Chester Hose Company News
Where you can come when you want to know what's new with the Chester Hose Company, where we'll be in the community and any other news/events/updates we would like to share!

The Chester Hose Company Incorporated 

is proud to announce the return of 

The Fallback, Spring Ahead Craft Fair!

Saturday, October 26th at Chester Firehouse


  • CHOW FOOD TRUCK (serving breakfast and lunch)
  • BEN & JERRY'S ICE CREAM TRUCK (weather dependent)

There's still time to sign up if you are a crafter!  

Complete the below registration form online.  You will also need to sign the rules and release form which is below as well.  The signed rules and release form should be sent in along with payment to the address listed in the paperwork.  

Please make sure to print a copy of the rules and release form for your records.

Crafter Registration Form

Craft Fair Rules & Release

Any questions email [email protected]

You can now donate to The Chester Hose Company Incorporated through Amazon Smile in just three easy steps:

1.  Go to

2.  Select Chester Hose Company Incorporated (Chester, CT) 

     as your organization of choice

3.  Start Shopping!

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice

February 28

The Chester Hose Company Incorporated recently joined forces with Valley TV students and was featured in a video on Teen Texting and Driving.  Created by Katie O'Brien and Fiona Murray, the video was created for the Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge.

February 4

Essex Savings Bank is the first bank in the state of Connecticut to share profits with the community it serves.  Since 1995 The Community Investment Program was adopted July 1995 making Essex Savings Bank the first bank in the State of Connecticut to share profits in this fashion with the communities it serves. Essex Savings Bank donates up to 10% of its after tax net income to nonprofit organizations and community development projects within the Bank’s core marketing area. 

Voters must be an Essex Savings Bank customer and can vote for up to three non-profits. Checks are issued in April based on customer support, and there will be a special ceremony for the top ten recipients. Voting is open to Bank customers throughout the month of February. 

Ballots are available inside any of our six branches.  Customers may also vote by logging into their Essex Savings Bank account online through either the mobile app or the link at the top of the page. Voting is typically held throughout the month of February.  Certain rules apply including the 501(c)3 must be headquartered in Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, or Westbrook.

Chili Cook-off Returns with a new venue

December 24

From our house to yours we 

wish  you and your families a 

Safe and   Merry Christmas!  

Please remember these simple 

holiday safety tips

The Officers and Members of  

The Chester Hose Company Incorporated

December 23

The Chester Hose Company 

Incorporated Juniors will be 

recycling Christmas Trees again

after the holiday season! 

Please consider supporting 

these youngsters as you take 

down your holiday decor!

November 23

The holiday season is coming to Chester, CT

December 1st & 2nd
at the Firehouse

Hanukkah arrives
the evening of Dec. 2nd

October 7

Visit with The Chester Hose Company in the Community!

October 1

Don’t wait to plan for the worst!  
Quick reminders for Disaster Preparedness

Disasters take many forms from fires to hurricanes. They can strike anywhere, at anytime.  Before a disaster strikes, it’s important for families and individuals to have a plan. If you don’t already have one, start one today.   Click here for some basic information about what you need to start preparing for a potential disaster situation.  Prepare now, so you don’t panic later.  #IAFFSafetyTips

Use the following guidelines to create a personalized plan:

  • Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to occur and the best ways to respond (hurricane, flooding, home fire, wildfire, etc)
  • Establish meeting areas inside and outside of your home, and even outside of your neighborhood
  • Make sure everyone knows when and how to contact each other, if separated
  • Stock emergency supplies and assemble a disaster supply kit or a “go bag” with sufficient quantities to last for at least 72 hours. Store these supplies in a dry, cool place and be sure to include batteries, flashlight, and a radio
  • Learn basic first aid for severe bleeding and shock, and CPR. Basic training is offered at the American Red Cross.

