The Sherburne Fire Department (SFD) is built on pride and a long-standing tradition of grade A firefighting. Every member of the department volunteers his/her time to endless training, funds raisers, and bettering the community. While most of the volunteer time is spent on non-emergency duties, there are a few notable fires that SFD has responded to:
In 1880 the Sherburne Congregational Church on the corner of route 12 and route 80 suffered a devastating fire. The nature of the building and early fire equipment prohibited the firefighters from saving the building but successful efforts were made to save nearby buildings.
1891 saw the fire that destroyed the original Sherburne Opera House and Plumb Block.
Perhaps the most costly fire seen by Sherburne was in 1974. A small fire broke out in the first block of East State St. that quickly spread to most of the block. Pudney's Clothing store, Turner's Jewelry, and Alice's Restaurant suffered the worst damages. The blaze lasted through the night into the next day and required mutual aid from numerous other fire departments.
While disastrous fires are heartbreaking for those involved, a brighter note in SFD's history is the annual Pageant of the Bands. Known as one of the largest marching band festivals on the east coast, the Pageant of the Bands also includes jazz band and field show competitions. The soul behind the Pageant is the late Albert B. Whitney. Whitney, with the help of many others, held the first Pageant in 1949. SFD along with Sherburne-Earlville Central School keep the tradition of the Pageant alive today.