Hundred Years of fire service in Ejszyszki

Małgorzata Kozicz

“Platinum jubilee is a story of a few generations of residents of our region who are ready to bring help and sacrifice their lives on the sound of a siren” said the official of Solecznicki’s region Zdzisław Palewicz during the solemn centennial celebration of a fire service in Ejszyszki. During Saturday ceremony the memorial was disclosed and blessed, and the fire service show as well as the concert took place on a public square.

“A hundred years ago in the current Solecznicki’s region developed the first firehouse. Then, it was a mass phenomenon on the annexations’ grounds. The fire brigade fulfilled not only life-saving functions. It also positively influenced the development of social and cultural life of cities and villages, integrating local community, becoming an important link in increasing national awareness and a true school of patriotic upbringing during different historical periods” – said in his speech official of the region Zdzisław Palewicz. He also admitted that in the course of time the history of the first firehouse in Ejszyszki had been slowly sinking into oblivion.

“Despite this, it’s inception stands as an evidence for the fact that this pre-war city has developed well and that the safety of its residents was essential. Today we have disclosed the memorial marking the centennial of a fire service in Ejszyszki and in the Solecznicki’s region. This memorial is devoted to all of the fireman who had worked, work and will work for the safety of the residents of this region. It is a peculiar tribute to bravery and sacrifice of people who are ready to bring help to others at any time because it is often said – a fireman is not an occupation, it’s a way of living” – underlined Z. Palewicz.

One of the people who actively contributed to commemoration of the first firehouse in Ejszyszki is a former perennial governor of a fire brigade Józef Osipowicz. Offstage, he was a history fanatic as through the years he was gathering historical facts connected with the history of a fire service in the town. He also received help in determining the exact date and place of establishment the firehouse by the local residents.

“I’m already retired and I’m glad to see that my work is being continued. For this new centennial I wish for the firemen even better work, more effective help for residents, health and strength for families” – said Józef Osipowicz during the celebration.

“A hundred years ago, the inception of the firehouse in Ejszyszki was supported by locals who were caring about the safety of their possessions. History itself reveals that units of voluntary fire departments were usually established when a tragedy had already happened” – reminded Vitalijus Kapusta, governor of the fire department in Solecznicki’s region. The commander of fireman recalled a few dates that became imprinted in the history of the town because of fatal consequences of fires: in 1863 the fire called “the destroyer” completely ravished a leather factory and 19 houses, in 1895 burned down even 204 houses and 12 residents died, in 1908 in the town burned 12 houses.

“It is difficult to weigh or measure how much fireman’s work is essential today. Only accomplished works, attained ideas, uttered thoughts are checked and appreciated. Let’s celebrate today’s commemoration decorously, high-mindedly and happily so that our positive spirit would accompany our everyday work in a long time. Let’s love our jobs and do not lose faith in the sense of our service” – summed up V. Kapusta.

Jubilee celebrations have become an opportunity to give acknowledgement to friends and partners. Thanks to personal commitment in pomeranian provincial commandant of State Fire Service in Gdańsk and senior brigadier Andrzej Roszkowski, the firemen of Solecznicki’s region have already received two fire trucks. The first Jelcz was given by Volunteer Fire Services of County Ostrołęka in the lead of Janusz Głowacki. On occasion of today’s jubilee partners from Poland gave the fireman’s department in Butrymańc a fire-engine. In turn, the government of Solecznicki’s region funded it’s fire brigades a lifeboat.

After the official part there were fire services’ demonstrations. Spectators were able to see extinguishing of burning engine, extinguishing of burning oil-like products and the demonstrational program of juvenile firemen’s school.

In the late afternoon, on the main square of the town begun a concert in which performed brass band from the school of fine art under the name of S. Moniuszki in Ejszyszki, the band “Smile”, entertainer group from Ejszyszki, bards from Kaliningrad, students from music college from Białystok and Andrzej Zujewicz with his band.

Source: http://zw.lt/wilno-wilenszczyzna/sto-lat-strazy-pozarnej-w-ejszyszkach/

Tłumaczenie by Edyta Zarzeczna w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Edyta Zarzeczna within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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