September 11



August 2

Rest In Peace John F. Olson

It is with great sadness and regret that The Chester Hose Company Incorporated announces the passing of John Olson, former President/CEO of Whelen Engineering.  John Olson also held the title of Chief Engineer and Honorary Chief of the Deep River Fire Department.  Mr. Olson was a great supporter of the Hose Company and the community.  He welcomed the department to train and hold events on the Whelen property and would also insist that our equipment had the latest in warning lights but would never wish to be acknowledged for it .  In 2011, Chester Hose Company refurbished a 1972 military Deuce-and-a-Half of which would not have been done without Mr. Olson's silent contribution in providing all the equipment and the location to re-build it.  The Deuce-and-a-Half was named the "Big O" to honor the man who was so generous to the department and to the community.  His memory will live on every time that truck rolls. John Olson will be greatly missed.  Service details will be forthcoming.

July 11

The annual department elections were held during the monthly meeting on July 11th.  The membership voted previously to restructure the officer positions and created EMS officers which were also elected during this meeting.
The following individuals were elected to serve the Chester Hose Company for the 2018-2019 year.

Fire ChiefJohn Brainard 
Deputy Fire ChiefJames Grzybowski
Deputy EMS Chief–Jim Schaefer
Assistant Fire Chief
–Charles Greeney Jr.
Assistant EMS Chief–Sara Blaschik
Battalion Fire ChiefKim Brainard
CaptainDylan Grzybowski
Medical Coordinator–Scot Mills

President—Vin Germini
Secretary—Karen Graham
Treasurer—Ben Belisle
Quartermaster—Sylvia Miksa
Steward—Bruce Sypher
Board of Trustees—Chuck Tower (to serve a 3 year term)

Congratulations to the newly elected!  We also wish to  say THANK YOU to those who served in elected positions during the 2017-2018 year who will be stepping down, for their service to the Department.  Those individuals include:

John Ahearn (Deputy Chief)
Brian Ahearn (Assistant Chief)
Michael Ahearn (Captain)
Josh Villa (1st Lieutenant)
Julian Norton (2nd Lieutenant)
Deb Lynde (Medical Coordinator)
Courtney O'Neil (Secretary) and
Tom Miksa (having completed a 3 year term for Trustee).

May 28

The Chester Hose Company Incoporated wishes you and your family a safe and healthy Memorial Day.  Thank you to the men and women who serve or have served our country and provided protection by land, sea, or air.

Pictured to the left are members who participated in the Annual Chester Memorial Parade in front of Engine 2.  Other apparatus making an appearance in the parade included Engine 3, The Big O (the Company's duece and Half), Ambulance Unit 1, and Old Number 2.

May 2


The Chester Hose Company Auxiliary is pleased to announce that they have awarded their 2018 scholarship to a well deserving high school senior this year. Congratulations to Juliette Linares of Chester.

Linares is a graduating senior at Valley Regional High School in Deep River. Juliette will be attending Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ in the fall as Speech & Language Pathology major, and will additionally pursue certifications in Elementary and Special Education.

The Chester Hose Company Auxiliary as well as the department members would like to congratulate Juliette on her hard work and dedication to the communities she serves in and wishes her continued success in the future.

April 21

What a beautiful day we had for the food drive last Saturday!  

The “final weigh-in” was delayed this year but preliminary results show this year’s drive collected close to 4,000 pounds from area departments – which is so amazing, considering Clinton FD (one of the larger food drive FD’s in past years) had to cancel at the last minute, due to unforeseen circumstances.

In Chester we collected 397 pounds! This beat our record for the past 2 years!!!  


February 1


The Chester Hose Company Auxiliary will again be offering a scholarship to a well deserving student. For a complete list of requirements, visit the Chester Hose Company Auxiliary section located on the Membership page of this website, stop by Chester Town Hall and see the Town Clerk or stop into the Guidance office at Mercy, Valley Regional, Vinal, and Xavier high schools or The Williams School.  All applications and supporting documentation should be received by Monday, April 30, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. to the address below. A decision of the recipient will be made by May 15th.  . If you have any questions please call (860) 526-0013 x203 or email [email protected].

All applications are to be sent directly to:

Chester Hose Company Auxiliary Scholarship

Attention:  Debra Germini Calamari

203 Middlesex Avenue

Chester, CT 06412

January 22

Chester Residents!

