Honored in Apalachin 

Honored in Apalachin Donald Baumbach, at the podium, and at the time in his role as AFD Chaplain, speaks during the department's 100th Anniversary Celebration. Baumbach, along with fellow fireman K.C. Tripp, recently achieved 50-plus years of service with the AFD. (File Photo / JoAnn R. Walter)

The Apalachin Fire Department (AFD) held a special celebration on March 25 in honor of two of its members, Donald Baumbach and K.C. Tripp, who have both achieved a major milestone of 50-plus years of dedicated service.

Family and friends from near and far, local officials and fire department members gathered at Station No. 1, located at 230 Pennsylvania Ave., to offer congratulations, share memories, and shake hands in appreciation to Baumbach and Tripp. 

Honored in Apalachin 

From left, AFD Chief Mike George and 2nd Assistant Chief Ray Standish present Donald Baumbach with a 50-plus year plaque during a ceremony held on March 25. (JoAnn R. Walter Photo)

AFD Chief Mike George opened the ceremony, and remarked, “Doing anything for 50 years, what a commitment it is,” and acknowledged, “A lot of the ability to serve is because of the family and friends that are behind you all those years. “

Second Assistant Chief Ray Standish joined Chief George and presented an AFD plaque to each, which read, in part, “Our sincere gratitude for your 50-plus years of faithful service, leadership and integrity, and selfless dedication to the AFD and our community.”

Honored in Apalachin 

From left, AFD Chief Mike George and 2nd Assistant Chief Ray Standish present K.C. Tripp, seated, with a 50-plus year plaque at a ceremony held on March 25. (JoAnn R. Walter Photo)

Chief George also presented each with some life-member apparel, and then took a step back in time to show a vintage reproduction of a tee shirt featuring the name, “Hose Twisters.”

Baumbach and Tripp were a part of that award-winning hose team that started in the late 1950’s, including the 1972 championship team. Both recalled weekly practices and traveling throughout central New York to compete.      

Honored in Apalachin 

AFD Chief Mike George holds up a vintage reproduction of a tee shirt that features the name, “Hose Twisters.” Fifty-plus year members Donald Baumbach and K.C. Tripp were a part of the award-winning Hose Twisters. Also pictured is K.C.’s wife, Sue, and Donald’s wife, Polly. (JoAnn R. Walter Photo)

Several proclamations were presented at the ceremony, including recognition from the Firefighters Association of the State of New York.

Dean Morgan, representing the Town of Owego, declared March 25, 2023 as “Kenneth Charles Tripp and Donald Baumbach Day,” and Tioga County Legislators Barbara Roberts and Jake Brown shared a proclamation on behalf of the County Legislature.  

Brian Rieber, chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Apalachin Fire District, shared proclamations sent by Thomas F. O’Mara, N.Y.S. Senator from the 58th District, and Christopher S. Friend, N.Y.S. Assemblyman from the 124th District. Both O’Mara and Friend commended Tripp and Baumbach for their exemplary volunteer service.  

Honored in Apalachin 

The Apalachin Fire Department (AFD) held a special celebration on March 25, and in honor of two of its members, Donald Baumbach and K.C. Tripp, who have both achieved a major milestone of 50-plus years of dedicated service. (JoAnn R.Walter Photo)

Baumbach joined the AFD in May of 1969, and Tripp joined in March of 1970.  Both have served in a number of roles over the course of five-plus decades.

From district roles to line officers, and then chaplain and a fire police member, just to name a few, Baumbach has worn many hats. But one opportunity in particular, he said, is something he will always cherish.

Honored in Apalachin 

Pictured are the AFD Hose Twisters of which K.C. Tripp and Donald Baumbach were a part of, and who are now celebrating 50-plus years with the AFD. The Hose Twisters competed throughout Central NYS and brought home a number of trophies. Provided photo.

During the planning process for the AFD’s 100th anniversary, Baumbach formed a committee and took on the role of historian, and remarked, “I really enjoyed the historian role and gathering memorabilia.”

Baumbach said that he joined the AFD just one month ahead of the first AFD Field Days, and remarked that one of his first jobs was, “Working at the soda stand where I sold soda in classic Kies bottles.” 

“I remember my first fire, too,” Baumbach reflected, and said, “It was at the Candlelite Lounge, which is now Bud’s Place.”

Honored in Apalachin 

K.C. Tripp, foreground, watches as the former AFD Station No. 1 structure is demolished in 2017. Tripp, along with fellow fireman Donald Baumbach, recently achieved 50-plus years of service with the AFD. (File Photo / JoAnn R. Walter)

Tripp has also worn his share of hats while in the AFD, from line officer roles to training, driving the ambulance and administering emergency first aid assistance, along with fire police and assisting at drill nights, just to name a few.

Tripp said that he joined at about age 18, and at the time he did not have a driver’s license. So when the fire tones went off, K.C. chuckled, “I was running toward the station, and then fellow fireman Victor Bird (who lived further up the road) would pick me up along the way.”

Tripp was a regular at the AFD Field Days, too, and where in the early days he manned the break-a-plate game, and then for more than 20 years could be found at the pizza booth. K.C. also reminisced about dressing up in full uniform to be part of the annual Field Days parade.

To learn more about the Apalachin Fire Department, visit www.apalachinfd.com.

Additionally, The Owego Pennysaver staff wishes to share our condolences with the family of Kenneth Brinkman.  Brinkman, who passed away on March 3, was a 60-plus year AFD member, and his daughter, Judy Nice, was a longtime employee with the Owego Pennysaver Press.

1 Comment on "Honored in Apalachin "

  1. WOW!!!!! So many wonderful memories flooded through my mind when I saw the picture of the championship hose twister’s. They were all dear friends and great people who dedicated their lives to helping friends and community!! Congratulations to Don, Casey, and to my late friend, Mr Brinkman. My heart goes out to the Brinkman family I was out of town and could not be there to share in accomplishment and honor you men, as you all well deserve!!!!!!

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