New museum will exhibit WWFD history

12 Nov

A new museum is taking shape at the West Webster Fire Department on Gravel Rd., and it’s pretty neat.

The museum is located in its own bay on the north side of the station, specially designed for that purpose when the new station was built in 2019. It’s not a huge space, but it’s packed with old artifacts representing the WWFD’s long history.

I got a personal tour the other day from Al Sienkiewicz, one of about a dozen WWFD members who have been working on the museum for more than a year. Al gave me a quick lesson in the department’s history, including how it was created following a fire in 1925 which devastated West Webster.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is a 1935 Ford pumper engine. Surrounding the engine are displays of old communication equipment, nozzles, first aid equipment and more. Three mannequins illustrate the transition of turnout gear, from a long overcoat to today’s short coat, bunker pants and complete equipment ensemble.

The WWFD also has a 1974 Cadillac ambulance, which replaces the pumper in the museum for six months of the year.

There’s still a lot to do before the committee considers the museum finished … if they ever do. For example, they’re working on restoring a huge 1924 map of the fire district for one wall and figuring out how to best use another large, blank wall on the south side of the bay. They’ll be adding informational placards on some of the exhibits, and Al would like to create a display about the civil side of the department.

The museum isn’t officially open to the public yet, although many people got a sneak peek at the WWFD’s Fire Prevention Open House last month. In the meantime, they continue to collect items for more displays and fine-tune their current ones.

They’re still on the lookout for antique fire equipment to include in the museum, especially anything from the WWFD. If you come across something in your attic that you’d like to donate, drop them an email at or call them at 585-671-4141.

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