Ogdensburg hosts fireman's parade, inspection


Judge Joe Hogh verifies lights.
By Vera Olinski

OGDENSBURG — The Ogdensburg Volunteer Fire Department hosted, Saturday, Oct. 6, the 98th Annual Sussex County Fireman's Inspection Day and Parade. In addition to the parade, they also celebrated 100 years of volunteer service to the community.
Ogdensburg Fire Chief Rick Keslo could be seen working alongside the other volunteer fire fighters, finishing final preparations on the big day after a year of extensive organization. Keslo said, fire departments were inspected for: cleanliness, equipment, different categories such as ladder, pumper, rescue, hose laying, marching with color guard, band, and appearance.
Ogdensburg Fire Fighter Rob Washer said 46 departments were scheduled to participate in the inspection and parade that day. He added, as soon as the parade ends this year, next year's hosting department would immediately begin planning, because, “It's a lot of work, with many, many volunteer man hours.”
Early in the morning behind the Ogdensburg Fire House, jolting blasts of horns and sirens blared as they were tested for judges. Row after row of spotless fire and emergency vehicles lined up for inspection – traveling all the way from Montague and surrounding Sussex, Morris, and even Hunterdon and Warren counties.
Ogdensburg volunteer fire fighters encouraged departments to “shoe horn” enormous fire trucks alongside each other, as fire fighters put their heavy fire fighter uniforms out for inspection.
Young men diligently polished glass windshields – one more time – and wiped around the wheel guards.
H. Dunlap New Jersey Fire Parade Judges busily judged all the apparatus, engines, aerials, and rescues. Later in the afternoon, they judged marching, color guards, and floats. One of the judges, former Pompton Plains Fire Chief David James said, they would provide the host company, Ogdensburg, a list of all the winners for each category. He added, Ogdensburg had around 80 trophies to award, which could be seen waiting on the old antique fire truck.
Later in the day, the schedule included an invocation at St. Thomas of Aquin Church, luncheon with dignitaries and Miss Ogdensburg, parade, hose laying competition, and trophy ceremony.