What a difference 100 years makes.

The Nichols Fire Department was founded Jan. 23, 1917, in the living room of one of its charter members, and operated Model T fire trucks in its early days. Trumbull was a farming community, but with World War I raging in Europe the town had started to transform into a suburban hub for the factory workers based in Bridgeport. Last week, the volunteers capped the department’s 100th anniversary year with a gala banquet attended by more than 300 people, including some who traveled hundreds, or thousands, of miles to attend.

“It was a great event, we had people from all over. One former volunteer even flew up from Mexico to be there,” said Chief Andrew Kingsbury. “The other departments in town were represented there, too. We even got a proclamation from the state legislators.”

Kingsbury said the department’s first members formed in 1917, and the state chartered the district in 1919. Before that, the area depended on Stratford or Bridgeport fire companies to respond to emergencies. Nichols Station #1 was completed in 1938. That served as the only firehouse in Nichols until Station #2 was built 35 years later.

Kingsbury, who has been a volunteer since 1980, said the changes he has seen are more traffic and larger houses in the area, but the most important aspect of the department is unchanged: the department’s commitment to serve and protect the community.