It all started in 1923 and continues to this day. The 100th anniversary of the Volunteer Fire Brigade is a real event. Droogs from Topola Wielka in the district of Przygodzice are proud that they can serve and help people and for a century their ancestors have been involved in the life of the local community. Because these types of activities, apart from firefighting activities and emergency trips, are the essence of the presence of the volunteer fire brigade in rural areas.
A large fire of three nearby warehouses, which was caused by an electric strike in 1923 in Topola Wielka in the district of Przygodzice – this event inspired the villagers to take action to extinguish the fire, and then to form the Fire Brigade. When creating a bulletin on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the guard, friends sought this information among the oldest inhabitants of the village. – When the fire brigade was established before the war, they (firemen – editor’s note) participated in various ceremonies. And the interesting thing is that in 1924, as they said, there was a festival here and a procession through the village, from the school to the end of the village. There is a cross there and four trees were planted there – three birches and one sycamore. These three birches showed three parts, and the strong Poland of the sycamore – says Stanisław Prukała, currently the honorary president of the Volunteer Fire Department in Topola Wielka. During the war, command was taken by the Germans. After 1944, things were different with the volunteer guards in Topola Wielka – once they fell, and resumed their activities after some time.
Mr. Stanisław Prukała was the president of OSP for 28 years, and he joined his posts in 1968, after a fire in the house where he lived. – We had a thatched house, and a new one was being built and this one caught fire and burned down. And then such young people, we were 17, 18 years old, gathered, because this guard somehow settled here. Our first competition was Przygodzice. We went there with fear and uncertainty, but we took the first place, so it gave us wings – adds Mr. Stanisław. When it comes to volunteer firefighting training, it often happens that the passion is passed down from generation to generation. It is not different from Topola Wielka – now the president of the institution is the father of Mr. Stanisław, Tomasz. “At the moment, all members of my immediate family are involved in the fire service. The eldest son can already take action, the youngest son and daughter still, but they sympathize with us. The wife helps in official matters, because there are also many official jobs. I also think it has been instilled in us and for now I think it will stay – explains the president of the Volunteer Fire Department in Topola Wielka, Tomasz Prukała.
The Volunteer Fire Brigade Unit in Topola Wielka was re-established in 2019. Previously, the droogs did not have a proper vehicle and practical trips were frequent. Today, they travel about 25 times a year for various events. Those actions include, as Mr. As Tomasz said, the main types of the genre – eg saving a cat trapped in a well, but also trips to difficult, scary events, such as the gas explosion in Jankow Przygodzki. Volunteer firefighters from Topla Wielka are proud that their unit celebrates 100 years this year. They want to do their jobs to the best of their ability, because helping others is their firefighting goal, but also their passion. – As of today, the staff of our unit is 28 people, including 14 droogs who can participate directly in events who have completed basic training, and this is done by the State Fire Service in Ostrów Wielkopolski, they have a current investigation medical and insurance. These are the three conditions that a friend must meet in order to participate directly in events – explains Ireneusz Nowak, head of the Volunteer Fire Department in Topola Wielka.
The volunteer firefighters from Topola Wielka will celebrate the 100th anniversary of their existence on Sunday, May 28, during a ceremony that they will organize on the field in their town.