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MFD celebrates 125 years, independence

It is a big year for the Marcellus Fire Department, Inc.

Not only will the department celebrate its 125th anniversary on May 1, the department will become independent this year.

Chief Randy Pilot said the department was village-owned until 2006, when they began the process of becoming independent. Since then, Pilot said the town has been helping the department transition into a fully independent organization.

Becoming an independent department will put the bulk of the business and financial end of running the department in members' hands, and is a point of pride for members, Pilot said.

In celebration of both milestones, Pilot said MFD will incorporate the anniversary into several annual events. The installation banquet will be held May 2 for members, and will this year be attended by local dignitaries, Pilot said. At the Marcellus Memorial Day parade this year the department will march with the 125th anniversary banner they had made to commemorate the achievement.

The department also hopes this year to bring back the department's teams for contests like pushball at the annual Onondaga County Fire Convention, hosted this year by the Camillus Fire Department at Veteran's Memorial Park at Gillie Lake.

Pilot said a recent increase in department membership would hopefully provide enough team members to compete in the traditional games this year.

The MFD has about 40 members, and seven of those firefighters joined or re-joined the department this past year, a healthy boost for membership that Pilot was excited to share. And of the entire membership, about a quarter of those are also members of MAVES.

But although the department is enjoying a fuller roster these days, there is always room for more.

Volunteers must be over the age of 16; 18 for full interior firefighter privileges. Training is free, but volunteers are required to complete one 8-hour class per week for 21 weeks.

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