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

Thursday, April 10, 2008



Photo: Fire Division web site

On May 7, 2004, J. Mike Beers (right), who served as chief of the Springfield Fire Rescue Division from 2000-2010, received an Ohio Fire Executive diploma from Stan Crosley, president of the Ohio Fire Chiefs' Association at Ohio State University. The OFE program is an intensive, two-and-a-half year executive education course for senior fire service officers. Beers was appointed to the fire division in 1975 and advanced through the ranks. In 1991, he was promoted from captain to assistant chief, upon the retirement of Assistant Chief James Oldham. In 2000, he followed Frank Montes De Oca Jr. as fire chief.

Nathaniel Cook 1854 (Volunteer)

James Cushman 1855 (Volunteer)

Abram Ludlow 1856-1857 (Volunteer)

Jeremiah Klinefelter 1857-1859 (Volunteer)

William Blakeny 1859-1865 (Volunteer)

Abram Ludlow 1865-1871

Robert King 1891-1879

J. Christie Holloway 1879-1882

William Moore Jr. 1882-1884

Ed Simpson 1884-1895

George Follrath, 1895-1904

Samuel Hunter, 1904-1928 (Hired from outside fire division)

Louis Locher, 1928-1934

Grover Frock, 1934-1952

Willard Compton, 1952-1963

John Gnau, 1963-1970

Frank Trempe Jr. 1970-1980

William Edgington 1980-1983

William Casey 1984-1989 (Served as acting chief before appointment. Also acted as temporary city manager.)

Donald Lee 1992-1997 (Served as acting chief before appointment )

Frank Montes De Oca Jr. 1997-2000 (Hired from outside fire division)

J. Mike Beers 2000-2010

Nicholas Heimlich 2010-present


Over the years, three of Springfield's fire chiefs served as presidents of the Ohio Fire Chiefs' Association:

Chief Willard C. Compton

Chief Grover L. Frock

Chief Samuel F. Hunter

Additionally, the chief's association presented its Distinguished Service Award to retired Springfield Fire Chief Frank Trempe in 1983. The members of Box 27 Associates received the Distinguished Service Award a year earlier.



In the 1800s, former Springfield Fire Chief A.R. Ludlow, who also served as the city's Police and Fire Commissioner, ran for Governor of Ohio on the anti-liquor Prohibition ticket.