November 14, 2013

Keene Valley honors longtime firefighter

KEENE VALLEY — There are lots of Halls in Keene Valley Hose and Ladder Co. No. 1.

Three generations to be exact — 150 years in combined volunteer service.

At a recent celebration, the Fire Department paid tribute to the eldest, the one who started it all.

Richard L. “Dick” Hall has been part of the crew for 57 years, variously its leader and strategist.

He’s a former fire chief — for 15 years — and current chief of the Fire Police.

And both his son Ron Hall and grandson Ryan Hall also serve with Keene Valley’s volunteer fire company. Ron is a former chief, and Ryan is third assistant chief now.

Current Keene Valley Fire Chief Stephen “Rusty” Hall is a second cousin to Ron — the two firefighters’ grandfathers were brothers.

And Ian Hall, Rusty’s son, is also a firefighter here and second assistant chief.


Dick Hall chuckled as senior members of the crew recalled adventures past. 

Larry House, another former Keene Valley fire chief, remembered when the Hose and Ladder Company’s newest truck was a 1958 model.

“In 1978,” he said, “we thought it was time to get a new fire truck.”

After placing the order, Dick Hall and House drove to Indianapolis to pick it up. On the road, headed home, they opened a side panel in the cab.

“And here’s a bottle of Jim Beam,” House said.

Well, he said, the firefighters didn’t imbibe until they stopped at a hotel, but the discovery was testament to the trip.


House also shared a recollection of a bad house fire in Keene Valley during the 1980s. He and Dick, then fire chief, had recently trained to spot back-draft scenarios. 

At the Quinn residence that day, House said, “it was a bad situation, the smoke was puffing out from under the eves. We came up with a plan … and it worked. 

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