The Blue Ash Historical Society extends a big thank-you to retired firefighter Ed Hamilton and current firefighter Mike who enlightened us on fire department history and answered questions about fire safety. Some interesting facts:
On March 22, 1945, the decision was made to purchase a pumper and equipment for the Sycamore Fire Department. Fundraising included dances, popcorn sales, and a carnival in Montgomery. The new truck arrived in 1947; until then, a truck was borrowed from Rossmoyne.
A tanker was acquired in 1948 or $900. Coats, helmets, and boots arrived in 1949. This equipment was shared as there was not enough to go around.
A junior fire department was formed in 1950. That was also a year for atomic bomb training.
Family night was held twice a year.
In 1953 and 1954, we contracted with Evendale for fire protection.
After 1955, residents paid ten dollars a year for EMS protection. Those not paying would be charged for runs.
In 1956, a women’s auxiliary provided services similar to those of today’s Red Cross. A dry cleaners was purchased, and trees were sold to raise money to support the staff.
A jeep was used to fight grassfires. (It seems those grassfires were common, especially in the vicinity of the two airports.)
Ladders were extended by cranking. The firefighters used torches and saws in lieu of a jaws-of-life.
In 1959, there were enough helmets and boots for each firefighter and sufficient funds for the purchase of flashlights. There were no radios, so the chief used a bullhorn to alert firefighters of danger.
Way back when, over twenty firefighters shared two oxygen masks.
We traversed the decades through the many amazing photos and interesting stories. We are truly grateful to Ed and Mike.