In the beginning...

Midway FD Antique EngineDuring the mid 1800s, outside the stockades were unsettled lands, areas considered to be dangerous by most, dense woodlands, single lane dirt paths and some even thought evil spirits.

In the minds of some however, this area contained a vast wealth for the future. The "Karners" or "Center" was being put to paper by Theo Karner, a rich land baron of the time, and was soon to become a reality. This settlement would be the first of its kind outside the safety of the stockade.

No one really knows why, but Karner never did flourish, it did however have many firsts, Hotel, General Store, School, and Post Office. Why, even a train station! The connection of Albany and Schenectady by rail was one of the first railroads in the northeast.

When communities developed and buildings where constructed close together, concern has to be toward the threat of fire. So, there must have been some type of fire department, but it is yet to be located.

The first emergence of a fire department in the area presently known as "Midway" was around 1920. Clarence Hale, William Hill and Jacob Oliver were appointed directory of the Maywood Fire Department until the first annual meeting. From this point in time until the 30's very little information exists.

It was Maywood Fire Department's responsibility, per their Incorporation papers to extinguish fire and protect property between the "Village of Colonie" and the Schenectady County line. This would be accomplished with a two-wheeled chemical cart that was moved about by man or beast. (This cart was supposedly destroyed for its copper value during the war years).

The late 30s brings about the emergence of a group meeting at the Maywood School wanting to form the Maywood Fire Department. But having one already existing on paper, they were denied use of the name and formed the Midway Fire Department Inc. with its principal office on Massachusetts Avenue.

This location was to be our home until the early 50s when we constructed our present concrete block building at 1956 Central Avenue.

As many of the previous pictures have shown, being confronted with the war, the home front received a great amount of fire protection from the female residents of our district. During this period of time fire department operations were funded by such fund raising activities as ice cream socials, minstrel shows and clambakes to name a few.

After the war, our population starts to grow by leaps and bounds, the area known as the "Colonie Homes" is built. Because of our population growth we can now qualify for town tax money and the establishment of the fire district.


The fire district enabled us to acquire much needed funds for capital improvements and the purchasing of needed equipment. Bonds for $40,000 were approved to construct a firehouse and purchase a 500 GPM fire pumper in 1949. With the growth of the area, came the organizing of the rescue squad, installation of the traffic signal, and the beginning of a home dispatching system.

The Central Avenue building was completed in 1951 and we moved into our new home. Midway Fire Department's Ladies Auxiliary won their first parade trophy along with the fire department receiving a trophy for best appearing (E-436) apparatus.

During the early 50's firematically everything appeared to be moving right along; we received our first "Scott-Pack" and other equipment, our new home was becoming comfortable.

American Airlines was to take our department to test, to its fullest, in 1953. We responded professionally and with strength.

More homes, more people, more buildings, "Lisha Kill Development" had begun and the growth is felt town wide. Better communications are needed; "Mutual Aid" system gives departments the benefit of 2-way radio communications.

Bonds again are approved in 1959 for the construction of a second fire station. This one being on Consaul Road, to better serve the north side of our district. Enlarging station one appears to be predestinated, for once again bonds are approved and to include another pumper.

The rescue squad puts a new Cadillac ambulance in service in 1960 and in 1961 we organized our first firematic drill team. What is to be believed as the first childbirth by members of, the rescue squad occurs in 1962. The incident taking place, where else, but in front of the Mohawk Drive-in.

Arson is a word that is not pleasant for anyone to hear, but to the fire service it's deadly. Late 1963 through most of 1964 many "slept with their clothes on" because the south side of town was plagued by one such person. The Constantine Barn, Rutland Lumber Company, and many vacant buildings are but a few of his trophies. He had turned the south side firemen into one of the most proficient teams in New York State. Also during this year Truck-7 (then referred to as T-439) was placed in service having another addition being completed on Station 1.

Trailmobile Trucking fire at Virginia Avenue and Central highlighted our entry into 1966. Renovations continued to our firehouse as did the rescue squads quest for financing. They made a television commercial working with Playboy Playmate "Teddy Smith" which was financially rewarding. Also during 1968 we experienced what was one of the worst brush fires in Pine Bush and a propane fire at Fulane Corporation on Karner Road.

Leaving a mark on Midway is 1969, and our mascot, a Dalmatian dog, that left red footprints all over Station 1 after having gotten into a can of red paint. The loss of two young boys after a basement fire on Appleblossom Lane left many very disheartened.

Everyone has heard, at one time or another, someone mention having a solid gold Cadillac. Well, in 1970 IR-440 was gold, not solid gold, but gold anyway. It arrived along with a somewhat traditional 1000 gpm red Ward La France pumper. Arriving and in service the following year, to carry rescue and salvage equipment was a 1969 Ford Van labeled "the bread truck" for it resemblance to the same.

The seventy's brings religion to "Midway" in the form of a deacon assigned to St. Clares parish, what a change.

Albany asks for a little assistance in 1970 for a plane crash and IE-437 (1954 Ford) the "Brush Truck" is retired. To recognize our older members we hold an "Old Timers" night and it becomes a tradition. Modular ambulances become commonplace as we purchase our first, and in the same year a 1974 Diesel, 1250 pumper is delivered and put into service. Town employed fire dispatchers are added in addition to the police dispatcher to improve radio communications. The "Howe" or 438 is auctioned off and is now in Saratoga County.

Midway's home dispatchers having done a fine job from 1950 are retired in 1975 when all dispatching is done from the town hall. Quick Attack become popular and we receive delivery of 1978 "Pierce" the final payment is made on the ladder trucks addition and yet another modular ambulance a "Yankee Coach" this time.

With the 80s comes more growth and expansion the grove gets attention with a softball field, paramedics are now providing advanced life support under the direction of doctors. District boundary lines are altered, to agree more with current development. Again Station 1 is expanded to meet the larger vehicles and add much needed space. Truck 7 is replaced with a new rear mounted style. We see a town wide promotion done for manpower, and chiefs' cars replace personal vehicles.


Midway Fire Department

Midway Fire Station 1
1956 Central Ave
Colonie NY 12205
(518) 869-6191

Midway Fire Station 2
200 Consaul Rd
Colonie NY 12205
(518) 456-1993