Our volunteers are keeping busy, however did you know we are always seeking more members of our great community to get involved and give back to YOUR community.  Applications for Volunteer Firefighters AND Volunteer EMRs/EMTs are available at the firehouse all the time!  We provide Fire, Rescue, and EMS First Response services on an volunteer basis and will provide training and state certified courses for you.  We only ask that in return you help us provide our community with the service and passion we put forth each and every day.  If you ever want to set up a time to come check out the station and trucks or bring the kids on a tour, please don't hesitate to ask!  We drill Monday nights at 7pm at the station located on High Street.  We'd love to have you become a part of our Chester Hose Company family! We can't wait to meet you!

For more information Call the firehouse (860)526-0019....Follow us on Facebook....Send us a message through our website contact page...or just stop by any Monday night!  

December 2017

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived to Chester by firetruck this past Sunday and greeted visitors of all ages!

Click here for video of Santa on this special trip!

February 2017

It is with deep sadness that the Officers and Members of The Chester Hose Company Incorporated announce the passing of past member and former Selectman Joseph Bergonzi.  Joe was a trustee for 13 years and served for 23 years with the department.  He also served the Town of Chester as a Selectman, Police Commissioner, and Fire Commissioner.   

On December 7th, 1999 by a town meeting vote, the Town of Chester proclaimed December 7th to be “Joseph Bergonzi Day” honoring his service to the town and The Chester Hose Company.  He was later given the title of Honorary Fire Commissioner for life.  Joe will be sorely missed.

Visitation will be held from 4:00PM to 7:00PM on Thursday March 2, 2017 at the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home, 34 Main Street, in Centerbrook. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, March 3, 2017 at 11:00AM at Saint Joseph's Church, 48 Middlesex Avenue in Chester. 

Joseph will be buried with full department honors.

Click here to read Joseph's complete obituary

January 2017

It is with a heavy heart that the Officers and Members of The Chester Hose Company Incorporated, announce the passing of Charles F. Greeney Sr., Lifetime Engineer 7-1-2 since 1966 and a 60 year active member of The Chester Hose Company. Charlie or "Pops" as he was known to many around the firehouse, had found pure joy in being a part of The Chester Hose Company. A past Lieutenant, Charlie was an integral part of the department and his knowledge, presence and friendship will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all his family and friends.  

The following are the arrangements of services.

Thursday, January 19

At Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home

Visiting hours from 5 PM to 7 PM


Friday Services, January 20

Church Services at 10 AM at the United Church in Chester

"Furry Friends" of The Chester Hose Company do their part and give back

September 2016...The Chester Hose Company was the recipient of a donation which will help save more lives!  Donated by Dog Scout Troop 188 (based out of Ledyard) on behalf of Homeward Bound Adoptions CT Inc., a 501c3 which helps rescues (dogs), a Wag’n O2 Fur Life pet mask oxygen kit was placed in service on the primary ambulance unit for the town.


“We appreciate the dog scouts donation to the department,” Chief Jim Schaefer said. “We are in the business of saving lives and a pet's life is just as important as that of a human’s and unfortunately a human mask cannot be used on animals.”  Many people view their pets as members of the family, so this is just one more service that the members in Chester can use to further help their residents in a time of need.

Pictured above are (L-R) Chief Jim Schaefer with Carbon, Medical Coordinator Jeff Wickland, Dog owner Sue Hotkowski holding Copper,​ and Charlotte Dzialo-a future rescuer of Homeward Bound.  Carbon, Copper & Susan are all members of Dog Scout Troop 188.

The pet rescue kits each contain three oxygen masks in various sizes, oxygen air tubes, a carry bag, laminated instruction sheet, kennel lead and an instructional video.


“The various sizes will allow firefighters to assist a wide range of animals from a guinea pigs and rabbits to large dogs and horses,” said Jeff Wickland, Medical Coordinator for the department.

When asked why she chose The Chester Hose Company, Susan Hotkowski, member of Dog Troop 188 and President of Homeward Bound CT simply said, “They do a lot for this community as responders and provide our residents with a sense of security in a time of need.  They deserve to be given back to.”

The Wag'n O2 Fur Life Program is a nationwide campaign.  To learn more about the kits, visit


Many of you took our challenge and dunked our "chickens" at the fair over the course of the weekend! 

Check out our video montage for highlights from the weekend!   Thank you as always for your continued support!  

