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1906-1956

  • September  1, 1906, the decision arrived at by the Safety Board of Elyria to form a paid fire department is implemented. The new apparatus will not have arrived by that date, but the previous installation of the paid department will prepare things for a good start when the apparatus does arrive. Remodeling of Fire Station #1 will commence and shall be completed by October 1 in order to accommodate both the men and the new apparatus. The pay scale for 1906 is as follows: Chief-$70/month, Firemen-$45/month.
  • May 27, 1908, by a city council vote of 4-3, Elyria shall construct two new fire stations. Each station shall be approximately 1.25 mile from the central fire station. Each station shall have a team of horses, a steamer, two paid men and twelve volunteers. Each station will cost approximately $3500.00. In 1908, there were 185 streets and 260 hydrants from which water is drawn.
  • April 1, 1909, the two new fire stations are opened.
  • January 21, 1910, the working hours of firemen are improved when council gives them one day off in each eight days on duty, and allows ten days of paid vacation. There are 15 paid firemen on staff.
  • June 22, 1911, a contract is issued for the purchase of two Robinson Motorized fire trucks from St. Louis for the sum of $16,000.00. The Robinson Motorized Pumpers had solid rubber tires, weighed 9,600 lbs., and was equipped with:  hose, ladders, chemicals, and a 750 gpm pump. It was powered by a 100hp six-cylinder gasoline engine.
  • April 3, 1913, Chief Bates is all smiles over the arrival of a new Overland Runabout automobile. It shall be used by the Chief in his work at the department. It is equipped with 4 Babcock chemical fire extinguishers.
  • August 15, 1914, the horse-drawn ladder was taken to the Peerless Motor Car factory in Cleveland, Ohio, where a motorized tractor is installed in place of the horse team.
  • February 15, 1915, the central fire station manpower is increased to twelve men.
  • March 27, 1915, the Elyria Fire Department receives one Drager Oxygen Breather Smoke Helmet. This is the first mask used by the fire department. There are five remaining horses in the Elyria Fire Department: Doc, Jack, Kit, Nell, and Jeff.
  • June 24, 1918, “Firemen Urias, Roling, and Gerhart went to the park (Ely Park) to assist in getting the alligator into the tank.”  At that time, an alligator was kept and displayed in the park pool during the summer, and wintered in a tank in the fire department basement!
  • January 1, 1919, there are 8 men on duty at Station 1. Firefighters work five 24hr days followed by 48hrs off duty. During on-duty days, they are given an hour off for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • December 30, 1919, a new motorized White Combination Hose & Chemical truck arrives in Elyria.
  • January 1, 1920, the Elyria Fire Department implements a two-platoon work schedule with 6 men on duty at Station 1. The men no longer go home for meals, but ate at the station and were on duty for 24hrs and off for 24hrs. by January 13, 1920, more men are hired and staffing is 8 men per platoon at Station 1.
  • January 28, 1924, Elyria Fire Squad 1 responds to an emergency call by order of the Safety Director to Lorain, Ohio where a tornado hit the business district and residential areas. The tornado demolishes everything in its path. On arrival, Squad 1 is ordered to assist in search, rescue, and body recovery. The Elyria Fire Department remains on scene until 0515hrs on June 30, 1924.
  • June 20, 1926, a new Aherns Fox pumping engine arrives; the Robinson pumper is removed from service.
  • April 2, 1929, filter-type “All Service” masks are adopted for use, as well as the “Burrell Mask” with smoke & ammonia canisters are in use.
  • March 14, 1934, all men and equipment are moved to Station 1 from Stations 2 & 3 so that remodeling may commence. Chief Bates orders a 24hr watchman be implemented with men serving in 2hr increments.
  • August 15, 1924, Engine Companies 2&3 return to their fire Stations. Remodeling is complete.
  • December 7, 1936, all men and equipment from Fire Station 1 is moved to the National Guard Armory while remodeling is performed.
  • February 24, 1937, all men and equipment are moved back to Fire Station 1 at 325 Second Street. Remodeling is complete.
  • July 5, 1938, Chief Bates orders 3 new apparatus to establish the Elyria Fire Department as one of the best equipped departments at the time. Ordered were: an American LaFrance 1250 pumper, an American LaFrance Quad Truck, and an  American LaFrance 85’ aerial ladder truck.
  • January 20, 1939, The Elyria Firefighters become members of the Association of Ohio Firefighters.
  • January 1, 1953, base salary for firefighters is $324/mo.
  • December 6, 1955, a 63hr work-week is passed by city council.