They drive the engines, rescue people, put out fires and know CPR. They have to be prepared for anything — a car under water, a person in cardiac arrest, or a family trapped inside a burning building. Or it could be a false alarm. Meet the Island's call firefighters.

Chilmark's new fire truck can carry 3,000 gallons of water and pump 1,500 gallons a minute. It was custom made by Bulldog Fire & Emergency Apparatus of Woodville.



Go to a party, eat great food, hang with neighbors and do good at the same time. It is, as the saying goes, a no-brainer. Or better known as the Chilmark Firemen’s Association Back Yard Bash.

The bash is an annual event to raise money for the all-volunteer town fire department. And since it doesn’t rain anymore, except for this past weekend, that is, the fire department is more essential than ever.


Chilmark firefighters quickly quelled a small fire at Blue Heron Farm early Tuesday morning. Chilmark fire chief David Norton said the call came in at 3:30 a.m. from an automatic fire alarm in the farmhouse. The fire was in the wall of the main house near a porch that had a gas grill on it. Firefighters had the fire out within a matter of minutes, Mr. Norton said. “Very small, very contained, extinguished quickly,” the fire chief said. He said the cause of the fire was the gas grill.


There were plenty of firefighters, but the only thing burning on Wednesday night was the grill, as the volunteers of the Chilmark Fire Department got together to throw a Backyard Bash at the Chilmark Community Center.

It was a family affair. Kids ran around while their parents and grandparents devoured burgers and hot dogs, caught up with neighbors and old friends, and listened to The New Strangers bust out some tunes.

Chilmark fire chief David Norton took a little heat of a different kind on Tuesday night, as he pushed his case with selectmen for a pay raise of more than 50 per cent.

Mr. Norton’s current stipend is $21,000. He wanted it upped to $33,000. And that figure, he suggested, was giving the town a discount.