City of Wilmington, Delaware

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August 25, 2021

Multiple Events Highlight Centennial Celebration

WILMINGTON, DE-August 25,2021 – Mayor Mike Purzycki joined Wilmington Fire Chief John Looney, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1590 Executive Vice President Senior Firefighter Michael Wiktorowicz, President of the Wilmington Retired Firefighters Association Retired Deputy Chief Joe Kalinowski and Chair of the WFD 100th Anniversary Committee Michael Hare at Fire Station No. 4 at 22nd and Tatnall Streets to announce plans for a multi-event celebration of the Wilmington Fire Department’s 100th Anniversary.

On December 1st 1921 the City of Wilmington was officially served by the newly created Bureau of Fire, a full-time paid career fire department. Prior to this, the City had been served by neighborhood-based Volunteer Companies.

Logos for the event were unveiled as well as Fire Station signage and decals for the apparatus to mark the milestone. A series of events were also detailed. They include: Open Houses at All City Fire Stations on October 2nd and 3rd from 10am until 4pm. Station tours will be offered, giveaways for the kids and refreshments for all. A PARADE in Downtown along King Street will be held on Saturday October 23rd starting at 10AM.

The parade promises to be one of the largest in Wilmington History. Numerous Fire Departments, Police agencies, Military bands and Pipe Bands have already committed to participating. Also, on October 23rd after the parade on the Riverfront there will be a Fire Muster to include an Antique Apparatus Display and Firematic Flea Market, Additionally, there will be an in water Fire and Rescue Boat Display. On Sunday October 24th there will be a Memorial Service at Saint Elizabeth’s Church. This event will be a Multi-Faith Service paying tribute to those who died in the Line of Duty as well as all of those who have ever served and who have died. Finally, on Tuesday November 30th there will be a Centennial Banquet at the Chase Center on the Riverfront at 6pm. This will be the culmination of the celebration and will include a 100th Anniversary Film.

“I am so pleased to announce the significant and thoughtful celebration planned for the great Fire Department and all of those who served and sacrificed for the City of Wilmington these past 100 Years. I look forward to being a part of these events and encourage all our residents to be part of this celebration.” Said Mayor Mike Purzycki. Chief John Looney added, “I am so proud to lead a Department with such a rich and proud history. I take seriously the need to recognize that tradition and look forward to what we have planned and encourage the entire community to join in the celebration”.

These events will celebrate both current members of the Department and those who have served. Both Senior Firefighter Michael Wiktorowicz on behalf of Local 1590 and Retired Deputy Chief Joe Kalinowski, President of the Retired Firefighters Association stated how significant this celebration is to their respective memberships and that they both looked forward to their participation in this historic event. Even Chair Mike Hare stated, “We are all looking for something to celebrate during these challenging times. There is no more noble a tradition than that of the Fire Service. I am grateful to the many volunteers and sponsors both inside and outside the Fire Service who are making this event possible”.

For additional information or photos of the Press Conference, please contact Brian Murphy at