BEDFORD VILLAGE, N.Y.— Twenty-two fire departments participated in the Bedford Village Volunteer Fire Department’s Annual Fireman’s Parade on Friday evening in a festive procession of fire engines, rescue vehicles, ambulances and marching bands.
Residents of Bedford and beyond came out in force to honor the 89-year-old Bedford Fire Department and fire and emergency service companies from Pound Ridge, Mount Kisco, South Salem, Mamaroneck and other towns.
The makeup of the crowd was remarkably varied, from families with young children to teenagers supporting friends in the junior companies to aging ex-firefighters.
Jim Ferguson, 64, a retired lieutenant with Stamford Fire and Rescue in Connecticut, was there to see friends from other departments march, and sat in the company of Richard Blauvelt, 70, retired deputy chief of the Mount Vernon Fire Department.
“We have lots of friends here,” said Blauvelt, adding that he and Ferguson have some buddies in the Bedford department.
Blauvelt also came to watch members of his family march. His son John is chief of the Croton Falls Fire Department, son Jason is assistant chief and Justin is a firefighter, he said.
A firefighter’s job has significant rewards to go with the dangers inherent in the profession, said Ferguson, who saved the lives of a few people in his time in the department. Those people, he said, “you never forget.”
A barbecue and trophy ceremony followed the parade, in which a committee of ex fire-chiefs from around the county gave out prizes in categories including Best Antique Truck, Cleanest Truck, Best Uniforms and Best Junior Fire Department.