~ our history ~
FIRE DEPARTMENT

 

 

C.S. Good sitting in the first fire truck purchased by the Pickerington Fire Department.

On October 28, 1927, Pickerington lost the large old inn that once stood at the corner of Center and Columbus Streets to a fire. The fire threatened the entire business district. In response to a call for aid, the Columbus Fire Department arrived with equipment and experienced firefighters. The distance was too great for the rescue of the hotel. The business district was saved, but the inn burned to the ground. The loss of the inn culminated a series of smaller fires that made the village realize its need for its own local fire department.

In 1934, the volunteer fire department was organized with Russell Huntwork named the fire chief. The department purchased its first fire truck, a 1917 tanker style truck. On the day of the delivery, the truck was called into service. The newly formed department responded to a call for assistance and rushed to a fire at the Hannah Ashton home.
The volunteers had begun their “training”.

Fire fighting gear was limited in those early years. The department only owned six fire suits. The first six men to respond to the fire alarm wore the suits. At a cost of $6 per month, the fire truck was housed in the garage of the Boivon Houser residence. An arrangement was made with several local farmers who, in exchange for the purchase of 500 feet of hose for the department, received the protection of the fire department at no additional charge. All others, outside the village limits were charged $35 per run. In the Fire Department’s first year of operation, fire calls were handled by Ohio Bell Telephone Company operators. A switch for the siren was installed within their reach.

In 1938 the fire department moved into its first purpose built facility, the brick structure at 22 North Center Street. The village had it constructed to serve as a combination of Mayors office and fire station. Three years later in 1941, the Pickerington Fire Department purchased its first “new” truck from the Ford Motor Co. The truck is still in service, but for the parade runs only.

Pickerington residence passed the bond the bond issue in 1953 to build a larger fire station and purchased an additional truck. The department was now serving the entire
Township and was renamed as the Violet Township Fire Department. The new fire station was built at 21 Lockville Road. The department was still a volunteer organization at this time.

Another truck was added in 1954 and an emergency squad in 1955. In 1964 a new truck designed to serve as a rescue and grass fire truck was purchased. Additional volunteers were added through the 1970’s. The first full time chief and firefighters were hired in 1985. They were on duty during the daytime hours Monday through Friday, when mot volunteers were not available.