Brotherhood in the Berkshires

The term “brotherhood” is used to describe the bond between firefighters this bond comes from being an ordinary person that is willing to do the scary, physically demanding, emotionally draining work that is required to resolve an emergency safely and efficiently. This bond comes from “being there” after the 3rd false alarm of the day has interrupted dinner or battling the 3 alarm blaze. This bond was tested this past year in New Marlborough when our brother Tom Dillon lost his battle with cancer. The outpouring of support by brothers near and far to Tom’s family was beyond words and I am personally grateful to all. Humans are social creatures and firefighters are no different. The fire department in many parts of the country including the Berkshires is often a major player in the social network of a community. Each department, like a family, differs in how social and how often the “soft” side of the firehouse comes out. Most of the volunteer fire companies require extra funding above and beyond the tax rolls, and this need is often met with a social event. Alford hosts a pancake breakfast, Egremont has a steak roast, Great Barrington hosts a variety of events, with the Housatonic station’s spaghetti dinners being one of my favorites. Lee and Lenox firefighters attend several parades each year, with the Lenox Fire Company hosting their 100th Anniversary Parade in September of 2009. One could eat well every Saturday in August as Sandisfield Monterey and Tyringham host their steak roasts with New Marlborough’s Pig Roast thrown in to provide variety to a summer dinner’s plate. Attending these events has become a family tradition and is a great way to meet your neighbors all the while supporting your local volunteers.