The Tallman, New York Fire Department will be hosting members of the Homburg am Main, Germany Fire Department for a week, starting September 7. The guests will be staying at the homes of Tallman firefighters during their visit.
Homburg am Main is a small picturesque wine-growing village in the Main-Spessart region of Bavaria near the City of Wuerzburg. The partnership or exchange program between the two fire departments began when, in response to the tragedy of 9/11, the volunteer fire department of Homburg am Main collected funds for the families of the nine firemen of Ladder 25 and Division 3, FDNY who died at the World Trade Center. The Homburg representatives brought the donation over to America in December of 2001. During their stay in New York, they visited the Tallman Firehouse, and the interchange program was established.
Six members of the Tallman Fire Department visited Homburg for the first time in July of 2002 as the guests of the Homburg Volunteer Fire Department. The Homburg firefighters made their homes available for the lodging of the Tallman firefighters, and the Tallman firemen marched in two parades in conjunction with the Village’s annual wine festival. Tallman members visited Homburg again in 2005, 2008 and 2015. Homburg’s first visit to Tallman was in 2003 when Tallman hosted 24 members from that village. Subsequently, Homburg visited Tallman in 2007, 2009, and 2011.
The Tallman Fire Department has planned an active schedule for its visitors from Germany.
It has arranged to pick them up at Newark Airport and to take them on several sightseeing tours. These will include a day in New York, where they will visit the World Trade Center 9/11 museum, the Freedom Tower and other downtown sites, finishing the day with a visit to an uptown firehouse of the Fire Department of the City of New York.
A second tour will take them to various New York City attractions, including Times Square, Rockefeller Center and Central Park. Locally, they will visit the County’s emergency dispatch center, 44-Control, and will march with Tallman in the annual Rockland County Volunteer Firemen’s Association parade on September 10. They will join Tallman members at a memorial service at the firehouse on the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11. A reception dinner will be held on September 7, and a farewell dinner will be held on September 14, both at the Tallman firehouse.
Chief Christopher Stevens, speaking for the Tallman Fire Department, stated “This partnership provides a mutual benefit to both departments through the interchange of cultural and firematic experiences, in addition to the continuing development of new friendships and understandings.”