HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Always ready to serve, members of the Hastings-on-Hudson Volunteers Fire Department Protection Engine Co. No. 1 were out in force Saturday morning to hoist the company's new fire house sign crafted by one of their own, , Don Wemer, Sr.
Wemer and as many as a dozen co-volunteers worked through the sunny morning at the front of the firehouse on Warburton Avenue to prepare, lift, then attach the gold, black, red and white sign that read "Protection Engine Co. No. 1" in gold lettering.
"It looks like we have everything we need to get the sign up for Memorial Day and plenty of help," Wemer said. "I think it looks really good and we'll have it in place for the parade.(Sunday, May 25)."
Wemer, a longtime building contractor in the village, was modest when asked about the 16-foot long sign and the work that went into creating and getting it ready for the holiday unveiling.
"It's made of a material called polymer, made to last 150 years or more," Wemer said. "I worked about 150 hours on it and then the guys hauled it up a hill from my shop and here. We built it so letters and parts could be replaced without taking the sign down."
Firefighter Brian Schnibbe used a front-loader on loan from the village Department of Public Works and the volunteers erected a scaffold, hoisted ladders and joined to lift the heavy sign up to its new home between Juniper restaurant and Chase Manhattan Bank.
"We have a lot of guys here for sure," Schnibbe said. "It looks like we have the help we need and the village loaned us the equipment to lift the sign, so that will help a lot," Schnibbe said.
Brian Dunne, home for the holiday on leave from his service in the U.S, Navy, came by the help with the sign lift.
"It's good to be here back home," Dunne said. "These guys look like they have this thing handled, but I'll get in there and help if I can."
The Hastings Fire Department currently has two of its members who are serving with the military: George Moore, who was recently promoted to Petty Officer with the U.S. Navy serving on the USS George Washington in Japan and Pfc. Don Wemer, Jr. who is with the Marines as a Red Patch basic landing support specialist stationed at Camp Pendleton in Ca.
The Hastings-on-Hudson Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony will be held Sunday, May 25, beginning with the firefighters breakfast for visiting dignitaries and veterans at 9:30 a.m. The parade steps off at 2 p.m. and will run through the village down Main Street and onto Warburton Avenue just south of Engine Co. No. 1.