For 100 years, the Chester Volunteer Fire Department has had a presence in the state's northernmost city. That is quite a feat.
To recognize that fact, the VFD is, itself, saying "thanks" to the community it serves.
The Chester VFD 100th Anniversary Celebration is in full swing and by all indications is a huge success. The event, held along Fourth Street, between Carolina and Indiana avenues, in Chester, was rejuvenated from similar fairs held by the VFD, and is the first variation since 1983.
"We are doing this as a way of saying 'thank you' to everybody for 100 years," Chief John Hissam said.
It's the community, however, that should be thanking the Chester VFD.
Tracing its origins to 1914, when charter members met for an organizational meeting, fire protection has been in place for a century, nearly as long as the city it serves.
Today, the department is as vibrant as ever. There are 17 active members. And the company has a top-notch fleet of vehicles and equipment to not only perform on land, but to cover the Ohio River as well.
It's annual fundraiser - Fall Bash -brought in an estimated $400,000 last year. Plus the VFD has ventured into other business endeavors to continue to build its coffers.
But all that money is not kept in-house as the Chester VFD contributes to local organizations and events year-round. They are arguably unmatched in their donations to the community they serve.
We congratulate Hissam and his company for reaching this milestone.
The celebration continues 5-11 p.m. today and 1-11 p.m. Saturday. A parade is set for 5 p.m. Saturday with fireworks scheduled later that night at 10.
There is something for every member of the family as the centennial celebration includes children's rides, old-style games, food vendors, craft booths and live music. We urge residents to take part in the festivities.
And, if you see Hissam or any other Chester firefighter, we ask you thank them for the services they provide.