Newcomb honored for 65 years of service in Benton FD

John Christensen
The Chronicle Express
Benton Fire Department recently honored charter member George Newcomb for his 65 years of service. With him are Chief Brandon Palmisano,  1st Assistant Chief Eugene Martin, and 2nd Assistant Chief David Nielsen.

BENTON — George Newcomb was recognized for 65 years of service as a volunteer with the Benton Fire Department at the members banquet on June 5. 

In 1955, a meeting was held July 21 at the Benton Methodist Church hall for the purpose of organizing the Benton Fire Department. At just 23 years old George was elected as 1st Assistant Chief. And now at 88 years old, George is the only surviving charter member of the BFD.

Newcomb has witnessed every milestone of the BFD. Oct. 6, 1955, a decision was made to purchase a used 1939 American LaFrance fire engine for the volunteer firefighters. Then, April 19, 1956, it was decided to purchase the land with the Benton Center Schoolhouse, no longer needed after the centralization of the elementary schools in the Penn Yan School District. The old school found new life as a home for the newly organized, one-truck fire department. 

With the hard work and selfless dedication of volunteers like him, Newcomb has seen the BFD grow far beyond that humble origin to become one of the best equipped and fastest responding volunteer fire departments in the county.