The Williams Fire Department held a ceremony on Monday, December 16th, dedicating Engine No. 3071 in memory of Jim Granzella for his years of support to the department.
Although Jim was not a member of the Williams Fire Department, he provided the Williams community with a significant opportunity to save lives and property in the future.
“In October 2007, we had a destructive fire,” said Williams Fire Chief, Jeff Gilbert, “the Granzella building was a total loss, but it could have been much worse.”
Gilbert recollected when Yuba City and Willows fire departments came to aid with their ladder trucks.
“This was something we didn’t have at the time,” said Gilbert, “and I needed to sell the idea to the board to purchase the apparatus costing almost half a million dollars.”
On the day of the board meeting, Gilbert went and spoke with Jim Granzella.
“I remember him asking me what was wrong, I told him that I had to sell this big idea to the board and I didn’t know how well it was going to turn out,” said Gilbert, “Jim looked at me and said, ‘you think it will help if I come?’”
Granzella showed up at the meeting and voiced his opinion.
“I remember Jim called each board member out and held them to them all accountable for their actions,” said Gilbert, “Jim said that he was taking a big risk at rebuilding and that they should join him and take the same risk with purchasing the equipment.”
At the end of the board meeting, Jim presented $5,000 to help jumpstart the purchase.
“I believe that Jim helped change a few minds that day,” said Gilbert, “and today we have an invaluable piece of equipment because of him.”
On February 19th, 2008, Williams took delivery of ladder truck 3071.
Williams Mayor, Pat Ash, presented the Granzella family with a proclamation dedicating the Williams Ladder Truck in memory of Jim Granzella.
Jim’s wife, Beverly Granzella, received the proclamation with support of her family in an emotion filled room.
“Jim was a great supporter and friend,” said Gilbert, “he will be greatly missed.”
Since being placed into service, Williams Ladder Truck No. 3071 has responded to 198 incidents with 157 of those incidents in the City of Williams, 23 incidents in the Williams Rural District Area and has responded to 18 mutual aids to neighboring departments. Proving to be an invaluable asset to Williams and surrounding communities,