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Meet Sparky the FGFD Mascot

For centuries, Dalmatians have been the unofficial mascot for firefighters in the United States. In years past, they stood tall alongside those who risked their lives.

As early as the mid-1870s they were being used as carriage dogs by the FDNY. Back then, these courageous canines would run ahead of the horse-drawn, fire equipment laden carriage and help clear the way. Dalmatians have a reputation for getting along great with horses and would even have a calming effect on their equine pals.

Over time, carriages turned into engine driven vehicles that no longer needed horses, and fire dogs began to pivot from working dogs to mascots of the fire department. While we do not have a “real” dalmatian at the FGFD, we do have Sparky. Back in 2007, firefighter Gary Storer worked for Landscape Solutions. They had a collection of animal statues and Gary was eying the “dog” and thought it would make a great addition to Station One. When Landscape Solutions discovered the purpose of Gary’s desire to buy the statue, they donated it to Gary and the FGFD. Gary enlisted the aid of firefighter Chris Rhind, renowned hunting decoy painter, to turn the gray statue into our SPARKY. Over the years Chris has kept Sparky in tip top shape while he guards the home of your dedicated volunteers. The pooch has come to have a special place in the community’s heart. Often, anonymous residents would dress Sparky in the trappings of the season. A Santa Hat at Christmas, as Uncle Sam on the 4th of July or as a Leprechaun for St. Pat’s Day. Stop by Station One to see Sparky guarding the station and take a moment to remember your FGFD Volunteers who serve the community 365/24/7.

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