Chester Hose Company President, Chuck Tower (left) and Chester Hose Company Auxiliary President, Sylvia Miksa (right) were both sent clucking into the warm waters of the Dunk Tank Chester Fair weekend, as part of the Chester Hose Company Juniors annual dunk booth fundraiser at the fair.  Additionally, we thank Art Linares and Bob Siegrist for their support as well!  A photo montage of the weekend's events can be found by clicking here  

June 2016...A BIG THANK YOU goes out to everyone that came out this weekend with food donations for the Stuff-The-Ambulance Food Drive. The Adam's drop-off location, manned by Deep River and Chester Ambulances took in 1172 pounds of food donations from that will go to help The Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries.

March 2016

Thank you to everyone who came out to this year's Easter Egg Hunt!  The kids enjoyed finding the eggs hidden throughout the grass and not a single egg went untouched!  The turnout was good and all of the Easter Bunny's friends hope to see you again next year

February 2016...Felise Cressman of Chester, recently visited the Chester Hose Company and its members during the February monthly meeting to discuss her new initiative, reducing water bottle waste and the amount of plastic used in the Chester community.  

According to the Container Recycling Institute, Americans use some 42.6 billion single serving water bottles a year and 8 out of 10 end up in landfills or incinerators.

Cressman wants to do something about those numbers. and ensure that no plastic bottles from Chester add to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or, closer to home, blot the Connecticut River or Long Island Sound.

“I really wanted to do something to reduce the use of plastic water bottles. My goal is to have Chester be the first town in Connecticut to undertake a project to do that,” she said.

As a thank you for all that the volunteer members do for the Town of Chester, Cressman distributed water bottles to members in attendance asking only that they spread the awareness of her project and use the water bottles instead of plastic drinking bottles.  

November 2015

Pictures from our Halloween Kids Night Out can be found on our Facebook page! 
Check it out and Like us today at

Local Business Fundraiser Benefits Chester Hose Company

August 2015....As Chester resident and business owner Suzie Woodward's store Lark (a spirited adventure) located at 4 Water Street approached it's one year anniversary, Woodward knew she wanted to do something to give back to the community that had supported her business.  And so was born "Summer Market Smash", a collaborative art venture between the countless customers and Lark to benefit four nonprofit organizations from Chester.

During the month of July, those who stopped into Lark were invited to leave their "mark" on one of four art canvases, thus creating a one of a kind work of art.  A silent auction was held and at the conclusion of the auction, four community groups were awarded checks from the highest bidders.  Woodward saw this as a way to "pay it forward" to the community and organizations within it that had given her business success over the past year.  In addition to the Chester Hose Company, the Chester Food Bank, Chester Library and the Chester Historical Society also recieved donations from highest bidders.  

Pictured above, Chester Hose Company Assistant Chief Allen Alonzo, graciously accepts a check from Suzie Woodward, owner of Lark. Woodward presented Alonzo with a $100 check from Sarah Renois Judge and Graig Judge of Killingworth who placed the winning bid on the Hose Company canvas titled "Daring to Save" pictured below.  Also pictured, is the Judge's daughter Fiona leaving her mark on a canvas during the Sunday Market and the final canvases created to be bid on.

August 2015

Jim Schaefer: Ready for ‘Huge Responsibility’ of Chief of Chester Volunteer Fire Company

Chester Hose Company Chief Jim Schaefer was recently featured in the Valley Courier as Person of the Week.  

We congratulate him on his success to date in this new role.

Read the full article here


Pictured here Chester Hose Company EMT Diane Jepson watches as Chief James Schaefer "leaves his mark" on one of the pieces of artwork available for the silent Auction. The Hose Company will be one of four Chester nonprofits to benefit from Lark's silent auction event.  

Lark at 4 Water Street in Chester, is celebrating one year in business by hosting a "Summer Market Smash", a collaborative art effort in grateful response to the village of Chester and countless customers who have made Lark’s first year so amazing.

During July leave your silent auction bid at Lark for one or all of the paintings. Four Chester nonprofits will benefit from the collaborative creativity.

Pay it forward with Lark! Send those bids sky high!


