|J. W. Hoysradt Hose & Chemical Company drum line in the 2009 Inspection Day parade.|
Not that long ago, when there were still six fire companies headquartered in six historic firehouses, Inspection Day offered residents and visitors the opportunity to stroll along Warren Street--from the Washington Hose firehouse at Front Street to the Phoenix and Edmonds firehouses on Park Place--touring each firehouse to view historic photographs and artifacts, as well as the gleaming fire fighting equipment housed there. A favorite object on the tour for many was the ornately carved fireplace surround on the second floor of the firehouse occupied by the C. H. Evans Hook & Ladder Company.
In recent years, with only four fire companies, three which reside in the consolidated fire station on North Sixth Street, Inspection Day has become a very different experience, but the Inspection Day parade has continued virtually unchanged. The fire companies of Hudson and volunteer fire companies from around the county, smartly attired in their dress uniforms, march down Warren Street, accompanied by their gleaming fire engines--both modern and historic--passing in review before local and state elected officials and the people they serve. Awards are given to the fire company that presents itself most impressively.
|C. H. Evans Hook & Ladder and Rogers Hose companies in the 2009 Inspection Day Parade.|
Now it appears that the Inspection Day parade may be a thing of the past. According to Haigh, poor attendance is the reason for contemplating abandoning the tradition. Poor attendance could easily be countered by more publicity and hype for this event, which is unique to Hudson and a tradition of long standing. The Inspection Day parade is an opportunity for the residents of Hudson to connect with and show their appreciation for the volunteer fire fighters who protect our city--its residents and its historic buildings. The alternative suggested by Haigh--a family day for members of the department--may address the issue of fire fighter morale, but it fails to bring the fire fighters and the community together--something that is needed even more now that most of our volunteer fire fighters, with the exception of the members of the Hoysradt company, are headquartered in a part of the city where most people rarely go.