Fire Chief William Dempsey III and Vice President James Roy Jr. traveled to Texas to deliver the engine. They were joined by several officers of the Delaware Volunteer Fireman’s Association and members of the Hockessin Fire Company who had donated their old rescue truck to Crawford.
In February of 2003 a large snowstorm hit the region. Cheswold responded to many incidents during this weather emergency. While returning from one of those incidents, engine 43-3 overturned in a ditch. Firefighter Lee Ridgway suffered a shoulder injury and five others were treated and released from the hospital. Engine 43-3 was sent to Pierce Manufacturing for repairs and returned to service in June of 2003.
On July 11, 2003 the Cheswold Volunteer Fire Company responded to a trench rescue. Several construction workers were digging in the development of Garrisons Lake Green to connect to the sewer system when a collapse occurred. One worker was completely buried about 15 feet below ground. Upon the arrival of Cheswold’s responders, they found that the workers had uncovered the victim’s head but he was still trapped below the neck. Crews from Cheswold and Dover dug the victim out and shored the hole to prevent another collapse while Cheswold EMT’s and Kent County Paramedics treated him. Approximately one and a half hours after being dispatched to the call, the rescuers freed the victim and he was flown to Christiana Hospital by the Delaware State Police helicopter.
Today, the Cheswold Volunteer Fire Company protects its citizens with four fire engines, one heavy rescue truck, two grass fire trucks, two ambulances and a boat. They occupy a large building that contains vehicle storage, meeting areas, a bunkroom, a recreation area, and a large hall that is rented out to raise funds. They respond to about 250 fire and 1200 ambulance calls per year.