After the City of Glens Falls was no longer able to provide fire protection for the town of Queensbury, the people of the town became aware that they needed to establish their own fire departments. In the early weeks of 1949, a group of local residents met at the Mohican Grange Hall on the corner of Sunnyside and Ridge Rd (Oneida Corners) to organize and, by March, Bay Ridge Volunteer Fire Company, inc. had been chartered. Its first Fire Chief was Benjamin Bardin and the first company President was Charles Sicard. Within the first year, the company had about 60 charter members.
The first piece of apparatus was a World War II surplus "crash truck" - a four-wheel-drive, 500-gallon, high-pressure truck nicknamed Molly - which was well suited for the rural area. Chief Bardin was familiar with this type of truck from his service with naval firefighting units during the war. It was housed in our first station, which was constructed by volunteers and was a converted shed attached to the old District 19 schoolhouse in Oenida Corners.
In 1954, the company realized it needed a more adequate home and built a new station across the street on land acquired from Martin McDermott. The total cost of the station was about $22,000 (about $200,000 in 2015).
As the response area changed from a rural to more of a suburban area, Bay Ridge realized it needed to update its equipment. In 1958 a 750-gallon-per-minute engine equipped with a 500 gallon water tanks was delivered. In addition to the fire protection needs, the area needed a rescue squad for the protection of life. Bay Ridge was able to get a used Packard hearse through a donation by the Potter Funeral Home that it converted it into an ambulance. By 1960, they acquired a Chevrolet carry-all for its ambulance.
In 1959, the Bay Ridge community was struck with one of the most devastating fires in Queensbury’s history, the Harris Fire. AT 6:40am on November the 10th, the home of Charles Harris in Jenkinsville caught fire. Even with help from surrounding communities, Charles Harris, his wife and six children perished. The company and the auxiliary created a fund to help with the funeral expenses of the family, and the remainder of the fund was donated to the WWARC.
In the 1960’s the population growth required the department to add a rescue truck to its apparatus. The truck housed a variety of gear that could be used in rescue situations in the mountainous terrain. In 1968, the department's growth required more space and there was an addition to the truck room. A new 1000 gpm John Bean Pumper was added to the fleet in 1969 and the Rescue Squad saw its first professionally built ambulance, which replaced the Carry-All.
Bay Ridge Volunteer Fire Company joined in the modern trend of using radio communications. The company purchased a radio alerting system and radios for the chiefs and pumpers. The addition of radios to the units helped the department communicate between units, the station, and other mutual aid fire departments. Also, the rescue squad purchased a new $17,000 ambulance with one of the first radios to communicate with Glens Falls Hospital. The company purchased a 1973 GMC for its rescue truck.
With the continued growth of the region, Bay Ridge Volunteer Fire Co. opened station number #2 on Glen Lake Road in 1988. Station #2 housed two pumpers (320 and 324) and a tanker.
In 1993, the need to seperate the rescue squad from Bay Ridge Vol. Fire Co. became evident. Members of the Bay Ridge Rescue squad seperated from the fire company and created Bay Ridge Rescue Squad, which is located around the corner from the orgional firehouse in Oneida Corners. The groups continue to work together as they respond to calls for service from the community.
The company welcomed several new pieces of apparatus in the 90's. An Avon inflatable rescue boat was added, as well as a new engine in 1995. The new extrication engine, Engine 323, was a 1995 KME Custom Rescue Pumper with an enclosed cab.
In 2001, Bay Ridge consolidated its apparatus and opened a single modern up-to-date $1.75 million firehouse constructed on Bay Road north of Sunnyside Road in 2001. The station is in between the locations of the previous two stations it replaced. It has 10 bays (9 apparatus bays and a wash bay). The bays hold three engines, a brush truck, two rescue trucks, a rescue ATV trailer, and a rescue boat. The station also has a meeting room, kitchen, day room, radio room, workout room, and offices for the corperation, line officers, and the Auxiliary. The fire house is the polling station for its district, houses a boy scout troop, and is used for other community purposes. This new station was the perfect home for some new company vehicles. The new Brush 121, a Ford F550 Super Duty 4x4, was needed to combat wildfires where the heavier engines were unable to go. Also, a new Engine, Tanker 324, was acquired: a 2005 American Lafrance Engine Tanker with an 1800-gallon water tank, a 30-gallon Class A Foam Tank, a Hale 1250GPM Pump, a Foam Pro Foam system, front suction as well as rear and side dumps.
In 2010, Bay Ridge welcomed its new Primary Fire Response Engine Tanker, A 2010 Pierce Engine-Tanker (Engine 322). The aquisition of Rescue 123 gave the company the much needed room to expand its rescue capibilities especially with water rescue calls.
In 2014, Bay Ridge Vol. Fire Co., realizing the ever growing demand for modern equiptment, installed a solar array on the northern side of its property in hopes of reducing its operational costs and focusing more of its resources on serving the community.
In 2015, BRVFC determined that its 1995 KME Extracation Engine was showing its age. The company entered into a purchase agreement with Rosenbauer to build the new Engine 323 at its Rosenbauer Minnisota plant. It is a custom cab commander engine and will be delievered in the spring of 2016. The engine will outfitted not only for fire fighting, but also vehicle extracation and stabilization.