The obvious link between fire departments and fireworks today are in two areas. First, the enforcement of fireworks prohibitions, and secondly, dealing with some of the consequences that can include injuries and fires. In Marin County fire service history, there is also an unusual story of a partnership between the community, business, and a local fire department for over 15 years. A large fireworks display on Independence Day, the 4th of July, was performed for both entertainment, and to discourage individual neighborhood displays.
This year the evening news on July 4th featured huge fireworks going off around bay area cities like Oakland and San Jose. While this was spectacular in many cases, the problem was most were illegally being set off, with enforcement stretched thin due to the huge geographic area involved. To the north of Marin, four cities in Sonoma County including Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Cloverdale, and Sebastopol featured "Safe and Sane" fireworks sales and neighborhood displays. The rest of Sonoma County prohibited all sale and use of fireworks.
Read this week's feature story on how some members of the Corte Madera Volunteer Fire Department became licensed pyrotechnicians, and orchestrated huge displays that attracted tens of thousands of people for 14 years, starting in 1953. Learn what motivated the displays, and why they ended in the 1970's.
Our Blog announces new site content, and gives the context of the topic and it's relationship to fire service history. Written by Bill Lellis & Paul Smith