Hundreds of area residents, as well as representatives of fire departments from across the north state, were on hand to celebrate the Arbuckle Fire Department’s 100-year Anniversary on Saturday in a show of support that left Fire Chief Casey Cox in awe.
A large crowd – composed mainly of Arbuckle residents, but also a handful of representatives from across the county and beyond – gathered on 6th Street in Arbuckle to watch a parade that spanned the entirety of the town’s main thoroughfare.
More than a dozen fire departments from across the north state brought equipment to the parade, as did the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office and Enloe. There were also parade entries by local businesses, clubs, and individuals. After the parade ended, the bulk of the crowd made their way to the fire department for lunch, where the volunteers prepared about 600 meals – a number they initially thought was overkill. When all was said and done, nearly all of the food was gone.
“On the community side, we were just overwhelmed,” Cox said, who estimated the fire department served between 400-500 lunches. “The station crowd far topped what we expected, considering the mid-summer heat, and the fact that so many people are typically on vacation this time of year. As far as the parade goes, there were representatives from Orland and Willows to the north, and Clarksburg and Sacramento to the south. The line of vehicles ran the full length of 6th Street – it was very touching. We were just in awe… It meant a lot to have all of the other agencies show up to support us. I thought that for a Saturday in late July, to get the turnout that we did, was great. ”
Saturday’s festivities in Arbuckle marked the celebration of its fire department’s 100-year anniversary, but it was just as much a celebration of the town itself. As the oldest public agency in Arbuckle, their histories are intertwined. Not surprisingly, many of the Arbuckle residents in attendance on Saturday have close ties to the department, stretching back generations.
“A lot of the people that came (on Saturday) had a relationship with the fire department – they had family in the department. They have ties,” said Jim Scheimer, who first joined the department in 1972, following in his father, John Scheimer’s footsteps. Jim is now the department’s longest-tenured firefighter, having served 46 years.
“When you think about the old-time members, they showed up and they probably remember when their parents were on the department,” Scheimer said.
Scheimer added that he was also blown away by the support from the community, as well as the other agencies who took part in the parade.
“It was wonderful. It all came together just right, even with the fires that are going around throughout the state,” he said. “I thought it would be tough to get the other departments there, but they came out in force, and so did the people of Arbuckle and the county.”