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, August 23, 2012


Photo: Youngstown Fire web site
Old Engine 1 - Circa 1937 - Springfield, Ohio
In December 1937, the Springfield Fire Division took delivery of a closed-bed American LaFrance sedan pumper. This unique rig was assigned to the Central Engine House as Engine 1. There wasn't a rear running board like most engines of the era. Everyone traveled in the cab or the covered hose bed. Firefighters dubbed it the "Covered Wagon." It remained a front-line pumper until 1959.

Motor Driven Combinations in Fire Department Service
By Samuel F. Hunter, Chief of Fire Department, Springfield, Ohio.
Excerpt from Municipal Engineering
June 1913 
The city of Springfield, Ohio, not only enjoys the distinction of being the first municipality in this country to purchase a motor-driven pumping engine, but has reason to be proud of the fact that she was among the first cities in this section to realize the advantages and the savings of motor-driven combination chemical and hose wagons.

We have three of these motor-driven combinations in service and, while the financial saving over horse-drawn apparatus is considerable, the special advantage of being in a position of getting to a large number of fires in double-quick time and knocking them out before they gain headway, cannot be over estimated. The efficiency of our fire department has increased many fold since the installation of these machines, which are located in strategic positions, thus being enabled to make quick trips to the remotest parts of the city in four minutes' time.

These motor-driven combination chemical and hose wagons were furnished us by the Kelly-Springfield Motor Truck Company, Springfield, Ohio. Every part of these machines is very carefully and durably made and it is my belief that the motor has fewer parts than any other 4-cylinder, 4-cycle head motor built. This motor is not only completely enclosed, including the valves, but the only moving parts exposed are the two cross-shafts in front, which drive the magneto and water circulating pump.
The equipment of our combination chemical and hose wagon includes 1,200 to 1,500 feet of 2 1/2-Inch hose, one 40- gallon chemical tank, two 3-gallon acid and soda chemical extinguishers, hose basket, 200 feet of 3/4-inch hose, one nickel plated shut-off nozzle, one 20-foot extension ladder, one 12-foot roof ladder, together with the usual equipment of plaster hooks, pike poles, axes, storage battery, speedometer, lamps, lanterns, torches, nozzle plugs, etc.
Our motor-driven combinations respond to all alarms of fire in the city on first call and are always the first apparatus to arrive at the fire. Our combinations after reporting back at the engine house are ready for another alarm of fire 20 to 30 minutes sooner than our horse-drawn equipment, which responds to the same fire reports on duty with the horses sweating and blowing and tired and many times almost exhausted, and not in a condition to respond to another and immediate alarm of fire.


Photo: Youngstown Fire web site
Engine 1/Reserve 10 - 1959 Mack - Springfield, Ohio 
Pictured here is the original "Attack Pumper" in semi-retirement as Reserve Engine 10. The rig was painted safety green after it was scorched at a fire in the late 1970s. The Attack Pumper responded to all working fires in the city with a crew of four or five men following the Jan. 1, 1975 reorganization of the fire division.

4's & 5's

Photos: Youngstown Fire web site
Engine 4 and Engine 5 - Springfield, Ohio
These Ward LaFrance pumpers entered service in 1967, replacing American LaFrance rigs assigned to Engine 4 and Engine 5, according to the 1978 book "From Buckets to Diesels" by the late Calvin E. Roberds, a senior officer in the fire division.


Photos: Youngstown Fire web site
Truck 6 and Engine 6 - Circa 1970s - Springfield, Ohio


Photo: Youngstown Fire web site
1964 Mack assigned to Engine Co. 8 - Springfield, Ohio


Photo: Youngstown Fire web site
Box 27 - Springfield, Ohio
Light and air unit operated by volunteers of Box 27 Associates in the 1970s and 1980s; converted from fire division ladder truck.


Photo: Youngstown Fire website
Reserve Truck on the ramp at Station No. 1, Springfield Ohio


Photo: Youngstown Fire web site 
Reserve Engine 12 - Circa 1980 - Springfield, Ohio


Photo: Private Collection 


"Some Like It Hot" -- Street scene from Dayton, Ohio; outside the Ohio Follies Theatre in the late 1950s or early 1960s.


Post card of central fire station Youngstown, Ohio, with early motorized fleet. 

Photo: U.S. Army

Crash at Wright-Patterson military airfield, between Springfield and Dayton, on Oct. 30, 1935


Post card of oil refinery fire in 1911.


"Matthew Byrd, a young boy of Springfield, Ohio, was taken before the Probate Judge of Clarke county, Ohio, and reprimanded for setting fire to the building owned by the Springfield Casket Company. It was the intention of the judge to have him taken to the Boys' Industrial School, but, owing to his tender years, the sentence was suspended during his good behavior" - Ohio State Fire Marshal's Annual Report for 1906