Orange Fire Chief Speechless After Presentation

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Mar 172017

OVFD Auxiliary President Jillian Gagel presents Chief John Knight with a huge donation.

On Thursday evening the Orange Volunteer Fire Department hosted its annual meeting at Racebrook Country Club.

Traditionally, the yearly event is when new officers are sworn in, service awards are presented, the Firefighter of the Year is revealed and the Women’s Auxiliary presents the chief with a check.

The Auxiliary raises money for fire equipment in a number of ways throughout the year: selling baked goods, cook books, pies at the Country Fair, hosting the pancake breakfast, pancake dinner and of course, Santa’s Helper.

Auxiliary President Jillian Gagel said thanks to the public’s help, the auxiliary had a very good year. “We’re happy to present you with this check for $13,000 to go toward the purchase of an infrared camera.”

Everyone in the room gasped at her announcement (last year the donation totaled $9,000) and OVFD Chief John Knight was so stunned that he was speechless. Although, once the amount of the donation sunk in, he was able to beautifully express his gratitude.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department depends upon the public’s support in order to provide the community with their excellent service 24/7. Orange residents should keep this in mind when they see an Auxiliary fundraiser announced or when it comes time to purchase raffle tickets for the OVFD Carnival.


Orange Volunteer Fire Association Welcomes New Chief

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Mar 122014

Fire Chief John Knight takes the oath of office.

Fire Chief John Knight takes the oath of office.

When Fire Chief Charles Gagel decided not to run for re-election after 6 years in the top seat it opened the door for his second in command to move up and take his place.

At the Annual Meeting and Installation Dinner, the Orange Volunteer Fire Association welcomed its new Chief John Knight, who will carry on a family tradition.

His grandfather, William Knight was a charter member and chief from 1925-1945.

His Father Frank Knight was Chief from 1979 – 1988.

His Brother, Fred Knight served as Chief from 1996 – 2004.

You know John from the family business, Knight’s Inc,, 286 Boston Post Road, or through his wife, Lynn, who is active in the community with the Fire Auxiliary and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

John is a soft-spoken man, devoted husband, father of three, and dedicated to the Orange Volunteer Fire Association.

john knight

Lynn Knight presents her husband, John with his new Chief’s Hat

After First Selectman Jim Zeoli administered the Oath of Office, Knight addressed the men and women of the department and asked all active members to stand.

“I can’t do this alone, and I won’t,” he said.  “This evening is not about me, it’s about all of you.”

Knight said he was proud of the volunteers and that he knew they would continue to work together well.

He told the Fire Chiefs from neighboring departments that he knew he could continue to reach out to them for assistance and that Orange would be there for them in times of need.

Lynn was called to the front of the room to present her husband with his new Chief’s Hat — a longtime department tradition.

Past Chief Charlie Gagel served the town proudly for 6 years and will continue responding to calls as a volunteer firefighter.