The Johnston Association of Firefighters Local 1950 now ranks as one of the most unique unions in the state — and possibly New England.
It became that way last Friday morning under a sparkling sunshine outside the Johnston Fire Department headquarters located off Atwood Avenue during a brief, yet impressive and historic ceremony highlighted by Local 1950 officials accepting two extraordinary gifts from former Johnston Fire Department Chief Alan Zambarano, now 83, and the Hose Company No. 1 Volunteers.
For starters, Local 1950 took ownership of a shiny and pristine 1936 Maxim antique fire engine that for years served as a valuable vehicle to keep the citizens of Johnston safe.
Moreover, the long-dedicated Zambarano presented Local 1950 officials with what JFD Lt. Jon Pistacchio called “a generous and sizeable donation that will help the Johnston Association of Firefighters supplement our programs that for years have benefitted many non-profit groups in town.”
Pistacchio, who was accompanied by firefighters Scott Thacker and Chris DelFino and Local 1950 Secretary-Treasurer Lt. David Pingitore, offered: “We truly appreciate the sizeable donation from Chief Zambarano and the Hose 1 Volunteers and we plan on using it to supplement our annual toy and food drives, sponsoring several families for the holidays and our continuing effort to help our community.”
The JFD lieutenant also explained that “We plan on continuing the work of Mike Placella, Alan Zambarano and other Hose 1 Volunteers by keeping that truck in top mechanical condition. It will be seen in parades for many years to come and will be driven by our members with pride in all former members honor.”
Pistacchio then explained why people have for years labeled Local 1950 as “perhaps the most unique firefighters group in the state.”
“The Johnston Firefighters Charitable Fund was established about 10 years ago to give us a way to better help our community,” Pistacchio explained. “Over the years it has allowed us to do many things, including helping countless families in need, donating to many local charities, sponsoring various Johnston youth sports teams.”
Heading the donation list, though, is purchasing several Automated External Defibrillators, which have been placed in schools and buildings throughout the town of Johnston.
Pistacchio further added that Local 1950 builds its charitable fund through donations like the one from Zambarano and Hose Company No. 1 and that every Johnston Firefighter also donates a portion of his or her salary to the fund every payday.
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