Fire Buffs promote the general welfare of the fire and rescue service and protect its heritage and history. Famous Fire Buffs through the years include New York Fire Surgeon Harry Archer, Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and - legend has it - President George Washington.

Ready to roll from Springfield Fire Headquarters on North Fountain Avenue

Tuesday, October 03, 2006



Oct. 24, 1887

"The residence of John Howell, president of the Lagonda National Bank, at Springfield, Ohio, was totally destroyed by fire yesterday morning, Loss $13,000. "


A century ago, a prank almost led to the loss of Myers Hall at Wittenberg College. The late Rev. Willard Hackenberg, of the Class of 1901, told this story: “Two students from Indiana decided to have some real excitement and set fire to the coal bins. What a fire that was! Think of the many tons of coal that were burned. ... The Springfield Fire Department came with great force, but because the water pressure was so low, all the firemen could do was protect the dorm. They had to allow the coal and the bins to burn.'' (Wittenberg Magazine - Spring 2001.)

SQUAD RUN - 1959

The obituary of Wilbur C. Wallace, who died of a heart attack on Jan. 22, 1959, makes mention of the fire division. It is posted on a genealogy web site for the Wallace family of Clark County. Wallace, 55, of 2359 Home City Road, was found by a newspaper boy in the rear of 1701 Lexington Avenue. ``The boy discovered the body about 4:30 pm, and ran to the nearby No 6 Engine House. Firemen there called the emergency squad which took the man to City Hospital,'' according to the Springfield Daily News.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006



Engine 10

In 1997, two members of the Springfield Fire Rescue Division received Ohio Fire Service Valor Award medals for risking their lives to save another.

Following is an account of their heroism:

``Responding to an apartment fire at 1136 North Fountain Avenue on March 3, 1996, Springfield Lieutenant Patrick J. Casey and Firefighter Paramedic Brian Wirth searched all four apartments for possible victims.

"With no hoseline for protection, they first checked the two downstairs apartments. Finding no occupants, they proceeded to the second floor, encountering heavy smoke in the hallway. Lt. Casey found a second floor apartment unoccupied as he heard Firefighter Wirth shout from the other apartment that he had found a victim.

"Upon entering the apartment, Lt. Casey met heavy smoke and heat, but he located Firefighter Wirth and the unconscious victim on the living room floor. As flames shot through the adjacent doorway, Lt. Casey positioned his body between the victim and the fire as they carried her to safety.''

In another act of valor, Firefighter Doug Boggs received a letter of commendation from the State of Ohio and the city's Distinguished Service Award for the rescue of a mother and child from a house fire on Lexington Avenue on Sept. 11, 2006.

According to the fire division's web site:

``Not only did FF/PM Boggs step up to perform a role of increased responsibility by serving as acting officer, he led FF/PM Greg Chadwell (a member of only 3 years experience) into adverse conditions without the full personal protective envelope and respiratory protection normally available to entry teams, he correctly controlled the actions of his fellow firefighter and limited his risk exposure, he correctly controlled the victims, he correctly controlled the interior environment, he rescued two individuals and returned to his unit, his peers and his family alive and well.''


This is a story about a forgotten firehouse and its mascot.

Old Fire Station No. 2 opened on Oct. 31, 1876 as the "Western Engine House."

"Rags" the firehouse dog is apparently buried ``at the rear of the engine house in the edge of the old Columbia Street cemetery,'' according to Capt. Calvin Roberds' book on the history of the Springfield Fire Division.

The poor dog was kicked or crushed by a fire horse when an alarm rang out on the firehouse bells. The firemen found him mortally wounded on their return, the story goes. (That would have been prior to April 1917, when the fire division became fully motorized.)

Originally, the building was a "small factory" and carried the address 50 North Factory St., which was later changed to 104 N. Wittenberg Ave.

Old Station No. 2 closed Sept. 7, 1932 as the Great Depression squeezed the city's finances. The men were reassigned.

The building still stands.

Company 2 was reorganized several years ago and now runs out of Station No. 7.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Hamlin C. King of Worthington, Ohio, is seeking information on his great grandfather, Robert Quigley King, who served as Springfield fire chief in the 19th century.

Following is an excerpt from the chief's obituary in 1917:

Mr. King was Springfield's second fire chief and one of its prominent citizens. He purchased the first hook and ladder wagon and the first chemical apparatus for the city. He was elected chief in 1871 and served until 1880, when he resigned.

Mr. King bought the bell which is now in use at Central engine house. He was always deeply interested in the fire department and invariably went to the fires.

About twenty-two years ago when the whip factory burned at Center and North Street, Mr. King was seriously injured by the roof falling in on him. He was removed from the building apparently dead, but it was soon found that he was not fatally hurt.

In discussing his grandfather's career, Hamlin King said that ``according to my late father, the rest of that story is that the other firemen kept him alive in the midst of the flames by spraying all their hoses on him until they could get him out. ''

Monday, July 31, 2006



Photo of interurban car on the C&LE

On Aug. 10, 1935, a speeding passenger coach collided with a work car on the Cincinnati & Lake Erie Traction Co. line three miles north of Springfield, killing seven people, according to newspaper accounts.

The "Daniel Boon Limited" was traveling southbound when it plowed into the work car on a sharp curve during a driving rain.

The Springfield Daily News reported: "Every ambulance and all available physicians in Springfield were pressed into service to care for the injured. ... Ambulances from Urbana assisted in the rescue work."

The New York Times reported: "Fifteen members of the Springfield Fire Department volunteered to submit to blood transfusions."


From 1903 ...

