Fire Department History

SINCE 1947

The first known action by anyone was taken in the year 1898, by a group of Township residents. They met at the home of Adam Braun and organized a volunteer fire department.
They built a two wheel cart and mounted a fifty gallon cylinder tank to the cart. The cart was equipped with a hand pump, buckets, and fifty foot of hose no bigger than a modern garden hose. The new fire cart was housed in the rear of Kreiling’s Saloon. This was the beginnings of the current Fairfield Township Fire Department.
The next recorded history is in 1922 when a group of residents known as the Rosedale Improvement Association procured ten fire extinguishers. They were installed in every third house in the subdivision. This system served until 1945 when the need for more adequate fire protection could no longer be ignored. This was due to a fire in October of 1944 on Pater Avenue where several members of a family were burned to death in a structure fire.
The Fairfield and Belmont Volunteer Firemen’s Association was formed. These men worked to gather donations to purchase a fire truck. Volunteers paid an initiation fee of $10 to the association and served without pay. With donated material and men from the association working together, the first fire station was built on the corner of Tuley Road and Belmont Avenue – (This is a vacant lot today).
In 1946 the volunteers had a fire house for their newly acquired truck. The truck was a 1930 Model A Ford, which was refurbished by Fred Mullins and Ralph Kearney. It carried 1500 gallons of water. Many times the volunteers themselves paid for the oil and gas for the truck.
Ralph Kearney was appointed Chief of the Department.
Fred Mullins and Garth Day were appointed Assistant Chief of the Department.
In June of 1947 it became apparent that this small organization could not provide adequate protection for the entire township. A meeting was called by Harold Linz to discuss the possibility of passing a bond issue to fund a township fire department. The trustees being John McGreevy, Carl Schiering, and A.B. McCormick agreed to place the issue on the ballot that November. The bond issued passed by an overwhelming majority.
In 1948 a 500 gallon International Fire Truck was purchased by the township and housed in a new fire house built on Tylersville Road on the corner of Exeter Street. This fire house is still in use today.
Figure 1