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Fort Ellis Celebrates 50 Years With August 8th Picnic

Fort Ellis Reaches 50 Year Milestone

Much has changed in the world since 1969…  From cars to fashion, phones to the internet, life is more complex and this is certainly true for fire departments.  Back in the day, the fire service put out fires – end of story. Now firefighters are called upon to handle a myriad of emergency situations often having nothing to do with fires.  Car accidents and emergency medical calls make up the majority of work for Fort Ellis volunteers, along with hazardous materials, gas leaks and some fires as well.  

In 1969, residents had to pay a subscription fee for fire protection in an “opt-in” system.    The relic subscription signs still can be found on some homes in our area. To join, residents paid $100 plus $15 per year for fire protection.  Now residents are assessed fees as part of their taxes.

The photo above shows the department’s “new” truck in 1987 – though the truck was a 1952 engine compared with our current newest apparatus – Tender 1-5 – a 2009 fire hydrant on wheels.  Years ago, the protective gear did not include bunker pants or any of the other equipment standard today such as self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs), thermal imaging cameras, and modern, safe vehicles.  

In 1985, the department logged 21 calls; now volunteers respond to 250-300 per year.  Training has gone from once per month to every Tuesday night with many extra training opportunities offered throughout the year as well.  Volunteers are expected to keep current on both structural and wildland firefighting techniques, certifications in CPR and EMS (such as EMT), hazardous materials awareness, driver/operator proficiency and much more.

Fort Ellis Fire/Rescue has built upon its humble roots from the pioneers in 1969 to its 24 members and 10 apparatus today.  The department continues to be proud to serve our customers 24/7/365. Please join us at our station picnic on August 8th from 5-8 pm to celebrate our anniversary. We will have truck rides, children’s activities, and a cookout for all. More information can be found on our facebook page. The event is free and open to all.


Lauren Scull