SPRINGFIELD, O.; Jan. 31---Twelve persons were injured in a street car accident last night, two of whom, Mrs. Addie Wheeler and Mrs. Bailey, are in a serious condition. A Big Four passenger train struck a street car at 7:45 o'clock at the Yellow Springs street crossing. The car was filled with people and drove it 50 feet past the crossing. It is said the accident was due to the motorman losing control of his car. Manager Miller of the street railway company refused to make a statement. (Fort Wayne News - Fort Wayne, Indiana - Jan. 31, 1903)


On April 20, 1890, the old Limestone Street Bridge over Buck Creek collapsed, killing four spectators at a baptismal ceremony and injuring 50 others. ``Screams, yells, shrieks and groans comingled,'' The New York Times reported. The Springfield police wagon "was filled with the unfortunates, and immediately conveyed to where medical and surgical assistance could be had," according to the Springfield Weekly Republic. An estimated 600 people stood on the bridge, which had been condemned six months earlier, repaired and reopened to traffic. Another 2,000 spectators lined the creek, according to newspaper accounts.


On Feb. 5, 1872, Springfield and Yellow Springs were rocked by a series of explosions at the Miami Powder Company, which was located 14 miles south of the city at Goe's Station on the Little Miami Railroad. The blasts killed five or six men, according to newspaper accounts. The shock was also felt in parts of Dayton, Urbana and Xenia.

Friday, June 09, 2006


HONOR GUARD: "Springfield, Ohio, Fire Division honor guard Lt. Matt Smith is reflected in the ax he holds during a memorial service for victims of the Sept. 11 attacks" on the second anniversary, according to the Sept. 12, 2003 edition of the Seattle Times.

Monday, June 05, 2006

RIGS 2006/2007


From top - Miami Breaking News photo of house fire, Engine 7, Medic 7

Written 2006

The Springfield Fire Rescue Division expanded the reach of its emergency medical services with the establishment of combination companies. An ambulance billing program provided the funds to double the number of engine/paramedic companies to six.

Each medic unit ``is now staffed with an additional certified EMT or paramedic'' - for a total of three, according to a Citizens Guide to EMS. ``Depending on the nature of the emergency, crews will respond with either an ambulance or a fire truck (not both), whichever is appropriate.''

Medical calls account for about 11,000 runs annually. The number of ``working fires'' is a fraction of that.

Station No. 1 - Headquarters
350 N. Fountain Ave.
Battalion 1- 2003 Chevrolet Suburban (Platoon commander)
Rescue #1 - 1998 Luverne/HME (Hazardous Incident Response Team)

Hazmat #1 - 2005 Stuphen
Truck #9 - 1993 Sutphen *
(* Also used as a manpower pool and placed out of service when a platoon is short of personnel, according to 2005 Annual Report.)

Station No. 3

1401 Selma Rd.
Engine #3 - 1989 Pierce
Medic #3 - 2003 International/Horton
(+ Combination company - Engine company crew cross-staffs paramedic unit.)

Station No. 4
1565 Lagonda Ave.
Truck #4 - 1995 E-One
Air #27 - 1991 International
Support #27 - 1974 International
(Air #27 and Support #27 are operated by the volunteers Box 27 Associates)

Station No. 5
1707 Commerce Rd.
Truck #5 - 1996 Smeal/HME

Station No. 6 +
422 Ludlow Ave.
Engine #6 - 2002 Pierce
Medic #6 - 2000 Int’l/1992 Horton (re-chasis)
(+ Combination company - Engine company crew cross-staffs paramedic unit.)

Station No. 7 +

437 E. Home Rd.
Engine #2 - 1995 Navistar/Pierce
Engine #7 - 2004 Pierce
Medic #2 - 2003 International/Horton

Medic #7 - 1997 International/Horton
(+ Combination companies - Engine company crews cross-staff paramedic units.)

Station No. 8

735. W. Pleasant St.
Engine #8 - 2002 Pierce
Engine #10 - 1994 Navistar/Pierce
Medic #8 - 2004 International/Horton

Medic #10 - 2001 Int’l/1991 Horton
(+ Combination companies - Engine company crews cross-staff paramedic units.)
SOURCE: SFD Annual Report 2005

NOTE: Station No. 2 closed in 1932 (Great Depression). Station No. 9 closed in 1974 (municipal budget).

APPARATUS ROSTER at of March 2007

Engine 2

Rescue 1

 Reserve Engine 11

Truck 4

Truck 9

Battalion 1

Medic 2

Battalion 1 - 2003 Chevrolet Suburban
Community Education Trailer - 1999 Haulmark
Engine #2 - 1995 Navistar/Pierce
Engine #3 - 1989 Pierce
Engine #6 - 2002 Pierce
Engine #7 - 2004 Pierce
Engine #8 - 2002 Pierce
Engine #10 - 1994 Navistar/Pierce
Engine #11 - 1986 Pierce (Reserve)
Fire Safety Trailer - 2004 Surrey 36BLTD
Hazmat #1 - 2005 Sutphen
Medic #2 - 2003 International/Horton
Medic #3 - 2002 International/Horton
Medic #4 - 1995 International/Horton
Medic #5 - 1997 International/Horton
Medic #6 - 2000 International/1992 Horton
Medic #7 - 2006 International/Medtec
Medic #8 - 2004 International/Horton
Medic #9 - 1993 International/Horton (Reserve)
Medic #10 - 2001 Int’l/1991 Horton
Operations - 1994 Chevrolet Suburban
Rescue #1 - 1998 Luverne/HME
Rescue Trailer - 1999 US Cargo
Truck #4 - 1995 E-One
Truck #5 - 1996 Smeal/HME
Truck #9 - 1993 Sutphen