Salem Fire Department
Salem Fire Department has operated in this city since days long ago when horses and pump wagons were used to fight fires. Today they are part of the IAFF , the International Association of Fire Fighter, Local branch 172.
Engine 4, Ladder 2 and the Mass Decon Unit run from Station 4 out of 415 Essex St.
Engine 5 and Engine 3 (reserve) operate out of Station 5 at 64 Loring Avenue.
Located at 142 North Street, Station 2 was built in 1881 and was NOT affected by The Great Salem Fire of 1914. Although the horses and hay lofts are long gone, Engine 2 still responds to emergencies from this station today !! It is said to be the third oldest, continuously operating station still open in the United States.
Station 6 is located at 29 Fort Ave. It is directly across from the Salem Power Plant, which is owed and operated by Dominion. Although apparatus no longer responds to emergencies from there, it is home to the Fire Prevention Bureau and the Maintenance Division.
Salem Firefighters who have died in the line of duty:
Frank M. Godfrey Died Feb. 20, 1902
Timothy Bagley Died May 27, 1922
Henry C. Wilson Died March 31, 1934
Teddy S. Rybicki Died Jan. 30, 1937
Anthony J. Kehoe Died Jan. 15, 1948
Peter J. Norton Died Aug. 5, 1963
Dominic S. Ozereko Died Feb. 7, 1973
James J. Koen, Jr. Died Feb. 23, 1981
Raymond V. McSwiggin Fied Feb. 20, 1982.
In 1902, Frank M. Godfrey of Engine One was killed by a falling wall while fighting a fire on Front Street in the Goodell Building. Besides the fire, there were two explosions, one which blew out the side of the City Fish market building,just across the alley, and killing Frank M. Godfrey.
Station 4 was named in memory of James Koen, who collapsed of a heart attack and died while battled a house fire in North Salem, on Feb. 23, 1981.
The first woman to be sworn in as lieutenant in the fire department was Erin Griffin in 2001. The first woman firefighter was Patty (Koen) Marfongelli in 1986.
New imaging cameras that can detect victims in a fire are being purchased for the Salem Fire Dept. The first one was purchased with the help of Salem Hospital.
The city named John "Gerry" Guinta as Salem's new fire chief in October of 2018. The Deputy Chief Guinta has been with the department since 1983. He has served as the
Department's acting chief since March of 2018 when his predecessor, Chief David Cody retired as chief.
Vertical File in Salem Collection - Salem Fire Dept.
A History of the Salem Fire Department Edward R. Tufts
Passing Thoughts of a Fire Fighter Francis J. Bates
"In the Line of Duty (funeral of R. McSwiggin)- a tragic and coincidental anniversary" Salem Evening News, Feb. 20,1 2002, p.1
"Firefighters honor one of the fallen(Station dedicated to fallen firefighter Koen)" Salem Evening News, June 13, 2005, p. A1
"Fire Inspector LaPointe retires after 33 years" Salem Evening News, Apr. 1, 1997, p. C3
"Salem FD swears in first woman officer (Erin Griffin)" Salem Evening News, Oct. 10, 2001, p. 1
"Fireman killed by falling wall (Frank M. Godfrey)" Salem Evening News, Feb. 20, 1902, p.1
"Died on Duty: Tragic death of Frank M. Godfrey on Front Street this morning" Salem Gazette, Feb. 20, 1902, p.1
"Salem to buy camera that can "see" in fire" Salem Evening News, Jan. 26, 2000, p. A1