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Chesy fire department to celebrate the big 5-0

CHESAPEAKE — It’s a tradition to serve as a Chesapeake fireman. That’s the way it is for many families who have strong ties to the volunteer fire department that serves the village as well as surrounding areas.

And it’s tradition that the current members want to honor as the Chesapeake-Union Township Volunteer Fire Department gets ready to mark its 50th anniversary.

“We want to celebrate the history of the department,” Chief Brandon Best said. “We have invited all the old members. It is pretty much a big get together and we’ll have a good day of it. My family has well over 100 years in service. We have a couple of families like that, not just mine.”

Starting at 4:30 p.m. this Saturday the celebration will take place at the Chesapeake Village Park.

There will be a cookout open to the community with the department dishing up hot dogs, hamburgers and all the trimmings.

“We will be providing everything,” Best said.

On hand will be the first engine used by the department, a 1959 Ford.

“We have made a lot of changes in 50 years,” Best said. “You’ll see that when we bring out our old truck and park it next to our new one.”

Best started out with the Chesapeake department when he was 13, helping out at the station, as part of the junior program.

At that age, teens are not allowed to ride on the truck. However, at the age of 16, they can, and by 18 they should have the training to become a full-fledged member.

“If we can get them young, we tend to keep them,” the chief said.

The celebration will go on until dusk with entertainment including a live radio remote to go with the food.

“It will be just like a reunion,” Best said.