Tuesday - Sunday

10:30 AM - 5:30 PM

June 2015....The Chester Ambulance Association presented their annual scholarship from the Diana Grzybowski Scholarship fund to Kelly Feola.  Kelly will graduate this June from Valley Regional High School and pursue Nursing at Salve Regina.

Visit the Chester Hose Company Auxiliary Page of the website to read their 2015 recipient announcement

        Pictured here is Feola receiving her award from Ed Grzybowski. 

June 2015--On June 7th, members of the Chester Hose Company teamed up with members of the Deep River Fire Department to participate in the annual Firefighters Competition sponsored by Old Saybrook Fire Department.  Combined, the Deep River/Chester combo team  took home trophies for the following events:

  • 3rd Place in Add-A-Length
  • 2nd in the Suppression Course
  • 2nd in Water Ball.

Great job to all who participated!

For more pictures of the Competition and team practice before CLICK HERE

Pictured here are team members:

Front L-R: John Kollmer (DRFD), Rich Kollmer (DRFD), Jim Schaefer (CHC) and Rob Diley (DRFD)

Back L-R: Steven Budney (DRFD), Dylan Grzybowski (CHC), Brandon Dole (CHC),Ryan Miner (DRFD), Roger Clapp (CHC & DRFD) and Julian Norton (CHC).  Not pictured is team member Jessica Grote (DRFD).

May 2015

Congratulations to John Waterhouse on 25 years of service and being featured in the Valley Courier as a Person of the Week!

Read the full article here


Congratulations to the Chili Cook-Off Winners
Best Table Display: The Wheat Market (KISS)
Peoples Choice Award:  Wade's Country Store
Most Unique Chili: Chester's BBQ 
(they will be opening soon in Clinton in the old library building)
Best Fire Department Chili: Madison Hose Company #1

Chester's BBQ

Madison Hose Company #1

February 2015--It is with great sadness as I remember the life of past chief David Heiney Sr. of OSFD. David was a mentor and a tremendous asset to the Chester Hose Company and to all the Valley Shore departments. He was a true hero and not only cared about the Old Saybrook Fire Department but also shared his passion with his neighbors. Many of the advancements David made were adopted and still used by our department today. As I grew up in our department I learned many things from Chief Heiney and I find myself instilling many of his same values and techniques. As Chief I can only hope to be half as good as he was. On behalf of the Officers and Members of the Chester Hose Company Inc., our sincerest condolences go out to Liz, David, and Will. We take comfort in the knowledge that Chief Heiney’s spirit will forever be engrained in this department as well as all the Valley Shore towns.

James E. Grzybowski, Chief

December 2014

Rest In Peace former member Anthony Camire Jr.

December 2013----The holidays came early to the members of Chester Hose Company during their annual Christmas party when the department was presented with a new Stihl chainsaw to be placed on "The Dengler" the department's all-terrain rescue apparatus.  The chainsaw was a gift from Alan and Karin Blaschik of Alan's Small Engine Repair in Haddam, who generously donated the chainsaw after hearing that the department was looking to make the purchase.  A heartfelt thank you from all the members as the year comes to a close.

November 2013-----Thank you to all the members, contractors, volunteer workers, and friends of the Chester Hose Company who attended our dedication open house Sunday, where our addition was formally dedicated by Reverend Kathy Peters of the United Church of Chester and recognized by Chester First Selectman, Ed Meehan.  A formal dedication was read by Bill Beni & Ed Gryzbowski, co-chairmen of the Building Committee and members of the Chester Ambulance Association (CAA).  Additionally Chief Charles F Greeney Jr, presented a plaque honoring Diana Grzybowski, a deceased member of the Chester Ambulance Association, to her family recognizing her talent and efforts that were put forth to the CAA.  Chester Hose Company President Charles Tower was the MC for the event.

Congratulations to John Divis, for being chosen as a recipient of the 2013 Beacon Awards – we are all very proud of you and for all that you do for the residents of Chester.

As a local news company that's still going strong thanks to the communities it serves, Harbor News/Shore Publishing wanted to find a way to recognize what makes this region so special. The Beacon Awards recognize a few of the outstanding individuals who selflessly step up to help fulfill the Shoreline community's promise as a place of opportunity, well-being, and safety for all.
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