It was a historical day for the town of Old Lyme when at its inaugural organizational meeting a new Fire Chief, Assistant Chief, Secretary and Treasurer were appointed in order to form the town’s first fire department. The day was May 15th, 1923, and the new chief Dr. Ellis K. Devitt was supported by 70 eager members who were soon after divided into three groups; active, honorary and associate members. Oddly enough, the OLFD had a vehicle and equipment before it had a place to call home. A Federal Chemical Engine was donated by a local businessman and was equipped with a three-tank American LaFrance chemical unit. A 40 gallon hand-drawn Chemical Tank was purchased with the proceeds from the town’s first annual Firemen’s Ball (which raised $348) and joined the Engine in the department’s new home, the Town Hall. In addition to housing the equipment in the garages below the meeting rooms and offices, an “Emergency Room” was added upstairs as a dispatch center to receive calls from residents in distress. This remained in operation for nearly 30 years until Old Lyme joined the Valley Shore 911 dispatch system.
In 1961 the department faced growing pains due to post-war expansion and moved the three trucks they had acquired over the years, along with every bit of equipment, to their new home just down the street from the Town Hall. In September of that year the construction was finished and the shiny new Lyme Street station became OLFD’s official hub.
To this day, the Lyme Street station is the department’s main house in the center of the town with substations on Boughton Road and Cross Lane. Even decades later, the department remains fundamentally the same as the day it was created. We proudly continue to serve our community comprised entirely of volunteers, with each one of us as immensely dedicated to our service as our founding members.