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New Fire Trailer at Old Fort Niagara Allows for Better Emergency Response

by Charlotte Clark
Thu, Jan 25th 2018 01:50 pm


(January 25, 2018) Youngstown, N.Y. – Representatives from the Old Fort Niagara Association, Youngstown Volunteer Fire Department, NYS Assembly, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Niagara County Legislature dedicated a new fire trailer at Old Fort Niagara this morning. The parties gathered in the parking lot near the fort’s visitor center to announce the completion of the project, which has been underway for several years.


Members of the Youngstown Volunteer Fire Department and Niagara County Legislator Clyde Burmaster have been working with the fort to address a fire-fighting accessibility problem at the historic site due to its narrow entryways through the fort walls. The solution is a custom-built trailer, equipped with more than 1,000 feet of hoses, a dry hydrant, generator, nozzles, lights, tools and ladder, that can be pulled through the fort’s narrow gateway by a pickup truck. The setup allows fire-fighting personnel to access the fort in an emergency in a way they could not do before.


“Old Fort Niagara’s 19th-century gates were designed when horses and wagons were the primary mode of transportation,” said Robert Emerson, Executive Director of the Old Fort Niagara Association. “Today, these narrow gateways prevent modern fire trucks from getting into the fort, which could be disastrous in a fire for certain buildings, like the 1726 French Castle. The new trailer has been designed to fit through these tighter spots, which means that our local fire department can respond effectively in an emergency.”


Funding for the trailer was provided by a special grant through the NYS Assembly, announced by Assemblyman Mike Norris, and administered by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.


“I am very proud to represent Old Fort Niagara, which is an historic treasure not only here in our community, but nationally as well,” said Mr. Norris during the dedication. “It is an honor for me to be present for the unveiling of the new fire trailer equipment that will protect and insure a valuable state asset, and was purchased with grant funding from the New York State Assembly. Thank you to the Youngstown Volunteer Fire Company for all of the efforts in the design and production of this equipment and continuing to keep our community safe." 


Mr. Burmaster added, “It is a pleasure to support the efforts of the Old Fort Niagara Association in its quest to honor the sacrifices of the people who served here in the formation of this great country. The Niagara County Legislature has always helped where it can and is committed to support in the future.”


“This trailer addresses a concern that we’ve shared with our local fire department for some time. We are grateful for the collaboration that happened by everyone here in finding a solution and for the funding from the New York State Assembly,” Mr. Emerson added. “The completion of this project helps ensure that the priceless 18th-century buildings inside the fort are better protected from the threat of fire.”


Old Fort Niagara (www.oldfortniagara.org) is a Registered National Historic Landmark and New York State Historic Site operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association, a not-for-profit organization, in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The site is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gates close 30 minutes after the last ticket sale. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.


Hours of Operation

January 13 through March, Open Wednesday-Sunday  10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m

April 1- June 30, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

July and August, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

September 1 - October 15, Open Daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

October 16 - December 31, Open Wednesday through Sunday (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays) 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The fort will be open daily during Christmas week, December 26 - 31. 

Closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. 


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