On June 15,
1896, the citizens of Chickasaw met at the corporation
building to reorganize the Fire Company. The fire department
at this time owned four pieces of equipment. The first piece
was a horse or man-powered drawn pumper which was powered with
a single cylinder engine. When the pumper was powered by man,
it took six to eight men with a teeter-tooter arrangement from
the sides of the pump. The second piece of equipment was a
two-wheel cart with two 20 or 25 gallon tanks that were filled
with water and charged with soda and acid to create a pressure
to force the water into the hoses. The hoses were 3/4" in
The two other pieces of equipment were hose carts. One of
these hose carts is on display at the Allen County Museum;
The fire department was located in the Village Hall at the
northeast corner of State Routes 274 and 716. The Village Hall
at that time had a garage on the rear west side adjacent to
the building. Ed Zahn, the local blacksmith fired the potbelly
stove everyday during the winter to keep the pumps from
In 1910 the fire department purchased a 1910, gas-powered Howe
Fire Truck. Not much is known about the details around this
time period. In the year 1915, it was decided that a
re-organization of the department was needed.
In 1928, the
Village Council traded the pumper and the chemical cart for a
used Reo Speed Wagon fire truck. This truck had solid tires
and it's maximum speed was 20 to 25 mph. Upon arrival of the
truck, the Village Council decided at once that this truck
would not serve the purpose of the community. The Howe Fire
Apparatus Company agreed to give the village a full refund for
the truck if they agreed to buy a new truck from them within
six months. They went to work at once and sold membership
subscriptions to the rural property owners and farmers. They
agreed to give the rural members protection for the lifetime
of the truck at $25.00 per member. This then began the
organization of the Fire Company known at the Chickasaw
Community Fire Company.
In August, 1928,
the Howe Fire Apparatus Company delivered a GMC truck with a
350 Gal. per minute pump and a 200 gallon water tank.
In the year
1932, the records for the Chickasaw Fire Department stopped.
In fact, there are no records of meetings, training, etc...
until 1948. The reason for this, we believe, is World War II.
In April, 1949,
the Fire Company was reorganized and named the Chickasaw
Community Mutual Fire Company. A new firehouse was built
across the road from the old one at a cost of $4500.00. On
December 23, 1949, the company purchased a 1949 Howe pumper at
a cost of $7800.00. This was a piston pump, 500 gal. per
minute with a 500 gallon tank capacity.
support the pumper, the volunteers attested to their ingenuity
by converting a 1945 oil truck into a 800 gallon tanker.
Fire calls were
wired into four different homes (those of the company
officers) where they were transferred in turn to sound an
alarm by simply pressing a button to start the siren. The
siren sat atop an old tower behind the town hall, which also
had been used as a hose dryer. once the new firehouse was
built, the siren was moved to its roof.
On July 20,
1953, the Mutual Company and the Volunteer Firemen separated.
They now have two separate organizations, the Chickasaw
Community Mutual Fire Company and the Chickasaw Volunteer
In 1959, the
fire department became a participant n the Civilian Defense
Program. Under the Civilian Defense setup, which had it's
headquarters in Columbus, the company had a mobile radio in
the 1949 pumper and a monitor in the station.
Company purchased another truck in 1966 which arrived on May
5, 1967, at the purchase price of $12,000.00. This 1967, Howe
truck had a centrifugal pump able to pump 500 gal. per minute
with a tank capacity of 1200 gallons.
was remodeled in 1970. One new bay was added along with a
May 3, 1975, the
Mutual Fire Company received a 1975 Howe truck at a price of
$35,000.00. It has a centrifugal pump able to pump 1,000 gal.
per minute with a tank capacity of 1,000 gallons.
Fire phones were
still being used, but the Mutual Company had purchased 20
pagers in May of 1978 at a cost of $2,000.00. These pagers
were set off by Central Dispatch from Celina. In 1979, the
fire phones were discontinued.
May of 1984, the
fire ratings in the village of Chickasaw were lowered from a
class 9 to a class 7. The rural areas were lowered from a
class 10 to a class 9.
A 1985 FMC Fire
Truck was delivered in October of 1985 to replace the 1949
Howe at the price of $60,000.00 The truck has a centrifugal
pump 1,000 gal. per minute with a tank capacity of 1,000
1990, the volunteers got together and built a 3200 gallon
tanker truck. A used 1985 International cab and chassis
was purchased and a local metal shop built the tank.
Once completed, this was the largest capacity tanker in the
Thobe took over as chief of the fire department in June of
1993 and later in that year plans were started for either
expanding the current firehouse or building a new one.
It was decided that the best option was to build a new station
and a lot was purchased on the south end of Chickasaw.
Ground was broke in late 1994 and we moved into the station in
1996 a used 1985 step van was purchased and refurbished to fit
our needs. The van is used to carry rescue equipment,
personnel, basic firefighting equipment and serves as our
command center on the fire scene.
1998 we started the inquiry into a new engine to replace the
aged 1975 engine. A committee was formed and December
2000 we put into service a 2000 Smeal on a Spartan Chassis at
a cost of $225,000.00. The 2000 pumper has
a 1,000 gal tank and pumps 1,500 gallons per minute.
June of 2001, Mark Seitz became the new Chief of the
the summer of 2002, the fire department received a $53,000
grant from FEMA to purchase a grass fire truck. A Ford F-350
was purchased in the fall of 2002 which was transformed into a
grass truck by members of the department with a 200 gal. tank
and a 300 gpm pump. The 2003 ford grass truck was
put into service in March 2003.