The Wauseon Fire Department exists to provide a
safe environment for the community by minimizing
the impact of fire, disaster, hazardous conditions,
illness and injury through information, public education,
quality service and efficient utilization of
|HISTORY OF THE WAUSEON FIRE DEPARTMENT
The Wauseon Fire Department was first organized in January 1862 as the "private Fire Company".
Fifty dollars of village funds were appropriated to build a "Fire Engine House" to serve the needs of
approximatley 400 citizens that lived in the village of Wauseon at the time. another $10.00 was given to
Milo Portor for 100 feet of fire ladder. It was during this era that a hand pumper was purchased
from the City Of Toledo and today this same pumper is completely restored and on display at the Toledo
Fire Department Museum in Toledo, Ohio.
A hose cart was obtained followed by a ladder wagon, likewise pulled by hand. The source of water for the
hand pumper was a series of large cisterns located along Fulton Street. For areas out of reach of the cisterns,
private cisterns and open wells were used. A bucket brigade was established which involved private citizens
in the battle against the flames.
The first fire engine was purchased in 1863. The fire engine's first "siren" was a tumpet donated by the
"Phoenix Insurance Company". The first fire engine was first used at a fire on Thursday, April 30, 1863
at about 2 p.m. in a dweling house of B.S. Waldron, which was approximatley 100 rods from the engine house.
The engine company were on hand soon after the fire was discovered, but on the account of the scarcity of water
did but little execution. The company afterwards took the engine to the reservoir and "worked it successfully".
In may 1863, the company voted to uniform themselves as a firefighting unit. By 1864, Wauseon was growing
considerably in population as well as the business section of town and the many proprietorsexpressed the need
for a more capeable fire fighting team. In January 1874 the "Wauseon Volunteer Fire Department" was
established and the "Private Fire Company: was disbanded. In 1875, the second fire engine was purchased.
Both the new fire engine and the origional engine were useful additions to putting out the many fires that
wood and coal-burning furnaces and stoves caused during the cold winters in Northwestern Ohio.
With the installation of the Wauseon water system and the invention of the automobile, the way was paved
to purchase a motorized fire truck in 1916, a "Seagrave" pumper was purchased, which is currently being
restored by department members and is currently on display in the Wauseon Fie Department.
In the late 1920's, the Clinton Township Trustees first organized the need for rural fire protection. As a result,
in conjuntion with the Wauseon Fire Department and Village Council, a chemical truck was purchased.
The township trustees delegated the Wauseon Fire Department to man the truck, which was housed at the
Wauseon Fire Station located at Clinton and Depot Street. This was one of the first efforts of rural fire fighting
protection in the State of Ohio.
In the late 1930's the need for a rescue squad was foreseen by the various Fulton County Fire Departments.
The first squad was purchased from funds raised by the "Wauseon Fire Department's Annual Feather Party".
Since the 1930's, equipment has been purchased with money from this annual fundraiser with special equipment
being donated by various organizations throughout the years.
No records are available as to who was the first Wauseon Fire Chief, but records from the early 1900's indicate
the Frank Becker was Chief, followed in order by Silas Overmeyer, George Geer, Roscoe Raker, Albert gype,
Harold Robinson, Eugene Gorsuch, Howard Schlosser, Robert Barnes, James Gamber, Marvin Wheeler, and
the curent Fire Chief Richard Sluder.
Today the department's vehicles include the following apparatus:
2 - EMS units (purchased by Fulton County EMS)
1- 100' Ariel Tower
3 - six man cab engines (two of which are equiped with jaws of life units)
1 - HMMWVV brush truck
1 - Chevy utility truck
1 - Equipment truck (Used for water rescue)
1 - Tanker (carrying 3,000 gallons of water)
1 - 14' rescue boat
HISTORIC WAUSEON FIRES
- In 1960, the Wauseon Elementary and Junior High School explosion on Clinton Street occured, wich is
where the current fire department is located.
- A fire at Hammontree's Appliance Store threatened the Wauseon downtown district in 1966 drew assistance
from four other departments.
- Head - on - train collision in 1976 where four trainmen were killed instantly.
- The 1977 Tedrow Storage Building and Body Shop fore drew five other departments to assist Wauseon. One 1,500
gallon tanker made 23 round trips to re-fill from a fire hydrant.
- The 1980 fire destryed the "Pet Milk Company" building resulting in a loss of over $1.3 million dollars, one of the
largest fires in Wauseon history.
- Another large fire, which occured in Wauseon was located at the "Winnor Canning Company" in 1982 causing
over $1.1 million dollars in damage.
- May 1990, 5,000 sq. ft. Ohio Cellular Products warehouse was destroyed by fire.
- Wauseon Silo Co. manufacturing building was destryed by fire in 1993.
- 2002 - Historic downtown Arcade fire - two people perished in the fire.
- July 2005 - Claimont Mannor Apartments caught fire
- April 16, 2007 - Doc Holiday's Resturant caught fire resulting in the loss of numerous building in the
downtown district. Over 2,000,000 gallons of water were used from the Wauseon water system and
numerous fire departments from Ohio and Michigan were used to put the fire out.